Hopkins is a rural community named for the family of John Hopkins, who received a land grant of 250 acres in 1764. The village was called Hopkins Turnout by 1842 when the South Carolina Rail Road laid tracks in the town. A post office was operating in Hopkins by 1849. Following the Civil War, several freedmen settled here on land they acquired through the South Carolina Land Commission. Hopkins is the site of the Congaree National Park.