Explore more than 20 African American cultural sites along the Grand Strand, in both Horry and Georgetown Counties.

The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission (SCAAHC) has created The Green Book of South Carolina, the first mobile web travel guide to African American cultural sites across South Carolina. This mobile book offers visitors and residents a user-friendly guide to celebrating and enriching cultural experiences across South Carolina, including several historic sites throughout the Grand Strand.  It’s a contemporary homage to the original Green Book first published in 1936 that featured safe harbors and welcoming establishments for African Americans throughout the United States.

Below you'll find more than 20 African American cultural sites along the Grand Strand. If you know of additional sites that should be on this list, please complete the Suggest a New Location form at GreenBookofSC.com.

Horry County African American Cultural Sites

Atlantic Beach

Atlantic Beach

Nicknamed “The Black Pearl,” this was established around 1934 as an oceanfront community for blacks denied access to other area beaches because of segregation laws. The area was one of the most popular beach resorts on the East Coast for blacks from Virginia to Florida. Its hotels, nightclubs, restaurants, shops, and pavilion were packed every May to September. As other area beaches began desegregating in the 1970s the beach saw fewer visitors. The town of Atlantic Beach, chartered in 1966, is one of a few black-owned and governed oceanfront communities in the United States. Marker erected by the Atlantic Beach Historical Society, 2005.

Chestnut Consolidated School

Chestnut Consolidated School / Chestnut Consolidated High School

Located on this site from 1954-1970, this school was built under the equalization program of Gov. James F. Byrnes which intended to preserve segregation by building new schools for black students. Named in honor of Horry County educator J.T. Chestnut (1885-1967), it consolidated schools in several northeastern Horry County communities. The one-story brick building was demolished in 1995. Marker erected by the Chestnut Consolidated High School Alumni Association, 2011.

Levister Elementary School

Levister Elementary School

This school, built in 1953, was one of many schools built by the equalization program of Gov. James F. Byrnes, intended to preserve school segregation by building new schools for black students. It was named for Nellie Burke Levister (1884-1968), the first Jeanes (also called the Negro Rural School Fund) teacher in Horry County. The last graduating class was in 1969. This school became the Aynor Elementary School Annex in 1973. It closed in 1997. Marker erected by the Levister Development Activity Center, 2010.

Loris Training School

Loris Training School

This school (1928 to 1955), a Rosenwald one, was the first for black students in Loris and other nearby communities. When the school closed in 1955 its students were transferred to the Finklea Consolidated High School, where George C. Cooper (1915-1991) served as principal until it closed with desegregation in 1970. Marker erected by the Finklea High/ Loris Training Schools Alumni Association, 2008.

Myrtle Beach Colored School

Myrtle Beach Colored School

The first public school for African American students in Myrtle Beach (1930s to 2001), it was a six-room frame building similar to the Rosenwald schools. The school, replaced by Carver Training School in 1953, was torn down in 2001 but was reconstructed nearby at Dunbar St. and Mr. Joe White Ave. in 2006. Marker erected by the City of Myrtle Beach and the Myrtle Beach Colored School Committee, 2006.

St. James Rosenwald School

St. James Rosenwald School

The school, which was located at this site from the late 1920s until the early 1970s, was one of several Rosenwald schools in the county. Rev. Smart Small, Sr. (1891-1961), assisted by Eugene Beaty (1889-1958), Dave Carr (1886-1992), Henry Small (1897-1999), and Richard Small, Sr. (1893-1950) led fundraising efforts. It closed in 1970 after desegregation. Marker erected by the Burgess Organization for the Advancement of Young People, Inc., 2005.

True Vine Missionary Baptist Church

This church (c. 1894) was organized by Antey Graham, Beney Graham, Samuel Graham, Will Hill, and Ben Wilson. The first sanctuary, a frame building, was built about 1913 and located near what is now S.C. Hwy. 90, it was later on Burroughs Road. In 1943 the old sanctuary was moved to this site by a team of mules. The present brick sanctuary, the second serving this congregation, was built in 1971. Marker was erected by the Congregation, 1999.

Whittemore School / Whittemore High School

This was one of the first schools in the county for black students and operated at this site from 1936 to 1970. Founded in 1870, it was named for Benjamin F. Whittemore (1824-1894), former Union army chaplain, Freedmen’s Bureau educator 1865-67, and later a state senator and U.S. Congressman. The school closed when Horry County schools desegregated in 1970. Marker erected by the Whittemore High School Historical Marker Commission, 2011.

 

Georgetown County African American Cultural Sites

Bethel AME Church, Georgetown

The first pastor of this c. 1865 church was Rev. Augustus Z. Carr. The present church building, constructed in 1882 of wood, is located approximately 100 feet from the original site. In 1908, the building was substantially remodeled and took its current appearance. The brick Gothic Revival building features two square crenellated towers on the front and gothic-arched window and door openings. Included in the Georgetown Historic District.

Bethesda Baptist Church

Organized shortly after the Civil War with Rev. Edward Rhue as its first pastor, Bethesda Baptist Church purchased this site by 1867. Construction of this sanctuary began in 1922 during the pastorate of Rev. A. W. Puller and was completed and dedicated during the pastorate of Rev. G. Going Daniels in 1927. Rev. W. A. Johnson served as Bethesda´s pastor from 1956 until his death in 1995.

Cedar Grove Plantation Chapel

Cedar Grove Plantation Chapel

Rev. Alexander Glennie, rector of All Saints’ Episcopal Church (1830-60), established a ministry to slaves on the rice plantations of Georgetown County and eventually built thirteen chapels for them. Cedar Grove (c. 1850) is the only remaining chapel of these thirteen. Originally located on the plantation of Andrew Hassell, it was moved in 1898 and in 1976. In 1985, the chapel was moved to its present location.

Hobcaw Barony

Hobcaw Barony

Created 1905-07 by nationally prominent philanthropist, Bernard M. Baruch, this 16,000-acre property is dedicated to research and education. It includes numerous buildings and sites that reflect the lives of African Americans from the early 19th century through the first half of the 20th century. Among these are graveyards, extant villages, archaeological sites, ricefields, and roads. The most intact village is Friendfield which includes a “street” with five remaining structures. The Hobcaw Barony Visitor’s Center is open Monday through Friday (except holidays). Access or entry to the property is only by guided tour or programs.

Howard School

Georgetown Colored Academy built a school on this site in 1866. By 1908 the building had been torn down and a new school called Howard had been built. By 1950, the elementary (1938) and high school (1938) had moved into a new structure on Kaminski Street. After 1984, predominantly black Howard merged with mostly white Winyah School to form Georgetown High School. Marker erected by the Georgetown Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta, 1986.

James A. Bowley House

This house (c. 1890) was the home of James A. Bowley, a teacher, editor, legislator, and probate judge. Bowley, born free in Maryland, came to Georgetown County as a teacher in 1867. During Reconstruction he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1869-1874). He was also the editor of the Georgetown Planet, a local newspaper. Included in the Georgetown Historic District.

Jonathan A. Baxter House

Jonathan A. Baxter House

This house (c. 1890) was the home of James A. Bowley, a teacher, editor, legislator, and probate judge. Bowley, born free in Maryland, came to Georgetown County as a teacher in 1867. During Reconstruction he served in the South Carolina House of Representatives (1869-1874). He was also the editor of the Georgetown Planet, a local newspaper. Included in the Georgetown Historic District.

Joseph Hayne Rainey

Joseph Hayne Rainey

This National Historic Landmark was the family home of Joseph H. Rainey, the first African American elected to the US House of Representatives (1870-1879). Born in Georgetown County in 1832, it is believed Rainey made blockade-running trips during the Civil War. He was a delegate to the Constitutional Convention of 1868, served two years in the SC Senate, and two years as an internal revenue agent of SC. He died in Georgetown, SC, in 1887. Marker erected by Georgetown Chapter Delta Sigma Theta, 1994.

Keithfield Plantation

Keithfield Plantation

This was one of several productive rice plantations on the Black River, producing 315,000 pounds of rice with 81 slaves in 1860. Agricultural features (including fields, canals and dikes) associated with rice cultivation remain intact at Keithfield. The plantation also includes a one-room slave cabin built around 1830. After the Civil War an uprising led by Freedmen occurred at Keithfield in the spring of 1866. The freedmen left the ricefields, refused to work, and threatened the life of the plantation manager, finally forcing him to jump in the Black River and swim to safety on the other side.

Mansfield Plantation Slave Street

Mansfield Plantation Slave Street

This rice-producing plantation was established in the 18th century. Records show that by 1860 there were over 100 slaves that planted 235 acres of rice at Mansfield. Six slave houses and a slave chapel remain. In 2004, descendants of owner, F. S. Parker, opened a bed & breakfast inn on the site.

Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Georgetown

Mt. Olive Baptist Church, Georgetown

This church was founded in 1866 by Rev. James Smalls who was its pastor for many years. The congregation, which built the sanctuary here on land owned by the Gospel Harp Society, grew to more than 100 members by 1903. In 1914 church trustees purchased this property from the trustees of the Gospel Harp Society. The brick sanctuary was built in 1920 and it features elaborate stained glass windows. The building is no longer used. Marker erected by the Georgetown Chapter, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, 2001.

Pee Dee River Rice Planters Historic District

Pee Dee River Rice Planters Historic District

This 5,100-acre historic district includes extant buildings, structures, and ricefields associated with twelve rice plantations along the Pee Dee (Hasty Point, Breakwater, Belle Rive, Exchange, Rosebank, Chicora Wood, Guendalos, Enfield, Birdfield, Arundel, Springfield, Dirleton) and five rice plantations along the Waccamaw (Turkey Hill, Oatland, Willbrook, Litchfield, and Waverly). These plantations were part of a large rice culture which flourished from 1750-1910. Included also are four plantation houses (at Exchange, Rosebank, Chicora Wood, and Dirleton), two rice barns (at Hasty Point and Exchange), collections of plantation outbuildings (at Chicora Wood and Arundel), a rice mill and chimney (at Chicora Wood), and historic ricefields with canals, dikes, and trunks.

The Low Country Trail at Brookgreen Gardens

The Lowcountry Trail at Brookgreen Gardens

The Lowcountry Trail consists of a beautiful boardwalk that crosses the hillside overlooking Mainfield, a restored rice field of the former Brookgreen Plantation. For enslaved Africans at Brookgreen, this hill was a bridge between the world of daily work and life in the slave village beyond its crest.

Along the trail are interpretive panels that describe life on a rice plantation and four stainless steel figures that represent the Plantation Owner, the Overseer, an Enslaved African Male and an Enslaved African Female. These figures serve as visually compelling landmarks to draw visitors along the trail and to interpret a revealing story about each one’s role in the economic and social system of a Lowcountry plantation.