YORK COUNTY, S.C. — York County became home to South Carolina’s first historical marker that mentions the Ku Klux Klan.
While that is historic in itself, it’s the story of a group of emancipated slaves who are the key characters behind this piece of history.
Many people had their first chance to set their eyes on a piece honoring local history, but few could feel it more personally than Clarence Hill.
Hill's great-great-great grandfather, Solomon Hill, is among those honored, as well as the Rev. Elias Hill, who was emancipated and then terrorized by the KKK.
“It was nothing other than surreal,” Clarence Hill said. “This marker is a reminder of how far we have come as Americans; how far we have come from the day slaves were terrorized.”
The Rev. Hill led more than 150 emancipated slaves from York County to resettle in Liberia.
At a service Sunday morning, inside the historic Allison Creek Presbyterian Church, people gathered side-by-side with the goal of honoring shared history.
“It’s a story that people need to hear and that people are motivated to hear,” said pastor Sam McGregor, of Allison Creek Presbyterian Church.
For relatives of those who were directly part of this history, the marker sparks emotion.
“Emotional moment,” Clarence Hill said. “It's about the stories, the stories of this land, of these grounds that we are on.”
Cox Media Group