Ella’s Grove – Centenary, South Carolina
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These photos show the Ella’s Grove area of Centenary in lower Marion County. The weather-beaten brick building to the left is one of the last of a vanishing breed – the country general merchandise store. In 1975, the Florence Morning News detailed the history of the brick building, writing “If you need a collar for your mule, a cast iron frying pan, a pair of blue jeans, or a pack of potato chips, the Davis Brothers store at Centenary is where you can find it.”
The buildings are what is left of Ella’s Grove Plantation, established by Benjamin Franklin “B.F.” Davis and named for his first wife, Gabriella “Ella” Jenkins Davis. Davis was a Civil War veteran who was captured by Federal troops and paroled after the war upon pledging his allegiance to the Union. Following the war, Ella’s Grove continued as a farm, and a series of buildings, seen here, sold and stored goods for the community.
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More Pictures of Ella’s Grove
Reflections on Centenary
BJ Thurman of Conway, who contributed the exquisite photo of the Davis buildings above, also sent the following info: “This is a photo of two old store buildings on the BF Davis Plantation known as Ella’s Grove in Centenary, SC. Centenary is located in lower Marion County. The old home, built circa 1850 is no longer on the property as it was moved to Marion in 1889.”
Jerri S. White of Marion, who took the lovely shot at the top of this page, writes this: “The photo was taken for a tour of the Centenary area of Marion County by the Pee Dee Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society. The following is an excerpt from tour notes: “The business was founded on January 1, 1867, by B. F. Davis, the grandfather of the present owner, a few miles east of the present location at Dog Bluff on Little Pee Dee River. There was no railroad transportation in the area at the time, and roads were poor, so supplies for the store had to be brought up the river on barges. A few years later, however, land transport had improved, and Davis moved his operations to the population center of the community, to the present site. The frame building which Davis built here as his second store still stands on the site, and is used by the present owners as a warehouse. The present brick store building was built by him (James Clement Davis) in 1915.”
Kenneth Malcom of Summerville, who contributed two photos to this page, shares: “I love to run the back roads of South Carolina and other states and document history through photographs. I stumbled across this gem during one of those excursions. It was truly like stepping back in time.”
Ella’s Grove Info
Address: No Name Road off South Carolina Highway 41, Centenary, SC 29571
GPS Coordinates: 34.006186,-79.343991
Ella’s Grove Map
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The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Ella’s Grove, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!