The Who, What and, Where: A to Z of South Carolina
Last month, we launched our “A to Z of South Carolina” print series, and it will stay my favorite for a while! It took months to finalize each letter and make an alphabet that emcompasses South Carolina from upstate to the Low Country.
This project challenged my artistry in the best of ways, and I’m excited to finally share it with all of you. Some letters were definitely harder than others, but the final product was worth every brush stroke (Also, who knew X-Men comic book illustrator, Dave Cockrum, worked and lived in South Carolina?!)
Keep reading for the inside scoop on each letter and where I drew my inspiration from!
A is for Azaleas. This spring bloom is found abundantly throughout South Carolina and turns the landscape into bold brushes of bright fuchsia, coral, and white.
B is for Boykin. This Spaniel bred for hunting bird game is the state dog of South Carolina.
C is for Clemson University. Go Tigers! One half of the state’s rivals every football season.
D is for Duke Mayonnaise. In South Carolina, there is only Dukes. Invented in Greenville, South Carolina in 1917, Duke Mayonnaise is a staple in every South Carolinians’s kitchen for deviled eggs, tomato sandwiches, and pimento cheese. (Yum!)
E is for Edisto Beach. Located between Charleston and Beaufort on Edisto Island, Edisto Beach is the perfect place to go fishing and enjoy South Carolina’s beautiful coastline at Edisto Beach State Park.
F is for Francis Marion. Francis Marion was a South Carolinian general during the Revolutionary War. Most famous for his guerilla war tactics in the swamps of South Carolina against the British, he was nicknamed the “Swamp Fox.”
G is for Grits — a southern breakfast staple served frequently with shrimp. Grit mills are still active throughout South Carolina, and yes, there is a difference between yellow, white, stoneground, and instant!
H is for the H. L. Hunley. The first successful combat submarine in the world was used and sunk off the coast of Charleston during the Civil War. The missing submarine was found and raised in 2000, currently located in Charleston as it undergoes preservation efforts.
I is for Indigo. Due to the low country climate, indigo was a popular cash crop in South Carolina during colonial times. Due to the deep blue dye the plant creates, the state color of South Carolina and the state flag are both indigo blue.
J is for the joggling board. The joggling board was invented in South Carolina in 1804, by Cleland Kinlock for his sister who had issues with rheumatism and missed riding in a carriage. The rocking bench is still seen on many porches around South Carolina, especially around the Low Country.
K is for Kalmia Gardens. Located in Hartsville, South Carolina, this garden is filled with a variety of regional florals and faunas, set next to Black Creek. The gardens surround the Thomas E. Hart House, which celebrated its 200th birthday in 2020.
L is for live oak trees. The massive and majestic trees can be found throughout South Carolina, especially in the Low Country, like Angel Oak Park on Johns Island.
M is for Myrtle Beach. The location of summer beach days, bike weeks, and many rounds of mini-golf, Myrtle Beach is full of fun for a day trip or week’s vacation.
N is for nuts. Pecans and peanuts (I know they are technically legumes, but they have nuts in the name, so they count, right?). Also, who doesn’t love fresh boiled peanuts or pecan pie?
O is for oysters. Oyster season is a favorite in South Carolina. Nothing is better than a day in Charleston, Beaufort, or Georgetown having fresh oysters on half-shell.
P is for palmettos. The palmetto tree is found around South Carolina but most prominently on the South Carolina flag.
Q is for quail. Quail is a small game fowl that was over hunted in the past throughout the Southeast. But in recent years, South Carolina has focused on quail conservation at wildlife refuges like the one in McBee, South Carolina.
R is for Ravenel Bridge. The Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge is a cable-stayed bridge that has become an iconic feature of Charleston. This bridge is the main connector from downtown Charleston to Mount Pleasant across the Cooper River.
S is for Sand Hills State Forest. Located between the piedmont and coastal plains of South Carolina, this forest is known locally for Sugar Loaf Mountain. Standing at 468 feet, this “mountain” is the tallest peak in the mainly rolling hills region.
T is for Table Top State Park. Located in upstate Pickens, South Carolina, this park includes Pinnacle Mountain, the tallest mountain within the state. A great place to hike, explore the mountain streams, and even enjoy bluegrass music!
U is for the University of South Carolina. Go Gamecocks! The other half of the state’s rivals every football season.
V is for Veranda. An open-air porch, the veranda is an architectural feature seen around South Carolina, especially in Charleston's historic home design where past owners were hoping to catch a breeze off the inlet and river during the steamy summers in the low country.
W is for the Wren. The Carolina Wren is the state bird of South Carolina.
X is for X-Men. Dave Cockrum was the comic book artist for the X-Men series, and the co-creator of X-Men characters Nightcrawler, Storm, and Colossus. He lived and died in South Carolina.
Y is for Yellow Jessamine. The state flower of South Caroline, this floral vine is found around South Carolina and makes the air smell sweet every spring.
Z is for Zooming Nascar. South Carolina is the home of Darlington Raceway, which has been deemed the hardest track in NASCAR. Currently 2 NASCAR Cup Series races are hosted at Darlington Raceway each year, the Southern 500 in the fall and a 400-mile race each spring.