Summerton High School

Also known as: Summerton Middle School
S. Church St., Summerton, South Carolina


Summerton High School, Facade

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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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 Courtís 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 schoolís 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. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 26, 1994
Reference number
Architectural style
Late 19th and 20th Century Revival
Areas of significance
Education; Ethnic Heritage - Black
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Periods of significance
1925-1949; 1950-1974
Significant years
1936; 1949; 1954
Number of properties
Contributing buildings: 2

Update Log 

  • August 19, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • August 8, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View" and Corrected "GPS Coordinates"
  • August 8, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller