Fun Stop: South Carolina Cotton Trail

Stretching from Bishopville, off I-20, to Bennettsville, off I-95, South Carolina

Much more than the premier crop, cotton shaped the fabric of Southern culture and life for hundreds of years. Spanning eight towns rich in history and character, this sweeping trail traces its thread of influence.

The trail begins at Bishopville, home to the South Carolina Cotton Museum. Capturing the toil and spirit of tenant farmers, it features a life-size replica of a farmhouse, with original furnishings from “shotgun houses.” Nearby is a working cotton gin.

Hartsville features beautifully restored houses, including one seized by the Yankees during the Civil War. Transformed into enemy headquarters for two days, the Jacob Kelly House now hosts living-history demonstrations.

Society Hill claims the state’s only working commercial rice plantation: the Carolina Plantation. It is also home to lending libraries built in 1822.

One of South Carolina’s oldest and loveliest towns, Cheraw, is named for the Cheraw tribe. Its attractions include Old St. David’s Anglican Church, built in 1770—and the last “state” church decreed by King George III.

Bennettsville was once famous for its rich, fertile soil. Along with a local history museum and stunning antebellum homes, it boasts a unique church, the Evans Metropolitan AME Zion Church, founded in 1867 by African Americans recently freed from slavery.

The towns of Chesterfield, Clio, and Darlington are also on the trail.

Call for hours; some admission fees.

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