City Directories and History: R&R has divided the 1930’s SCDOT map of Beaufort County into (36) sectional maps. Many of the individually listed schools and churches shown on this section are pictured. However, in many cases, the individual site also has its own post on R&R, which often provides added information and image. Be wise and use the search function to locate all of the entries for this and other homeplace listings.
The Cherry Hill School, built ca. 1937, is significant as a building associated with the development of African-American education during segregation in South Carolina. The school operated until all African-American children attended the new consolidated elementary school in 1954. The community that organized, purchased the property, built, helped maintain, and attended the school was comprised of the descendants of the former-slave town of Mitchelville, the first community to mandate education in the South. At the time of construction of the Cherry Hill School, the island was still an isolated, largely undeveloped, unincorporated portion of Beaufort County. The Cherry Hill School is the first and only freestanding, purpose-built schoolhouse for African-American children on Hilton Head Island. When the Cherry Hill School was built, there were three other black elementary schools in privately owned buildings serving the various black neighborhoods on Hilton Head Island. However, none met in buildings specifically built as schools. The Cherry Hill School had the smallest enrollment of the black elementary schools on the island. The number of children enrolled specifically in the Cherry Hill School numbered from 27-32, with one teacher. The building is a simple, gable-front rectangular one-room frame and weatherboard-sided schoolhouse on an open brick-pier foundation. The interior remains much as it did when the building opened. While the building was a public elementary school from 1937 to 1954 it was owned by the Beaufort County School District. The St. James Baptist Church purchased the school in 1956. The church extended and renovated the building in 1984. Listed in the National Register November 21, 2012.
Click this link to view the original SCDOT maps of Beaufort County: BeaufortCoSCDOT.
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