Awendaw was named by the Seewee Native American or “Sewee” tribe. It is also home to an oyster shell mound created by the Seewee Tribe. It is the northern most shell ring in a group that stretches south to the tip of Florida. Most of the mound is still intact. The rest of it was destroyed to construct roads and homes for the citizens of Awendaw. Awendaw was settled in 1696 as “Wappetaw” by settlers from Salem, Massachusetts who left after the Salem Witch Trials.
Awendaw Sewee Shell Mound
Located approximately 18 miles north of Charleston in Awendaw, the Sewee Shell Mound is a pre-Columbian Native-American historical site. It is accessed by a one-mile interpretative hiking trail in the Francis Marion National Forest. Although weathered by time and Hurricane Hugo in 1989, the shell rings are easily visible. They are believed to be an ancient trash pile of oyster shells discarded by early Native Americans hundreds, or even several thousand years ago, although some theories suggest the shell rings had ceremonial purposes.
Located adjacent to a preserved freshwater marsh, the site may be examined from a 120-foot-long National Forest Service boardwalk, which also features five interpretive stops. Directions and details are available at the nearby Sewee Visitor and Environmental Education Center in Awendaw.