Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Jamestown, SC - Pop. 72


West and south of Georgetown is Jamestown, settled by French Huguenots in 1706.  Fleeing from France to England and England to America, these religious asylum seekers were granted land in the cypress swamps of what would become South Carolina.
 Three large plantations were built and thrived for many years, but the town itself never had more than 270 people.  
Now, it has 72.
A train passed through town to pick up indigo, then rice, then cotton, and take them to America's first canal and load them on canal boats, then on to the river where they were reloaded on steamboats bound for the markets of Charleston.



The old elementary school for black children, built in the 1920s and abandoned in the 1960s when school desegregation became law, is one of the few buildings left.  Money to build it came from Julius Rosenwald, Sears Roebuck magnate, at the urging of Booker T. Washington.  Some say it was generosity on Rosenwald's part but others believe he had a different motive: to teach Blacks to read so they could purchase things from his merchandise catalog.  
 Empty now, it was used as a community center for awhile and then abandoned once again.
 

Sign on the door: 
No Concealed Weapons


 

The old Sea Board Coast Line Railroad depot is now headquarters for the town's annual celebration, Hell Hole Swamp Festival.  (That really is the name of one of swamps in town, along with Four Hole Swamp and some other with less picturesque names!)






On the outskirts of town, remnants of efforts to make a living silently decay.
 
 The Riverside Cafe (no river in sight) is still looking for a new owner (yellow real estate sign on the right).  Once it offered "Regular Meals and Short Orders," and a place for travelers to stop on their way to Charleston.  One can only imagine the condition of the inside.
 



The bones of a produce stand, a large blanket with a photo of a baby behind I suspect is a grownup by now.



 







 
 
 
Home of a cotton or peanut farmer on the highway to Charleston.

Jamestown ... just another small forgotten South Carolina town.


 





16 comments:

  1. How far do those residents have to go for groceries?

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    1. I'm not exactly sure, maybe 20-30 minutes. There was an attempt to get a Dollar General to come to town a few years back, and there are two gas stations in town that have staples. One gas station even has a small Subway inside. The only other "store" left was a good sized pawn shop/pay day loan place. So sad.

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  2. Lots of decaying little towns like this in the south.

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  3. Very depressing to see these sights.
    It is great that in your blog you show "warts and all" - no
    just the "pretty, tidy" stuff.
    There is unfortunately another world out there, eh?
    Well done
    Colin

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  4. Missed my "T" on the "not just the pretty, tidy stuff".
    Colin

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  5. My French Huguenot ancestors arrived in Charleston in the early 1700s. They eventually moved inland to Abbeville, where my great great grandfather was born. One of these days, I'll take a road trip from Michigan to SC. I've read that one of the churches (can't recall which one off hand) in downtown Charleston has a memorial plaque to one of my Cortes relatives on it. Got a few more years before I retire and can take extended vacations.

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    1. How interesting. Let us know when you are coming!

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  6. History passes by some these areas. It's interesting to find out about their way of life.

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  7. Forgotten towns, sad really for once life thrived there - once -.
    People move out, no work and I expect it's the same there...
    Interesting post and photos.

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  8. Such a shame to see a town in decline and neglect. Lets hope that the history of the town will not be lost.

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  9. I have French Huguenot ancestry but they came to PA. What a sad shape that town is in.

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  10. How those 72 families are surviving there?? the condition makes me sad.. :(

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  11. It is sad to see how the once lively places are abandoned and in declaine now.

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  12. What a lonely, sad looking place. Sure makes me appreciate what little we have.

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  13. I bet that Cafe was a booming place in it's day. Thanks for a peek into it's history! :)

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