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Elgins parks officially named for Potter, Grooms families
Elgin Park WEB
Potter Community Park (picture here) and Grooms Garden are the two new names for public properties in the Elgin Community. Elgin Town Council is working on plans further develop the properties for community use. - photo by Tenell Felder

Residents can now use formal names to refer to two parks in the Elgin Community.

Potter Community Park is the name given to a property located on the corner of Green Hill Road and Main Street. Grooms Garden is the name for a property located next to the Elgin branch of the Kershaw County Library.

Emmons asked council to consider naming the properties during an Elgin Town Council meeting in April.

“Not only would this give the park an official name but it would be a way to honor people who gave back to the community,” Emmons said at the time.

Emmons suggested names to council and asked the public for their input through different venues, including the town of Elgin’s Facebook page. Potter Community Park and Grooms Garden received the majority of support.

Both parks are named after families in the Elgin community -- families who have put much into the town over the years.

Potter Community Park is named in honor of the Potter family. The late Ernest Christian Potter Jr. served as Mayor of Elgin. One of his sons, John Potter, served as the chief of the Lugoff Fire Department; his other son, the late Chris Potter, served as a Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office deputy. Chris Potter was killed in the line of duty in February 1974. Patti Potter Coleman is the sister of John and Chris Potter.

Elgin Town Council officially announced the names during its May meeting. Jeannie Potter, Chris Potter’s widow, thanked council for honoring her late husband and her family by naming one of the parks after them.

The property next to the Elgin library is named Grooms Garden in honor of Viola Grooms, the wife of the late Elgin Mayor Paul Grooms. Mrs. Grooms tended the garden.

Kershaw Library Service Specialist Hannah Gustafson liked the idea of naming the property after Mrs. Grooms.

“That sounds like a nice idea. It is an honor to have it named after her,” Gustafson said.

Gustafson also shared that she would like to see the area made into a place where children could play.

“We want to rejuvenate what she (Mrs. Grooms) planted there … she was thrilled and so excited about the name but what bothered her was that she wasn’t able to get out and work it. I told her, ‘But you’ve already done that, we want to give back to you,’” Emmons said.

Elgin Town Council has plans for further developing the two parks.

Power has already been run to Potter Community Park by Fairfield Electric, doing so at no cost to the town.

Council is also working on getting a covered stage area for Potter Community Park it hopes will be used by the community for birthdays and other events.

“I would love to also put in a walking trail or playground. The problem is lack of funds but the families immediately jumped on board and wanted to assist us,” Emmons said on fundraising for the community parks.

Emmons says that the town hopes to have the stage area in place by December -- just in time for Elgin’s tree lighting ceremony and the Catfish Stomp.

Council also hopes that the properties will foster a feeling of community in Elgin.

“To give it a name gives it character … it makes that property a special place. I always tell people that’s what Elgin is about … we are a small town but we have a big heart. Anytime tragedy comes through we reach out and I just think it’s time to thank those who made us what we are today. It didn’t just happen overnight -- people invested their lives into this community,” Emmons said.