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September 2013 Posts


Blog Entry

Official Launch of the Sweet Tea Trail - Summerville, SC

Monday, September 30th 2013 @ 12:00 AM

The 2013 LEADERSHIP DORCHESTER Class of the Greater Summerville/Dorchester County Chamber of Commerce Cordially Invites You to Attend the Official Launch of the Sweet Tea Trail



Drop in any time
Between 11am and 1pm on
October 8, 2013

At Hutchinson Square, S. Main Street in Summerville
Ribbon Cutting will be at 11:30am

Enjoy a Sweet Tea Bar, goodies around the square and more!


Please RSVP by September 30, 2013

Alicia Smith 843-873-2931

 Event Registration, click here.

After much research, we lay claim to the fact that Summerville is the “Birthplace of Sweet Tea,” and with this new distinction comes new adventures, like the Sweet Tea Trail. The goal of the trail is to guide folks from the I-26 interchange at exit 199 through the five districts of the town, offering uniquely Southern dining, shopping, historical and cultural experiences. Starting with the shops and restaurants at Azalea Square, the trail continues to historic downtown Summerville. From there, the trail visits the storied Azalea Park and continues to Colonial Dorchester State Park, concluding with the scenic Plantation District, Middleton Place, Magnolia Gardens and Drayton Hall Plantation.


ADDITIONAL TOUR DETAILS: Two types of tours. 3rd Friday of the month.

Upcoming Dates:  October 18th      November 15th       December 20th

9 AM   &   1 PM    $20

Sweet Tea Trolley Tour-Historic Summerville, SC

Take a trip down the Sweet Tea Trail in Historic Summerville, The Birthplace of Sweet Tea. This 1½ hour guided tour will take you on the back roads of our quaint southern town where tea isn’t the only thing that’s sweet.  You’ll love our thoughtfully preserved downtown, historic homes and get a glimpse of where sweet tea first started.  As an added bonus you’ll tour Historic Linwood Gardens, named one of's “Top 10 Garden Inns” in the world.

 Tour Departs/Arrives at the Summerville Visitor Center and begins on the hour.


11 AM    $25

Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail-Historic Summerville, SC

Join Summerville resident and nationally-known Storyteller Tim Lowry on a special trolley tour featuring “Good Eats on the Sweet Tea Trail.”  If Sweet Tea is the house wine of the South, then boiled peanuts are the caviar!  Tim will introduce you to these Lowcountry delicacies and many more as you travel about town enjoying complimentary tastes from a number of Summerville’s restaurants and gourmet shops.  Along the way Tim will regale you with stories of how local vegetables helped win the American Revolution, the social significance of souse meat, and the history of tea in our Southern town. 

To book your tickets go to:

Tour Departs/Arrives at the Summerville Visitor Center and begins on the hour.



Summerville - Birthplace of Sweet Tea

~ The tea plant landed in Summerville in the late 1700’s by way of the Ashley River. Andre Michaux, a French explorer and botanist, imported it along with varieties of camellias, gardenias and azaleas near Charleston at what is now known as Middleton Place Plantation.

~ 1888 Dr. Shepard, a wealthy scientific philanthropist, acquired 600 acres in Summerville and established the Pinehurst Tea Plantation.

~ 1890 there was a confederates reunion held in Summerville where they served sweet tea.
~ 1904 Dr. Shepard with his Pinehurst Tea won “Best Tea” at the World Fair.
~ Pinehurst produced award winning teas until Dr. Shepard’s death in 1915, when the garden was
closed and lay unattended until 1963.

~ 1963 Lipton paid to have the surviving plants at Pinehurst moved to Wadamalaw Island where they
operated an experimental tea farm until it was sold.

~ In 1987 Mack Fleming and Bill Hall partnered to purchase the farm from Lipton and began producing
American Classic Tea .

~ In 2003 the partnership was dissolved and the property was purchased by Bigelow and
renamed The Charleston Tea Plantation.


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