Category Archives: South Carolina

Palmer School, South Carolina

Centenary, Marion County

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.

After years of neglect, the school is going under restoration. You can see older photos of the school on the South Carolina Picture Project website.

Talbird Cemetery, South Carolina

Hilton Head, Beaufort County
A view of Skull Creek

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.

Katie Miller, 1854-1935. This is one of several crosses like this in the cemetery and other cemeteries on the island. This marker was damaged during Hurricane Matthew.
Corporal Worden White fought as part of the United States Colored Infantry in the Civil War.
Josephine Jones
Rosemary Greene, 1944-1948
Mary Jane Bryan, 1893-1936
Reverend I. S. Green, founder of Second Corinthian Baptist Church in New York City
Ida Jones, 1895-1921 “Softly and tenderly Jesus is colling.”

Drayton Cemetery, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County

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.

Based on her age, Louisa Small experienced slavery, the Civil War, Reconstruction, and the retaliation against Reconstruction.
An interesting funeral wreath

Joe Pope Cemetery, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County

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.

Benjamin Singleton, 1906-1947
Ben Singleton, 1857-1928. Notice the three linked chains which commonly represents the Odd Fellows and for fidelity, love, and truth. He was likely an Odd Fellow.
Viola Mitchel, 1905-1958

Braddock’s Point Cemetery, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County

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.

My assumption is that there was a plate in this grave marker that was lost over time.
This marker is one that I’ve seen repeated in several coastal cemeteries.
One of the few markers with a corresponding footstone.
A more modern take of using plates and seashells

Euhaw Baptist Church, South Carolina

Grahamville, Jasper County

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.

Gifford Rosenwald School, South Carolina

Gifford, Hampton County

Built in 1920 for $3250, this two-teacher type schools was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2017. There is a current fundraising campaign to restore the school.

Hampton Colored School, South Carolina

Hampton, Hampton County

Built in 1929, it served as the only Black school in Hampton until the high school was built in 1947. It then served as the lunchroom for the new high school.

It now serves the community as a Black history museum. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1991.

Cedar Grove Methodist Church, South Carolina

Townville, Anderson County

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.

Episcopal Church of the Epiphany, South Carolina

Spartanburg, Spartanburg County

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.

Brooklyn School, South Carolina

Spartanburg County

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.

Early photos of it can be seen on the Fisk database.