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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Spotlight On: St. John’s Elementary School

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This site has been the home of a Darlington School since 1818. Originally built as the Darlington Academy, it is now occupied by the St. John’s Elementary School. According to local tradition, an early teacher who was also an ardent Mason named the school for the Apostle St. John who was believed to have belonged to the Masonic Order. It is the oldest elementary school in the state. Near the close of the Civil War, Federal Occupation troops turned the school into a hospital for their wounded, using the grounds for their tents. They lined their tents with boards taken from the school and the school was paid war reparations. The beautiful brick building that you see today replaced the old wooden one in the fall of 1902.

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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.