History  

Since the late 17th century, the Stevens family has resided in the state of South Carolina.  From Colonial times to the present day, the Stevens have recognized the needs of the community at-large.  Throughout history, they have responded by providing service, invention, and ingenuity.

While some of the family migrated south to Georgia, the direct descendants of the Stevens family remained in the Lowcountry region of South Carolina.  Moving closer to the coastline proved to be the beginning of a promising future for generations to come.

19th Century

The Stevens family witnessed & survived several important historical changes.  From the early 1800s, family members have persevered in occupations such as doctors, ministers, storekeepers, and planters. 

The Stevens family witnessed and survived several important historical changes.

Road transportation was difficult due to flooding and lack of maintenance.  Transportation by carriage and horseback were the most common, especially inland.  Oxcarts were often used to take produce and goods to landings for river transport.  Brothers Joseph Stanyarne Stevens and William Yates Stevens acknowledged the need for reliable water transportation from Edisto Island, SC to Charleston, SC and many points in between.  In the late 1800s (estimated 1878) the company Stevens Brothers was created and began providing services after the purchase of their first boat, the Mary Draper

20th Century

In 1903 the company Stevens Brothers was expanding, and so was the Stevens family.  Both brothers had married and each had a son.

In the late 1800's, the company, Stevens Brothers began providing service after purchasing their first boat, the Mary Draper.

More boats were needed to handle the burgeoning market for transporting not only produce and supplies, but also passengers who were dependent upon reliable transportation. In 1913, Stevens Line Company became incorporated and remained so until the 1970's when its name was changed to Stevens Towing Company, Inc.

The company began transporting produce such as cabbage, potatoes, cucumbers, and beans.  Farmers would take their crops out in their small boats to meet the Stevens’ freight boat.  The cargo was brought to Yonges Island, SC where it would be loaded on a train and carried into Charleston, SC.  The next week, William Johnson Stevens would meet the farmers to pay them for their sold goods or to return to them their unsold goods.  He always hated to give the farmers the bad news that some of their produce did not sell.

Tragedy struck in 1962 when the dock at Yonges Island burned down, causing a temporary halt in the Stevens Line Company’s prosperous maritime business.

Today Stevens Towing Company, Inc. operates nine towboats, a US flag Jones Act ship, several 500-ton floating cranes, and a shipyard.  It owns more than forty barges of various sizes and employs over 100 people, some of who are second generation. 

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