Month: June 2017

TODAY IN SOUTH CAROLINA HISTORY: The Patriot with Mel Gibson

On June 30, 2000, The Patriot, a feature film starring Mel Gibson, is released in theaters. Mel Gibson plays Benjamin Martin, an American swept up in the Revolutionary War when a sadistic British officer murders Martin’s son.  The script writer Robert Rodat claims that Benjamin Martin…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Rosenwald Consolidated School/Rosenwald High School

The Julius Rosenwald Fund was established in 1915 to provide grants to African Americans for school construction. Rosenwald, the president of the Sears Roebuck Company, worked closely with Tuskeegee Institute in Alabama to develop the program. 

German POWs in Darlington

Below is a lovely note written by Dorothy Law Martin in March 2011. It’s about German prisoners of war who worked on her father’s farm.  My Dad, W.P. Law, had a large farm on the old Hartsville Road in Darlington County. During WWII my…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Jerusalem Baptist Church

Jerusalem Baptist Church, located at 6th Street and Laurens Avenue in Hartsville, is one of the oldest African-American churches in Darlington County. Organized after the Civil War, its first church service was held in a brush arbor on Snake Branch, a creek near E….

SPOTLIGHT ON: Edmund H. Deas House

Located at 229 Avenue E in Darlington, the Edmund H. Deas House was named after Edmund H. Deas, who moved to Darlington in 1870. Known as the “Duke of Darlington,” Deas was a very active Republican and served as the county chair of the…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Senator Kay Patterson

Born in Darlington County on January 11, 1931, Kay Patterson represented the 19th District in the South Carolina Senate from 1985 until his retirement in 2008. Senator Patterson also served in the South Carolina House of Representatives from 1975 through 1985. He was the…

SPOTLIGHT ON: Darlington & Liberty Theaters

On April 22, 2015, Frank W. McKeel donated a thick book filled with hundreds of movie ticket stubs from the Darlington & Liberty Theaters. Inside the book, on the very first page, Mr. McKeel wrote a message to the Darlington County Historical Commission: Please…

SPOTLIGHT ON: John L. Hart

In 1845, a twenty-year-old John L. Hart bought from his brother-in-law Colonel T.c. Law some 491 acres of virgin pine forest. Here he established Hartsville Plantation and thus it was known as late as 1913. The Plantation ran along East Home Avenue to U.S….

FAMOUS DARLINGTON COUNTY RESIDENTS: Buddy Johnson, jazz musician

Woodrow Wilson “Buddy” Johnson, a renown jazz and New York blues musician, was born in Darlington, SC, on January 10, 1915.  A pianist and bandleader, Buddy performed songs with his sister Ella Johnson.  Among his songs that went into the R&B and pop charts…