Settled by lovers of freedom in the early 19th century, Liberty Hill is set on a narrow ridge with a view of four counties. Grand homes dot the idyllic countryside, one of which was home to South Carolina's first millionaire, Joseph Cunningham. This tiny community withstood occupation by Sherman's Army during the War Between the States. Liberty Hill Presbyterian Church and cemetery offer a serene spot for reflection on the important role Kershaw County played in 225 years of our county's history. This church features the 142 year-old bell from the original church and a solid mahogany organ believed to be imported from England, one of the oldest in the state still in use.
Although the origin of the name, Liberty Hill, is unknown, one story indicates that the name is rather self-evident. Following the American Revolutionary War, people who loved freedom settled in the hills. Due to this migration, the settlement began at Liberty Hill.
Liberty Hill is on a high narrow plateau, affording a beautiful and extensive view over a large amphitheater into four counties-Kershaw, Fairfield, Chester, and Lancaster. There has been a settlement here since 1813 when Peter Garlick located a store here which was a gathering place for farmers of the surrounding country. Wealthy planters built mansions in the area during the period 1830-1860.
In 1858, this community was one of the richest in South Carolina. Every landowner had large estates and many slaves. Many families residing at Liberty Hill have lived there for years, and may of their descendants still live there.
After the War Between the States, Sherman's army reduced many of the homes to a state of poverty. Emancipation of the slaves, destruction of property, and the general decline of business all contributed to the reduction of the once proud and wealthy people to a state of helplessness and despair following this war. Since Liberty Hill was an agricultural community, it was slow to adapt to the changing economic conditions during the Reconstruction period 1865-1877.