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KC Historical Society to unveil new Tiller's Ferry marker

Posted: September 27, 2011 4:52 p.m.
Updated: September 28, 2011 5:00 a.m.

The Kershaw County Historical Society will unveil its latest roadside historical marker Sunday at the site of the Tiller’s Ferry community in Bethune.

The public is invited to the program beginning at 3 p.m. at the intersection of Stagecoach Road and Bethune Road (S.C. 341) to highlight the history of the community and the ferry.

Located just below the fork where the Little Lynches River joins the Big Lynches River, the ferry provided a means of crossing the river, transporting humans, animals and a variety of crops, merchandise and baggage for trade and travel until a bridge was built. 

In 1760, Joseph Tiller received a land grant in that area located on the travel routes from Camden to Cheraw and from there to towns farther north.

A settlement formed in the area, named for the Tiller family who began and operated the ferry in 1791 after Joseph Tiller petitioned for the right to run it. Within a year the ferry was part of a road connecting Peterborough, Va., through Fayetteville, N.C., to Augusta, Ga. Eventually a bridge was built, and a church and post office were established.

During the Revolutionary War, British troops camped there for a short time while pursuing Thomas Sumter. In the final days of the Civil War, Sherman’s troops camped at Tiller’s Ferry while waiting orders to cross the Lynches River.

Tiller family descendants still live in the area, and many members have contributed to the construction of this marker. Carroll King, the senior Tiller descendant, will unveil the marker. Historian Harvey Teal will present a short program on the history of this long unmarked historical site.

Community members are invited to join the historical society for this occasion. The site can be reached by taking U.S. 1 North to Stagecoach Road and turning right or by travelling north on U.S. 1 to Bethune and turning right on S.C. 341.

A tent and chairs, as well as refreshments and displays, will be located at the site. The program is free and open to the public.

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