Shem Creek, SC

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This is a post that I wrote and forgot about shortly after our visit to Charleston, SC this summer.   My wife awoke early to capture the area in the favorable tones of morning light, which was moderately successful.

First, Shem Creek is not a town.  It’s a creek located in Mt. Pleasant, SC, which is just across the Cooper River from Charleston, SC.  So, adjacent to a picturesque city is a picturesque “spot” that has had its uses since the early 1700’s – fishing, shipbuilding, brick making, and rice milling, for example.

“Shem” may come from “Shemee,” a word used by the Sewee Indians for the creek, who inhabited the area nearby.


Today, it’s a picturesque spot, with competing interests of restaurants, charter boats, and shrimp trawlers.  Essentially, it’s now a tourist trap for restaurants, but commerce remains with perhaps 20 shrimp boats, as compared to over 100 at its peak.  The explosion in growth in Mt. Pleasant and the nearby islands has brought more dining options, but none offer the quaint waterfront vibe of Shem Creek.





The names come and ago.  The Trawler, a landmark restaurant for many years, but it’s been closed for several years.  Ronnie’s is now Waters Edge... and so it goes.  All offer scenic views of either the creek, the bay or the marsh.


The marsh is much more in view due to the creation of a “park” consisting of a wooden pier system that reaches out into the marsh area.  The view will vary with the tide, but we got to see the fiddler crabs, moving as a horde.  The park may be developed further in the near future.


Looking inland from the crossover bridge reveals the water access to houses along the sides.



It has all the evidence of a peaceful place... other than the constant traffic on the Charleston/Mt. Pleasant corridor, which is, all things considered, a needed supplier of tourists.  It remains a place all visitors to the area should at least see, if only for photos and a lunch meal.

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