Piedmont Tour

The South Carolina African American Heritage Commission suggests the following trip itinerary through York County and Rock Hill, just south of Charlotte, NC, to enrich your vacation in South Carolina. Trips like this are outstanding, day-long excursions suitable for family reunions, fraternity / sorority get-togethers, meetings and other gatherings. A link to a route mapped out in Mapquest.com is at the bottom of the page. For details about other day-trips, including best practices for trip planning, click here.

9 a.m. Dori’s Peach Farm and Roadside Market – 2101 Filbert Highway, York – 803-684-9156
For Dori Sanders, the farming life and the writing life go hand in hand. It’s that richness of place that serves as a wellspring for her writings. A best selling author, Dori has been featured in Gourmet magazine (August 2004) and Southern Lady magazine (July 2004). Dori can be found most days, from Memorial Day to Labor Day, at her family’s peach stand in Filbert, South Carolina, selling peaches and autographing her books.
Time at site – 45 minutes
10:15 a.m. Elias Hill, the Clay Hill Community and Allison Creek Presbyterian Church – 5780 Allison Creek Road, York – 803-366-1302
Paramount is the Clay Hill community that centers around the life of Elias Hill, a formerly enslaved man who led the migration of freed slaves from York County to Liberia, Africa, in 1871. Hill and his followers were victimized by the Klan during the Reconstruction Era, and before he left, he testified before a Congressional committee on the atrocities they had suffered. An on-site state marker at Allison Creek Presbyterian Church (c.1854) commemorates Elias Hill and the Liberian migration. It is the only historic marker in the state that mentions the Klan. In the woods nearby is a historical graveyard that contains remains from former African American slaves and free people. The graveyard has been restored with markers and walking paths. The church is home to the annual “Let the Land Say Amen” festival. Guided tours of the church and its historic cemetery, as well as a short film on the history of the church and its connection to Liberia, are available.
Time at site — 30 minutes
11:15 a.m. Friendship School – 445 Allen Street, Rock Hill
Friendship School was incorporated in 1906. During the 41-year tenure of President James A Goudlock, Friendship College reorganized at three levels—an elementary school (grades 1-8), a high school, and a junior college. In 1978 the school received state approval for four-year programs in accounting, business administration and economics. Friendship College made headlines in 1961 when a group of students staged a sit-in at a segregated lunch counter in Rock Hill. Jailed, the students refused bail. In this they established a Civil Rights strategy called “Jail No Bail” and became known as the “Friendship Nine.”
Time at site – 15 minutes (the college no longer operates)
11:45 a.m. McCrory’s Five and Dine – 137 East Main Street, Rock Hill – 803-328-3463
*MARKER* — This historic *marker stands in front of historic McCrory’s Five & Dine, where on Feb. 12, 1960, black students from Friendship Jr. College in Rock Hill were denied service at the lunch counter but refused to leave. On Jan. 31, 1961, 10 students from Friendship Jr. College were arrested when they refused to leave McCrory’s. Nine would not pay their fines and became the first Civil Rights sit-in protesters in the nation to serve jail time. This new “Jail No Bail” strategy by the “Friendship Nine” was soon adopted as the model strategy for the Freedom Rides of 1961.
Time at site — 1 hour
LUNCH at McCrory’s Five and Dine or The Yolk (Rock Hill) or Jasmine Café (York)
1:30 p.m. Historic Brattonsville – 1444 Brattonsville Road, McConnells – 803-684-2327
Historic Brattonsville presents the history of the Scots-Irish and African Americans in the South Carolina upcountry largely through preserving and interpreting the story of the Bratton community. This site has more than 30 historic structures from the 1760s to the late 19th century, including an original brick slave cabin. This site celebrates the rich heritage of African Americans in an annual program entitled “By the Sweat of Our Brows.” During this powerful program, visitors have the opportunity to learn about the enslaved community of Brattonsville as well as meet and hear from descendants of those who were once enslaved here.
Time at site – 2 hours
Mapquest route itinerary — https://www.mapquest.com/directions/from/us/south-carolina/york/29745-8770/2101-filbert-hwy-35.048566,-81.254517/to/us/south-carolina/york/29745-7638/5780-allison-creek-rd-35.040522,-81.101921/to/us/south-carolina/rock-hill/29730-3923/401-allen-st-34.929555,-81.036482/to/us/south-carolina/rock-hill/29730-4539/137-e-main-st-34.925446,-81.026728/to/us/south-carolina/mc-connells/29726-8768/1444-brattonsville-rd-34.864889,-81.175561