Port Royal was chartered in 1874 when the Port Royal Railroad was completed. The town built a port that attracted the largest ships from all over the world, mainly because of the natural depth of the harbor. A coaling station and dry dock built at the Port Royal Navy Yard boosted port activity, but by the end of the 1920s, the town was economically devastated. The shrimping and crabbing industries as well as the Marine Corps Recruit Depot at nearby Parris Island were the town's salvation, and in 1958, the State Ports Authority built a terminal that reactivated the port. The town experienced a redevelopment boom in the mid-1990s and is poised for another transformation. Gov. Mark Sanford signed legislation in 2004 to sell the port to developers, as agreed upon by the state and the town. After years of an idle economy, Port Royal's fiscal fate looks promising.