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Action Heating & Air Conditioning in Johns Island, SC

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South Carolina is one of the most beautiful places in the United States to call home. However, our local weather can be extreme – high temps and thick humidity in the summer and chilly winter weather during cold months. As a local HVAC company in Johns Island, SC, we know how crucial it is to have a quality HVAC system in your home and experienced technicians to keep it working correctly.

With more than 35 years of serving the Lowcountry, we are proud to be an active part of our local community. As your neighbors, we are here for all of your HVAC needs, whether you need a new AC unit installed this summer or a heat pump replacement this winter. With a reliable team of NATE-certified technicians and decades of experience in our industry, no HVAC project is too big or small for us to handle.

We offer highly competitive pricing and convenient financing options for all of our clients. At the end of the day, our goal is to make it easy and affordable to live comfortably in your home all year long. We are committed to hard work, honesty, and integrity with every service we offer. If you aren’t 100% satisfied with our work, we’ll do our part to make it right.

Service Areas

Here are just a few of the reasons why homeowners and business owners in South Carolina trust Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

  • We have been serving clients in South Carolina since 1983 – before many of our clients were even born!
  • We provide a wide range of HVAC services for both heating and air conditioning.
  • We are committed to giving our clients the highest quality products and services at affordable prices.
  • As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the best HVAC units available.
  • We are members of the South Carolina Association of Heating and Air Conditioning Contractors.
  • We are members of our local Chamber of Commerce and the Air Conditioning Contractors of America.

If you need a trusted AC repair company in Johns Island, know that our team is geared up and ready to help you today. While you browse our website, have a look at just a few of our specialties here at Action Heating & Air Conditioning:

Air Conditioning Repair in Johns Island, SC

Summers in the Lowcountry are hot, humid, and sticky. After a long day at the beach or downtown with your friends, nothing feels better than kicking back on the sofa while your air conditioning cools you off. On the other hand, nothing feels worse than walking into your home and feeling warm, stale air hit your face. Those who know, know – having your AC go out during a South Carolina summer is no joke. With time, a relatively minor inconvenience can turn into a real health problem.

In situations like these, something has probably gone wrong with your HVAC system. If your AC has stopped working in the middle of summer, it’s time to call Action Heating & Air Conditioning right away. Our team of certified HVAC professionals has years of experience repairing and servicing AC equipment. It doesn’t matter how old your unit is or what brand you bought – we have the skills to get your home comfort system up and running in no time.

Here are just a few of the AC issues that our talented team can help solve for you:
Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Over time, condensation builds up in your AC equipment because of its cooling process. This accumulated byproduct must be drained regularly, or the increased amounts of moisture can damage your air conditioner’s components.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Air Conditioning Refrigerant Leak

Refrigerant is the substance responsible for keeping your home nice and cool in the summer. When refrigerant levels drop due to a leak, it will affect your AC equipment’s ability to cool your home. If your HVAC unit isn’t blowing cold air, this could be a reason why.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Heater Keeps Running

This is a common AC issue in South Carolina and the U.S. in general. Sometimes this problem is fixed by switching your thermostat to “auto.” If that doesn’t work, you may have a broken thermostat or a wiring issue that needs to be addressed quickly.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Burning Odors

It’s normal for your heater to produce a slight burning smell if it hasn’t been used in a while. However, if you are experiencing a persistent burning smell during the summer months when your air conditioning is on, it could be a serious problem. Turn off your HVAC system immediately and call our office as soon as possible so that we may send out a technician to diagnose your problem.

Air Conditioning Drainage Block

Broken Air Conditioning Compressor Fan

This fan plays an important role in your AC unit’s heat transfer process. When your air conditioning fan breaks, your AC equipment won’t be able to cool your home off in the summer when it’s needed the most.

Our Special Offers

One of our goals as a company is to provide HVAC repair services at fair and competitive prices. In addition, we want you to feel confident about investing in high-quality heating and cooling systems without having to worry a lot about the costs. We make sure to provide honest and accurate quotes and we offer a variety of financing options. We want you to get the best bang for your buck, so here are some special offers.

See Our Offer

If you are experiencing any of the problems above, be sure to hire a professional contractor to fix your issues. For your safety, don’t ever try to make HVAC repairs on your own unless you are trained. When the time come to have your air conditioning system repaired, our team of licensed AC technicians will handle all of the hard work on your behalf. That way, you can stay safe and have peace of mind knowing you’re in good hands.

Air Conditioning Install in Johns Island, SC

Your HVAC system works hard all year long. If you have gone years without much maintenance or AC repair, you probably bought a great HVAC unit. However, with constant use and even normal wear and tear, even the highest-quality HVAC systems are prone to malfunctions. Eventually, it will need to be replaced.

If you need an energy-efficient, reliable cooling system for your home or business, you have come to the right place. We have decades of experience installing new AC systems for our clients and can handle any installation project you have. As a Carrier® Factory Authorized Dealer, we have the most top-rated AC systems available in South Carolina.

At Action Heating & Air Conditioning, we know that buying a new air conditioner and installing it can be a huge source of stress. But when you work with us, it doesn’t have to be that way. We have made it our mission to make the AC installation process easy and efficient for our customers. That way, they can focus more on living life and enjoying their home while we work hard on their AC install in Johns Island.

Whether you plan to replace a faulty air conditioning system or need a Carrier unit for your new construction home, we have got you covered. We will work with you directly to find the best fit for your home and budget. We are also happy to answer all of your AC installation questions prior to and during your initial service appointment.

Common Signs That You Need a New AC Install in Johns Island, SC

Trying to figure out whether your air conditioner needs to be repaired or replaced can be a tricky decision to make. Most people have a hard time letting things go, and that includes AC units. It can be hard to know when to let go of the old and welcome in the new. To help save you time and make your decision a little easier, keep the following signs in mind. If you find yourself saying, “that sounds like my AC unit,” it might be time for a new air conditioning installation.

Strange Noises

Almost all air conditioners make a bit of low-level noise as they warm up and turn off. However, if you hear loud, unusual noises, it might be a sign that your air conditioner’s time is coming to an end. Buzzing and rattling noises are often indicators of a loose part. Grinding and whistling noises may mean something more serious is happening. Because these issues won’t dissipate over time, it’s crucial to have your air conditioner examined if you hear loud, strange noises.

Frequent Repairs

Johns Island AC repair is essential for keeping your air conditioner working efficiently. Sometimes, however, it makes more sense from a cost perspective to install a replacement system. This is especially true if your repairs are racking up. Some AC experts suggest using the “$5,000 rule” if you’re considering a new AC install. Simply multiply the age of your air conditioner by the costs you have been paying to repair your unit. If that amount is over $5,000, it may make more financial sense to install a new air conditioner rather than pay for expensive repairs throughout the year.

Higher Energy Bills

If you notice that your energy bill has significantly increased in price, it could be a sign that your HVAC unit is struggling to cool your home effectively. Try to be mindful of your air conditioner’s cooling cycles. If you notice frequent cycles, even in the summer, it could be the reason for your increased energy bill. In these cases, it’s best to have an expert test your system to see if a repair or replacement option is best for your family.

Age of Air Conditioning Unit

This sign is a no-brainer and one of the easiest ways to tell if you need to install a new AC system. On average, your HVAC unit will have a lifespan of 12 to 15 years. If your unit is more than ten years old and doesn’t have the “pizzaz” that it once had, it might be time to think about installing a new air conditioning unit.

R-22 Refrigerant

Old air conditioners usually require a type of refrigerant called R-22. This substance is very harmful to the environment and has been all but outlawed on newer HVAC systems. If your AC unit is old enough to require R-22, you should give serious thought to replacing your system with a newer, environmentally friendly solution.

Call Action Heating & Air Conditioning Today!

Over our 35+ year history, we have built our reputation on honesty, skilled workmanship, and reasonable pricing. If you are on the hunt for the highest quality air conditioning repair in Johns Island, SC, give our office a call today.

Call us at (843) 890-0532

Protecting Your Investment

Your air conditioning system works very hard every day, all year long to keep your home comfy and cool. Machines that work hard year-round are going to require maintenance and ongoing services to stay operational.

As a family-owned and operated HVAC company in Johns Island, SC, we know better than anyone how expensive it can be to maintain an AC unit. We know that money doesn’t grow on trees. We also understand that finding last-minute resources to fix an air conditioning system can be challenging. That is why we offer extended warranties for your new or existing AC equipment. With an extended warranty from Action Heating & Air Conditioning, you benefit from repairs, replacement, and additional services covered under warranty. That way, you can enjoy your HVAC products as long as possible.

If you’re having second thoughts about purchasing an extended warranty, consider these points:
  • Generally speaking, HVAC equipment lasts anywhere from 10 to 15 years. However, warranties provided by the factory will often expire before the service life of your cooling unit is over. With an extended warranty, your indoor comfort system is covered even if the factory warranty expires.
  • Having an extended warranty on your AC system gives you the chance to project and plan for any HVAC costs. This helps you balance your budget and anticipate expenses so you aren’t caught off guard. Having a warranty will also help protect your budget against increases in labor and parts costs due to inflation.
  • If you’re thinking of selling your home, having an extended warranty may help raise your home’s value. You may also be able to transfer your extended warranty to your new home if you choose to do so.

Latest News in Johns Island

Commentary: How Oakville success helps preserve Johns Island’s rural heritage

Traveling along Maybank Highway on Johns Island may evoke the sense that rampant development has overrun this storied sea island. But a short detour along River Road or Bohicket Road gives a completely different impression. It quickly becomes obvious that Johns Island is still a place rich with culture and history — with rural communities, farms and forests, and oak-canopied byways all serving as powerful testament to the persistence of a unique people and a beautiful working landscape.In fact, about 80% of Johns Island is still...

Traveling along Maybank Highway on Johns Island may evoke the sense that rampant development has overrun this storied sea island. But a short detour along River Road or Bohicket Road gives a completely different impression. It quickly becomes obvious that Johns Island is still a place rich with culture and history — with rural communities, farms and forests, and oak-canopied byways all serving as powerful testament to the persistence of a unique people and a beautiful working landscape.

In fact, about 80% of Johns Island is still rural. It is this Johns Island that constitutes the vast majority of the island’s acreage, and that holds the promise of a rural heritage that will endure into the future.

There is a reason most of the island remains rural. In 2000, Charleston County enacted agricultural zoning on large farm and forest properties below Plow Ground Road and thus protected about half of the acreage from suburban development. This new zoning also stabilized the traditional African American settlement communities. Finally, in part due to funds made available by the Charleston County Greenbelt Program, 3,365 acres have been protected.

But this future is only partially secure. Zoning can be changed. Urban infrastructure driving suburban sprawl development can be extended. Despite more than two decades of hard work by the county, Johns Island landowners and the local community, the landscape could be lost in the blink of an eye. Now, however, thanks to an inspiring partnership between commerce, conservation, the city of Charleston, the S.C. Conservation Bank and Charleston County, the future of Johns Island looks increasingly bright.

To appreciate this latest conservation accomplishment-in-the-making, it is important to understand that the greatest risk to rural Johns Island is the conversion of land along the Urban Growth Boundary, adjacent to the Charleston Executive Airport. Here, a parcel called Oakville was marked for development.

Although this 95-acre property is on the “growth” side of the boundary, it is totally unsuited for development. Positioned at the mouth of Burden Creek, the entire parcel is only a few feet above sea level. Despite extensive discussion about the perils of developing flood-prone areas and vocal community opposition, outdated zoning laws allowed for the construction of 200 to 400 houses.

Additionally, the parcel’s location adjacent to the airport increased the risk of fatal plane accidents. Further, undoubtedly residents would be consistently disturbed by low-flying planes, creating an inevitable conflict between homeowners and the airport.

It was this concern that the conservation partners brought to the Charleston County Aviation Authority. The partners — including the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, the Coastal Conservation League, the Johns Island Task Force, the Lowcountry Land Trust and the Open Space Institute — found common interest with the Aviation Authority in protecting Oakville from development.

The Aviation Authority recognized the critical importance of ensuring safety for future airport activity, along with the additional resilience benefit — in keeping with the Dutch Dialogues recommendations — of avoiding development on low-lying land. Further, conserving the open space along the edge of the Urban Growth Boundary helps stabilize traditional rural communities by preventing suburban sprawl and the associated increase in taxes and service fees. This unique partnership culminated in the Aviation Authority purchasing Oakville in late July for $7.7 million.

With Oakville out of the developer’s hands, the last step in the process is ensuring the property’s permanent protection. To that end, the S.C. Conservation Bank recently voted to help fund the purchase of a conservation easement. And on Tuesday, Charleston City Council unanimously voted to support funding the project through the Charleston County Greenbelt Program in its upcoming cycle.

Once completed, Oakville will be a great achievement and the first step toward establishing a permanent greenbelt on Johns Island. It illustrates what can be done when a wide array of community members, organizations and public entities work together toward a common future. This is important because much land still remains to be preserved on Johns Island. It will take hard work over the coming years, but we should all take heart that we have the institutions, the financial resources and, most importantly, the people to rise to the challenge.

Michelle Sinkler is the special projects manager with the Open Space Institute. This column was submitted by the institute, the Center for Heirs’ Property Preservation, the Coastal Conservation League, the Johns Island Task Force and the Lowcountry Land Trust.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

New taxing district aims to boost Johns Island infrastructure funds

On Johns Island, longtime residents’ complicated relationship with change is nothing new.Devonne Hammond, manager of Fields Farm Market on River Road, said growth on the historically rural island feels inevitable. Hammond grew up on his family’s 40-acre farm and moved away for college but eventually found his way back to an island that looked different than the one of his youth.“I don’t know if I can reasonably think of any place where growth doesn’t mean change for some people,” Hammond said...

On Johns Island, longtime residents’ complicated relationship with change is nothing new.

Devonne Hammond, manager of Fields Farm Market on River Road, said growth on the historically rural island feels inevitable. Hammond grew up on his family’s 40-acre farm and moved away for college but eventually found his way back to an island that looked different than the one of his youth.

“I don’t know if I can reasonably think of any place where growth doesn’t mean change for some people,” Hammond said. “I just hope it doesn’t have as much of a negative impact on our residents as we might expect.”

The farm has been in his family since Reconstruction, when formerly enslaved laborers took over former plantations on Johns Island.

“Its not until you move away that you see everything people go through to attain what my family already has,” Hammond said.

From 2010 to 2020, census data shows the island’s population within Charleston city limits doubled from nearly 5,300 residents to almost 12,000.

A new taxing district established by the city of Charleston aims to use funding from the island’s commercial and residential growth to help ease its growing pains like lagging road and drainage infrastructure.

The district, approved by City Council Oct. 12, places a tax on new development on the part of the island that falls within Charleston city limits to help fund municipal projects. It doesn’t apply to any existing developments or developments that were in the permitting process at the time of the council vote.

“Folks view development on the island as coming before the infrastructure,” said John Zlogar, chairman of the Johns Island Task Force. The task force was established in 2013 to bring together residents and local officials to address Johns Island-specific issues.

At one point, City Council considered a six-month moratorium on new housing on Johns Island proposed by Mayor John Tecklenburg. He advocated for the proposal as a way for the city to catch up on long-needed infrastructure improvements. After a mixed response, the 2018 proposal failed.

Over its 30-year lifespan, the newly approved taxing district, known as a Municipal Improvement District or MID, is projected to generate $60 million of additional revenue specifically for Johns Island, consultants hired by the city estimate. Developers will pay $480 per year per new apartment unit or single-family home. New individual single-family homes that are not part of subdivision will only be subject to the $480 per year tax if they are on properties over 2-acres. New commercial business owners will pay an equivalent tax based on the size of the property. A 10,000-square-foot commercial space would pay about $2,600 per year, city planning department officials estimate. The tax will increase by 2 percent each year.

As a lifelong resident of the island and new business owner, Estuary Beans & Barley brewery owner Scott Harrison said he is concerned about the potential burden the MID may place on new businesses. His brewery on Meek’s Farm Road is located on the same lot as the new Charleston Distilling, which relocated from King Street in November.

“It takes a long time to open up a business here and it takes a long time to get the approvals,” he said. “I am sure things at the city are backed up, but especially with COVID-19, time is important.”

Harrison opened his brewery in 2020, so he won’t be subject to the new tax, but he wants the city to encourage new development as long as it respects the island’s agricultural roots.

“We have a farm-to-table kind of feel out here that Johns Island has always been known for,” he said. “On the one hand, I would hate to see the farms go away, but it would be nice if city planning helped growth happen the way it does in the rest of Charleston.”

Charleston County’s Urban Growth Boundary limits dense development on much of the island outside of Charleston city limits, which has helped preserve farmland in the area.

Zlogar, the Johns Island task force chair, said he could see the MID benefiting efforts to balance urban development and rural preservation. With new funding sources, the city could buy land for park space or conservation areas to create a buffer between the urban growth boundary and the rest of the island where more development will take place.

“It’s all about community, how do you use these funds to bring the community together,” he said.

Along with the Johns Island Task Force, other community groups have endorsed the MID, including the Johns Island Council and the Johns Island Community Association.

Councilman Karl Brady Jr., who represents Charleston’s portion of Johns Island, said he pursued the MID designation because many proposed improvements on the island struggle to receive sufficient funding.

“Improvements are coming, but I’m sure it’s not as fast as some people would like,” Brady said. “This will give us the ability to do some homegrown improvements like the Johns Island Park expansion and road and infrastructure projects.”

Johns Island is the first area of the city to get a MID, mainly because it has the most potential for new development, Charleston Planning Director Robert Summerfield said.

“Johns Island has quite a bit of future development, unlike West Ashley or the peninsula where most of the development will be redevelopment,” he said.

The district will likely not create significant revenue for at least three years, Summerfield said. However, once revenue is generated, the city may be able issue bonds with it to jumpstart its use.

Transportation improvements in particular are crucial, said Michael Johnson, president of the Headquarters Island Property Owners Association on Johns Island. Johnson grew up on Johns Island and returned after stints in Houston and New Orleans.

“Charleston has become one of the most unsustainable places I’ve visited in a long time,” he said. “The traffic is horrendous.”

Not all proposed road projects are popular. An ongoing plan to extend Interstate 526 from West Ashley through James and Johns Island is seen by some as a threat to Johns Island’s Gullah-Geechee heritage. That plan is largely funded by the S.C. Department of Transportation and Charleston County and will not likely be impacted by the MID.

Residents of Johns Island are likely years away from seeing improvements funded with MID dollars, but the development will continue.

Editorial: Charleston should seize chance to protect low-lying Johns Island land

As Charleston got serious about its threats from flooding and sea level rise, it launched the Dutch Dialogues to develop a road map showing how it could and should adapt and prepare for the future. Chief among those steps was a smart new zoning policy to guide development away from low-lying land and toward properties far less likely to flood.This idea has been fleshed out further during work on Charleston’s new comprehensive plan, and we urge the city to begin revamping its zoning code soon to codify this new elevation-based ap...

As Charleston got serious about its threats from flooding and sea level rise, it launched the Dutch Dialogues to develop a road map showing how it could and should adapt and prepare for the future. Chief among those steps was a smart new zoning policy to guide development away from low-lying land and toward properties far less likely to flood.

This idea has been fleshed out further during work on Charleston’s new comprehensive plan, and we urge the city to begin revamping its zoning code soon to codify this new elevation-based approach. But even before that happens, a pending conservation deal on Johns Island would mark an important step toward the larger goal. Both the city and the county should approve it.

The deal involves about 100 acres recently purchased for the Charleston Executive Airport on Johns Island — where a 242-home development known as River Run had been proposed. The Charleston County Aviation Authority closed on the site this summer.

While the airport’s purchase ends the immediate threat of development, it does not guarantee there will be no development there in the long run. That’s why the Lowcountry Land Trust and the city of Charleston plan to seek $500,000 from the city’s share of Charleston County greenbelt funds to place a permanent easement on 94 acres of the site. City Council is expected to vote this month on making the application, and council members should give it the green light.

The S.C. Conservation Bank already has granted the Land Trust $500,000 toward the conservation easement purchase; the aviation authority would receive $1 million total, only 25% of the easement’s total value.

Dale Morris, the city’s new resiliency director, toured the River Run site while consulting on the city’s Dutch Dialogue process and its more recent Charleston City Plan Land and Water Analysis. He found its low elevation — much of the land is 6 feet above sea level or lower — made it an unwise place to build. Leaving it alone would allow the marsh along the Stono River to migrate gradually landward as sea levels rise.

Of course, airport officials were interested in the land to ensure the airport has an adequate buffer between any future expansion and neighboring development, and that’s a sensible, forward-thinking move. Regardless of what happens with the airport, this conservation deal would be an important piece of ensuring that no flood-prone development ever occurs there. The easement would allow some minimal future public access, such as a nature trail or kayak launch.

The Historic Charleston Foundation, which helped sponsor the Dutch Dialogues, feels strongly that the easement deal would be a win-win and is also urging City Council to allocate $500,000 of its greenbelt funds. Additionally, we would urge the Greenbelt Advisory Board and County Council to approve it as well.

It’s easy to say that future development should not occur in the city’s low-lying areas, but actually preventing it is much more difficult. Many property owners are invested in land that they want their families to profit from one day, and much of our current zoning gives them the right to expect just that.

It’s true that zoning can and should be changed, but the work of guiding development away from these places also must address these owners’ interests — not necessarily by giving them all the profit they once might have hoped for but certainly not expecting them to bear a disproportionate share of the whole cost to make our community more resilient.

Accomplishing all that will take negotiation and hard work, and this Johns Island easement deal marks a hopeful first step toward that.

Get a weekly recap of South Carolina opinion and analysis from The Post and Courier in your inbox on Monday evenings.

Charleston area’s Sisters of Charity to move again, hope to continue mission of service

JAMES ISLAND — The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy will soon relocate from the 23-acre waterfront site on Fort Johnson Road to the Bishop Gadsden retirement community, marking the close of one chapter and the start of another.Though the sisters are older — the youngest of the 12 nuns is 71 years old — they still intend to continue the work of ministry, with plans to meet regularly and offer prayers for residents at the retirement community.“In a sense, we’re taking our ministry to Bishop Ga...

JAMES ISLAND — The Sisters of Charity of Our Lady of Mercy will soon relocate from the 23-acre waterfront site on Fort Johnson Road to the Bishop Gadsden retirement community, marking the close of one chapter and the start of another.

Though the sisters are older — the youngest of the 12 nuns is 71 years old — they still intend to continue the work of ministry, with plans to meet regularly and offer prayers for residents at the retirement community.

“In a sense, we’re taking our ministry to Bishop Gadsden as well,” said Sister Mary Joseph Ritter, general superior for the Sisters of Charity.

Founded in 1829 by Bishop England, the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Charleston, Sisters of Charity have a long legacy of serving those in need.

The century that followed involved service in areas of education and health care. This included the opening of an orphanage in 1834, a free school for girls in 1839 and a free school for children of color in 1841.

Amid the Civil War, the religious women nursed injured soldiers. The nuns split into two groups. One group helped staff a Confederate hospital in Virginia while another stayed in Charleston.

Like elsewhere in the region, the ministry would suffer property damage as a result of the war.

In 1871, Congress appropriated $12,000 for the restoration of the girls orphanage destroyed during combat.

Through the 19th and 20th centuries, the order of Our Lady of Mercy opened a hospital, the Neighborhood House on the East Side and and outreach center on James Island.

What stands out the most about the order’s history is how the group has often relocated to better serve the community, Ritter said. The first transition occurred in 1834, when the sisters moved to a larger house on Beaufain Street to establish an orphanage.

“Leaving (Fort Johnson Road) is very difficult, but it’s not unusual,” Ritter said. “We have frequently left our place to go somewhere else.”

The move highlights the general trend of religious orders struggling to attract new members to maintain their large properties.

Mepkin Abbey, a 3,000-acre monastery in Moncks Corner, is one of 17 Trappist monasteries in the country.

The Rev. Joseph A. Tedesco, superior at Mepkin, said the monks have dealt with similar challenges, though the group has been successful in attracting younger members.

The Mepkin group consists of 14 total monks ages 25 to 96.

“The culture that we live in is not really supporting (the monastery) life as it used to,” Tedesco said. “There are young men who are interested in that life. We are receiving some of them. We have hope for the future.”

The sisters’ work will continue by supporting existing ministries, like the order’s Johns Island outreach center and downtown Charleston’s Neighborhood House. The group will also offer educational scholarships for students. The sisters plan to discuss ways in which they can serve the area’s homelessness community.

Though the Sisters of Charity hasn’t been able to attract younger women, Ritter said the legacy of the order will live on through the volunteers who’ve long worked with the organization.

“All of those people who work with us in ministry, they are the ones who will carry on our ministry,” she said.

Good food, nice folks, adventure - and monks! - in Moncks Corner. Where to go

“Why did they name this town ‘Moncks Corner,’ Dad? Is it named after monks? Do monks live here or something?”I looked in the rear-view mirror at my young son in the back seat. He was staring out the window at the scenes passing by of small town life. I thought about his question.“Well, no. Moncks Corner is not named after monks ... but monks, in fact, DO live in Moncks Corner.”My family and I were spending the day in and around the Lowcountry town of Moncks Corner, a small community le...

“Why did they name this town ‘Moncks Corner,’ Dad? Is it named after monks? Do monks live here or something?”

I looked in the rear-view mirror at my young son in the back seat. He was staring out the window at the scenes passing by of small town life. I thought about his question.

“Well, no. Moncks Corner is not named after monks ... but monks, in fact, DO live in Moncks Corner.”

My family and I were spending the day in and around the Lowcountry town of Moncks Corner, a small community less than an hour north of Charleston and about two hours from the Beaufort area that offers a variety of things to see and do.

If you appreciate the charm of a small town, meeting friendly people, and experiencing the natural beauty of the Lowcountry woods and waterways, then a visit to Moncks Corner will not disappoint.

Moncks Corner was formally established in 1885 and incorporated in 1909 as a vital hub of the Northeastern Railway, which had run since 1856 between Charleston and central North Carolina. The railroad brought commerce and a depot, but Moncks Corner’s origins go back much farther than that.

The town lies at the edge of Santee River country and was first settled by native Americans. Later, during colonial times, families of French Huguenots came there. These religious refugees from persecution flocked to the Lowcountry in the 1680s and settled along the Santee River bottom. There, they carved profitable plantations out of the land and into the cream of South Carolina society, adding names like Mazyk, Manigault, Huger and Marion to social registers.

Sometime around 1728, a landowner named T. Monck settled in the area and left his name to a growing community forming on the Charleston road. When the fires of revolution came, “Moncks Corner” became the site of battles between British and Patriot troops, including the men of General Francis Marion, the “Swamp Fox,” who led a guerrilla war along the region’s backroads and wilderness.

Since then, Moncks Corner witnessed the construction of the nearby Santee Canal (preserved at Old Santee Canal Park, 900 Stoney Landing Road), the coming of the railroads and, in the 20th century, the building of the vast Santee-Cooper lakes that serve the energy needs of millions — while providing a haven for wildlife and a paradise for anglers and boaters.

When you visit Moncks Corner today, you will find a small town that stands at the edge of the vast modern development around Charleston and the wild Santee country beyond. A visit offers you a taste of modern life as well as a trip down memory lane — and the option of a day of outdoor adventure to boot.

The first thing you must do: Bring a big appetite and good sense of humor, because you are eating breakfast at Howard’s Restaurant. Howard’s, at 336 E. Main St., boasts the “Best food on the Corner since 1960.” Here you will find excellent Lowcountry cooking — but no menus. The owner will come over to let you know what’s being served, or take your order as you like.

I first visited Howard’s years ago with friends, and when one asked for a menu, he was asked, “Don’t you know what you want for breakfast? It’s breakfast. How hard can it be?” A plate of eggs, bacon and French toast later, and breakfast proved to be easy indeed. (Howard’s is open 5 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 843-761-8565 for more info.)

Moncks Corner has great small town shopping in the downtown and in the surrounding community. My family and I enjoyed a visit to Collectors Corner Antiques at 308 E. Main St. “We sell a variety of eclectic stuff,” says Ann, a shop employee, “from antiques to home decor.”

Each of us bought some form of old treasure that was needed for a collection — or would add just the right touch to a worthy corner of our home. (Collectors Corner Antiques is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Call 843-899-1886 for info.)

Prizes in hand, we soon left town to explore the countryside. Our first stop was the Biggin Church Ruins, at the intersection of S.C. 402 and Carswell Lane. This brick edifice was once the Parish Church of St. John’s Berkeley before being burned by British troops in 1781. It stands today as a hollow shell, a reminder of the destruction of war and the enduring hope of a people seeking freedom from tyranny.

The last stop was Mepkin Abbey, at 1098 Mepkin Abbey Road in Moncks Corner. Founded on the site of Mepkin, a Colonial-era rice plantation, the abbey is home to a religious community of Trappist monks. Here, they live and worship, and their community is open daily to the public. A reception center serves as a gift shop and front door for visitors. Tours can be arranged and gifts can be purchased here, including locally made candy, honey and other items produced at the Abbey. You also can get directions to quietly enjoy a walk of the grounds, the Nancy Bryan Luce Gardens, and the historic Laurens Family cemetery. (Mepkin is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday and 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday. Call 843-761-8509 or visit the website, https://mepkinabbey.org/day-visits/)

My family and I headed back home, but we could have explored more, for just beyond Mepkin lies the community of Childsbury, where a historic church and a few homes are all that remain of a once-thriving plantation community. In the forest beyond Childsbury lies Bonneau Ferry WMA and the ruins of Comingtee Plantation — where a haunted tree is rumored to still grow. Read about this historic and mysterious place in a previous Packet column.

If you are looking for a day out and place to visit that offers a variety of adventures and experiences for all ages, check out Moncks Corner.

Moncks Corner is about two hours from the Beaufort area and easy to visit on a day trip. Take U.S. 17 north toward Charleston and turn left onto S.C. 165 in Ravenel for 21 miles to Summerville. In Summerville, turn right onto U.S. 17-ALT/N. Main Street and drive for 15 miles to Moncks Corner.

Biggin Church and Mepkin Abbey are off U.S. 17 ALT/U.S. 52. Take S.C. 402 East to Biggin Church Ruins and continue on S.C. 402 East to Dr. Evans Road/S-8-44 for 5.6 miles to Mepkin Abbey.

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