Scanlonville: The Land and The Community
Scanlonville is a quiet marsh-front community located on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Mathis Ferry Road. Established after the Civil War, this African-American community enjoys a rich heritage spanning over 100 years. After the war, many former slaves began to establish their own farms and businesses. The development of Scanlonville is one such enterprise. In 1868, after the death of Paul D Remley, freedman-carpenter Robert Scanlon purchased the 614-acre Remley’s Plantation that was bordered by the Charleston Harbor and the Wando River.
Scanlon founded the Charleston Land Company offering $10 shares to 100 African-American men to purchase large tracts of land. The land was divided into two-acre farm lots and half-acre town lots. By 1870, former slaves who desired to own land could purchase town or farm lots. The Charleston Land Company and the development of Scanlonville is one of four known cooperative ventures between African-American freedmen.
Just west of Scanlonville was Riverside Beach, the oldest, largest, and most popular of five African-American beaches in Charleston County. Riverside Beach was a no-sand beach along the Wando River that officially opened in 1930, and featured a dance pavilion, athletics field, bathhouse, playground, and a boardwalk. Riverside Pavilion was the only venue where Black Charlestonians could see musical legends like Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Louis Armstrong, B.B. King and Ivory Joe Hunter. Music performances at the pavilion spawned juke joints or night clubs in Scanlonville and eventually a hotel called White’s Paradise, frequented by James Brown. In 1975, Charleston County assumed operations of Riverside Beach after the original owner died. Eventually the property was sold to a company that developed a gated community on the land.
Remley Point Cemetery, also known as Scanlonville Cemetery, was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002. This African-American cemetery is located on private property. A portion of the grounds probably pre-dates the freedmen community and is the resting place of descendants of those first Scanlonville families named Coleman, Small, Drayton, Bailey, Brown, Fordham, Simmons, Webster, and Rivers.
Media & Accomplishments
Scanlonville in the Press
The East Cooper Civic club strives to remain an active force in the community. Each event and news story contributes to the vitality and legacy of the Scanlonville community by documenting important historical events.
Neighborhood Community Partnering
Partnered to assure water & sewer services
Street and traffic signage
Inclusion of Historic sites in the National Register of Historic Places
Participation in College of Charleston and Clemson University undocumented African American
Communities identification Project
Sidewalk Placement – 5th & 6th Avenue
Citizen & Police Officer dialogues
Speed Hump Placement – 5th , 6th & 7th Avenue
Annual Flower Day Memorial Remembrance
Frequent attendance at Town of Mt. Pleasant Council
“WHAT’S THE POINT?” community sessions
Good Neighbor Help
4th Avenue Improvement
Sweetgrass Festival – Hosted for 10 consecutive years, 2011 – 2021.
Annual Empowerment Seminars – Focus: Culture/Education/Health/Land Preservation
Scanlonville Cemetery – Registry National Historical Site, 2002.
Scanlon Memorial Park – 0.57 acres awarded back from East Cooper Land Trust
Scanlonville 1870 marker exhumed
Newspaper Articles: Scanlonville Community
Gullah Geechie Corridor Commission News Letter
Charleston Post & Courier
Los Angeles Times
Wando High School Paper
Town of Mt. Pleasant website
Finland International Newspaper
New York Times
Sweet Grass Festival – Hosted 10 years consecutive, 2011 – 2021
Documentary – “Bin Yah” and “There’s No Place Like Home”