Spotlight On: Long Bluff

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One of the first settlements within the boundary of present day Darlington County was that at Long Bluff in 1748. It also was the site of the historical Long Bluff Courthouse established by the Circuit Court Act of the Legislature of 1769, making it one of six operating Courthouses established at that time outside Charleston.

On November 15, 1774, Circuit Judge William Henry Drayton delivered in this Courthouse his famous charge to the Grand Jury: (From History of Old Cheraws)

. . .”I know no master but the law, and I am a servant, not to the King, but to the Constitution; and, in my estimation, I shall best discharge my duty as a good subject to the King, and a trusty officer under the Constitution when I boldly declare the law to the people, and instruct them in their civil rights.”

This charge helped fan the patriotic flames in the back-country against the English crown.

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Spotlight On: Society Hill Library

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Old Society Hill Library is now located on the grounds of St. David’s Academy. The oldest lending library in South Carolina (exclusive of those in Charleston and Georgetown), it was built by the Society Hill Library Society, which was organized in 1822. The library has not functioned as such for many years, and is opened only on special occasions.

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Spotlight On: Williamson’s Bridge

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Site of a Revolutionary War skirmish between Tories and a band of Whig forces, led by Col. Lamuel Benton.

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Spotlight On: Kalmia Gardens

Located in Hartsville, the gardens, now owned by Coker College, were developed into an arboretum prior to World War II by Mrs. David R. Coker. The old home was built by Capt. Thomas E. Hart (1796-1842) shortly after he purchased the surrounding lands in 1817. The city of Hartsville derives its name from him–he was its first postmaster; a merchant, planter, officer in the South Carolina Militia, member of the Board of Free School Commissioners, and Magistrate for the area.

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Spotlight On: Grave of Augustin Wilson

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Located in Lake Swamp Baptist Church Cemetery, Timmonsville vicinity. Wilson’s grave is marked by a partially embedded cannon barrel. During the American Revolution, he served with NC troops and as an Ensign at the 1779 Battle of Brier Creek, GA. He moved to South Carolina before 1820, where he died in 1848.

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Spotlight On: Yankee Hill

This hilly area was once used as burial ground for Union soldiers who died while garrisoned here at the end of the Civil War.

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Spotlight On: Darlington Methodist Church

Darlington Methodist Church

Now a private home, this first Methodist Church was built in 1834. During the Civil War, occupying troops were invited to attend the services as women sat on one side of the church and the men sat on the other. The carpenter who built the church later became a Baptist minister. This building served as the Methodist church until 1901. It is believed that the second floor door once led out to a large veranda. The building once boasted a beautiful steeple and stately front columns. The only know picture is on display at the Historical Commission.

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We here at DCHC are dedicated to promoting the rich and varied history of Darlington County. So if you enjoy our posts, please Like us on Facebook by clicking here. And, by all means, follow our blog as well.