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Brief History
by Victoria Proctor

The community of Little Rock, five miles west of Dillon, was settled prior to the American Revolution and served as a trading post for farmers living in the area 20 miles in all directions. Thomas Harlee, of Virginia, was the first settler in the area in the mid-1780s, and lived on the river where he built flats and boats which he sold to rice planters. The river settlers later moved about a mile inland and settled what is now Little Rock but was originally named "Harlleesville" after the Harlee family, as was the bridge spanning the Little Pee Dee River near Little Rock.

Why and when the name was changed from Harleesville to Little Rock we do not know but it may have evolved after 1853 when the Harleesville Post Office combined with the new Little Rock Post Office in September of that year.

During the War Between the States, a commissary was maintained in Little Rock to store food for the Confederate Army. The first methodist church in Dillon County was built in Little Rock, as was the first school (Liberty Chapel).

 


Little Rock: the Oldest Town in the County

How old is Little Rock? Old enough to be the only town that was in what is now Dillon County until the railroad was built in 1888 and Dillon and Latta were born.

In the latter part of the 18th century the Harllee family settled near the Little Pee Dee River near the present Harllee's Bridge. The settlement that developed became known as Harlleesville. It reached the point that it became a post office in 1807.

When and why the name was changed to Little Rock I have never heard nor read. I notice it is not given in the Dillon County History. The rock that is reputed to have inspired the name stands by the side of the main road intersection.

It is accepted as fact, though not documented, that in 1786 Francis Asbury, the pioneer Methodist circuit rider, organized a preaching station that later became known as Liberty Chapel, and then as St. Paul's Methodist Church of Little Rock. This church served the community for many years but unfortunately is not being used now.

Fortunately, the building and cemetery are being well maintained by an endowment established by Mrs. Cora Stackhouse Cottingham and administered by three trustees. The church was entered in the National Register of Historical Places in 1977, and the Dillon County Historical Commission placed a historical marker there in 1978.
--Dolph BRADDY, © 1979

Many thanks to Mr. Bobby Braddy of Dillon, SC for granting permission to reprint the above article here.

 



St. Paul's Methodist Church
Early Homes
E.B. Berry Home, Latta

Places & Things
Latta Main Street c. 1950

Harllee's Bridge
Little Rock Schools
Old Page's Mill High School

Liberty Chapel

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Bingham

Little Rock's Officials


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