City Directories and History: R&R has divided the 1939 SCDOT map of Pickens County into (22) 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.
Soapstone and Liberia
A few miles northeast of Pumpkintown is a blue soapstone quarry from which thousands of grave markers have been cut. This old stone quarry is in the midst of an area that was named Liberia, following the emancipation of the slaves. The citizens of the Oolenoy Valley around Pumpkintown were of a very high class, and when the Negroes were freed these white men assisted their former servants in getting located and placed, in most cases, on lands of their own. The area in which they settled near the old stone quarry was named ‘Liberia,” signifying a free area, simulating the Liberia of Africa of 1847. At the soapstone quarry the Negroes built, with the assistance of their former masters, a church. Later the county established a public school here. Both church and school were given the name “Soapstone.” It was then “Soapstone Church” and “Soapstone School” –
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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