African American Business District display
101 East Black Street
Segregated sections of Rock Hill included the African American business district, had flourished from the early 20th century until ca. 1980. Many of the commercial lots and buildings were owned by local white families who rented them to enterprising African American businessmen. Who had returned from WW I, with expectations of success in business, not working on the farm as had most of their for-bearers. It was an ideal opportunity, in that the property, had only recently ceased to be used as the location of the town’s electric and water plant. The Rock Hill Coco Cola Bottling Co., had also vacated their bottling facilities and the area was ripe for further and new economic development.
In late 1913, this facility (the Electric and Water plant), was no longer needed and the Rock Hill City Engineer, W.W. Miller drew a plat showing the property which included frontage on Black and Railroad streets. On Jan. 15, 1914 a public auction was held on this property by auctioneer, John R. Williams. The proceeds were $8,300. Three lots were purchased by A.C. Izard, one by J.C. Cork, one by V.B. McFadden, one to T.l. McDonald, one to J.C. Cauthen, one to John R. McRae, one to T.M. Whisonant, and a lot with house to L.A. Pope, and a lot to J.E. Marshall. The old office building was sold to Neely - Marshall Company. "
The African American business area eventually stretched for about one block on either side of what was then West Black Street. Barber shops, pool halls, drugstores, a filling station, medical offices, a school, the African American Episcopal Church and other small businesses flourished here for about seven decades.