Posted By Bill Payer on Feb 27, 2021 | 0 comments

To many of us, Clements Ferry Road is a traffic jam and a construction cone obstacle course.  But the road has a long and important role in local history.

A recent Post & Courier article talked about that role…” During the Revolutionary War, the road was used by patriot Francis Marion and British Gen. Charles Cornwallis as the two rivals moved troops and supplies up and down the peninsula.

“What we know today as Clements Ferry Road was one of the main routes along the east bank of the Cooper River into the interior of the Cainhoy Peninsula,” said Eric Poplin, a senior archaeologist for Brockington & Associates, a cultural management resource firm that has done all sorts of artifact work in the Lowcountry.

“It was a line of travel that was heavily used during the colonial period and is, obviously, still heavily used today,” he said.” 

To see the entire article, CLICK HERE.  (If you are not a Post & Courier subscriber, you will likely encounter a paywall.)

That road took its name from Clements Ferry, named after its builder/owner John Clement, and built in 1785.  As was common at the time, Clement built a tavern at each end of his ferry.  Think of glorified bus stops with adult beverages available. The Charleston landing was called the Dover Tavern and the Thomas Island terminus was graced by the Calais Tavern.  The ferry was nicknamed the Dover to Calais ferry after the famous connection across the English Channel between England and France.

Charleston Public Library

 That P&C article also quotes DIHS co-founder Mike Dahlman noting that the Clements or Dover to Calais ferry route showed up on local maps as late as the Civil War.

For lots more on local ferries, look at “FERRIES” here on our website CLICK HERE.

Other sources include:

Ferry Tales, Charleston Magazine   CLICK HERE

2 Your Roots: Clements Ferry Road, WCBD-TV   CLICK HERE

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