Welcome to Saint Teresa COE
We are a grassroots community organization that cultivates and preserves the African-American history of Lake City, SC, and Surrounding areas.
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Dr. Terrie Gaskins-Bryant, the brainchild of STCOE, implemented and developed a local literacy center in Lake City, SC, for her master’s thesis in 2005. Realizing that there was limited genealogy of local African American history present in the local library and other societies, she amended her mission statement to begin work on cultivating and preserving Lake City’s own African American history in 2021.
Dr. Gaskins-Bryant recently conducted Lake City’s first African American Oral Histories Project in partnership with the Lake City Senior Center, which is being digitized at the SC State Library. Other African American educational programs and activities are in the planning stages.
The mission of Saint Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment (STCOE) is to cultivate and preserve the African-American history of Lake City and Surrounding areas through outreach programs and activities that seek to engage, empower, and create systemic change.
Lake City Walking Tour
Coming soon— Saint Teresa Community Outreach and Empowerment (STCOE) has developed a Lake City African American History Trail Virtual Tour. Planned locations include Lake City Rosenwald Schools, Ronald E. McNair Museum, Bronze Statue of Huey Cooper, and Postmaster Frazier Baker Site and Marker.
The Walking Tour will be run on the Echoes Explorer mobile app— free, and with no ads!
P.D. Cockfield House
Folk Victorian houses like the Cockfield House are found throughout the United States and were common from around 1870 to 1910. During that period, the advancement of the railroads allowed for increased access to the tools and materials necessary for woodworking, decreasing the cost of adding fine woodworked details to a residence and therefore accelerating the rise of Victorian architecture.
Lake City typified the sort of small railroad towns where Folk Victorian influence spread in those years. Known for most of the nineteenth century as “Graham’s Crossroads” and officially named “Lake City” in 1883, the town developed near the intersection of two key colonial-era routes connecting the South Carolina cities of Georgetown and Camden, and Charleston and Cheraw. In the 1850s, the Northeastern Railroad (later the Atlantic Coast Line) laid the first track through Graham’s Crossroads, passing just west of the future site of the Cockfield House on Valley Street. As business and residences grew up near the tracks before and after the Civil War, economics and kinship kept the town connected to the surrounding countryside, where agriculture defined daily life. In the antebellum era, area plantation owners relied on large enslaved workforces to cultivate primarily cotton, to the point that, in 1860, some 66 percent of the county’s roughly 15,000 residents were African American.
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Saint Teresa COE
PO Box 645
Lake City SC 29560