Forgotten Pee Dee cemeteries found by historians
DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina historians are trying to shed light on five forgotten cemeteries in the state’s Pee Dee region.
WMBF-TV reports that the Darlington County Historical Commission and Clemson Professor Jim Frederick located the five graveyards near Dargan’s Pond on current Clemson property.
The experts identified two African American cemeteries, two Native American burial grounds and a graveyard that dates back to the Revolutionary War.
One of the sites is the cemetery of Cpt. William Standard, who was deeded land in Darlington County for his heroic service during the Revolutionary War.
The pair of Native American burial grounds could date back more than 500 years.
And one of the African American cemeteries is connected to one of the county’s oldest African American church congregations, the historians said. It started shortly after emancipation and was connected to the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church, where it was active until the church moved locations in the 1950s.
“It relates to an African American congregation that is one of the oldest congregations in Darlington County,” he said. “They lost their connection in a very unique way and I believe there’s three factors to that.”
The historians say they are now working to identify individuals in the old church cemetery.
“We’re going to try and identify as many of the individuals in the cemetery as we can,” historian Brian Gandy told the TV station. “Because every one of them has worth, value and importance and contributed to what we now have as Darlington County citizens.”