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Historical South Carolina Newspapers: Entertainment & Leisure

Delve into the rich content of historical South Carolina newspapers dating from 1836 to 1922 through suggested topics, important dates, interesting articles, and tips for searching.

Selected Articles from Chronicling America

Entertainment & Leisure Topics Guide

Suggested Search Terms:

Baseball Fraternal Organizations Masons
Beauty Pageants Football Mill Leagues
Bicycling Rink Fox Hunting Myrtle Beach
Buffalo Bill Gun Clubs Oddfellows
Chautauqua Horse Racing Polo Clubs
Circus Hunting and Fishing Race Car Driving
Cock Fighting Hunting Clubs Springs Resorts
County Fair Isle of Palms State Fair
Dancing Knights of Pythias The State Grange
Early Cinema Literary clubs Tuesday Afternoon Club

Important Dates:


Baseball becomes popular in the 1860s when Northern occupying soldiers played with local South Carolinians. Mill-sponsored baseball teams soon flourish and last through the mid-20th century.

The South Carolina State Fair, originally called the State Agriculture and Mechanical Society of South Carolina, is established in 1869, meeting on the fairgrounds above Elmwood Avenue in Columbia. 


The 1st polo game in S.C. is played in 1882 in Aiken.  That same year, the Aiken Polo Club is established and the Camden Polo Club begins shortly after in 1900.


Football grows in popularity in S.C. The first official football game takes place in Spartanburg in December 1889 when Wofford beats Furman 5-1. The University of South Carolina plays its first official football game in 1892 against Furman, losing 44-0. USC and Clemson meet on the football field for the first time around 1896.

Isle of Palms becomes a popular seaside resort in 1899.


One of the earliest hotels on Myrtle Beach, the Seaside Inn, opens in 1901.

At the turn of the 20th century, the S.C. Lowcountry begins attracting wealthy northerners who purchase large tracts of land as hunting preserves to hunt deer, quail, and waterfowl. For example, Wall Street financier Bernard Baruch purchases Hobcaw Barony in Georgetown County in 1905.

1910s Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show performs in Sumter, S.C. in October 1912.

Images & Headlines Found in Chronicling America

Buffalo Bill Bids Farewell to Sumter

Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show performed in Sumter, S.C., 1912

1885 Bicycle Advertisement

Bicycle ad, 1885

Carolina Victor Over Clemson, 1920

Circus advertisement, 1867

Cock Fighting article in Anderson, S.C., 1916

Men's Athletic Underwear ad, 1909

Advertisement for the State Fair, 1905