IN SEARCH OF CENTER HALL, by W. Reaves McCall, is an excellent example of how one man's curiosity led to a quest of discovery and tied together loose ends left dangling for over a century. Center Hall, to those unacquainted with the history of Darlington County, was the name of Governor David Rogerson Williams' plantation near Society Hill. McCall's father and grandparents lived at Center Hall in the late 1800's and early 1900's. However McCall's recent interest in Center Hall was piqued by a program presented to the Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS by Society Hill historian Ashton Gandy in February 2000. Gandy narrated a video on the history of Society Hill that contained a drawing of the Center Hall plantation house in pen and ink by John Ross Key, the grandson of Francis Scott Key. McCall's narrative relates the history of this plantation and those who lived there, his search for this piece of art, and an explanation of how Key, a Confederate officer, came to capture Center Hall's likeness. McCall weaves centuries of Society Hill's history into this delightful book. Historic characters, places, and events are all carefully woven, thread upon thread, to provide a unique perspective of Center Hall. McCall's narrative is complemented by numerous illustrations, the most revealing of these being the dust jacket. In a day and age when "historic romance" is the rage, McCall weighs in with his own genre of "historic mystery."  In Search of Center Hall has earned a place on this reviewer's bookshelf, to be enjoyed time after time. W. Reaves McCall has donated the original artwork of Center Hall to the Hartsville Museum. All proceeds from the sale of this book have been designated to benefit five nonprofit historical organizations in the Pee Dee area, including the Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS.  2003, 108 pages, hard cover, full name index, dust jacket with illustration of Key's Center Hall, illustrations and map. Price- $20.00 plus $4.00 shipping and handling. Order from Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS, Post Office Box 175, Hartsville, SC 29551-0175.

by W. Reaves McCall

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Old Darlington District Chapter, SCGS
P. O. Box 175
Hartsville, SC 29551-0175

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