The Sampit River flows from the boggy regions of upland Georgetown County east to the Atlantic Ocean. It merges with the Pee Dee River, Black River, and Waccamaw Rivers at the city of Georgetown. Together these four rivers form beautiful Winyah Bay.
The river was an important feature for planters cultivating rice plantations. The irrigation system introduced to rice planters by slaves took advantage of the tides and incorporated trunks, or gates, to let the water submerge the growing rice to protect it from pests and release the water from the field to allow the rice to grow. Traces of rice fields and their system of canals can be seen along the banks of tidal rivers once used for rice growing such as the Sampit River. Below, trawlers, or shrimp boats, rest before setting out to work in the Atlantic, providing fare for the waterfront restaurants of Georgetown.
More Pictures of the Sampit River
Reflections on the Sampit River
Contributor Dan Christie, who took the photo above, shares an experience visiting Georgetown: “I have been coming to SC for 10 years. Now I live here. I love to visit Georgetown and just hang out by the commercial fishing boats. I love everything about them… the wood, the smell, the ropes, etc. My wife was with me when this was taken. My rendition includes some ropes on the piles, a snowy egret and a few artistic touches. I like how they are tied up by three. I want to go out and work with them some day just for the experience. I am glad they are still here working hard for us to enjoy!”
Deborah Smith says of her photo above: “Georgetown harbor on a slightly foggy December morning, viewed from near the East Bay Street boat landing. The house with the chimneys and red roof is the Heriot-Tarbox House. Constructed around 1765, the house was later the home to a prosperous merchant who constructed a warehouse across the street along with a dock for merchant ships.”
Treva Thomas Hammond, who shared the photo above, tells us: “Georgetown is known to those of us who vacation each year at Pawleys Island or Litchfield as the place to get shrimp! This shrimp boat is docked at the Independent Seafood Dock and Market – the place to get the freshest shrimp right off the boat!”