(Black PR Wire) LINCOLNVILLE, SOUTH CAROLINA --- As the world focuses on February as Black History Month, in Lincolnville, SC, every day is a celebration of Black excellence and history. The parcels of land that sit on the border of Charleston and Dorchester Counties as the nucleus of surrounding Summerville and Ladson subdivisions are an extraordinary gem of American history.
Like the pristine waters of the ebb and flowing creeks from the Ashley River through Lincolnville, the town’s journey travels through many eras of American History. The Charleston-Hamburg Railway was the longest track of rail (136 miles) in the world when it was completed in 1833. The Charleston-Hamburg Railway ran straight through Pump Pond, which would be renamed ‘Lincolnville’ by Bishop Cain 34 years later. On October 3, 1832, these rail tracks carried the first steam engine locomotive as well as the first passenger train in America. The train ran from Line Street in Charleston to Summerville. Today, the history of the pre-Civil War, innovative railway system can be heard thundering through Lincolnville four times daily 191 years later.
The Charleston-Hamburg Railway was central to the growth of South Carolina’s economy in the 1800s; and vital transportation for the Confederate Army during the Civil War. No doubt the builders of these tracks and locomotive operators were enslaved men who perhaps lay at-rest in Lincolnville’s historical cemeteries, namely Bible Sojourn and Hamburg Cemeteries.
Two years after the Civil War ended and the beginning of the Reconstruction Era, Lincolnville was founded in 1867 and incorporated in 1887, making it one of the oldest African American towns in the State of South Carolina. The town’s founder, Bishop Richard Harvey Cain, was among the first elected African Americans from South Carolina to the US House of Representative in 1872 during Reconstruction. It would be 98 years later in 1970, during the Civil Rights Era when Herbert U. Fielding would become the first African American elected to the South Carolina House of Representative since the Reconstruction Era.
Herbert Fielding, son of Julius and Sadie Fielding, spent many of his childhood days in Lincolnville at his family home. His father, founder of Fielding Home for Funerals in Charleston purchased land and built a home in Lincolnville. Located on the corner of Dunmeyer Hill Road and Lincoln Ave (across from the Community Garden), the Fielding home was the gathering place for many strategic meetings hosted by the Honorable Herbert Fielding for South Carolina Democratic members, including young Congressman James E. Clyburn, now serving in the US House of Representative as the Assistant Democratic Leader.
One of the many crown jewels of history in Lincolnville is the Rosenwald School, now operating as the Charles Ross Municipal Building located at 141 W. Broad Street. Julius Rosenwald, son of a German immigrant who rose to become president of Sears & Roebuck in 1908 partnered with his dear friend Booker T. Washington, Founding President of Tuskegee University, to build schools throughout the South for African American children. During the Jim Crow Era, education was not provided for African American children in the rural South. Julius Rosenwald provided funds for over 5,357 school buildings – one of those schools was Lincolnville Elementary School built in 1923.
Black History IS Lincolnville! For more information, visit www.lincolnvillesc.org. or call 914-376-1119