Mount Pleasant Magazine Jan/Feb 2022

34 www. ReadMPM. com | www.MountPl easantMagaz i ne. com | www.MountPl easantPodcas t . com 100 two-acre farm lots for purchase. Residential lots were recorded as being sold for $16.50 each. The community was self-sufficient from the beginning with a store, church and school. The earliest residents were very poor and built houses made of wood, typically measuring 20 feet squared with a dirt floor. Cotton was grown on the farm lots with all the work done by hand, as the purchase of a mule and plow would not have been affordable to these new property owners. They had left slavery with no possessions and literally started with nothing, according to Edward Lee, a multi-generational resident of Scanlonville. In 1869, a New York Tribune journalist described one young mother “dressed in rags and barefoot” toiling in the blazing Lowcountry sun “with the hope that she and her child could one day stand on soil they can call their own.” Resident Barbara Fordham Collier explained that during those post-Civil War years through the Jim Crow Era, the neighborhood perpetuated a kinship network in which the entire community became an extension of the family. This concept of property owners joining together for the common good resembled a cooperative. For instance, since Black people were not able to obtain loans, neighbors helped each other build their homes, using mostly recycled materials. Lee remembered as a child cleaning mortar from old bricks and removing nails from wood planks for reuse. In 1968, the Fair Housing Act finally enabled some Black people to apply for mortgages, allowing for newer and more efficient houses, although lending practices continue to be a hurdle even today in Scanlonville, as in other minority communities. Both longtime residents explained that neighbors helped each other in a variety of ways. Collier recalled that those who were teachers, coaches and counselors “kept you on your best behavior. They also helped kids whose parents had no or little education. It was their responsibility to the community. And if a resident owned a set of encyclopedias or magazines, they were available to any child who needed them for a school project.” Lee added that there were no fences separating neighbors’ yards. “Fences were solely to contain animals.” Walking through each other’s property was permissible but always demanded a polite exchange of pleasantries with anyone being encountered. Only a stranger wouldn’t speak. Children were raised to know and follow these practices. Extended family members of Scanlonville’s early feature Th i s map f rom 1870 shows the res i dent i a l and f arm l ot s of the Scan l onv i l l e commun i t y.