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Howell’s Ferry

Howell’s Ferry operated intermittently during the last half of the 18th Century on the Congaree River between Mills Creek and Big Beaver Creek.. Thomas Howell was granted the rights to operate a public ferry a short distance below his home on Raiford’s Creek (later Mill Creek) by 1756 (Meriwether, 1940:61).

Thomas Howell was one of three brothers from Maryland who settled on Raifords Creek in the 1740s. William arrived first in 1742 and was soon followed by Arthur and Thomas (Meriwether, 1940:60). All three brother acquired land adjacent to each other.




Thomas Howell married Grace Raiford around 1735. Grace was a daughter of Philip Raiford who also acquired land near the Howells on Raiford’s Creek in the 1740s. Thomas and Grace had one child, William Robert, who was born about 1738 and died in 1804. Thomas Howell died in 1760 (will and inventory on file at SCDAH).

Thomas’s widow Grace later married Charles Russell, Jr. (Charles Russell, Sr. was the commander of Fort Congaree [(1718 – 1722]). This marriage led Howell’s Ferry to be called by some as Russell’s Ferry.

Meriwether, Robert L.
1940 The Expansion of South Carolina, 1729-1765.
Southern Publishers, Kingsport, TN.

Groover, Mark D., and Richard D. Brooks. "The Catherine Brown Cowpen and Thomas Howell Site: Material Characteristics of Cattle Raisers in the South Carolina Backcountry."
Southeastern Archaeology 22 (summer 2003): 92-111.