|South Carolina Department of Archives and History|
|National Register Properties in South Carolina
Early Cotton Press, Dillon County (jct. of SC Hwys. 917 & 38, Latta vicinity)
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The Early Cotton Press is significant in the field of rural industry and agriculture as the only remaining cotton press of this era in South Carolina which used mule power. It was built and located at “Berry’s Crossroads,” former site of a sawmill and other plantation works, by Stephen Berry in ca. 1798; later purchased and moved to its present location to preserve it around 1950. Although not now in use, it remains in excellent condition and illustrates the primary machine which baled ginned cotton. The press is constructed of pegged and doweled oak. A shingled roof is attached and covers a chiseled oak screw 16 inches in diameter. The screw, at time of nomination, was still in working condition. Two shingled booms are hinged at the roof and four large doweled beams support and balance the structure. The press box is housed at the center of the beams. All parts are hand carved and, except for several repairs, are original material. Listed in the National Register November 15, 1972.
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