South Carolina

Ella’s Grove – Centenary, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Marion County Photos  |  Ella’s Grove

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.”

Jerri S. White of Marion, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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.

Ella's Grove

Linda Brown of Kingstree, 2015 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

We would like to make this page better. Do you have information about Ella’s Grove that you would like to share? If so, please send it to the South Carolina Picture Project. Thank you!

More Pictures of Ella’s Grove

Ella's Grove Davis Building

Kenneth Malcom of Summerville, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ella's Grove Commercial Building

Kenneth Malcom of Summerville, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Davis Buildings

BJ Thurman of Conway, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

BF Davis Ella' Grove Plantation Store

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

BF Davis Ella' Grove Plantation Store

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ella's Grove Plantation Stores

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Davis Store Ella's Grove Plantation

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Davis Store Sign Detail

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Davis Plantation Ella's Grove Entrance

Brandon Coffey of Charleston, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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.”

Linda Brown of Kingstree says, “These three old buildings seemed to me to be basking in the sunlight of a warm January afternoon. If only their walls could talk.”

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.”

Add your own reflections here.

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

Ella’s Grove – Add Info and More Photos

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!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

8 Comments about Ella’s Grove

Andre WilsonNo Gravatar says:
March 15th, 2018 at 4:40 pm

Darlene, I know your family. They lived behind the store. My family the Pee lived back there also.

Bluizer GreeneNo Gravatar says:
December 30th, 2017 at 9:35 pm

I am doing ancestral research on my grandfather Walker Finklea and in the notes we found that his grandmother Dahlia Davis was owned by Jim Davis Sr. Is Jim a relative of B.F. Davis? Any information you could provide on any of the slaves the Davis family may have owned will be greatly appreciated. Thanks for your help and thank you for sharing the photos.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
March 26th, 2014 at 8:31 am

Hi Garrin! If you would like to submit photos to the South Carolina Picture Project, just go to ‘SC Photos’ at the top of the page on the right, and it will guide you through. Thank you for commenting!

GarrinNo Gravatar says:
March 25th, 2014 at 9:44 pm

I was up there the other day and took a few pictures, but not sure how to share them on here. I did see a bunch of old barns behind these three but didn’t get pics. Can go back if needed.

Andre WilsonNo Gravatar says:
March 15th, 2018 at 4:38 pm

Send me your relative’s name and I’ll trace your history. I’m from Centenary and my family lives on the Davis farm. Email me your contact info. You too, Ms. Greene.

DARLENE JOHNSONNo Gravatar says:
January 28th, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Hi, I was looking up information on Centenary where my mom was born and raised, her maiden name is Williams. She talked a lot about a man named Mr. Davis who owned the land her family lived on. She is 90 years old now and I believe she has pictures of the old house she grew up in.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
April 13th, 2011 at 9:59 am

Hi Brent! We are so glad that you enjoyed the photo, and so far this is our only photograph of the barns. Hopefully, SCIWAY visitors will send us some more in the future!

BrentNo Gravatar says:
April 12th, 2011 at 5:58 pm

These photos bring forth several emotions. My grandmother as well as my mother, six aunts, and one uncle were born and raised in these very barns. Thanks for the photo and how can I view more?

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