Local History

  • History

    To assist community members with this work, we are sharing background research about the community locations where the new schools will be constructed:

    The Daimler Property, where High School #2 and Elementary School #8 will be constructed, is located off Liberty Hill Road. CSD has referred to the land it owns as “the Daimler Property” because it is on Daimler Boulevard. The road was named for a company that owned land in the area but never constructed a corporate presence there. York County currently has plans to change the name of the road from “Daimler Boulevard” to “Cannonball Run.”

    “Cannonball Run” is a nod toward one of two men who received royal land grants in the area in the decade prior to the Revolutionary War. One land grant went to Andrew Allison for whom Allison Creek is presumably named. The second went to Col. William “Billy” Hill.

    Col. Hill and Isaac Hayne operated Hill’s Iron Works. Hill and Hayne used iron from the Nanny’s Mountain area to manufacture cannons, ammunition and swords which they sold to the patriots. A group calling themselves “Patriots of York County” met at the Iron Works in June 1780 and resolved to fight for independence, despite threats from the British. On June 18, 1780, the iron works was destroyed in an attack by the British. Seven people were killed, Hayne was captured and later released and Hill escaped to fight four weeks later in Brattonsville. Hill would later serve as a judge in York County and was the first state senator York County sent to the legislature. He served multiple terms in both the state House and Senate. Hill is buried in the Bethel Cemetery. In 1958, school children in the area raised funds to provide a marker for his grave.

    Enslaved labor was used at Hill’s Iron Works. A family of three enslaved people who used the Hill surname–a father whose name is unknown, a mother named Dorcas Hill and their son named Elias Hill– bought themselves out of bondage in 1840. Elias Hill overcame a paralyzing medical condition to become a teacher, preacher and civil rights leader. Hill led the community of freedmen called Clay Hill. The community’s cemetery is behind the Allison Creek Presbyterian Church Cemetery. This community of freedmen was persecuted by the Ku Klux Klan, and Hill testified before Congress about the atrocities committed by them. Elias Hill ultimately led the migration of freed slaves to Liberia in 1871. 

    Hands Mill is the name given to Hwy. 274. It is named after A.S. Hand, who operated a corn and flour mill at the site. Mr. Hand deeded over a piece of land for local organizations to construct a monument to William Hill in 1919. [Paragraph added 10/25/23.]

    Another historical event, the Battle of Bigger’s Ferry, occurred in the Lake Wylie area as well. During this battle, patriot forces under the command of Thomas Sumpter, held off advancing British forces. Bigger’s Ferry was one of many crossings on the Catawba River and was roughly in the area of Mason’s Ford Road. The Battle of Bigger’s Ferry is considered a minor skirmish that preceded the larger Battle of King’s Mountain by a few days. 

    The Clover community also operated segregated schools prior to desegregation. The first of those was known as “Flatrock.”  A second school was opened. Its original name is unknown, but it was later called “McKnight School” in honor of one of its principals, H.J. McKnight. The McKnight School would later become known as “Roosevelt High School.” Roosevelt High School was open from 1952 until 1970. Their colors were blue and gold, and their mascot was the Golden Tigers.

    Laney School also served the Clover African-American community. It was located at the convergence of Hwys. 557, 274 and 49. [Paragraph added 10/25/23.]

    Prior to the creation of Lake Wylie, much of the community in the area was called “Concord.” Two brothers, Dr. Walker Gill Wylie and Dr. Robert H. Wylie, teamed up with another pair of brothers who were civil engineers, William Church Whitner and Frank C. Whitner, to construct the first dam on the Catawba River at India Hook Shoals in 1900. The dam was destroyed in a flood in 1901, and the Wylies ran short of money to reconstruct it. Walker Gill Wylie turned to one of his patients, James Buchanan Duke, for additional funding to complete the project. The hydroelectric station began operations in 1904, but the dam would be destroyed again in the Great Flood of 1916. A new facility was constructed in 1924. The lake would ultimately be named “Wylie” in honor of the men who first had the idea for constructing the dam.