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QFF 2021-11-27
Posted on Nov 27th, 2021

                Quick Fact Friday
Two Mile and Four Mile Communities
 
Today’s Quick Fact Friday returns to explore the history of two African American settlement communities, Two Mile and Four Mile.  As we have learned in previous QFF’s, property acquisition was an important cultural value for the freedmen who continued to live in the Lowcountry after the conclusion of the Civil War.  Farming, both for personal consumption and sales or trade to others, became a major factor for their survival. However, by the mid-twentieth century, the area’s continued transition to a modern industrial and tourism-based economy began to come at the expense of its agricultural traditions. Farm data in 1940 indicated the same general framework of agricultural land distribution then as during the Reconstruction Era until the post-WWII era.  Most farms appeared to still be the small agricultural parcels purchased by black freedmen in the years following emancipation. As late as 1950, 78 percent of farms owned in Charleston County were less than 50 acres in size (South Carolina Crop Reporting Service 1965:4). 
 
After WWII, as transportation and related infrastructure improved, access to Mount Pleasant improved as well, resulting in suburban growth along Highway 17.  Residential and commercial development encroached into the existing settlement communities.  In the Two Mile community, located from Ben Sawyer Boulevard along Rifle Range Road to Highway 17, the Vanderhorst family farmed numerous tracts of land from the 1930’s to the 1960’s.  Four generations of Vanderhorsts continued to engage in truck farming and also sold vegetables to vacationers on Sullivan’s Island and IOP into the 1970’s.  The Vanderhorst family also owned land in neighboring Four Mile.  During the 70’s, the younger generations of the truck farming families began to leave agricultural life behind.  As their parents and grandparents aged, many families sold out to developers.  Unfortunately, much of Two Mile and Four Mile have been absorbed by commercial and residential development.
 
 
For more information:  Charleston County Historic Resources Survey Update (2016). Contact Kate Miller kmiller@tompsc.com for further information. 
 
Image Credit:  Charleston County Historic Resources Survey Update (2016)
 
The Town of Mount Pleasant Historical Commission releases Quick Fact Fridays about the history of Mount Pleasant and about the Commission, its programs and activities. Historical facts are drawn largely from the Our History section of the Town's website and the Commission's own Mount Pleasant Historical website and app. Follow their links by clicking on the images below to discover what makes Mount Pleasant such a distinctive historical place! To receive Quick Fact Friday messages click here to subscribe. Email us at kmiller@tompsc.com if you're interested in learning more about a particular Mount Pleasant history topic!
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