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“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Bishopville in Lee County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

Dennis High School

 
 
Dennis High School Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 18, 2010
1. Dennis High School Marker
Inscription. (Front text)
Dennis High School, built in 1936, was the first high school for African-American students in Lee County. Built on land donated by philanthropist Rebecca Dennis, it was named in her honor. This school was originally intended as an elementary school, but when the old elementary school burned shortly before this school opened it became both an elementary school and high school. It was the only black high school in Lee County for several years.
(Reverse text)
The auditorium here was a significant social center for blacks throughout Lee County. In 1948, when a new Dennis High School opened, this became Dennis Elementary School. In 1954, a state program to equalize funding for black and white schools built a new Dennis High and Elementary School. The original Dennis High School was renovated and served as Dennis Primary School until it closed in 1970. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 2005.
 
Erected 2007 by The Dennis Community Development Corporation of Lee County. (Marker Number 31-18.)
 
Location. 34° 13.451′ N, 80° 14.926′ W. Marker is in Bishopville, South Carolina, in Lee County. Marker is on West Cedar Lane, on the right when traveling
Dennis High School Marker, reverse side image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 18, 2010
2. Dennis High School Marker, reverse side
north. Click for map. Located between Albert and Woodward Streets. Marker is in this post office area: Bishopville SC 29010, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. William Apollos James House (approx. ¼ mile away); Flag Park (approx. 0.3 miles away); Felix Anthony "Doc" Blanchard (approx. 0.3 miles away); Thomas Gordon McLeod (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bishopville High School (approx. 0.4 miles away); Battle of Ratcliff's Bridge (approx. 0.4 miles away); Bishopville (approx. half a mile away); Lee County Monument to the Confederate Dead (approx. half a mile away). Click for a list of all markers in Bishopville.
 
Regarding Dennis High School. Dennis High School, constructed in 1936, is significant for its importance in the education of African-Americans in Bishopville and Lee County and for its representation of the inequalities of South Carolina’s “separate but equal” educational system. In
addition, the renovation of Dennis High School in 1954 is an excellent example of the state’s efforts to change these perceptions during the “Brown vs. Board of Education” era. In 1936, two new schools were constructed in Bishopville. Bishopville High School was built for the white students at a cost of about $71,000
Dennis High School Marker, seen along West Cedar Lane image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 18, 2010
3. Dennis High School Marker, seen along West Cedar Lane
and was designed by noted architect Henry Dudley Harrall. Dennis High School was constructed by Edgeworth and McBride Contractors of Cheraw for Bishopville’s black students. It was built at a cost of $17,500 on land donated by local philanthropist Rebecca Dennis. The similarities between the design of the two schools suggest that Harrall had some hand in the design of Dennis High School also. The original Classical Revival style school building is an L-shaped, one-story, load-bearing red brick structure that rests on a masonry foundation. Recessed symmetrical wings flank the main block. A third wing, which gave the building its original L-shape, houses the auditorium. In 1954, a single classroom addition was built on the northern end of the rear elevation. Listed in the National Register January 26, 2005.(South Carolina Department of Archives and History)
 
Categories. African AmericansCivil RightsEducationNotable Buildings
 
Dennis High School and Marker image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 18, 2010
4. Dennis High School and Marker
National Register of Historical Places: Dennis High School (added 2005 - Building - #04001565)
Dennis High School , 410 W. Cedar Lane image. Click for full size.
By Mike Stroud, February 18, 2010
5. Dennis High School , 410 W. Cedar Lane
Dennis High School Marker image. Click for full size.
S.C. Dept. of Archives and History, circa 2005
6. Dennis High School Marker
 
 
Credits. This page originally submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 828 times since then and 19 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6. submitted on , by Mike Stroud of Bluffton, South Carolina. • Bill Pfingsten was the editor who published this page. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016.
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