Sandlapper, the Magazine of South Carolina, was established in 1968 by the Lexington lawyer Robert P. Wilkins and his wife Rose. Concerned about South Carolina’s image, Wilkins began promoting the state’s beauty, citizens, and history through the magazine. The first issue appeared in January 1968 with a portrait of Governor James F. Byrnes on the cover. Robert P. Wilkins and Delmar L. Roberts were editors from 1968 through 1972.
Wilkins continued the magazine until 1973, when he ceased his activity. It was continued by others until 1982, when it was merged with Tarheel, a North Carolina magazine, to form Carolina Lifestyle. That magazine ceased publication in 1983.
Wilkins revived Sandlapper in 1990 as a glossy, bimonthly magazine, publishing it through RPW Publishing Company. In 1991 Wilkins began publishing the magazine twice a year in a hard-back format. A year later he returned to the softcover format and began printing it quarterly. In 1994 Sandlapper Society, Inc., was formed to publish the magazine as a nonprofit, advertising-free publication. The society’s mission was to educate readers about South Carolina’s people, places, history, and culture. The magazine has been circulated throughout the state, the nation, and overseas. Since 1990 Wilkins has been the editor and Daniel E. Harmon and Aida Rogers have served as managing and associate editors.
Sandlapper uses a variety of South Carolina photographers and writers to showcase the best of the state. Columns about restaurants, bed-and-breakfasts, and recipes are included with articles about towns, counties, history, and trends. As of 2002, Sandlapper Society had more than eight thousand members, and ten thousand copies of Sandlapper were distributed each quarter.