Clarendon County, SC - Historic Sites

Battle of Half Way Swamp
Richardson Cemetary
Battle of Fort Watson/Santee Indian Mound
Calvary Baptist Church
Andrews Chapel
Battle of Richbourg's Mill
Battle of Nelson's Ferry
Edgewood/Orangehill
The Cantey Place
The Harvey Belser Home
The Burgess Home
Oak Grove Church
The Morgan Sauls Home
Woods Bay State Park
Alcolu Sawmill and Burke Bros Store
James Home
St. Matthias Episcopal Church
"Taw Caw" Gentry - Grayson Home
The Firms Methodist Parsonage in Manning
The Old Manning Library
J.K. Breedin Home
El Recuerdo
Clarendon County Courthouse
The Wolfe House
Ox Swamp
Taw Caw Baptist Church
Battle of Tearcoat
St. Marks Parrish Church
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Battle of Half Way Swamp (December 17, 1780)

County Road 76, just beyond Elliott's Mill Pond to the left approaching Rimini - 0.2 miles from the center of the bridge - New recruits from the British left Charleston on their way to Winnsboro. Francis Marion heard through a spy of the movement of these men up the Santee River Road. He also learned that they were to be joined by the Highland Regiment under Major McLeroth. 700 men, mostly from Williamsburg, were commanded by Marion who charged up the road. Just beyond Half Way Swamp, it was agreed that each side would select 20 men to decide the battle. At 100 yards the British retreated. Proceeding to Singleton's Mill, the British fled when they found the Singleton family down with smallpox.
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Richardson Cemetery

Located on County Road 76, approx. 3 miles S. W. of Rimini, a historical marker marks the spot - One of the most historic graveyards in the region, Richardson Cemetery was founded prior to the Revolutionary War. In an attempt to force information concerning Francis Marion's whereabouts from the widow of General Richard Richardson, Banastre Tarleton, a British general compelled Richardson's widow to dig up the body of her husband laid to rest just six weeks earlier. Buried here also are Governors James Burcell Richardson and John Peter Richardson (founder of the Citadel). Five of S. C.'s governors were from Clarendon County.
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Battle of Fort Watson/Santee Indian Mound

Located off I-95, and Hwy's. 301/15 on Secondary Road 803 - 9 miles SW of Summerton - the Fort Watson location was originally the substructure base for an Indian temple possibly dating back to the late prehistoric period. (between A. D. 1200 - A. D. 1400).This site is the largest ceremonial center yet discovered on the coastal plain. The mound because of its strategic location, was used by the British Colonel John W. T. Watson to build a fort on the banks of Scott's Lake during the American Revolution. From this point they could control movement on the Santee River as well as the main road between Charleston and Camden. On April 15, 1781, General Francis Marion and Lt. Col. Henry "Lighthorse Harry" Lee encircled the fort. After 8 days of futile small arms fire, Major Hezekiah Maham constructed a pine tower of sufficient height to overlook the stockade. Therefore, on April 23, 1781, the Americans mounted an attack from the tower and from the ground which lasted only a short time, making this the first post in SC to be retaken from the British. It was a small fort but contained a storehouse, hospital and a "covered way" to a water source.
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Calvary Baptist Church

From Summerton, take Hwy. 26 2.5 miles, turn right on Hwy. 41 and go approx. 6 1.2 miles, the church is located on the right just past junction of Hwy. 463. Tradition has it that this old church dates back to 1768, but it has been reported that it was organized by High Hills Baptist Church some time after 1782. Existing records show that it was constituted as a church and admitted to the Charleston Association around 1810. the church is located on Hungary Hall Branch on a 6 1/2 acre ploy. The first building was burned and it was replaced by the present structure, which resemble the architectural style of the High Hills Church. The doors of this historic church are open each Sunday for worship services, which are attended by a number of descendants of the original members. The first pastor mentioned in the records is the Rev. W. H. Mahoney, who served there for 65 years and is buried in the cemetery there.
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Andrews Chapel

From Hwys. 301/15 intersection in Summerton, follow Hwy. 26 (Larry King Jr. Road) 2.3 miles W. of Summerton to Hwy. 41 (Cane Savannah Road) go 3 miles to H. T. Everett Road (S-14-306) turn right, go 1.4 miles and Chapel is on the right. Mrs. L. S. Andrews organized a little church in the late 1790's. In 1848, Mrs. Moses Livingston helped erect a building on a plot of land that was later deeded to the church by Ellis R. and Mary A. Richbourg (1880). The Rev. L. L. Bedenbough was the first pastor. The present structure was erected after the original building was destroyed by fire in 1912. Outstanding in the church history was the dedicated ministry of SC's first female Methodist Minister, Mrs. Bessie Parker.
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Battle of Richbourg's Mill (November 8, 1780)

From Summerton, go W. on County Road 26 (to right after crossing Jack's Creek Bridge). On Nov. 5, with 500 horsemen, Gen. Francis Marion camped at Jack's Creek, 10 miles above Nelson's Ferry. A spy reported the camp to Gen. Tarleton, who was camped at "Big Home". Gen. Tarleton, lit a large fire, hoping Marion would think "Big Home" was on fire. However, the Richardsons warned Gen. Marion, who skirted the bogs and never checked his horse, Ball, until he had ridden across Richbourg's Mill Dam. A Tory prisoner escaped and reported this to Tarleton, who chased Marion and his men down what is now US Hwy 15, to Pocotaligo Swamp, down the Georgetown Road and on to Ox Swamp, a distance of 26 miles.
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Battle of Nelson's Ferry (August 25, 1780)

From Summerton, take County Road 400, about 4.5 miles on the left. Capt. Joseph Roberts and his soldiers were camped at Gen. Thomas Sumter's home near Nelson's Ferry. Gen. Francis Marion and his men, after Gates' defeat at Camden, were burning boats up and down the Santee in order to cut off connections between Camden and Charleston. From a deserter, Gen. Marion learned of Robert's Camp. He, with Major Hugh Horry, attacked the house. In a brief struggle, they killed or captured 23 of the British escort and Tory guides. They rescued the 150 Maryland prisoners. This was the first time Gen. Cornwallis has heard of Francis Marion.
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Edgewood/ Orangehill

Formerly known as Orange Hill because of the back ground of Mock Orange trees, is now occupied by Mr. Ed Fry, but was once owned by Mrs. Mary Gentry Sprott, a direct descendant of Mr. Thomas Connor, Jr. who erected the beautiful home. The architecture is peculiar to this part of the lowcountry with double steps leading to the first floor piazza. The timbers are all hand sawed and pegged together. the bricks used in the basement and in the chimney were made on the place by slave labor and the clay pits may still be seen. The kitchen, that stands some distance from the house, is very much in evidence. The large home sits in a grove on your left going N. on Hwy. 15, just 2 miles out of Summerton.
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The Cantey Place

From Hwys. 301/15 intersection, go .7 miles, turn right on Wells Road, then right on first dirt lane. The Cantey Place has never had a special name but "Town and Country" would suit, as it has certain features of both. The residence was built in the 1820's, and John J. Ragin is the earliest person known to occupy it. There are columns which outline the porch on three sides. It was built by slave labor with bricks made on the place and hand-hewn timbers put together with wooden pegs. The home was eventually owned by Morgan Saab Cantey who was a Presidential Elector. The home is now occupied by Mr. Joseph Elliott a descendant of the Ragin family. Harry Briggs, Sr., one of the plaintiffs in the Briggs vs. Elliot case was born in one of the buildings on this property.
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The Harvey Belser Home

Located on N. Duke St. in Summerton. The Belser home was built in 1830 by V. H. Colclough for Mr. William C. Dukes. James Dingle acquired the house in 1883 and Mrs. Gulielma Belser bought it in 1886 and added a second story. It was originally a summer house with large front and rear doors which could be folded back to allow for the breeze. The house has 14 rooms with a wide center hall on the first floor. It is now owned by Mrs. Thomas Harvey Belser, whose husband was a grandson of Mrs. Gulielma Belser.
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The Burgess Home

Corner of Burgess Street and facing US Hwy 15 in Summerton. Prior to 1881 the original three-room one-story house faced the lane which is now Burgess St. On Jan 21, 1881, W. B. James sold the land and house to Dr. Thomas Lesley Burgess. Until recently Mrs. Marian Barksdale enjoyed the shade of the trees that were planted by her father and grandfather. The original pillars on the back porch remain as do the original hand turned banisters. The solid pine boards inside, put together with wooden pins, are six inches wide, and there are no joints in the floors or ceilings in the rooms with measure 17 1/2 x 16 1/2. A unique feature of this house and a pattern which holds throughout the house is that the floor boards run N and S while the ceiling boards run E and W. It was from this home that Miss Anne Custis Burgess, a music teacher, composed the lovely melody to accompany Timrod's poem, "Carolina", which was adopted as the SC State Song in 1911. Miss Burgess died 4 months prior to this date on October 15, 1910. She is laid to rest in Summerton's Evergreen Cemetery while her beautiful melody lives on.
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Oak Grove Church

Take Hwy 521 1/2 mi. E of Manning City limits. Turn right on SC 14-48. Go 1.7 mi. church is on the right. According to Dr. James M Burgess, in his "Chronicles of St. Mark's Parish", Oak Grove was one of the appointments of the Santee Circuit before 1838. It is one of the oldest Methodist churches in this area. A recorded deed shows that Henry B. Holladay gave 5 acres of land for the church. The cemetery is well kept and is still used. The wooded area west of the church and graveyard was used first as a burial ground for slaves, and later, when Clarendon County had a "poor house", it was used as a burial ground for indigent and aged persons. Their wooden markers have long since decayed. Still standing on the church grounds is the little one-room schoolhouse, Oak Grove School. Both buildings have withstood assaults by both man and nature and hold in their wooden fibers many secrets - both time capsules and monuments to a simpler time. Oak Grove Church has been extensively repaired in recent years and still stands as a monument to the faith of our fathers.
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The Morgan Sauls Home

Located on Secondary Road 23 (Old Georgetown Road) 4 1/2 miles N.E. of Manning City Limits, the attractive "raised cottage" was built in the mid-1800's by Mr. Minto McFaddin. The house was acquired by his great nephew, Mr. & Mrs. Morgan L. Sauls, Jr. in the 1930's, who renovated much of the original dwelling, adding wings on each side for bedrooms and a dining room and kitchen. The downstairs area, at one time a dining room and kitchen, has been done over, exposing the original hand-hewn sills now used in combination with mellow brick floors. The handsome paneling in these rooms was once flooring of the third story of this house. The mistress of the house for many years was Mrs. Morgan L. Sauls, Jr.(Miss Virginia) who was one of nine daughters of former S. C. Governor John G. Richards. Her son Morgan L. Sauls, III resides in the home today.
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Woods Bay State Park

Located 5 miles N. of Turbeville, 3 miles W. of Olanta off I-95 and Hwy 301. The park is an oval-shaped depression, one of a number of Carolina Bays in the coastal plains, and is named for Andrew Woods, who once owned a grist mill there. Woods Bay offers a variety of natural habitats where many species of wildlife are found. The 1541 acre park includes a swamp with a marsh and cypress, oak and gum trees. Visitors may enjoy a boardwalk, canoe trail, nature programs, and a picnic area. A Nature Center, funded by Carolina Power and Light Company, will provide an increase in educational programming opportunities.
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Alcolu Sawmill and Burke Brothers Store

Alcolu was est. between 1885 and 1890 by D. W. Alderman and Sons as a mill town for their lumber company. The name Alcolu is derived from "Al" as in Alderman, "Co" as in Colwell (a son-in-law), and "Lu" as in Lula, the only daughter of the Aldermans at that time. In 1947 the mill was sold by the Alderman family to Williams Furniture Company. Williams merged with Georgia Pacific in 1968 they ran the operations until the plant closed in 2002. Alva and Willie Burke ran the store from 1954 through the 1980's. The Company Store was built around 1914. When it was built, Alcolu was a company town where everybody worked at the lumber mill and were paid in "babbit", metal coins stamped with an "A". At the Company Store they could buy groceries, see the doctor, or watch a show in the 200 seat theater upstairs. The building still looks very much as it did in the early 1900's and until recently was used as an antique showroom.
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James Home

The James home, on N. Duke St. in Summerton, was built in 1840, by J. H. Colclough and land owned by W. C. Dukes. Dr. Thomas W. Briggs purchased the house and his son, Dr. J. J. Briggs, inherited it. It was sold to Dr. D. O. Rhame and in 1904, Joseph Alston James, known as "Cap'n", became the owner. "Cap'n" James was a railroad conductor for Northwestern. The James family added four large upstairs rooms to the original story and a half structure as well as a handsome front stairway, an outstanding feature of the house. Two family brides have descended this stairway to their parlor marriages. John E. James, son of "Cap'n" James, and his wife became residents of the home in 1959. The present owners are Mr. & Mrs. Lionel Stukes, who have extensively restored the home.
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St. Matthias Episcopal Church

Located on N. Duke St., in Summerton. In 1899 after church service, a meeting in the yard of The Presbyterian Church, marked the beginning of the establishment of St. Matthias. The land to build the church and rectory was given by Mrs. R. H. Belser. The church was built and paid for through donations and accumulated funds; thus on St. Mathias Day, Feb. 24, 1899, the church was consecrated by Bishop Capers. The rectory adjoining the church was built in 1903 at a cost of $1223.38. In 1910 the church was remodeled and rebuilt on concrete blocks, stained glass windows were added and a valuable Felgenmaker organ was installed in 1917. The organ was purchased from the Washington Street Meth. Church in 1922, and has the date of Feb 23, 1870, on the bellows. It is one of only 2 remaining Felgenmaker organs - both of which are in Episcopal churches in SC. Among the founders of this church, these names should be remembered: Belser; Richardson; Frierson; Dingle and Brailsford. A bronze tablet, given by members of the congregation and bearing names of the church's founders, was dedicated on Sept. 9, 1956 by Rev. Richard Patton.
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"Taw Caw" Gentry - Grayson Home

1/2 mile N. of Summerton on Highway 301, take a left on Taw Caw Road. 1st house on left. "Taw Caw" is situated on the road leading to a creek bearing that name. This plantation home was built for Ezra Tindal. Members of the Sublett family and relatives of the Tindals lived there until T. H. Gentry bought it. It is now the home of his great granddaughter, Mary Ann Grayson Moore. Double steps lead to the second floor piazza, and the roof is supported by massive rectangular columns that extend beyond the floor of the piazza and on down to the ground, where they are now encased in cement. The banisters and hand rails are hand-turned. Built with slave labor from plantation timber, hand-sawed and hand planed, the massive girders underpinning the house are pegged together. Wide planks run the length of the large rooms without joints. The bricks in the enormous fireplaces and the hinges used for the doors and windows were all processed on the estate. The trees on the spacious grounds are in their third century of growth. This dignified home has double front doors adding to its hospitable atmosphere. About two-tenths mile north of this house is the first site of the Baptist Church of Summerton. A marker stands there today.
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The First Methodist Parsonage in Manning.

Located on the corner of Maple and Rhame Streets (1 block off N. Brooks St.). The parsonage was invaded by Gen. Potter's occupying forces when they sacked and burned Manning's business district on April 9, 1865. Thanks to the writings of Rev. William Wynn Mood a first hand account of those horrifying days was recorded. He was the Uncle of Julia Mood Peterkin, 1928 Pulitzer prize winning novelist. A bronze plaque marks the building as the First Methodist parsonage in Manning which once faced Brooks Street. It served as such from 1865 - 1897 and was then sold by the church. It was acquired by the county school board and made into administrative offices. It now serves as an office building for a local business.
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The Old Manning Library

The beginnings of the library in Clarendon County can be traced back to 1880 with the organization of the Manning Literary Society. In 1905 the children of Moses and Hannah Levi gave $1000 and the property to be used for the building of the library. Through money generated from the City of Manning and public subscriptions, private donations, silver teas, and bazaars the building became possible about 1909-1910. This unique building with its high-domed sky-lights was designed by the same architect who built the present Clarendon County Courthouse. Once through the large front double doors, which form the only entrance, one finds a pleasant octagon-shaped room, with four small rooms forming the corners. In 1976, after years of being a private library the Manning Civic League voted to turn the Old Library building over to Clarendon County for use as a public library. On November 13, 1977, the Clarendon County Public Library was officially dedicated. The small building was added to the National Historic Register in 1979 and in 1993 the building was renovated. In October 1996 its doors were opened as the Clarendon County Archives and History Center where the area's past can be preserved and revisited.
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J. K. Breedin Home

Located at the southern end of Brooks Street (at turn of Hwy 301), the original part of the house faces north and consists of 3 large rooms with a large entrance hall downstairs, 2 large rooms with connecting hall upstairs. The woodwork in this part of the house was carved by slaves of Mr. J. R. Haynesworth, the first owner and builder. Extensive additions have been made by numerous owners - the Haynesworths from 1845 - 1875, the Pressley Barrons 1876 - 1902 and the Joseph Sprotts 1902 - 1930. The magnificent magnolia in the front yard was planted by Lucy Barron, who married Narciso G. Gonzales, founder and editor of The State newspaper. Mr. and Mrs. J. K. Breedin bought the home in 1930. Mrs. Sophie Drayton, niece of Mrs. Breedin, inherited the home after Mrs. Breedin's death in 1976.
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El Recuerdo

Located south of Manning, turn left off Hwy 301 onto Hwy 63 (Raccoon Road) and travel 2 miles, house on left at end of long avenue of trees - "El Recuerdo" is believed to be built by Col. Edward Bertram Davis in 1815. This home is constructed entirely of heart pine and cypress with two circular stairways made of mahogany. The original window panes and shutters grace the mansion. Northern soldiers occupied this home during the War Between the States, and it was one of the few spared from flames.
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Clarendon County Courthouse

Town Square, Manning. The Clarendon County Courthouse was built in 1908-09. It stands on the spot which was selected as the center of the county in 1855. The first building was erected in 1856, and was burned in 1865. Another building erected in 1878 was removed in 1908 to make room for the present building. In 1970 the building was renovated. In the building are plaques to the memory of Chief Justice Taylor Hudnall Stukes, Justice James Hugh McFaddin, and General Richard Richardson. A portrait of Justice Stukes hangs in the Courtroom. A plaque hangs in the Courthouse hallway listing those who donated a tree or shrub in memory or honor of a loved one. In 1990 the newly renovated Judges Chambers was dedicated in memory of Judge James McCullum Morris. A portrait of Judge Morris was presented at this time and now hangs in the Chambers. On the grounds is a monument to the veterans of the War Between the States and 2 markers honoring Jake Williams and William Burgess who were killed in action during World War I. The American Legion Post was named in their honor.
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The Wolfe House

14 Keitt Street, Manning. It is known to be one of the oldest houses in Manning. The house was built shortly after the town was established in 1855. It was moved to its present site in 1896. Mr. Joe P. Moore bought the property in 1964. At that time it still contained the original flooring and most of the heavy dark shutters. The shutters on the front were on the house in 1899. Other original features are the interchangeable windows. The steep shingled roof and pine siding on the house, as well as the nails, which were all handmade by the village blacksmith. A hitching post and carriage step stand at the side yard to add to the authenticity of the period. This house now serves as a florist shop.
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Ox Swamp (November 8, 1780)

Leaving Manning on Hwy 521 going toward Kingstree, Ox Swamp is on the right at the edge of Manning. At Ox Swamp Crossing Tarleton halted after the 26 mile race from Richbourg's Mill Dam and finding that Marion and his 400 horsemen had left the road here to go into the swamp, decided to give up the race. Marion had eluded him, and it is said that he exclaimed, "Come on Boys! Let's go back and fight the gamecock. But as for the old fox, the devil himself could not catch him." The natives seized on Tarleton's epithet and turned it into "Swamp Fox" and fastened that nickname forever on their hero.
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Taw Caw Baptist Church

Located on Hwy 301 N. of Summerton. The Taw Caw Baptist Church was organized and founded in 1858 as an offshoot of Calvary Baptist Church. The Honorable James H. Tindal donated the church lot. Due to war conditions, the pulpit, seats and flooring became a sacrificial effort and in the spring of 1860 the work was suspended. Wheeler's men occupied the church building for several weeks during the War Between the States. Due to bad weather, the soldiers attempted to put sand on the floor to build a fire, doing great harm to the interior. Following the war, the bankrupt conditions prevented the necessary repairs, so in 1885 the building and lot were bought by the Black Baptist Church for $400 from the congregation which is now the Summerton Baptist Church. The Taw Caw church serves a large congregation in the Summerton and surrounding area. Building additions have been made over the years.
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Battle of Tearcoat (October 25, 1780)

Located about 3/4 miles on left from I-95 toward Sumter County line on #50. Gen. Francis Marion heard that Col. Samuel Lynes had moved his men from Nelson's Ferry to Tearcoat Swamp (near the site of Victory Plains, the Joseph S. DuRant home). Fearing that spies were in his camp, Marion did not enlighten his men of his plans. On Oct. 24, 1780, he scouted the Tory camp and found it in casual disarray. He attacked at midnight Oct. 25, with a 3 pronged approach. It was a complete rout with 3 killed, 14 wounded, 23 captured, together with capture of arms, supplies and equipment.
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St. Marks Parish Church

Take County Road 76 out of Summerton - near Rimini. St. Marks Parish was cut off of Prince Frederick's Parish May 21, 1757. The Colonial Assembly appropriated 700 pounds to build a church. The church was built of brick and stone on Half Way Swamp near the Santee River Road. The original church was burned in the spring of 1781 by Colonel Tarleton to intimidate the American settlers in the area. The Parish was a political ecclesiastical district and it reached from the north side of the Santee River to the North Carolina line. The commissioners were: Richard Richardson; Joseph Cantey; Matthew Nelson; Isaac Brunson; James McGrit; William Cantey; and John Cantey.
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