Socastee is a Native American name referred to as "Sawkastee" in a 1711 land grant to Percival Pawley. A skirmish between small forces of American and British troops occurred near Socastee Creek in 1781. By the 1870s, the Socastee community was a significant center for the production and distribution of naval stores such as turpentine and tar.
This area included a saw mill, turpentine distilleries, cotton gin, grist mill, cooper shop, and general store, and was also a gateway to the coast. The Socastee Historic District, including the S.S. Sarvis House (1881), T.B. Cooper Store (1905), and the Intracoastal Waterway Bridge (1836), was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2002.