Historic Markers Across South Carolina

Holly Hill

Marker ID:  
Location: intersection of State St (U.S. 176) and Depot St, Holly Hill, SC
County: Orangeburg
Coordinates: N 33° 19.327    W 080° 24.749
  33.32211666    -80.41248333


Holly Hill

The rural 19th Century village began as a sparsely settled community in historic St. James, Goose Creek Parish of the Charleston District. Following the revolutionary War, increased numbers of settlers entered the parish's backcountry where it bordered on Four Holes Swamp System. Many of these pioneers indentured themselves to Charleston merchants who held state land grants. Agreements were made to clear and plant the land, erect log cabins, or "harvest" pine sap for turpentine.

The sturdy, who preserved and survived malaria and yellow fever, amassed extensive land acquisitions. Bunch Ford Road (SC 314) [Marker picture included] provided passage across Four Holes to St. George Parish, Dorchester. The Old State Road (US 176) was an old Indian Trail that transversed the length of the settlement. It fell into the Old Gaillard Road (SC 27) that connected Charleston to Vance's Ferry on the Santee River. In 1800, Francis Asbury, a Methodist circuit rider and preacher, founded the area's first church around a stump pulpit. The church was located at the head of gate where tar and other naval products were processed. Through the years tar-gate became Target. Target Church was the center of the religious and social life and the Target Community grew and prospered. In 1855, the first school attracted many students. after the Civil War, a Reconstruction School reopened in the Target Community.

In 1823, increased stagecoach travel between Columbia and Charleston resulted in improved routing of the Old State Road. A more direct leg of road by-passed the Target Community. Also, in 1825, the Camden Road (SC 310) was constructed to fall into the new leg of the Old Stone Road. By 1827, Camden Fort Plantation was erected at this junction site, serving some 80 wagons around harvest time. Farmers quickly settled along these two new routes, Four ridges ("hills") crossed this section of the Old Stone Road. Holly trees were abundant. Mail arrived by horseback, twice weekly and the mail was addressed as Holly Hills - later Holly Hill. Visionary leaders saw the necessity for the settlement to have contact with more markets. In 1894, the state chartered the Eutawville Railroad to cross Four Holes Swamp. This 34-mile spur line connected Holly Hill, Eutawville, Vance, and Elloree to Charleston's then SC Railroad. In 1886, where the railroad crossed the Old Stone Road, the site for the rural hamlet of Holly Hill was defined. On December 1887, the village was chartered as the "Town of Holly Hill".

In 1868 the districts in South Carolina became counties. Holly Hill was named in Charleston County, but in 1880, it was replaced through legislation to be in Berkeley County. By 1910, the citizens of the greater Holly Hill area successfully voted its annexation into Orangeburg County.

(Top left picture)
Bennett House, Frank Culbertson, a NASA astronaut since 1985, spent his high school days in this house. Colbertson has logged over 6,000 hours flying time in 40 different types of aircraft, and 350 carrier landings.

(Lower left picture)
Sweatman's Bar-be-que affords a unique experience in rustic dining. Their menu features their national famed bar-be-que. Built in 1890's, Margie and R.O. Sweatman have preserved the best feature of this old home to create a delightful atmosphere. Located on Eutaw Road (SC 453).

(Lower picture)
The rural town, Holly Hill, incorporated in 1887, was built around a grove of Holly trees, The last tree from the grove, estimated to be 98 years old, was removed in 1957, but a replacement was planted as part of the South Carolina Tricentennial Celebration in 1970. ( Includes the SC Highway Marker "Holly Hill")

(Right pictures)
Target Church; McCoy School; Jeffers Home; SC Highway Marker "Holly Hill"

[Photo on the marker can be found on HMDB.org]

Erected by South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.