The area surrounding Francis Marion University is very rich in African American history. The African-American Sites at Mars Bluff include nine sites for you to visit.
The hewn-timber cabins, dating back to the 1830s, are located on campus and are typically considered the start of the Mars Bluff sites. The cabins were built by and lived in by the enslaved. See Ms. Ellison’s house where she grew rice in her side yard. Ms. Ellison is the only female rice grower out of the 17 African American rice growers in Mars Bluff.
Before you leave campus, you can walk over to the Old Cemetery site. Another site at Mars Bluff is the Mount Zion Rosenwald schoolhouse. One of the few Rosenwald schools still standing in the region, this school was built in 1925 and was used until 1955.
Before leaving Mars Bluff, be sure to see the Mt. Zion Cemetery, Jamestown cemetery, rice fields, a tenant house, and the old lodge. Each site has a story to tell that gives us a glimpse into what life was like for an African American slave in this region.
4822 East Palmetto Street
Florence, SC 29506
Interpretive signs open during daylight