South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Summerton High School, Clarendon County (S. Church St., Summerton)
S1081771400601 S1081771400602 S1081771400603 S1081771400604 S1081771400605
Facade Facade
Main Building
Main Entrance Interior

(Summerton Middle School) Summerton High School is nationally significant for its close association with the landmark Supreme Court decision in Brown v. the Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, a decision that struck down the segregation of public education in the United States in 1954. This decision also overturned the Court’s earlier decision in Plessy v. Ferguson (1896), which held that separate public facilities for white and blacks were constitutional as long as those separate facilities were equal. Summerton High School is the only school still standing of the five schools in Clarendon County School District #22 that were associated with Briggs v. Elliott, the South Carolina case which helped form the basis for Brown v. Board of Education. The Briggs case was named for Harry Briggs, a local service station attendant with school-age children. NAACP attorneys for the Briggs case included such notable figures as Thurgood Marshall and Robert Carter. The school’s close associate with Briggs v. Elliott, as one of the two white schools that were targeted by those who sought to end legal segregation in Clarendon County schools, gives the school significance not only in this county, but in South Carolina and on the national scale as well. This one-story hip roof brick building is rectangular in plan, and has a central pavilion featuring a pedimented gable, supported visually by four cast stone pillars. The school was built by the prominent Columbia architectural firm of Wessinger and Stork. Listed in the National Register August 26, 1994.

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