Healthy Eyes Are in Focus at the Eye Center of Charleston

Protect Your Eyes with Help from an Ophthalmologist in Ridgeville, SC

If there's one thing that most people can agree on, it's that our human senses are extraordinary. They help us interact with the environment around us every day of our lives. Our brain processes signals from various neurons associated with our senses of sight, hearing, smell, taste, and touch to provide us with a meaningful perception of the world. The truth is, though, that we tend to take our senses for granted unless we experience a malfunction in any of them.

Humans have five senses and the same number of organs to complement those senses: a tongue to taste, a nose to smell, two ears to hear, skin for the sensation of touch, and eyes for sight. Of those senses and organs, our eyes are often considered the most essential, as they enable us to perceive up to 80% of all the impressions we encounter daily.

If other senses like taste or smell stop functioning, our eyes protect us from potential dangers. But they also help provide us with distinctly human memories. Think of all the picture-worthy moments that you have experienced over your lifetime. From seeing your baby smile or walk toward you for the first time to enjoying a memorable movie, it's safe to say that our eyes play an incredibly important role in our daily lives.

It makes sense, then, that we would want to protect our eyes and have them checked regularly to make sure they're healthy and functioning as they should. According to data by Ipsos, however, only 39% of Americans have been to an eye doctor's office in the last year. Fortunately, if you live in the Lowcountry, finding an eye doctor in Ridgeville, SC, is easier and more convenient than ever when you visit the professionals at Eye Center of Charleston.

Service Areas

 Eye Surgeon Ridgeville, SC

The Eye Center of Charleston Difference

Unlike some eye doctor offices in South Carolina, our team uses the most advanced technology paired with our esteemed clinical and surgical skills to precisely diagnose and treat a wide variety of eye conditions and diseases. We focus on a number of vision conditions, medical conditions, and physician services, including but not limited to:

  • Cataracts
  • Presbyopia
  • Nearsightedness
  • Farsightedness
  • Astigmatism
  • Styes
  • Diabetic Eye Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Excisional Biopsies
  • Dry Eye Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Flashes & Floaters

It all starts with an introductory appointment with one of our experienced eye doctors, who will take as much time as needed to get to know you, learn more about your needs, and better understand the symptoms you're experiencing. Once we know the extent of your eye care needs, our doctors will provide you with an effective, efficient diagnosis and plan of action to remediate any issues you're facing.

From nuanced eye surgeries to standard eye exams, we've got you covered. In fact, we offer the latest technology in Varilux Progressives, Transitions, Crizal Anti-Reflective Lenses, Prescription Polarized Sunglasses, and Thin Lightweight Lenses. With a wide selection of frames and sunglasses, you're sure to find the glasses you need in a style you love.

 Eye Doctor Ridgeville, SC

What is an Ophthalmologist in Ridgeville, SC?

When people think about eye doctors, they often think about professionals who conduct eye exams and prescribe contacts. They don't realize that an ophthalmologist is different than other professionals, like optometrists. So, what is an ophthalmologist?

An ophthalmologist is a vision health professional who plays a specific role in the field of eye care. Along with optometrists and opticians, they are part of a comprehensive eye care team. However, some patients may need clarification on the similar-sounding names of these three types of eye care providers. Each one has unique skills and training for the tasks they perform. You should understand these differences so you can choose the best professional to address your vision needs.

What are the Differences Between Ophthalmologists and Other Eye Care Specialists?

Opticians, optometrists, and ophthalmologists each have a separate role in the field of eye care.

 Eye Treatment Ridgeville, SC

Optometrists

These professionals conduct eye exams, vision tests, and can prescribe corrective lenses that help address and solve eye conditions.

 Eye Surgeon Ridgeville, SC

Opticians

Opticians are often labeled "eye doctors," but they focus mostly on filling prescriptions for contact lenses, glasses, and sunglasses. They're also experts at repairing glasses and adjusting frames as needed.

Ophthalmologist Ridgeville, SC

Ophthalmologists

These medical doctors treat and diagnose certain eye diseases. However, it's not uncommon for ophthalmologists to provide vision services similar to those of optometrists.

At Eye Center of Charleston, we offer patients all three eye care specialists to provide the most well-rounded, effective eye care services in Charleston and beyond.

Are Optometrists and Ophthalmologists Basically the Same?

While optometrists have a four-year Doctor of Optometry degree and can provide primary vision health care, ophthalmologists are medical doctors who have received approximately three times the education and training.

They can perform all the same services as an optometrist but can also provide treatment, including performing surgeries such as cataract removal, vision correction, and eyelid lifting. Optometrists may detect signs of eye diseases during routine eye exams but are unable to treat them, so they often refer patients to ophthalmologists at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Surgical Specialties at The Eye Center of Charleston

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Ridgeville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

While we serve many different types of patients with a wide variety of needs, many clients visit our eye surgeon in Ridgeville, SC, for very specific procedures. Keep reading below to learn more about those surgeries and the conditions that necessitate an eye doctor's intervention.

In a young and healthy eye, light passes smoothly through clear ocular structures and is then focused on the retina, the light-sensitive lining inside the eye. The lens, which is a slightly flattened marble-shaped structure, helps to focus the eye. If the lens becomes cloudy, yellow, or limits the amount of light that travels through it, it is known as a cataract. Cataracts can occur at any stage of life, from birth to old age.

Some of the most common symptoms of cataracts include the following:

  • Blurry or Dim Vision
  • Lights Are Too Bright
  • Lights Give Off Halo Effect
  • Faded Colors
  • Vision at Night is Poor
  • Vision Distortion

Glaucoma is an eye disease that can cause damage to the optic nerve due to high pressure in the eye, leading to possible vision loss. Therefore, the primary focus of treatment is to control eye pressure. Early intervention is crucial in preventing severe vision loss. While most patients can avoid severe vision loss with the use of topical eye drops, some require additional treatment.

It should be noted that some patients prefer to have less dependence on eye drops. Along with medical treatment, several safe and effective procedures are available, including laser trabeculoplasty and minimally invasive glaucoma surgery. To learn more about these treatment options, talk to your eye doctor at The Eye Center of Charleston.

Glaucoma is a group of eye conditions that can damage the optic nerve. The optic nerve is responsible for sending visual information from your eye to your brain and is essential for good vision. While high pressure in your eye is often associated with optic nerve damage, glaucoma can occur even with normal eye pressure.

Although glaucoma can happen at any age, it is more prevalent in older adults and is one of the leading causes of blindness for people over the age of 60. Unfortunately, many forms of glaucoma produce no warning signs. The effect of the condition is so gradual that you may not notice a change in vision until the later stages of the disease.

That's why it's essential to have regular eye exams that include measuring your eye pressure. Early recognition of glaucoma is a very important part of that process because it can help slow down or prevent vision loss. If you have glaucoma, you will need to undergo treatment or monitoring for the rest of your life.

Some of the most common symptoms of glaucoma include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Eye Pressure & Pain
  • Low, Blurred, or Narrow Vision
  • Bloodshot Eyes
  • Nausea
  • Seeing Rainbow-Colored Haloes Around Light Sources

A pterygium is a non-cancerous growth that appears on the surface of the eye, causing blurry vision. It usually occurs in individuals who have a long history of exposure to sunlight or UV light. Should you need pterygium surgery at The Eye Center of Charleston, you can rest easy knowing that your eye doctor in Ridgeville, SC, will be highly trained and experienced in the surgical treatment of pterygia.

Also called surfer's eye, a pterygium is an overgrowth of the conjunctiva, which is a thin and clear membrane on the surface of the eye. It can appear as a fleshy growth and is usually found growing from the inner corner of the eye, close to the nose. However, it can also appear on the outer corner or on both sides of the eye. The condition is not cancerous and does not spread to any other part of the face or body. It can cause redness and irritation in the affected area.

If left untreated, a pterygium can grow across the cornea, which is the transparent 'window' that covers the pupil and iris, further impacting vision. In such cases, surgical treatment may be necessary. However, it's important to note that pterygia may grow back even after successful surgery.

Some symptoms of a pterygium include the following:

  • Itching & Burning
  • Inflammation & Bloodshot Eyes
  • Minor Eye Pain
  • Issues with Blocked Vision

How Diabetes Can Affect Your Eyes

If you have diabetes, you may be wondering if the disease can affect your eyes and whether or not an ophthalmologist in Ridgeville, SC can help. To provide the best answer, it's important that you understand how diabetes can affect your eyesight.

Diabetes is a condition in which your body fails to properly convert food into energy. This is because your body either cannot produce or does not respond to insulin, which is a hormone responsible for transporting glucose (blood sugar) to the cells in your body. When there is an excess of glucose in the bloodstream, it can cause damage to the blood vessels and nerves throughout your body, including the eyes.

Understanding Diabetic Eye Disease

When we refer to diabetic eye disease, we're talking about a group of eye conditions that stem from diabetes. Those conditions include the following:

3 Easy Ways to Protect Your Eyes Everyday

Eye problems can be easily prevented if you adopt some easy-to-follow habits for eye care in your daily routine. Even though these habits are practical and easy to accomplish, many people brush them off - until they have serious eye problems. To maintain good eye health and sharp vision, try incorporating these eye care techniques into your daily routine.

Eye Center of Charleston Pro Tip

Swing by one of our eye clinics to see our selection of fashionable and chic sunglasses. Our licensed opticians keep a number of popular sunglass options available at all times, like Costa, Kate Spade, and Juicy Couture. Protect your eyes and look great at the same time!

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Use Protection from the Sun

It's important to be mindful of the potential risks associated with exposure to sunlight and UV rays. These hazards include an increased risk of age-related macular degeneration, as well as the possibility of cornea sunburn or photokeratitis. To protect your eyes, try wearing sunglasses that have UV protection. If you don't like wearing sunglasses, you can opt for UV-protected eyeglasses or contact lenses instead. You can also try wearing caps, visors, and hats for added protection.

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Try Not to Rub Your Eyes

One of life's little pleasures is rubbing your eyes when you're tired or have had a long day. It may feel good, but we don't recommend doing it. Reason being, your hands come into contact with a great deal of dirt, dust, and bacteria on a daily basis.

Every time you touch or rub your eyes, these harmful particles can be easily transferred to them. If you avoid touching your eyes with your hands, you can better prevent infections and irritations.

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Try the 20-20-20 Rule of Thumb

To keep your eyes in the best shape possible, consider adopting this handy rule. It states that:

  • Look away from your computer screen or TV every 20 minutes and fixate your gaze on something that is 20 feet away.
  • Blink your eyes 20 times in succession. This helps prevent dry eyes.
  • Get up out of your seat or away from your desk every 20 minutes. Then, take 20 steps. Doing so helps you vision and also helps promote healthy blood circulation and posture.

See a Brighter Future with Help from An Eye Doctor in Ridgeville, SC

At The Eye Center of Charleston, we're proud to offer a breadth of eye care services under one roof tailored to you and your whole family. From pediatric myopia management and treatment for dry eye to popular eyewear options and complicated eye surgery, we're ready to help. Regardless of the reason why you visit our eye care office, you can have peace of mind knowing that your patient experience will be comfortably curated for you.

Contact our eye care center today to learn more about our practice and to schedule an initial consultation with one of our expert eye doctors.

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Latest News in Ridgeville, SC

Data center project planned in Ridgeville, South Carolina

A “significant” data center development is coming to Ridgeville, South Carolina.According to Dominion letters sent to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina, a company called Mallard, LLC is proposing ‘Project Dawson’; a data center development on land near Research Center Drive in Ridgeville, in South Carolina’s Dorchester County.The site, located to the northeast o...

A “significant” data center development is coming to Ridgeville, South Carolina.

According to Dominion letters sent to the Public Service Commission of South Carolina, a company called Mallard, LLC is proposing ‘Project Dawson’; a data center development on land near Research Center Drive in Ridgeville, in South Carolina’s Dorchester County.

The site, located to the northeast of Charleson, will have its own substation. Information about the site’s planned capacity – along with timelines – has been redacted.

Dominion said Mallard was investing a “significant” amount of capital into the project, which will represent a “substantial load” for the energy firm.

As reported by the Post and Courier, the company is being offered a special "economic development rider" rate that amounts to 6 cents for every kilowatt hour of power – half of what residential customers pay.

The SC Public Service Commission has to review any such deals, but is yet to set a meeting date.

John Truluck, Dorchester County's economic development director, told the publication he has not heard of Mallard LLC.

The Post notes the data center's location is the same parcels where a company operating as Autumn Timber LLC previously proposed to invest $510 million on an unspecified development at the Pine Hill Business Campus off Highway 17A.

Autumn Timber previously used ‘Project Dawson’ on a permit application with the SC Department of Health and Environmental Control. Dorchester County Council last month approved tax breaks, a water-service agreement, and a land deal for Autumn Timber – which has previously filed plans under ‘Project Orchid’.

Dorchester County officials previously agreed to sell about 268 acres it owns at Pine Hill Business Campus to Autumn Timber for $5.84 million.

The Post linked Mallard to Google, as the manager of the shell company is one David Thomas. A Google director of corporate strategy named David Thomas has previously been named on other Google-affiliated public documents.

Google currently operates a South Carolina data center campus in Moncks Corner, around 20 miles east of Ridgeville. The company recently acquired another 140 acres in the area.

Elsewhere in South Carolina, a company hiding behind the shell company Starskey LLC is proposing ‘Project Sabal’, which is reportedly a data center development outside Augusta in Graniteville, Aiken County. County officials granted tax incentives to Starskey earlier this year. The company reportedly acquired around 573 acres in the Sage Mill Industrial Park for $19.2 million last year. It's unclear if Starskey/Sabal are linked to Google or Mallard.

Google confirms it is behind Project Dawson data center campus in South Carolina

Google has confirmed it is behind a data center development project in Ridgeville, South CarolinaThe search and cloud company has also received permission to develop three more data centers in Belgium.Google confirmed to expand in South CarolinaGoogle has revealed itself to be behind the Project Dawson data center proposals in South Carolina.“The Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) office, which serves to support economic growth in the county, confirms a relationship with G...

Google has confirmed it is behind a data center development project in Ridgeville, South Carolina

The search and cloud company has also received permission to develop three more data centers in Belgium.

Google confirmed to expand in South Carolina

Google has revealed itself to be behind the Project Dawson data center proposals in South Carolina.

“The Dorchester County Economic Development (DCED) office, which serves to support economic growth in the county, confirms a relationship with Google who recently closed on property in the county,” the DCED said this week.

“We are thrilled to welcome Google to Dorchester County and know they will be a long-term partner for our community, especially our schools,” said Dorchester County Council Chairman Todd Friddle. “Google has a history of strengthening local workforces and uplifting communities, and we look forward to Google making a positive difference here in Dorchester County.”

Campus specifications or project timelines haven't been shared.

According to the Post and Courier, the company aims to invest $510 million in the new campus – a 231-acre site along Research Center Drive and Highway 17A in Dorchester County’s Pine Hill Business Campus. The Dorchester County Council voted to change the site’s zoning earlier this month.

Google – previously reported as the company likely involved – has previously been conducting business around the project behind the Autumn Timber LLC and Mallard LLC company names. The search company had been referring to the site as Project Dawson.

“We have been proud to call South Carolina home for over fifteen years since we first put down roots in Berkeley County,” Google said in a statement. “Since then, we have partnered closely with local leadership, schools, and nonprofits to lift up the great work happening here. As we look to expand in the state, we have acquired property in Dorchester County for the development of a new data center campus. We look forward to growing our community here in South Carolina and will share details as this long-term project progresses.”

Google currently operates a South Carolina data center campus in Moncks Corner, around 20 miles east of Ridgeville. The company recently acquired another 140 acres in the area.

The Post and Courier also reports that Google, going by the aliases Project Evergreen and Gannett Enterprises LLC, has also is purchasing 206 acres for a proposed third data center near the county's Winding Woods Commerce Park along Pecan Tree Road and Highway 78, outside the town of St. George. The company was granted a $5.55 million purchase option for the land this month.

However, the company reportedly aims to focus on the Pine Hill campus for now, and will expand to the Winding Woods site as demand requires.

Google expands in Belgium

In Belgium, Google has been granted permission for a new data center campus.

The Walloon Region has issued an urban planning permit to the company for the construction of a new data center campus in the Hainaut municipality of Farciennes. The company is reportedly investing €600 million ($646m) in the project.

“The Walloon Region has just granted the permit for the installation of Google in Farcienne,” said Hugues Bayet, mayor of the municipality of Farciennes. “A new step in the realization of the digital giant's welcome in our region and above all the net creation of many jobs!”

Plans for the camps were first announced in July 2023. The campus will span some 53,000 sqm (570,500 sq ft). Previous reports suggested work would begin on the first phase – spanning around 7,500 sqm (80,730 sq ft) – would begin last year and launch in 2025.

More recent press suggests groundbreaking for the first 80MW phase is due to happen later this year.

Google acquired 53 hectares of land in the Ecopôle eco-business park, located across the municipalities of Farciennes, Aiseau-Presles, and Sambreville, in 2019. According to previous reports, energy firm Elia has confirmed that 200-300MW of capacity would be available on the site.

Belgium’s Saint Ghislain was the site of Google’s first data center in Europe. The company has built five data centers at its 90-hectare Saint-Ghislain site since 2009 as well as a solar plant. The company uses the shell company Crystal Computing for much of its dealings in Belgium.

2022 also saw Google acquire a 36-hectare site located in Ecaussinnes, in Hainaut province, in the Feluy industrial zone near La Louvière.

According to Raphael Stokis, a delegated official of the Walloon Region, the conditions attached to the permit will require on-site solar panels. Additionally, 90 percent of the energy consumed on the site must be carbon-free by 2025 and this must even be 95 percent by 2030.

Google will also have to opt for a more sustainable cooling system for the data centers in future – reportedly switching from systems that use water-consuming technology to air-cooling.

Volvo looks to add 1,300 jobs for fully electric SUV to be built in Ridgeville

More details were revealed Wednesday about Volvo’s fully electric SUV that will be built in Ridgeville – and the massive effort it will take to roll them off the assembly line.The Volvo EX90 made its debut in November as the Swedish car company’s new fully electric vehicle.David Stenström, Volvo Cars USA VP manufacturing Americas, said at the 12th annual South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance Auto...

More details were revealed Wednesday about Volvo’s fully electric SUV that will be built in Ridgeville – and the massive effort it will take to roll them off the assembly line.

The Volvo EX90 made its debut in November as the Swedish car company’s new fully electric vehicle.

David Stenström, Volvo Cars USA VP manufacturing Americas, said at the 12th annual South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance Automotive Summit on Wednesday that it will feature recycled plastics for the interior, which will be all animal/leather-free, among many other top-of-the-line and sustainable features.

He said it’s been a big challenge, but they are confident in overcoming those challenges.

The biggest of those challenges being:

Fifty percent more machines will need to be installed ahead of building the EX90s at Volvo’s Ridgeville plant — in addition to 1,300 new team members to be hired for its launch. The new employees will need to undergo eight weeks of training.

“The competition will be brutal for Volvo,” said Stenström. “If you’re not out there being the first, you probably will not survive (in this industry). But there is nothing hindering us from expanding what we have today and with the right people there is nothing we can’t do.”

Volvo CEO Jim Rowan said the EX90 ushers in a new era for safety for Volvo drivers and passengers.

“Born electric, born with lidar. The start of a new era of electrification, technology and safety,” Rowan said in a video presentation at the end of September. All Volvo EX90s will come with a combination of the latest technology powered by an understanding of the car’s outside environment and the person driving the vehicle, the company said.

Greenville and Spartanburg County Councils approved Volvo Cars USA’s fee-in-lieu-of-tax agreements in October. The FILOT applies to specific sites occupied by parts makers in the Upstate to prepare the company’s Ridgeville plant for building the electric SUVs.

Stenström said by 2025, they plan for a zero-carbon neutral site, in addition to these other mid-decade business ambitions:

Long-term Volvo ambitions include climate neutral company by 2040, pure electric car company by 2030, circular business by 2040, and recognized leader in responsible business. Currently, 90% of the EX90’s build is localized.

“South Carolina is blessed to have Volvo Cars here, and we can’t wait to see what the future holds as Volvo continues to innovate and grow here,” said Sara Hazzard, president and CEO of the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.

Ridgeville residents in historically Black neighborhood push back against development

Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood's ancestors who were sharecroppers."They couldn't read or write," she said.So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.As Cooke sits, telling stories about the community of Coburn Town, the one about the names makes her and others smile. It's part of what makes this place special — the shared history — and a symbol of wha...

Ethel Cooke, a lifelong resident in the predominately Black community, said her parents told her the mix-up probably comes from some of the neighborhood's ancestors who were sharecroppers.

"They couldn't read or write," she said.

So the name was spelled on records however it ended up being pronounced.

As Cooke sits, telling stories about the community of Coburn Town, the one about the names makes her and others smile. It's part of what makes this place special — the shared history — and a symbol of what could be lost as growth starts to transform the area.

"We don't know what's coming," said Elizabeth Crum Huffman, another lifelong resident.

Located off School Street, the Coburn Town community is surrounded by trees, open fields, a railroad track and a closed sawmill. Many of the original Black residents saved money and purchased land in the area following the end of slavery.

Nearly 180 acres surrounding the community were recently approved for rezoning by Dorchester County Council. Those rezoned parcels, including the old Ashley River Lumber Co., will now fall under what the county refers to as commercial light-industrial.

Officials expect it likely will soon hold a warehouse, but no development plans have been approved.

It's one piece of a larger list of changes that highlights Ridgeville as an area of growth. Other indicators include new housing developments, road projects and industrial spaces like the Walmart Distribution Center.

But with a question mark around its future, community members are reflecting even more on what the quiet and familiar community means to them and what it meant to their ancestors who purchased the land to have something of their own.

'We came up the hard way'

Though it's been years since farming was the main source of income in the community, it's still possible to see some of its agricultural roots.

There are open fields that sit on the edges and the rusted fences that used to hold livestock.

Take away the paved roads and some of the home renovations. Picture in its place a couple of wagons, tobacco and potato fields and mules, and it's easy to imagine what the place looked like when Black residents first poured into it.

Walking down Coburn Town Road, Huffman and her sister Virginia Crum said they can remember having to do farming chores as children and just tossing all of the seeds in the field without any order.

Harvest time would usually give them away, they said laughing.

Their father, Willie Kizer Crum Sr., and mother, Hermena Robinson Crum, had 10 children: seven girls and three boys. The couple married in the 1940s. Willie's father was a sharecropper.

Virginia Crum, a retired educator, said their father bought the land they live on now. Some of the things she remembers the most about him is he didn't like buying things on credit and always paid in cash.

Down the street lives James Wesley Duggins Jr., a 78-year-old man who grew up in Coburn Town.

Standing outside working in his yard, he laughed about how annoying the nearby railroad can be with the sound of trains coming through.

His father, James Wesley Duggins Sr., helped build the railroad tracks. "Look now, the machines do all that," Duggins said.

His family moved to the area around the 1920s.

While talking with the sisters, he reminded Crum she integrated Ridgeville Elementary when she was in the first grade. She was born in 1959.

"There's so much history," Crum said.

And while there are tons of happy memories, like playing baseball around some of the farm animals and staying over at each others' houses, the community also remembers how their elders struggled.

There were times as children when they had to run through the woods to avoid White children throwing rocks, Duggins said.

Huffman and Crum's mother often had to travel as far as Charleston to sell goods because the White residents in Ridgeville at the time severely underpaid them, they said.

"We had some strong Black people in the community," Crum said.

Cooke remembers being a child and having a White boy spit at her when they were in town one day.

"I said, 'Daddy, that ain't right,' " Cooke said. Her father, she recalled, encouraged her to let it go for her own safety.

She also remembers sitting outside and working in a yard for a family for whom her grandmother cooked and cleaned. She wasn't allowed to come inside the home.

After working in the yard, Cooke laughed and said all she got for it was an orange dress. "And it had a hole in it," she said.

She said she can't imagine what her grandmother was paid.

"We came up the hard way," Cooke said.

There was a time when everyone in their community was a Coburn-Cobin. But with different marriages, other names started to appear.

Two of Crum and Huffman's aunts married into the Coburn-Cobin family. One of the aunts married Cooke's grandfather.

Outside of marriages, they said, the community has always felt like one big family that supported each other.

When Cooke's family was struggling when she was raised, she said, Huffman and Crum's father would routinely give them potatoes to help them get by.

No one really knew or talked about it.

"Now you borrow sugar and the whole city would know it," Cooke said.

News

A growing town

On Nov. 1, as 180 acres surrounding Coburn Town was rezoned to commercial-light industrial, community members and descendants poured in to raise their concerns.

Many noted the things they wanted to see. Crum emphasized helping the schools and adding facilities like health and community centers. Huffman said she would love to see more sidewalks because she enjoys a daily walk.

Tim Lewis and Felicia Cobin can trace their history in the area as far back as 1829. Rebecca Cobin was buried near the community in the late 1940s. She was born in 1883.

"We really want to look at how we can grow together," Lewis said. "There's history here."

Business

Ridgeville's growth has been a big topic in the past couple of years. Federal funds around COVID-19 relief will bring $6.8 million in roadway improvements around the Ridgeville Industrial Campus.

At the same campus, a Walmart Distribution Center is slated to bring hundreds of jobs to the area, increasing truck traffic.

The county is also expanding water access. Many Coburn Town residents use wells.

Boom & Balance

In conjunction with new housing developments, there's a lot more movement in the Ridgeville area.

Dorchester County Councilman David Chinnis said many things the community wants depend on rooftops. No development plans have been approved around the rezoned property near Coburn Town.

"We don't know what's being built there," Chinnis said.

He encouraged residents to continue their involvement. But whatever comes, he said, the goal would be to protect the community with features like buffers.

The county is also looking to start working on a Ridgeville/Givhans Area Growth Management Plan. The plan has one more layer of council approval to go through before work can start on creating it.

The goal with the plan is to raise awareness about infrastructure concerns and funding. Local community members hope to be a part of the planning process. "Understand that this community is growing," Chinnis said.

And while a lot of the area community members are still wary, many said they still plan to keep pressing on the council to protect the community.

The unknown

Feelings around growth in Coburn Town are mixed.

Some are nervous with the uncertainty about what's to come and what it means about preserving their land and history.

“I was able to share that history with my children,” said Taneeka Wright.

Her grandfather, John Henry Pinckney, was a welder and mechanic who lived in Coburn Town. Her grandmother, Ethel Mae Pinkney, was a cook.

She said she enjoyed showing her children around the community and how she grew up. She remembers having to invent games with friends and families because there weren't a lot of things to play with.

“And I would love to share that history with my grandchildren," she said.

Others in the community are pessimistic and said they know significant change is inevitable.

"It's not going to be the same anymore," said Franklin Pinckney, a lifelong resident and a local high school football star at the old Harley-Ridgeville High School.

All he said he remembers now are the body aches.

Boom & Balance

"It's not going to be the same anymore," he said thinking about the future and the thought of hearing loud trucks and movement in a community that tends to be quiet and slow.

One resident said he doesn't have any fear.

"I like to try and be real," said Wendell Coburn, 81.

Coburn manages his dementia and lives with his wife Betty, 71. With his condition, Betty is still able to communicate with him and help him have conversations with people.

Community members said he might struggle with the present but he can still hold conversations about the past.

Wendell built their Coburn Town Road home more than 40 years ago. He was raised by a single mother who had to walk 3 miles to work.

He's known in the community as being someone who was always willing to lend a helping hand without even being asked. Residents said the influence of his mother and the community is all over him. "They preserved him for me," Betty said with a laugh.

She married into the community.

To Wendell, community connection and talking with people are important. He describes Corburn Town as a community of caring.

When asked to spell his last name, Wendell makes sure people know it's with the "urn" and not the "in."

"If you can't communicate with people, you're doing nothing," he said.

In a 1900 census interview of Ransom Coburn it points to the Coburn-Cobin family origin being in Virginia around the Jamestown area.

The descendants believe they came to South Carolina either for work collecting turpentine or constructing the railroads.

Reach Jerrel Floyd at 843-937-5558. Follow him on Twitter @jfloyd134.

Walmart’s new Ridgeville distribution center brings over 1,000 jobs

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Walmart’s $220 million-dollar international distribution center in Ridgeville is now open for business.Officials from Dorchester County and Gov. Henry McMaster spoke at the grand opening on Friday.“This is just one more sign of our great prosperity that’s going to keep on going,” McMaster says. “This is one of the three largest such distribution centers in the world.”So far, Walmart has hired over 900 associates and they are looking to hire a total of 1,300 fu...

RIDGEVILLE, S.C. (WCSC) - Walmart’s $220 million-dollar international distribution center in Ridgeville is now open for business.

Officials from Dorchester County and Gov. Henry McMaster spoke at the grand opening on Friday.

“This is just one more sign of our great prosperity that’s going to keep on going,” McMaster says. “This is one of the three largest such distribution centers in the world.”

So far, Walmart has hired over 900 associates and they are looking to hire a total of 1,300 full-time employees. The Walmart distribution center is expected to increase the Port of Charleston’s volume by 5 percent, bringing them more jobs as well.

Jeffrey Holzbauer, General Manager of Imports with Walmart says this center will have a huge impact on Dorchester County. Not only for the number of jobs they are bringing but the pay rate as well.

Along with the distribution center, there are 122 retail stores in the state. In total, Walmart employs over 30,000 associates in South Carolina.

This will be the 5th distribution facility in the state, and its impact will reach farther than South Carolina. The center will supply 850 Walmart and Sam’s Club stores across the southeast.

Holzbauer says over the past few years keeping shelves in stores stocked has been an issue. The distribution center’s main purpose is to limit situations like that happening by making sure the right stores have the right products at the right time.

“Trailers come in from the port, folks then unload them,” Holzbauer says. “They go to a storage rack until a store is running low on inventory. Then we send associates to pick that product, take it to the ship dock, and put it in containers that’s destined for a regional distribution center.”

The town of Ridgeville was chosen for the distribution center for a few reasons. It’s strategically located relatively close to the port of Charleston. Holzbauer says there were a lot of qualified associates in the area, and there’s access to major transportation channels to get their products to their stores as fast as possible.

South Carolina Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome says this building could be the tip of the iceberg for a county focused on business.

“We own this whole industrial campus, except we granted this to Walmart, so we’re working on other projects out here,” Newsome says. “I think there’s a number of distribution projects that can come here because of the location between I-26 and I-95.”

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