Built in the later part of the 19th Century, the Palmer School is the oldest schoolhouse remaining in Marion County. The school and the adjacent cemetery are named after David Palmer, an SC legislature.
It operated until the 1920s educating white school children from the area.
Talbird/Tabor/Talbot Cemetery is the largest Gullah cemetery on Hilton Head Island. On one side are condos and the other is Skull Creek. The cemetery’s founding is in the 1800s, but the exact date is not known. The Mount Calvary Missionary Baptist Church tends to the cemetery that experienced significant damage during Hurricane Matthew.
Mitchelville was the first town built for newly freedmen and women in 1862 after Hilton Head fell to Union troops in 1861. The town was named for Union general, Ormsby Mitchel, who set up this town with roads, churches, and homes.
Drayton Cemetery is another Gullah Cemetery connects directly to those original freed men and women, as it is believed this cemetery started before the start of the Civil War.
It features several markers of members of the United States Colored Infantry.
It is cared for by the congregation at St. James Baptist Church.
Founded in the mid to late 1800s, Joe Pope Cemetery is one of several Gullah cemeteries on Hilton Head Island. The land is owned by the Queen’s Chapel AME Church, but it is maintained by the Mt. Calvary Missionary Baptist Church.
Flanked by condos and one of the many golf courses on Hilton Island is an historic cemetery called Braddock’s Point Cemetery. While the earliest death date on a marker is during the Civil War, it is believed this also served as a burial ground for the people held in bondage at the nearby Braddock Point Plantation.
One of the burial practices with the Gullah Geechee people is to bury their loved ones with personal items. Sometimes it is the last dish they used, or another object of importance. Braddock’s Point Cemetery illustrates older and more modern interpretations of this practice.
From the historical marker, “Established on Edisto Island about 1686 by Scotch dissenters, this is the second oldest Baptist organization in the South. For many years a branch of First Baptist Church in Charleston, Euhaw declared itself a separate church in 1745 after relocating to this vicinity from Edisto Island. A sanctuary was built 6 mi. NE in 1751; it burned in 1857. The first sanctuary on this site was built in 1860. It burned in 1904 and was replaced by the sanctuary in 1906, which is still used for occasional services. The present sanctuary nearby was built in 1982.”
The church was built for the wealthy planters who used Grahamville as a summer home. The sanctuary was built to hold over a 1000 people, most of those seats being taken by the enslaved people of the church members.
Built in 1875 on land donated by William Palmer in 1865, Cedar Grove Methodist Church served as both a church and school. Services ceased in 1925, but descendants of the original families continue to care for the church and cemetery.
Built in 1893, the Episcopal Church of the Epiphany is located just off downtown Spartanburg. It’s one of the few Black Episcopal congregations left in the South. Prior to the pandemic, The State wrote an article on how the congregation continues to shrink. At the time of the article, six people were in attendance at the service covered by the newspaper.
The Brooklyn School is a Rosenwald School affiliated with the Brooklyn CME Church in north Spartanburg County. Built in 1928, this two-teacher type school cost $3016 to build. Since I first photographed this school, it has rapidly deteriorated. This is the last known Rosenwald standing in Spartanburg County.