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Bluffton myths & misconceptions: Old Town isn’t even Old Town

Setting the record straight on some of the town’s most historic events.

Story By Barry Kaufman

Old Town isn’t even Old Town

Incorporated in 1852, Bluffton was designated a National Register Historic District in 1996. Old Town’s boundaries were narrowly defined as the area bounded by May River, Huger Cove and Bridge St.

While its early story is one of a small town that found itself at the nexus of several key moments in American history, the latest chapters in the saga of Old Town Bluffton tell a story of amazing growth. Over the course of the last twenty years, the original one square mile has expanded to encompass everything from the chic luxury of Palmetto Bluff to the sparkling commercial district lining Buckwalter Parkway.

But amid that growth, Old Town has remained Old Town. But what’s less clearly defined is what, exactly, constitutes Old Town. According to some, the district extends all the way to Bluffton Parkway in an area consisting of 680 acres.

However, the historic district’s boundaries were more narrowly defined when the entire area was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. On the application form, the district is defined as an area “roughly bounded by May River, Huger Cove & Bridge St.” While that leaves the district’s eastern border somewhat nebulously defined, it does place a clear northern division at Bridge Street, meaning that half of Calhoun Street, and everything along May River Road, is technically outside of the district.

 

Read more Bluffton history here