Ridgeland, South Carolina
Ridgeland, South Carolina
|• Mayor||Joseph Malphrus|
|• Total||48.81 sq mi (126.41 km2)|
|• Land||48.34 sq mi (125.20 km2)|
|• Water||0.47 sq mi (1.21 km2)|
|Elevation||56 ft (17 m)|
| • Estimate |
|• Density||78.84/sq mi (30.44/km2)|
|Time zone||UTC-5 (Eastern (EST))|
|• Summer (DST)||UTC-4 (EDT)|
|Area code(s)||843, 854|
|GNIS feature ID||1250384|
Ridgeland is a town in Jasper and Beaufort counties, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,749 at the 2020 census, a 7.1% decrease from 2010. It has been the county seat of Jasper County since the county's formation in 1912. As defined by the U.S. Census Bureau, Ridgeland is included within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metropolitan area.
Ridgeland was originally known as "Gopher Hill" in 1894, derived from the gopher tortoise, which is indigenous to the area. The name was not considered good enough for a new railroad station, so it was changed to "Ridgeland" in 1902 for the fact that the town stands on a sandy ridge that is some of the highest land in Jasper County.
Ridgeland is in northeastern Jasper County, with the center of town sitting on a low ridge at an elevation of 62 feet (19 m) above sea level. According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 44.7 square miles (115.8 km2), of which 44.4 square miles (115.1 km2) are land and 0.3 square miles (0.7 km2), or 0.59%, are water. The town's area as of 2010 was 18 times greater than its 2000 area of 2.4 square miles (6.3 km2). The town limits now extend east into Beaufort County as far as the west bank of the Broad River.
Ridgeland is 36 miles (58 km) southwest of Walterboro, 32 miles (51 km) south of Hampton, 31 miles (50 km) north of Savannah, Georgia, 14 miles (23 km) north of Hardeeville, and 7 miles (11 km) east of Tillman.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census of 2020, there were 3,749 people (2,612 in 2004 estimate), 517 households, and 332 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,046.6 people per square mile (403.4/km2). There were 597 housing units at an average density of 248.1 per square mile (95.6/km2). The racial makeup of the town was 49.17% African American 44.64% White, , 0.16% Native American, 0.75% Asian, 4.69% from other races, and 0.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 7.63% of the population.
There were 517 households, out of which 33.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.6% were non-families. 29.8% of all households were made up of individuals, and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.02.
In the town, the population was spread out, with 14.9% under the age of 18, 16.6% from 18 to 24, 44.5% from 25 to 44, 15.8% from 45 to 64, and 8.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females, there were 279.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 338.2 males. The presence of the Ridgeland Correctional Institution in the town limits heavily skews the sex ratio.
The median income for a household in the town was $31,991, and the median income for a family was $37,647. Males had a median income of $26,593 versus $14,641 for females. The per capita income for the town was $7,394. About 20.0% of families and 25.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 32.7% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.
Ridgeland is home to Ridgeland Elementary School and Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School. Thomas Heyward Academy, which opened in 1970 is a private K-12 institution located inside of the town limits.
- I-95, the major north-south highway on the Eastern Seaboard, runs through Ridgeland. A trumpet interchange to a connecting road exists south of the town at Exit 18 north of Switzerland, though the main interchanges within the community are Exits 21 and 22.
- US 17, a principal route connecting Charleston, Savannah, and beyond, enters Ridgeland after passing through Switzerland. The road is known locally as Jacob Smart Boulevard and has an interchange with I-95 at Exit 22, which it joins in an overlap until Point South at Exit 33. The road is mainly four lanes wide, with some segments having a center turn lane, although it becomes a four-lane divided highway north of downtown Ridgeland before joining I-95 in the aforementioned overlap.
- US 278 overlaps US 17 from northern Hardeeville, before veering west onto Third Street and then Grays Highway towards Augusta, Georgia, and Atlanta.
- SC 336, Ridgeland's Main Street, runs eastward from its starting point at U.S. 321 in Tillman. Within Ridgeland it intersects U.S. 17, goes under I-95 at Exit 21, and continues eastward towards the hamlet of Old House at SC 462.
The CSX Railway's Charleston Subdivision (also known as the Charleston-Savannah Railway) currently operates both freight trains and passenger trains (via Amtrak) along the lines, but do not stop at Ridgeland. The line runs along the west side of US 17 until the south end of the I-95 overlap, where it then runs along Nuna Rock Road (Old US 17) until it reaches Coosawhatchie.
- Thomas Heyward, Jr., slaveholder, signer of the Declaration of Independence
- LaRue Howard, gospel musician
- Reverend Ike (Frederick J. Eikerenkoetter II), popular and controversial prosperity theology televangelist
- General Lloyd W. Newton, first African-American pilot in the Air Force Thunderbirds
- General Jacob E. Smart, Cold War era USAF general
- "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
- "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
- "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Census Summary File 1 (G001): Ridgeland town, South Carolina". American Factfinder. U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved November 27, 2018.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Archived from the original on May 31, 2011. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Federal Writers' Project (1938). The Ocean Highway: New Brunswick, New Jersey to Jacksonville, Florida. Works Progress Administration. p. 139.
- "History - Thomas Heyward Academy". www.thomasheyward.org. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
- "White Parents Flee Public Schools". Federal Times. Army Times Publishing Company. 1 January 1971.
- Hawes, Jennifer; Adcox, Seanna; Bowers, Paul; Moore, Thad; Smith, Glenn (November 14, 2018). "No accident of history". The Post and Courier. Retrieved 2021-02-24.
Thomas Heyward Academy opened in rural Jasper County in 1970, the year that most districts in South Carolina desegregated under court order. It was one of dozens of private schools that opened to white students as the state resisted integration in the late 1960s and 1970s.
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