Corrected map error from 1897 creates modern headaches

June 16, 2019 GMT

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A mapping error from 1897 is causing 21st century headaches for people living near Charleston.

Surveyors 122 years ago messed up drawing the county line between Berkeley and Dorchester counties. The mistake was officially corrected last year, leaving an apartment complex and a senior living home in Summerville split between the two counties.

State mapping officials have been working for more than a decade using GPS to precisely draw county boundaries. The corrections of old surveying techniques have shifted lines hundreds or thousands of feet.

The South Carolina Geodetic Survey took up the county work after resolving the state line between South Carolina and North Carolina.


The Lowcountry errors date to 1897, when Dorchester County was carved out of portions of Berkeley and Colleton counties.

The new line goes right through the Farmington Village Apartments. Tenets are told that the unit they select will decide whether their children go to schools in Berkeley County or Dorchester County. In one case, people living in apartments in the same building are in different counties, The Post and Courier of Charleston reported .

The line has also affected tax bills and other services. It is much farther from the apartments to the Dorchester County seat of St. George than the Berkeley County seat of Moncks Corner.

Farmington Village resident Drew Williamson said the shift has actually made life easier.

“I got lucky,” Williamson said. “I’m on the Berkeley side. Now I actually live closer to where I pay my taxes.”

The Village at Summerville senior living complex is split too with at least four buildings on the property now in Berkeley County.

“We’ve always had a Dorchester address,” said Tim Barresi, the executive director at the Village at Summerville. “But about a quarter of our property is now in Berkeley County.”

The key issue for the community is emergency services, so officials have arranged to have Dorchester County Emergency Medical Service answer all of its calls.

“We want what is best for our residents and their safety,” Barresi said.


Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com