Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Rich Hill

Marker ID: SCHM 30-12
Location: corner of E. Hampton and Silver Sts., Laurens, SC
County: Laurens
Style: Free Standing **


This African-American neighborhood, roughly bounded by N. Caroline St., E. Hampton St., Laurel St., and E. Laurens St., was an uncleared forest owned by James H. Irby and then N.B. Dial before the Civil War. After 1865 so many freedmen and women bought lots and built homes here that by the 1880s the area was called “Rich Hill.” The historic houses here, most from the first half of the 20th century, reflect such architectural styles as Queen Anne and Craftsman.

Bethel A.M.E. Church, founded in 1868, and St. Paul First Baptist Church, founded in 1877, anchor this neighborhood. The present Bethel A.M.E. Church was built in 1910 and the present St. Paul First Baptist Church was built in 1912. Both are brick Romanesque Revival churches designed and built by local contractor Columbus White. St. Paul First Baptist Church also housed the first black public school in Laurens County until 1937.

Erected by the Piedmont Rural Telephone Cooperative, 2006