In 1914, Dr. Charles EsDorn and his wife Clara, a nurse, opened their home as a hospital, thus establishing the first community hospital in Walterboro, South Carolina. In 1946, the Clara K. EsDorn hospital was purchased by Colleton County and renamed Colleton County Hospital. A year later, having outgrown its building, the hospital moved to the decommissioned airbase on the outskirts of town. In 1952, a new facility was built in downtown Walterboro on S. Lemacks Street. The hospital's physical plant was expanded regularly from the 1950s though the 1970s, with the addition of Emergency Services, Physical Therapy, and Intensive Care Unit facilities, among others. By the late 1970s, Colleton County could no longer afford to operate the hospital and in 1980 the hospital board was abolished and the hospital sold to Hospital Corporation of America. A new hospital replaced the Colleton County Hospital at a new location.
The Colleton County Hospital Photographs, 1955-1975, consist of 168 photos of the hospital, its staff, and programs at the hospital located at S. Lemacks Street in Walterboro, South Carolina. The photographs were from the morgue of the Walterboro Press and Standard. The photographs are arranged in five series: bloodmobiles and clinics, construction, facilities and equipment, health department, and people. Included are images of bloodmobiles, midwifery clinics, fire safety demonstrations, nuclear medicine facilities and equipment, hospital construction progress, nursing classes, vaccination clinics, surgery, and the Colleton County Health Department staff and facilities.