Historical Marker At The Corner of Hampton Avenue and Caroline Street

At Tuesday’s Laurens City Council Meeting, Mrs. Elma Morrison,

who is Chair of the city’s Historical Markers Committee, read the proposed text that would be inscribed on the marker at the corner of Hampton Avenue and Caroline Street, designating the Possum Hollow area of town.


The text would read; “By 1895 this intersection was the site of the Laurens Colored School, eventually known as Hampton Street school. That year Thomas Sanders became principal and taught 60 to 100 students with his wife Rachel Sanders.

It was housed in a wooden building behind Saint Paul Baptist Church and supported by local African American residents.

It was rebuilt after a 1912 fire that also burned the church and the Sanders family home.


Hampton Street school was located in what was once known as the Possum Hollow neighborhood, it served grades 1 to 10 until 1937 when Thomas Sanders High School opened 1.3 miles southeast of the Hampton Street school.


The Hampton Street School then became an elementary school for grades one through seven, the school closed in 1954, and was replaced by a new Thomas Sanders Elementary School built near the high school with funds from the South Carolina Equalization Program.