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SOUTH CAROLINA: Sad, ODD Rural Towns That Are Fascinating – Far Off The Interstate

Comparing the Rise and Fall of Rural South Carolina Towns: Springfield and Blackville

  • Rural South Carolina is home to four small towns, including Springfield and Blackville
  • Springfield had a peak population of 943 people in 1930 and currently has a median age of 38 and a median household income of 32,600
  • Blackville had a peak population of 2,973 people twenty years ago and currently has a poverty rate of 35.8% among children and 26% among seniors
  • Both towns have high rates of violent crime when compared to the national average
  • Each year, Springfield hosts the Governor’s Frog Jump which draws many visitors
  • Blackville has an abandoned building for sale and contains Healing Springs.

Voorhees University and Other Unusual Highlights of Denmark, SC

  • Evelyn Wright was a protege of Booker T Washington and was an advocate for higher education for the underserved African-American community
  • She founded and built Voorhees University, many of its buildings being part of the national register
  • The town of Denmark has a median age of 24 and median household income of 25,900
  • 55% of residents have graduated high school, 15% are married and 9.4 violent crimes per 1000 people occur
  • There is also a healing spring in Blackfield named God’s Acre which has been deeded to God for public use
  • Finally, South Carolina has a high percentage of mobile homes, seen in the trailer park observed by the narrator.

Nikki Haleys Hometown Bamberg—A Look at the Statistics and History

  • Nikki Haley, a former resident of Bamberg, was born in the town and has recently been involved in politics
  • The town is home to 3,000 residents with a peak population of almost 3,900
  • Median age is 53 and poverty level is high at 31.6%
  • 38% are married while 23% of women living here are widows
  • Crime rate is 8.9 per 1000 people
  • Median home value is $75,900 and homes are very inexpensive
  • Bamberg has a building on the national register built in 1938 as part of Roosevelt’s New Deal program
  • Downtown has no parking and buildings are close to the street which contributes to it being a “dead zone”
  • Nikki Haley has been Governor of South Carolina twice and US Ambassador to the United Nations, potentially running for president or vice president in 2024 elections.

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all right everyone I am in ruralSouth Carolinauh let me show you wherelike I usually doI think you can see that I'm the bluedot in the middlesee Columbia to the Northeast that isthe state's capitalof course Augusta is straight weston the border with Georgiathese towns four of themvery small towns very interesting thereisn'tfascinating aspect to every one of thesetownsthey've got some pretty rough numberslet's say that up front but uhthey are still interesting nonethelessnow the town I'm entering right now isSpringfieldpopulation of Springfield is 450 peoplePeak population was in 1930there was 943 people hereit's lost a little over half itspopulation from its peak dayswhat 90 years agothe um median age here is 38.kind of middle of the range as far asage is concernedum median household income is 32 600.and the median home value is 84 that's well below the U.S averagemedian home values in the U.Sas an average is 428 uh poverty is really high in thistown 41 percent41 of the people that live hereuh live at or below what the U.Sgovernment designates as poverty uh thepoverty levelis that the way it really is well we'regoing to seein all these towns I'm about to show youviolent crime is really highthis town it's 7.1per 1000 peoplethat's almost twice higher than thenational average of 3.8today is Tuesdaymid-Januaryweather's really nicelots of sunit's going to get up into the low 60sso that will be very pleasantgoing to check out a couple things herenow they're driving through downtowna lot of uh decay in downtown you wouldexpect that since the town was twicebigger at one time I would guess a lotof these buildings were built in theearly 1900sit's interesting though ahthis building here right on the cornerI guess was an old Bankyou could see it was quite the grandbuilding in its day yeah it's a bankwell it's a bank today anyway looks likeit's always has beenthere's a handful of cars here thoughlook at this RexallBorden's ice cream that is an old signwowI would like to get that onin my man cave and that thing's probablyworthsome money at ayou know antique store you get a lot ofmoney for that nowyeah clearly this is a quiet little townbut it does have one huge event everyyearI'm just going to kind of drive into theresidential a little bitthey have something here once a yearcalledthe frog jumpor the governor's frog jumponce a year I believe it's in Aprilthrongs of people descend Upon This Townto do just exactly what a frog jumpsounds like they bring their frogsand they compete to see who's frogcan jump the farthest and the highestit's actually a very big event in thisstateevery yearso uhyes it's a quiet little town but theyget a lot of people in hereonce a year for something that's veryunique anyway uh so I'm gonnacruise around the town a little bitdoes the uhyou know median home value of 84 000. doyou really see that or is it justbecauseit's a very low cost of living you'reseeing this homethere's nothing wrong with that oneuh so I'm gonna go take a look around alittle bit see what else is here uh nowthis building to the left hereis the Springfield High Schoolbuilt in 1929it is on the national registerI definitely wanted to see this youdon't see high schools on Nationalregisters for on the national registervery much but this one isyeah I wonder if the people who own thisrealize how valuable that is it's evengot a Borden's ice creamuhpart of the sign it's inNeoncan you imagine that light it up in yourman cave that would be fantasticincrediblea lot of great old stuff hereI'll tell you this and it's an olddowntown butthere is a store or shopand all the in all the buildings thestorefrontsit's not unimpressivevery quaintit's pretty awesome actuallylook at this beautiful homeagain it could use a little little TLCbut look at that Woodwork and those twoporchessecond floor porch as wellit would cost you a fortune to get ahome like that right nowuh here's a house that has beenabandonednature is uhbeginning the process of taking this oneyou hate to see that but you guys seethat cat up on the rooflook at it I want to zoom in on himthere he is oh there he went on theother sideanyway uh yeahthat housethe architecturespretty beautiful but uh unfortunately itis just being left to rot I hate to seethatI am entering the town of Blackvillepopulation right now is around 1900peoplePeak population was just a little over20 years ago20002973 people so almost 3 000 peopletowns lost about a thousand peopleum median age here is 37 years oldpoverty is high in this town just likethe last one35.8for children it's worse children 17 andunderthe poverty rate is 57 percentso that is uh that is pretty higholder folks it's pretty bad too 26percent of people 65 and overlive in poverty heremedian household income is nineteenthousand six hundredI don't have to tell you guys that's uhthat's pretty lowand um median home value is bad toosixty seven thousand five hundredall right any way you look at itthis is a very poor townonly 32 percentof the people who live here are marriedum13 percentof the women who live here are widowedso it's uh some pretty interestingnumbers violent crime is pretty high 5.5per thousand peopleU.S average is 3.8 so uh crime isdefinitely a thing hereso I'm going to take a look aroundit's a building herethat has seen better days and it is forsale by the wayuh but they do have something veryinteresting hereit's called Healing SpringsI'm going to show you that in a secondI'm going to look around the town firstthoughuh the homes in this town arenot quite the samethat they were in the last onetrash on the groundyeah this homewhile beautiful at one time is uhbeen abandonedI got this one herethis is a pretty stately old home andit's a day you can tell but uhyeah it looks like it caught on firethat's sad to seeanyway yeah I'm gonna look around alittle bit morelooks like alaundromat at one time now closeduh just flipping a UEI'm gonna head back into the downtownarea I guesssee what's on the other side theregot a house herethat is justdisintegrating disintegrating where itsits[Applause]and being takenby Mother Natureyeah it surprises me when I see that youknow that that's just allowed to sitthere but I guess there's no moneyto uhhotlinetear it apart and haul it offuh see got a very old home here that'sfor saleyeah it's really nice you can tellthat'sgeez100 years old maybeit's a very old homeyeah this one's for sale tooa few nice houses here that's prettycozy little home thereuh let's seelooks like an abandoned one hereyeah there's a duplexjust sitting emptyand right across the street got thisbeauty herebeautiful homenow outside of blackfield here they havesomething called God's acre HealingSpringsaccording to tradition Indians referencethe water for its healing propertiesit's a gift from the great spiritthis historical property has been deededto Godfor public useplease Revere God by keeping it cleanyeah so I got me a bottle I'm gonna goget some water it's right over hereyeah they just have some uhpipes coming out of the ground and youjust umcome in and get you some waterso I'm gonna do that nowthe wife will love thatit's really beautiful here[Applause]absolutely gorgeousyeah I filled up several bottles for thewifey she loves this pure water I'mgonna taste ituh let's seeI tell you what you know itwhen you are drinkingwater at its purestthat's really goodall right everyone I'm entering the townof Denmarklet me prefaceeverything I say here before I tell youthe numbers with this uh there are twocolleges hereVorheesand uh Denmark Technical College so ifthey're counting those students they maybeskewing the numbers a little bitmedian age here is 24.which makes it a really young townagain I think they might be countingsome of the students26 percent of the population is betweenthe ages of 10 and 19.population of the town isthe peak population was in 1980there were a little over 4 400 so thetown has lostpretty good chunk of populationmedian household income is 25 900.I am driving into downtown nowpoverty level isnot as bad as the past two towns stillhighthat's at 21.9 percentfor folks 65 and over it's pretty badthough 31 percentcrime is really high in this town reallyhigh9.4per 1000 peopleU.S average is 3.8 so it is triplethe U.S average uh violent crimemedian home value is 63 500.that is very low55 of the people who live herehave graduated high schoolso that is really low too look at thatis this the actual City Hollow underhuhum let's see only 15 of the townhas been married now that might be uhthe colleges affecting the numbers againum15 of the women who live here are widowsso that that's an interesting number aswellnow there's some uhinteresting buildings on the nationalregister here in this town so I'm goingto try to find those firstI'm up on a side street looking at thesebuildings hereyou see that it says Mr BS Social Clubyou think that's an actual Clubthirsty package storeI've got uhDenmark groceryhmmnow there's downtown the main streetright thereuh it's still looking aroundthe uh American Telegraph and TelephoneCompany buildingbuilt in 1928uh it was instrumental inthe development of telecommunicationherein this part of South Carolina back thenit's on the national registerso I want to get a good glimpse of itI'm going to go to the Voorhees Collegemost of that is on the unit on theregister as wellI did see some pretty interestingbeautiful homes over hereon Richard Streetyeah it looks really nice over hereyeah these are great looking homesthe big porchesit's a very Southern looking aren't theyit's really nicethose are beautiesuh well then we got one here that isyeah this one's beenleft to rotit's a nice house too it's too badhmmI read somewhere that South Carolina hasareally high percentage of mobile homespeople accuse me of being rich that Ihave no idea what it's like to be poor Igrew up in a trailer park very similarto thisnoanyway uh there's this guy here in themiddle of the roadI want to do my best to not hittingbecause umyeah there's something definitely goingon with himI'm not sure whathe's going to get hithuhthat was pretty crazy wasn't itit's gonna explode into towneven though the poverty level is lowerthan the past two it looks higherI got to be perfectly honest with youyeah that caught on fire didn't itI'm entering the campus of VoorheesUniversitymuch of the school is on a nationalregisterit was founded in the late 1800sby a woman named Evelyn Wrightshe was a protege of Booker T Washingtonand she willed this University intoexistenceshe was a huge proponent ofhigher education for the underservedAfrican-American communityand it's why she uhgot this place builtlike I said many of the buildings are onthe national registerthey were built by many of them anywaybuilt by the students themselvesso uh that's pretty impressivedriving around the campus a little bitit's uh it's really nicethe campus it's really pretty what I'veseen of it so farum like I said there are I think 12buildings on the national registerincluding this one this churchSaint Phillips Episcopal Chapelyeah I'm just uh on the main groundsright nowhopefully you can see it the sun's kindof in the wrong placeanyway uh yeah it's uhit's remarkablethat one African-American womanin the late 1800s early 1900s no lesswas ableto get this founded and builtyeah it's a better angle with the Sunsee the school much of it the campushereokay I can see more of it this waymore of the town herereally a lot of this heresee a home being swallowed up by Natureback therewas a dog just hanging out let's seethatthis is I store it one time it lookslikeno moreforeignhomes hereand that didn't markjust all over the placeI'm entering the town of Bambergthis will be the last town to visitthe town is named after Founding FatherWilliam Bambergsome of his descendants live here tothis daythere's about 3 000 people in the townnowPeak population was 1990 there wasalmost 3 the town has lost some populationmedian age is 53. this is definitely anolder townpeople 60 to 69 years of age make up 19of the population[Music]let's see uh poverty level really high31.6children 17 and under it's even worsepoverty level for them is 59 percent38 of the town is marriedanother interesting number I thought23 percent of the women who live in thistownare widows 23 percentcrime is pretty highactually really high 8.9 per 1000 peopleagain the U.S average is 3.8and median home value isseventy five thousand nine hundredso like the towns beforehomes are very inexpensive hereso I'm gonna take a look around and seewhat I see herethe town has a very famous resident orformer resident a person that was bornherein the political worldI will tell you about her in just asecondnow here's another building on thenational register that is of noteit is the Bamberg post officebuilt in 1938it's on a national registerit's notable because it was built duringRoosevelt's New Dealand the architecture reflects thatit's actually called New Dealarchitectureso uh yeah that's really interestingI'm going to drive back into thisdowntown and tell you what I think iswrong with itthere's no parkingin fact the buildings if you notice arejust crammed right up to the streetit's kind of a bad design isn't itso it doesn't surprise you that it isthe dead zonehere in downtown Bambergthere's no people walking aroundI mean you just barely got a sidewalkand then you hit the storefront see thatI have to say I do not like thatwithout question there are somebeautiful homes herein Bambergum the famous person born here I wasgoing to tell you aboutwell that one's in bad shapeit's a beautiful house thoughanyway Nikki Haley was born hereand now if you follow politics you knowexactly who I'm talking aboutshe was uh governor of South Carolinatwicefirst female governor of South Carolinaand then here recently she was the U.Sambassador to the United Nationsshe's really outspoken politicallylook at that beautiful old housebe nice if someone was to fix that upanyway yeah she's very outspokenpolitically and uh there's talk of herbeing a presidential candidate or evenvice presidentin the upcoming 2024 electionshe is of Indian descent both herparents immigrated from Indiato herein Bamberg and uh yeah like I said shewas born hereall right everybody gonna call it a dayhereumnext video uh the wife and I will be inColumbiaSouth Carolina the capital city so uhyou looking for that one see you then