SPOTLIGHT ON: Lawrence Reese, master carpenter and merchant

At the age of 21 or 22, Lawrence Reese came to Darlington, S.C., where he married Lula Aiken. According to an article in The Community Times dated May 3, 2001, Dr. McGirt, Lula’s father, asked young Lawrence how he would support his new bride, and Lawrence replied that he was a carpenter. Dr. McGirt, needing proof, marked off some area on his land and instructed Lawrence to build a house. . .and, a day or two later, that’s just what Lawrence did.

The Book and Toy Company of Darlington, S.C.

The Commission’s archives are housed in the old Darlington County Jail. The top two floors are where we keep the majority of our files and artifacts, and every time I climb those steep steps, I start to feel like a kid on Christmas morning. I get so excited about what I might discover in those rows and rows of filing cabinets that my heart starts to beat faster and faster.

Letter from General Nathanael Greene to Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox

On April 24, 1781, General Nathanael Greene sent the following letter to Francis Marion, the Swamp Fox. Written and sent from his camp in Camden, Greene wrote: When I consider how much you have done and suffered, and under what difficulties you have maintained your ground, I am at a loss which to admire most,…

Doolittle Raid: Timeline for Lt. Billy Farrow, April 18-20, 1942

April 18, 1942 At 8am aboard the USS Hornet, the Klaxon horns sounded, and Captain Marc Mitscher gave the order to Lt. Farrow and the other Doolittle Raiders: “Army pilots–man your planes. Army pilots–man your planes.” The mission wasn’t scheduled to launch for another eight hours, but a Japanese patrol vessel had been sighted just…

Hearts and Minds: A Brief Study of Darlington Operation Alert

But what I can’t tell you about is the fear and loathing of Communism.

And I certainly can’t tell you what it felt like to be afraid—viscerally, palpably, genuinely terrified—of the Soviet Union launching a nuclear attack on the United States. Because thirty years ago whenever good ole Bert the Turtle instructed me to “duck and cover,” I kneeled down under my desk with a smirk on my face and a near-empty head, my only thought being whether Mom had packed a Kit Kat bar in my lunch that day.

TODAY IN DARLINGTON COUNTY HISTORY

On March 20, 1890, J.L. Coker, Jr. developed one of the first methods for producing paper from native pine wood pulp.  With the assistance of his father Major James Lide Coker, J.L. Coker, Jr. formed the Carolina Fiber Company in order to manufacture and market wood pulp and paper, specifically wrapping paper via the sulphite…

“My Favorite Human”: Thinking About Lt. William Grover Farrow

What do we owe our fallen soldiers?

That’s the question I was turning over in my mind one morning in March as I drove to work down Billy Farrow Highway. Speeding past Baptist churches and modest houses and farmland, I thought about Lt. William Grover Farrow and his short yet exemplary life. A few days prior, Brian Gandy, the resident historian for Darlington County, had educated me on Farrow’s participation in the WWII Doolittle Raid, a bombing campaign on strategic military targets in Japan in 1942.

The Jacob Kelley House – Encampment of the Third Division, Fifteenth Union Army Corps

Today in Darlington County History, March 1-3, 1865, This house, the home of Jacob Kelley (1780-1874), was used as a Union headquarters on March 2-3, 1865 by Major-General John E. Smith, Commander of the Third Division, Fifteenth Army Corps. During the encampment by Federal forces, the mills near Kelley Town were run for the benefit of the Third Division and foraging parties roamed the area.