Cherry Hill Classroom – Moncks Corner, South Carolina
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The historic Cherry Hill community – located along a quiet country road just a few miles from Moncks Corner – is home to one of only three former one-room schoolhouses in Berkeley County. Known as the Cherry Hill Classroom, this building dates to 1876 and served a dual purpose as both church and school. The land on which it stands was donated by John Campbell. The school served African-American students from first grade through sixth grade and was originally led by teachers Aaron Cooper and St. Julien (also spelled St. Julian) Manigault. Due to a lack of desks, early students completed schoolwork on their laps while siting on benches or the floor.
By the 1920s, attendance at the Cherry Hill Classroom had grown large enough to merit a one-room addition. Mary Ann Cooper donated the extra land, and the first teachers in the expanded school were Daisy Pasley and Pansy Cooper. Cherry Hill became a public school in the twentieth century and operated until the 1954-55 school year, when many rural schools consolidated.
The school sat abandoned and in disrepair for years before a group of former Cherry Hill students, who remain residents of the community, undertook its restoration. In 2003 Ethel Hill, Juanita Lee Hamilton, Edward Fashion, Alma Brown, and Flora and David Gethers, among others, formed a task force to preserve the dilapidated schoolhouse. The group succeeded, and by 2011 the historic building had been rechristened the Cherry Hill Community Center. It is now used as a gathering place for locals as well as a landmark for visitors in search of African-American history.
The restoration did not include the addition of a bathroom, however, as such a facility was not original to the school. Instead, Berkley County received a $20,000 grant to build a separate restroom facility, which is expected to bring more people to the school for meetings as well as for historical study.
The Cherry Hill Classroom is the last historic structure left in the community. The other two one-room schoolhouses in Berkley County are the Whitesville School, now located within Old Santee Canal Park, and the old Cordesville Schoolhouse, which has been moved to Kensington Plantation in Huger and renovated as a residence.
Cherry Hill Classroom Info
Address: 1386 Old Cherry Hill Road, Moncks Corner, SC 29461
GPS Coordinates: 33.228693,-79.942895
Cherry Hill Classroom Map
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