Historical Markers

More than 36 historical markers in the county show how the history of Bennettsville and Marlboro County has impacted South Carolina and beyond.

35-1 Marlboro County Courthouse and Bennettsville City Hall
105 Main St., Bennettsville

In 1819 the court house of Marlborough District was transferred from Carlisle, a village on the Pee Dee River, to this more central location. Bennettsville developed around the new court house in the heart of a rich farm land area. On March 6, 1863, it was occupied by the 17th Army Corps, United States Army, commanded by Gen. W.T. Sherman.  Erected by the Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1980


35-2 Marlborough County Court House
105 Main St., Bennettsville

Four court houses for Marlborough District or County have stood on this square since Apr. 4, 1820, when it was deeded by John S. Thomas for that purpose. The first court house, completed before 1824, was replaced by a new building in 1852. It was occupied by Union troops in 1865. A third building was finished in 1885. The present court house was built in 1951-1952. Erected by the Bennettsville Jaycees, 1962


35-3 Edward Crosland House
204 Parsonage Street, Bennettsville

This marks the oldest house in Bennettsville, built in 1800 by Edward Crosland, who was born in England and later married Ann Snead. He died in Bennettsville in 1821. He was a Patriot, American Revolutionary Soldier and Plantation Owner. His youngest son, William Crosland, was born in this house on April 23, 1800. Erected by Marlborough Chapter, Colonial Dames of XVII Century, 1967


35-4 Old Female Academy
121 S. Marlboro Street, Bennettsville

The oldest part of this building served as Bennettsville Female Academy 1833-1881. It originally stood opposite First Methodist Church on East Main Street, was purchased in 1967 by Marlborough Historical Society, moved to its present location, and restored by public donations. Bennettsville Academical Society, organized about 1828, built the Academy. Erected by Marlborough Historical Society, 1968


35-5 Welsh Neck Settlement
NW side of U.S. Hwy. 15-401, on the Marlboro County-Darlington County line at the Pee Dee River, Society Hill vicinity

Welsh Baptists from Pennsylvania and Delaware settled on the east bank of the Pee Dee as early as 1737. Most of the lands in the Welsh Neck, from Crooked Creek to Hunt’s Bluff, had been granted by 1746. A Baptist congregation was organized in 1738. The first church, predecessor of the Welsh Neck Baptist Church in Society Hill, stood one mile upstream. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1970


35-6 Albert M. Shipp
Near Gillespie Cemetery, U.S. Hwy. 1, 1 mi. N of Wallace

In Gillespie Cemetery, west of here, is buried Albert M. Shipp, Methodist minister, Professor of History at the University of North Carolina 1849-59, second President of Wofford College 1859-75, Vanderbilt University Professor and Dean 1875-85, and author of “Methodism in South Carolina.” Dr. Shipp’s last home, “Rose Hill” Plantation, is two miles NE. Erected by Wofford College Alumni Association of Chesterfield-Dillon-Marlboro Counties, 1970


35-7 Bennettsville Methodist Church
311 E. Main Street, Bennettsville

The first Methodist house of worship in Marlboro County was at Beauty Spot, two miles north of here, where, in 1788, Bishop Asbury attended a meeting. By 1834, the first church in town had been built here on 1 ½ acres of land donated by W. J. Cook. A second building was erected about 1871. The present church dates from 1900 and was extensively renovated and improved during 1955 and 1956. Erected by the Congregation, 1971


35-8 John Lyde Wilson
Intersection of S.C. Hwy. 9 & Old Wire Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-165), Wallace vicinity

Near this site stood Stony Hill, boyhood home of John Lyde Wilson, State Senator and Representative, Governor of South Carolina from 1822 to 1824, and author of The Code of Honor (1838), widely used by ante-bellum duellists. His parents, John Wilson and Mary Lide, are buried in nearby Wilson family cemetery. In 1957, a tornado destroyed the home. Erected by the Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1980


35-9 General John McQueen
On the side of the McColl Building, corner of S. Marlboro & E. Main Sts., Bennettsville

This U.S. congressman was born on February 9, 1804,  at Queensdale, N.C. After being admitted to the bar in 1828, he established a law office on this corner in Bennettsville. McQueen served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1849 to 1860, resigning on South Carolina’s secession from the Union. He was a General of S.C. Militia, a prominent secessionist, and a member of the First Confederate Congress.  Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1972


35-10 Robert Blair Campbell/John Campbell
Intersection of S. Main St. (S.C. Hwy. 38) & E. High St. (S.C. Hwy. 381), Blenheim

Robert Blair Campbell  (Front)

This U.S. Congressman and diplomat was born at Woodstock (Argyle) Plantation, 3 ½ miles southwest. He was a Brigadier General in the State Militia and served in the S.C. Senate 1822-23, 1830-34. He represented this district in the U.S. Congress 1823-25, 1834-37. He was U.S. Consul to Cuba 1842-50 and to England 1854-61. In 1862 he died and was buried in London.

John Campbell  (Reverse)

This U.S. congressman, the younger brother of Robert Blair Campbell, was born 3 ½ miles southwest of here. He graduated from the South Carolina College in 1819 and practiced law in Brownsville and Parnassus. He served in Congress as a States Rights Whig 1829-31 and as a States Rights Democrat 1837-45. He died in 1845 and was buried in the family cemetery.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1972


35-11 Daniel Calhoun Roper (1867-1943)
Intersection of U.S. Hwy. 15-401 & S. Stanton St. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-22), Tatum

This cabinet member and diplomat was born two miles south of here. He graduated from Trinity College in 1888 and later became head of Marlboro High School, near here. He was Franklin D. Roosevelt’s first secretary of commerce from 1933 to 1938 and U.S. minister to Canada, 1939. He was author of Fifty Years of Public Life. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1972


35-12 John Lowndes McLaurin (1860-1934)
Intersection of S.C. Hwy. 9 & S.C. Hwy. 79, NW of Bennettsville

One mile west is the last home of John Lowndes McLaurin, Marlboro County native, U.S. Congressman and Senator. He served as S.C. Representative 1890-91, S.C. Attorney General 1891-92, U.S. Congressman 1892-97, U.S. Senator 1897-1903, and State Warehouse Commissioner 1915-17. The mill pond west of here bears his name. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1972


35-13 Bennettsville Presbyterian Church
130 Broad St., corner of Broad St. (S.C. Hwy. 38) and McColl St., Bennettsville

This church was founded in 1855 by nine members of the Great Pee Dee Presbyterian Church, 5 mi. SE. Rev. Pierpont E. Bishop was its first permanent minister. The first church, a frame building, was dedicated in 1855. Elder J. Beatty Jennings was a delegate to the First General Assembly of the Confederate States, in 1861. The second church here, a brick building, was completed in 1907.  The second church burned Aug. 24, 1907, before any worship service could be held in it. The present church, described as “almost a duplicate of the burned church,” was dedicated in 1911. The chapel and educational building were constructed in 1946. The sanctuary, chapel, and educational building were completely renovated in 2003-05 in honor of the church’s 150th anniversary.  Erected by the Congregation, 2007, replacing a marker erected in 1972


35-14 Battle of Hunt’s Bluff/Old River Road 
W side of Hunts Bluff Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-57) near the Great Pee Dee River, SW of Blenheim

Battle of Hunt’s Bluff  (Front)

On July 25, 1780, a convoy of British boats en route from Cheraw to Georgetown was captured here by local Patriots.  Wooden logs resembling cannon were mounted on this bluff.  When boats appeared, Captain Tristram Thomas demanded unconditional surrender.  At this signal, the Loyalist escort joined forces with the Patriots, making prisoners of the British troops.

Old River Road (Reverse)

This “River Road” was in existence before the Revolution and was a principal trading route from the upper Pee Dee basin and N. C. Piedmont to Georgetown and Charleston on the coast.  The road follows the course of the Great Pee Dee River and was traveled extensively by Patriot forces during the Revolution.  Early plantations lay along the road.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1973


35-15 Pegues Place/Revolutionary Cartel
W side of U.S. Hwy. 1, less than 1 mi. S of South Carolina-North Carolina state line, NW of Wallace

Pegues Place  (Front)

Place, is located one mile west of here.  A founder and early officer of St. David’s Episcopal Church in Cheraw, he was elected in 1768 as parish representative to the Commons House of Assembly and in 1785 was named a justice of the county.  He died in 1790.

Revolutionary Cartel (Reverse)

On May 3, 1781, a cartel for the exchange of prisoners of war taken during the American Revolution was signed one mile west of here at the home of Claudius Pegues.  Lt. Col. Edward Carrington acted for Maj. Gen. Nathanael Greene of the Continental Army.  Capt. Frederick Cornwallis, acting for his cousin, Lieut. Gen. Earl Cornwallis, signed for the British.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1973 


35-16 Blenheim
Intersection of S. Main St. (S.C. Hwy. 38) & E. High St. (S.C. Hwy. 381), Blenheim

This community was named for Blenheim Palace in England, home of the Duke of Marlborough, for whom Marlboro County is said to have been named.  Formerly called Mineral Spring or Spring Hill for the mineral springs ½ mile east, Blenheim traces its origin to wealthy planters who built summer homes in this healthy locality during the ante-bellum period.  Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1973 


35-17 Abel Kolb’s Murder/Welsh Neck Cemetery
Intersection of U.S. Hwy. 15-401 & S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-167 just E of the Great Pee Dee River near the Marlboro County-Chesterfield County line, Welsh Neck

Abel Kolb’s Murder  (Front)

Colonel Abel Kolb was a prominent Revolutionary War Patriot of this area. A band of Tory raiders, on the night of April 27-28, 1781, surrounded the home of Colonel Kolb and his family. He was shot while surrendering himself as a prisoner of war and his home was burned. His grave is in old Welsh Neck cemetery, one mile north, a short distance from his home site.

Welsh Neck Cemetery (Reverse)

One mile north on the east bank of Pee Dee River is the site of Old Welsh Neck Baptist Church and its cemetery, where early Welsh settlers and their descendants are buried.  Two stone monuments and several river rocks mark the few remaining graves of members of the Marshall, Kolb, and Wilds families.  When the church moved to Society Hill, the cemetery was abandoned.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1973


35-18 Grave of General Tristam Thomas/Saw Mill Baptist Church
S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-209 at its junction with Willamette Rd (S.C. Hwy. 912), W of Bennettsville

Grave of General Tristram Thomas  (Front)

In Saw Mill Church cemetery is the grave of Tristram Thomas, major of militia during the Revolution. At Hunt’s Bluff, ten miles south, a band of Patriots under his command seized a British flotilla in 1780. He served as legislator, as first Brigadier General of the Cheraw Militia, and as commissioner for locating the county seat.

Saw Mill Baptist Church (Reverse)

In 1785 Philip Pledger donated to the Cheraw Hill Baptist Church a tract of land here adjoining his saw mill.  Pledger’s Saw Mill Church was eventually constituted in 1820 as a separate church.  The original congregation relocated in 1832 as Bennettsville Church.  Sawmill Church today is a member of the S. C. Baptist Educational and Missionary Convention.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1974


35-19 Barnabas Kelet Henagan Home Site
100 yds. S of intersection of S.C. Hwy. 38 & Screw Pin Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-18), Bristow

Governor Henagan (1798-1855), son of Drusilla and Darby Henagan, planter and physician, lived about one mile northwest of this site. Senator, Marlboro District 1834-38; Lieut. Governor of S.C. 1838-40; Governor of South Carolina 1840; moved to Marion District 1843; Senator, Marion District 1844-46; S.C. Secretary of State 1846-50. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1974


35-20 Old Beauty Spot
Intersection of Beauty Spot Rd. E. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-47) & Wallace Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-17), Breeden vicinity

Here stood the first Methodist church of Marlboro County, a single log cabin built in 1783. Here Bishop Francis Asbury presided over and preached at an early Quarterly Conference, held on February 23, 1788. Camp meetings were held here 1810-1842. In 1883, the church was moved to another site, also called Beauty Spot, two miles eastward. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1974


35-21 Grave of Mason Lee/Will of Mason Lee
200 yds. S of intersection of S.C. Hwy. 38 & Gray Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-465), Bristow

Mason Lee  (Front)

Mason Lee (1770-1821), a wealthy Pee Dee planter known for his eccentricities, is buried in old Brownsville graveyard two miles south of here.  He believed all women were witches and that his kinsmen wished him dead to inherit his property. He felt they used supernatural agents to bewitch him and went to great extremes to avoid these supposed powers.

Will of Mason Lee  (Reverse)

This will, which named S.C. and Tenn. as heirs, was the subject of suits in the 1820’s charging Lee was of unsound mind when making his will. An 1827 appellate verdict exonerated Lee and established Heirs at Law of Mason Lee vs. Executor of Mason Lee as the leading case in South Carolina regarding mental capacity in the execution of a will.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1975


35-22 Frederick Charles Hans Bruno Poellnitz/Ragtown
Near the intersection of S.C. Hwy. 38 & Screw Pin Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-18), Bristow vicinity

Frederick Charles Hans Bruno Poellnitz  (Front)

Born 1754 [1734] in Gotha, Germany, this former chamberlain to King Frederick the Great of Prussia came to America in 1782. Known as Baron Poellnitz, he lived in New York City nearly 8 years before moving 4 mi. W of here on the Pee Dee River. He and George Washington exchanged ideas about farming projects and equipment.

Ragtown (Reverse)

Located four miles west, this plantation of 2,991 acres was acquired by Baron Poellnitz in 1790 in exchange for some 22 acres in Manhattan, N.Y. Tradition says that deeds for the transaction were drawn in Alexander Hamilton’s law office. Poellnitz continued his agricultural experiments at Ragtown. He died in 1801 and was buried on the plantation.
Erected by the Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 2004


35-23 Jennings-Brown House
121 S. Marlboro Street, Bennettsville

In 1826 Dr. Edward W. Jones bought a lot at S. Marlboro and present E. Main and built this house thereon shortly after. Owned by Dr. J. Beatty Jennings when Union forces occupied Bennettsville 1865, the house is said to have served as their headquarters. Moved here c. 1905, purchased by Lura G. Brown 1930, and opened by Marlboro County Preservation Commission as a house museum 1976. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1976


35-24 Greene’s Encampment/Sherman’s March
Just N of intersection of U.S. Hwy. 1 & S.C. Hwy. 9, Wallace

Greene’s Encampment  (Front)

During December 1780, Major General Nathanael Greene, commander of the Southern Army, brought a number of troops to a “camp of repose” near this spot. Here he hoped for abundant food and improvement of strength, discipline, and spirit of his men. Greene departed camp on January 28, 1781 to resume active campaigning against the British.

Sherman’s March (Reverse)

Units of the Union Army under Maj. Gen. Wm. T. Sherman crossed the Pee Dee River near here during March, 1865, leaving Cheraw for N.C.  The 17th Corps advanced to and occupied Bennettsville; the 15th Corps marched about 4 miles and camped at Harrington’s Plantation; the 14th and 20th Corps crossed the river several miles north of here at Pegues’ Crossing.
Erected by the Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1976


35-25 Magnolia
508 East Main Street, Bennettsville

Constructed in 1853, this house was the home of William D. Johnson, a Bennettsville attorney and one of three Marlboro County signers of South Carolina’s Ordinance of Secession. He served in the state Senate 1862-1865 and was elected chancellor of the Equity Court in 1865. According to tradition, Magnolia was occupied by Union troops on March 6, 1865. The house is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1978


35-26 Marlborough Court House/Old River Road
U.S. Hwy. 401/15 at its intersection with Willamette Rd. (S.C. Hwy. 912), Welsh Neck

Marlborough Court House  (Front)

Located about one mile N. of here was the original county seat of Marlborough County, established in 1785. Tristram Thomas conveyed two acres of land to the county for the erection of public buildings in 1787, and the court house and jail were built there shortly afterward. The county seat was removed to a more central location in 1819. No trace of the original town remains.

Old River Road (Reverse)

This river road follows the course of the Great Pee Dee River and crosses U.S. 15 here. It was in existence before the Revolution and was a principal trade route from North Carolina and the Upper Pee Dee to Georgetown and Charleston. Early plantations lay along the road and it was traveled extensively by Patriot forces during the American Revolution.
Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1978


35-27 Early Cotton Mill
S.C. Hwy. 385 at its intersection with Burnt Factory Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-372), Breeden vicinity

About 1836 William T. Ellerbe, John McQueen, and John N. Williams built a cotton mill approximately one mile northwest. Power for operation of the mill came from the waters of nearby Crooked Creek. Ellerbe and Williams sold their stock in the mill to Meekin Townsend in 1844. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1851, but Burnt Factory Pond remains today. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1978


35-28 Clio
Corner of Main St. (S.C. Hwy. 9) & Society St. (S.C. Hwy. 381), Clio

McLaurin’s Muster Ground, located at this crossroads, became a polling place in 1825. According to local tradition, the community was later called Ivy’s Crossroads. A post office named Clio was established here in 1836 and the town was incorporated in 1882. The Florence Railroad Company extended its Latta branch line into Clio in 1895. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1979


35-29 Brownsville Church
Screw Pin Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-18), about 2.1 mi. NW of S.C. Hwy. 38, at the intersection of Screw Pin Rd. with River Rd. (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-44), Bristow vicinity

In 1788, this Baptist congregation, while still a branch of Cashaway Church (1756), purchased this land from the Rev. John Brown. The branch became an independently constituted church in 1789 named Muddy Creek and by 1829 was known as Brownsville. Welsh Neck Baptist Association was organized here in 1832. The church moved 2 miles NE in 1860. Erected by The Congregation, 1989


35-30 Brownsville Baptist Church
100 yds. S of intersection of Old S.C. Hwy. 38 & S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-99, 5 mi. SE of Blenheim

In 1788, this Baptist congregation, a branch of Cashaway Church (1756) founded by Welsh Neck Church (1738), purchased land 2 miles SW of here from the Rev. John Brown. The congregation was independently constituted in 1789 and named Muddy Creek. The church, which was known as Brownsville by 1829, moved here in 1860.  Completed in 1979 to resemble the 1860 church which burned in 1977, this building contains the original pine pews & pulpit furniture from the 1860 building. Both the Welsh Neck & Pee Dee Baptist Associations were organized in Brownsville Church in 1832 and 1876, respectively.  Prior to 1832, Brownsville belonged to the Charleston Association.  Erected by The Congregation, 1989


35-31 Shiness
100 Fayetteville Avenue, Bennettsville

According to a plaque placed on its western wall at time of construction, Shiness was built in 1903 by Alexander James Matheson and named for his paternal grandmother’s home in Sutherlandshire, Scotland. Matheson was born in Marlboro County in 1848, became a successful businessman and large landowner, married Sarah Ellen Jarnigan in 1870 and became the father of nine children. He died in 1918 and is buried in McCall Cemetery in Bennettsville. Shiness was sold in 1939 to J. L. Powers, who converted it into apartments. A key structure in Bennettsville’s 1978 National Register District, Shiness was purchased by William Light Kinney, Jr., in 1984 for adaptive use as business offices and retail shops. Erected by Marlboro County Historic Preservation Commission, 1991


35-32 D.D. McColl House 1826/D.D. McColl House 1884
Bennettsville Visitors Center and Chamber of Commerce, 304 West Main St., Bennettsville

D.D. McColl House, 1826  (Front)

This house, built in 1826 on Darlington St. (now Main St.), was first owned by H.H. Covington. It was sold in 1871 to Duncan Donald McColl (1842‑1911), prominent Marlboro County lawyer and businessman; the McColls lived in this house until 1884. Later moved to S. Liberty St., then McColl St., and finally to its present location by Hugh L. McColl, Jr., the house was donated to the county by McColl in 1991.

D.D. McColl House, 1884 (Reverse)

This Queen Anne house, built in 1884 for D.D. McColl, features local brick made from yellow clay and stained to simulate red brick. McColl organized the S.C. & Pacific Railway in 1884, served as its first president, and brought the railroad to Bennettsville and nearby areas. He also helped organize the Bank of Marlboro in 1886 and the Bennettsville Cotton Mill in 1897, and the town of McColl was named after him.
Erected by Pee Dee Committee of the Colonial Dames of America in the State of South Carolina, 1998


35-33 Clio Passenger Depot
Corner of Calhoun and Society Sts., Clio

This depot was built in 1915 by the Atlantic Coast Line Railway. The first railroad line in Clio was a branch of the Florence Railroad, extended here from Latta in 1895, with a freight depot on S. Main St. After the Atlantic Coast Line Railway absorbed the Florence Railroad it built this depot. A cotton boom spurred the dramatic growth of Clio between 1900 and 1920 but did not survive the Depression.  The Atlantic Coast Line Railway ended rail service to Clio in 1941 and removed the tracks along Calhoun Street. The Clio Woman’s Club persuaded the town to buy the depot, which has been a community center and has also housed the Woman’s Club, Clio Library, and Clio Fire Department. The depot, renovated in 2002, was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979 as part of the Clio Historic District.  Erected by the Town of Clio, 2003


35-34 J.F. Kinney House/P.M. Kinney House
123 S. Marlboro St., Bennettsville

J.F. Kinney House (Front)

This house was built as a one-story residence in 1902 for Dr. John Frank Kinney (1870-1928) and his wife Florence McLeod Kinney (1874-1936). They added a second story and wraparound porch in 1907 and raised their five children here. Kinney was educated at Wofford College and the Medical College of S.C. He was county physician for 28 years, served on the Bennettsville Board of Health, and was also president of the Pee Dee Medical Association.

P.M. Kinney House  (Front)

In 1929 J.F. Kinney’s son, Dr. Prentiss McLeod Kinney (1899-1977), bought this house; he lived here with his wife Adelaide Smith Kinney (1899-1984). Kinney, educated at Wofford, the U. of Ga., and the Medical College of S.C., practiced medicine in Marlboro County for more than 50 years. During World War II he commanded a company and a battalion in the U.S. Army in Europe. He willed this house to the county, and it became the Marlboro County Historical Museum in 1997.
Erected by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2007


35-35 Murchison School
Fayetteville Ave. & S. Marlboro St., Bennettsville

The Murchison School, built in 1902, was named for John D. Murchison (1826-1892), a merchant and the first mayor of Bennettsville. It was given to the city in his memory by his widow, former teacher Harriet Murchison Beckwith (1855-1927). This Romanesque Revival school features a central bell tower with a terra cotta tablet over its ornate arched entrance. It was designed by Denver architect John J. Huddart and built by contractor W.T. Wilkins of Florence.  Murchison School was an elementary and high school from 1902 to 1918, when Bennettsville High School was built next to it, and an elementary school from 1918 until it closed in 1989. The auditorium has hosted many civic events, club meetings, and theater productions. During World War II its balcony was renovated to house a dual library for this school and Bennettsville High after the high school burned. The balcony was later restored to its original appearance.  Erected by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2008


35-36 Ammons Family Cemetery
U.S. Hwy. 15-401E, between Bennettsville & Tatum, Bennettsville vicinity

The family cemetery of Joshua Ammons (1756-1833), veteran of the American Revolution, is all that remains of his 500-acre plantation near the Three Creeks. Ammons, a native of Virginia, moved to S.C. by 1775, when he enlisted in the 3rd S.C. Militia. Ammons reenlisted in 1777, and was in the battles of Savannah and Stono Ferry and the Siege of Savannah in 1777-1779.  Ammons, captured by the British at the fall of Charleston in 1780, was exchanged in time for the siege of Yorktown and the British surrender there in 1781. An early history of Marlboro County praised him for his “great firmness of character and solid worth.” Ammons, a longtime member of Beauty Spot Baptist Church, received a veteran’s pension shortly before his death in 1833.  Erected by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2011


35-37 Palmer Field/Capt. William White Palmer
S.C. Hwy. 9 West near its intersection with Beauty Spot Rd. West (S.C. Sec. Rd. 35-47, Bennettsville

Palmer Field (Front)

Palmer Field, originally Marlboro Aviation School, operated here from Oct. 1941 to Nov. 1944 as a primary training facility for the U.S. Army Air Corps during World War II. Civilian flight instructors led cadets through a 9-week course in PT-17 Stearman biplanes. The 55th Army Air Corps Flying Training Detachment trained 6,410 pilots here; 4,769, or 73%, graduated.

Capt. William White Palmer (Reverse)

Flight training ended here in late 1944, but the field briefly housed German POWs in 1945. In 1943 the field had been renamed for Capt. William White Palmer (1895-1934), Bennettsville native and World War I pilot. Palmer, in Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker’s 94th Aero Squadron, was awarded the Distinguished Service Cross and Croix de Guerre for gallantry in aerial combat.
Erected by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2011


35-38 “The Gulf”
Bennettsville

This area has been the center of the African-American business district and a popular gathering place since the late 19th century. It has been called “the Gulf” since about 1925. Its most prominent early figure was E.J. Sawyer, Jr. (1854-1929), who was born a slave in N.C. and came here about 1869. Sawyer, postmaster 1883-85 and 1892-93, was also principal of the Colored Graded School 1878-1893, and editor of the Pee Dee Educator 1890-1900.  The block of Market St. going W from Liberty St. to Cheraw St. got its name from the large Gulf Oil Company sign at Everybody’s Service Station. That station, on the corner of N. Liberty and W. Market Sts., was long owned by J.D. “Bud” McLeod. Heber E. Covington (1887-1952) ran a popular cafe next door for many years, as well as a taxi service. The street was often blocked off at night on the weekends for dancers enjoying the latest recorded or live music.  Sponsored by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2012


35-39 Marlboro Training High School
Bennettsville

This school, built in 1928 and founded by the Marlboro Educational Society, was the first high school for black students in the county. It was accredited by the state as a four-year high school by 1939. An elementary and high school 1928-1956, it included students in grades 1-11 until 1948 and added grade 12 in 1949. It was an elementary school 1956-1972, then was a child development center for the school district until 1987.  The Colonial Revival school was designed by Bennettsville architect Henry Dudley Harrall (1878-1959). It was also called Marlboro County Training High School. Charles D. Wright, Sr., principal here from 1929 to his death in 1949, was its longest-serving principal, responsible for many advances in its curriculum. This building has housed a local non-profit community center since 1988.  Sponsored by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2012


35-40 Great Pee Dee Presbyterian Church/Pee Dee Missionary Baptist Church
Just S of the intersection of S.C. Hwy. 38 S and Coxe Rd. W, Monroe Crossroads

Great Pee Dee Presbyterian Church (Front)

This church, built in 1834, was organized by Rev. Archibald McQueen and is the oldest church building in Marlboro County. Notable features include its cupola and the fanlights over the entrance. It was the mother church for Bennettsville (1855) and Blenheim Presbyterian (1888), and was replaced by those churches.

Pee Dee Missionary Baptist Church (Reverse)

In 1891 the church was sold to black Baptists who renamed it Pee Dee Union Baptist Church. It was later renamed Pee Dee Missionary Baptist Church. Rev. Furman D. Peterkin, its first pastor, served here to 1927. This church, remodeled in 1945, was replaced by New Pee Dee Missionary Baptist Church, built in 2008.
Sponsored by the Marlborough Historical Society, 2014