Taking care of your Loved One Is What We Do BEST!

It's no secret, most of us would like to stay in our own home as we age. Yet, sometimes our loved ones just need a little extra help to remain comfortable at home. That's where Always Best Care can help....we are dedicated to exceeding expectations....always

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Home Care In Hickory Grove, SC

Home Care Hickory Grove, SC

They say that your golden years are the best years of your life. For most older Americans, that's how it should be - a time to relax, reflect, and live life in a familiar place. After all, senior citizens in the U.S. have worked tirelessly to build a better economy, serve their communities, and raise families.

However, as seniors grow older, completing daily tasks like showering and enjoying activities such as visiting the historic Old Hickory Tavern Birthplace of Hickory gets harder without someone by their side. Unfortunately, many older Americans aren't able to rely on their adult children for help. The reality in today's world is that family members do not have the skills or time to dedicate to caring for their parents. That's where Always Best Care Senior Services comes in.

Our in-home care services are for people who prefer to stay at home as they grow older but need ongoing care that family or friends cannot provide. More and more older adults prefer to live far away from long-term, institutionalized facilities and closer to the place where they feel most comfortable - their home. Home care in Hickory Grove, SC is a safe, effective way to give your loved ones the care they need when they need it the most.

 In-Home Care Hickory Grove, SC

location Service Areas

The Always Best Care Difference

Since 1996, Always Best Care has provided non-medical in-home care for seniors to help them maintain a healthy lifestyle as they get older. We are proud to have helped more than 25,000 seniors maintain higher levels of dignity and respect. We focus on providing seniors with the highest level of in-home care available so that they may live happily and independently.

Unlike some senior care companies, we genuinely want to be included in our clients' lives. We believe that personalized care is always the better option over a "one size fits all" approach. To make sure our senior clients receive the best care possible, we pair them with compassionate caregivers who understand their unique needs. That way, they may provide care accordingly without compromising their wellbeing.

The Always Best Care difference lies in life's little moments - where compassionate care and trustworthy experience come together to help seniors live a fruitful, healthy life. Whether you are an aging adult that can't quite keep up with life's daily tasks or the child of a senior who needs regular in-home services, Always Best Care is here to help.


“I am a current client of this provider The caregiver is a great communicator with us. I live out of state and I have a brother who lives near the client, but he has a full-time job. It really takes a village to take care of the clietn now. I just feel like this agency is part of that village. They really have his best interest at heart. They give great care, but they're also super easy to work with and you feel important with them. I have recommended the agency to many people. I like the owner, Phil. He is just a really stand-up guy. He is very knowledgeable and he is very empathetic. You don't get the feeling that he is in the business to make money and provide livelihood. He really cares about people and really wants the clients taken care of well. I think he has a lot of expertise and compassion. Everyone that we have dealt with there has been great. I also like the caregiver that we've had, Fawn. She has been with the client for over 15 months. She is just really great with the client. He is in assisted living now but we choose to have her go in still for more companion care for the client. She is just a really sweet person and helps us with keeping up to date with what the client needs. He just loves having her around.”

Crawford H.

“I am a current client of this provider I like that come in and do what they got to do. I like that they are really friendly and nice. They do not talk to him in a sharp way, they are really good with him.”

Paul B.

“I am a current client of this provider The first person was kind of young, so I asked them for someone a bit older, and they did that. I would recommend them because they are prompt, and they have good people.”

Gary K.

“I am a current client of this provider The caregiver as a person and who she is has made this so positive. I like the assistant that they have sent to help my brother.”

Sandra S.

“Phil Davidson and his staff provides the best service around in the York County area...Very professional and they truly care about their clients...I highly recommend Always Best Care of Rock Hill”

Will J.

“Looking for a loving and caring place for a parent, grandparent or any loved one? Look no further than Phil and his team at Always Best Care of Rock Hill!”

Tamaya M.

“I am a current client of this provider I have enjoyed working with Always Best. They are informative and helpful. When I need to schedule care, they are very responsive. Definitely a good choice in companion care.”


“Always willing to help”

Christine B.

“I have worked for many agencies as a CNA. Always Best Care of Rock Hill, SC is by far the best! They treat their clients and caregivers with generosity and compassion. They go "above and beyond" in every area. You can't go wrong with them.”

Loretta B.

“They gave my mother the most wonderful, loving care. They were very accommodating when we needed to make changes in the schedule. After dealing with two other agencies I wish I had gone with them from the start. They deserve a 10!”

Bobbie S.

“New Employee & I’m loving it already”

Sonda P.

“I am a current client of this provider I could probably say that I was a past client of this provider, but because I continue to receive words of encouragement and advise from them, I still claim the current client status. Their help with my mother that was provided while she was at home was fantastic. They also have helped guide us through hospital and rehab stays. I would have to give them a 5 star rating and honestly can not think of one thing that went wrong on their part while we used their care The Caregiver was excellent. I wholeheartedly would recommend Always Best Care to anyone that finds themselves needing a caregiver to come along beside them.”


“Needed care for my mother with dementia, and father with medical issues. The team at Always Best Care were very responsive to our needs for 24/7 care for about 8 weeks. They try hard to have the same caregivers come to the house for continuity of care. The family really appreciated Phil's assistance with placing my parents in Assisted Living. His knowledge of the local York County homes was invaluable to placing my parents in a welcoming environment. I would highly recommend Always Best Care to help with senior care!”

Mary E.

“Always willing to help”

Christine G.

“I am a current client of this provider We're using Always Best Care for my parents. They're fantastic. The caregivers are professional, courteous, entertaining, and accommodating. They mainly provide medication management and companionship. I feel like they give personal touches, and there's a certain professionalism to them that other agencies I contacted didn't have.”


“Excellent care was given to my mother. Thank you for being there when we needed you.”

Robin J.

“I have had the best support from a caring and supporting staff over the past year. The AMAZING part is that I live in CA and they're providing these services in Rock Hill. When I have any questions they are quick to get my answer back in a timely manner.”

James G.

“I am a current client of this provider Always Best Care has been providing care givers for my 91 year old father for more than 2 years now. I have been happy with their staff. My father is cared for with love and dignity and with their help I've been able to keep him in my home.”

Laura A.

“I am a past client of this provider Always Best Care service was very helpful in locating an assisted living facility for my Mother. Very professional and I would use them again.”


“I can honestly say that Always Best Care in Rock Hill did a very good job with providing home assistance with my mother and I am happy to recommend their services to others. The home care assistantswere friendly, patient, and respectful. Above all, I was extremely pleased with the active role the president, Phil Davidson, took in my mother’s care. He was exceptional at balancing professionalism and personal concern as he took a genuine interest in my mother’s well-being, he checked in periodically to see how the home care was going, and he diligently communicated with both family and staff. Phil’s efforts and those of the ABC staff are very much appreciated.”

Stephen S.

“Dear Phil, "We would like to thank you and your staff for providing such wonderful live-in care for our Grandfather from June through October 2013. Our family found ourselves in the most unimaginable situation when our Grandmother was unexpectedly hospitalized in late May and ultimately passed away in June. As you know, she was the sole caregiver for our Grandfather who has severe Alzheimer's disease. We are so very fortunate that we discovered your agency! You were able to promptly place qualified caregivers in his home and this gave our family immediate peace of mind. The level of care and compassion that you and your caregivers demonstrated toward our Grandfather is more than we ever anticipated and we will be forever grateful. You all walked with him through the terrible tragedy of losing his wife of 67 years. You and your staff provided extraordinary physical and emotional care for him through his grief and made getting him back to a "normal" life your top priority upon her death. In addition to the care you all provided my Grandfather, you were so kind to help educate us on the progression of Alzheimer's. You were a wonderful resource to us on what to expect in the next phases of this disease and help us plan for long-term care for him. While we are very sad to have to place him in a memory care-assisted living facility, we made the decision knowing that this will be the best place for him as he ages and his disease worsens. Your guidance and expertise in helping us choose the right facility for him helped make this daunting task bearable. Thank you again for all that you have done for our grandfather and for our family! We will be forever grateful!”

Ashley S.

“Phil, We so love Sara and are very appreciative for the way you run your business. You really stand out in an industry and a time when people just go through the motions. You are a very special man and I pray that you will be very successful in your business.”

K L.

“Dear Phil, Thank you and your team for providing the great help and assistance during this summer. The care givers that we had were excellent and very professional. Thanks for being so flexible with the scheduling.”

John A.

“"Phil Davidson with Always Best Care was an answer to prayers! After unexpectedly losing my dad and have my mom move in with us (and being new to the area), I didn't know where to start in finding the right new home for my mom. A friend recommended Phil to us and after my first phone conversation, I was instantly at ease knowing I had a knowledgeable caring partner in this important search. He was always available and prompt in answering my endless questions. I was amazed at the time and effort he put in to our search never pressing me in a particular direction but guiding me based on our budget and priorities. He was also wonderful in connecting me to other professionals from the Veteran's Administration to Financial experts to help with other areas where we had questions. After many months, we did find the right fit for my mom and I owe that to Phil. Phil, know that I am always happy to be a reference and talk/email with anyone. Thank you again and I appreciate your follow up on Mama. I know there is an adjustment period and especially with the new facility as it fills ???? It's priceless having her so close!”

Kristin Y.

What is Non-Medical Senior Care in Hickory Grove, SC?


Home is where the heart is. While that saying can sound a tad cliche, it is especially true for many seniors living in America. When given a choice, older adults most often prefer to grow older at home. An AARP study found that three out of four adults over the age of 50 want to stay in their homes and communities as they age.


When you begin to think about why, it makes sense. Home offers a sense of security, comfort, and familiarity.


The truth is, as we age, we begin to rely on others for help. When a family is too busy or lives too far away to fulfill this role, in-home senior care is often the best solution. Home care services allow seniors to enjoy personal independence while also receiving trustworthy assistance from a trained caregiver.


At Always Best Care, we offer a comprehensive range of home care services to help seniors stay healthy while they get the help they need to remain independent. As your senior loved one gets older, giving them the gift of senior care is one of the best ways to show your love, even if you live far away.

 Senior Care Hickory Grove, SC

Types of Elderly Care in Hickory Grove, SC

To give our senior clients the best care possible, we offer a full spectrum of in-home care services:

Personal Care

Personal Care Services

If your senior loved one has specific care needs, our personal care services are a great choice to consider. Personal care includes the standard caregiving duties associated with companion care and includes help with tasks such as dressing and grooming. Personal care can also help individuals with chronic conditions like diabetes.

Common personal care services include assistance with:

  • Eating
  • Mobility Issues
  • Incontinence
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Grooming

Respite Care Hickory Grove, SC
Home Helper

Home Helper Services

Sometimes, seniors need helpful reminders to maintain a high quality of life at home. If you or your senior has trouble with everyday tasks like cooking, our home helper services will be very beneficial.

Common home helper care services include assistance with:

  • Medication Reminders
  • Meal Preparation
  • Pet Care
  • Prescription Refills
  • Morning Wake-Up
  • Walking
  • Reading
 Caregivers Hickory Grove, SC
Companionship Services

Companionship Services

Using this kind of care is a fantastic way to make life easier for you or your senior loved one. At Always Best Care, our talented caregivers often fill the role of a companion for seniors. That way, older adults can enjoy their favorite local activities, such as visiting Henry Fork River Park with friends while also receiving the care they need daily or weekly.

Common companionship services include:

  • Grocery Shopping
  • Transportation to Appointments
  • Nutritional Assistance
  • Conversation
  • Planning Outings
  • Completing Errands
  • Transportation to Community
  • Events and Social Outings
Home Care Hickory Grove, SC
Respite Care

Respite Care Services

According to AARP, more than 53 million adults living in the U.S. provide care to someone over 50 years old. Unfortunately, these caregivers experience stress, exhaustion, and even depression. Our respite care services help family caregivers address urgent obligations, spend time with their children, and enjoy nearby activities. Perhaps more importantly, respite care gives family members time to recharge and regroup. Taking personal time to de-stress reduces the risk of caregiver burnout. So, if you've always wanted to eat at the local Vintage House Restaurant or visit Harper House/Hickory History Center, don't feel bad. Doing so is great for both you and your loved one.

At the end of the day, our goal is to become a valuable part of your senior's daily routine. That way, we may help give them the highest quality of life possible. We know that staying at home is important for your loved one, and we are here to help make sure that is possible.

If you have been on the fence about non-medical home care, there has never been a better time than now to give your senior the care, assistance, and companionship they deserve.

 In-Home Care Hickory Grove, SC

Benefits of Home Care in Hickory Grove, SC

Always Best Care in-home services are for older adults who prefer to stay at home but need ongoing care that friends and family cannot provide. In-home care is a safe, effective way for seniors to age gracefully in a familiar place and live independent, non-institutionalized lives. The benefits of non-medical home care are numerous. Here are just a few reasons to consider senior care services from Always Best Care:

Always Best Care offers a full array of care options for patients at all levels of health. With our trusted elderly care services, your loved one will receive the level of care necessary for them to enjoy the highest possible quality of life.

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Aging in Place: The Preferred Choice for Most Seniors

While it's true that some seniors have complicated medical needs that prevent them from staying at home, aging in place is often the best arrangement for seniors and their families. With a trusted caregiver, seniors have the opportunity to live with a sense of dignity and do so as they see fit - something that is unavailable to many older people today.

In-home care makes it possible for millions of seniors to age in place every year. Rather than moving to a strange nursing home, seniors have the chance to stay at home where they feel the happiest and most comfortable.

Here are just a few of the reasons why older men and women prefer to age at home:

How much does a senior's home truly mean to them?

A study published by the American Society on Aging found that more than half of seniors say their home's emotional value means more than how much their home is worth in monetary value. It stands to reason, then, that a senior's home is where they want to grow old.

With the help of elderly care in Hickory Grove, SC, seniors don't have to age in a sterilized care facility. Instead, they can age gracefully in the place they want to be most: their home. In contrast, seniors who move to a long-term care facility must adapt to new environments, new people, and new systems that the facility implements. At this stage in life, this kind of drastic change can be more harmful than helpful.

Institutional care facilities like nursing homes often put large groups of people together to live in one location. On any given day, dozens of staff members and caregivers run in and out of these facilities. Being around so many new people in a relatively small living environment can be dangerous for a seniors' health and wellbeing. When you consider that thousands of seniors passed away in nursing homes during the COVID-19 pandemic, opting for in-home care is often a safer, healthier choice for seniors.

Aging in place has been shown to improve seniors' quality of life, which helps boost physical health and also helps insulate them from viral and bacterial risks found in elderly living facilities.

For many seniors, the ability to live independently with assistance from a caregiver is a priceless option. With in-home care, seniors experience a higher level of independence and freedom - much more so than in other settings like a nursing home. When a senior has the chance to age in place, they get to live life on their own terms, inside the house that they helped make into a home. More independence means more control over their personal lives, too, which leads to increased levels of fulfillment, happiness, and personal gratification. Over time, these positive feelings can manifest into a healthier, longer life.

More independence, a healthier life, and increased comfort are only a few benefits of aging in place. You have to take into consideration the role of cost and convenience. Simply put, it's usually easier and more affordable to help seniors age in place than it is to move them into an institutional care facility. According to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, seniors who age in the comfort of their homes can save thousands of dollars per month.

In-home care services from Always Best Care, for instance, are often less expensive than long-term solutions, which can cost upwards of six figures per year. To make matters worse, many residential care facilities are reluctant to accept long-term care insurance and other types of payment assistance.

With Always Best Care's home care services, seniors and their families have a greater level of control over their care plans. In-home care gives seniors the chance to form a bond with a trusted caregiver and also receive unmatched care that is catered to their needs. In long-term care facilities, seniors and their loved ones have much less control over their care plan and have less of a say in who provides their care.

 Elderly Care Hickory Grove, SC

Affordable Care

In-home care is a valuable resource that empowers seniors to age in place on their own terms. However, a big concern for many families and their loved ones is how much in-home care costs. If you're worried that in-home care is too expensive, you may be pleasantly surprised to learn that it is one of the most affordable senior care arrangements available.

Typically, hiring an Always Best Care in-home caregiver for a few hours a week is more affordable than sending your loved one to a long-term care facility. This is true even for seniors with more complex care needs.

At Always Best Care, we will work closely with you and your family to develop a Care Plan that not only meets your care needs, but your budget requirements, too. Once we discover the level of care that you or your senior need, we develop an in-home care plan that you can afford.

In addition to our flexible care options, families should also consider the following resources to help offset potential home care costs:

If your loved one qualifies, Medicaid may help reduce in-home care costs. Review your SC's Medicaid program laws and benefits, and make sure your senior's financial and medical needs meet Medicaid eligibility requirements.
Attendance and aid benefits through military service can cover a portion of the costs associated with in-home care for veterans and their spouses.
Many senior care services like in-home care are included in long-term care insurance options. Research different long-term care solutions to find a plan that provides coverage for senior care.
Home care can be included as part of a senior's private insurance plan. Read over your loved one's insurance policy carefully or speak with their insurance provider to determine if in-home care is covered.
Depending on the life insurance plan, you may be able to apply your policy toward long-term care. You may be able to use long-term-care coverage to help pay for in-home elderly care.
 Senior Care Hickory Grove, SC

Compassionate Care. Trusted Caregivers.

When you or your senior loved one needs assistance managing daily tasks at home, finding a qualified caregiver can be challenging. It takes a special kind of person to provide reliable care for your senior loved one. However, a caregiver's role involves more than meal preparation and medication reminders. Many seniors rely on their caregivers for companionship, too.

Our companion care services give seniors the chance to socialize in a safe environment and engage in activities at home. These important efforts boost morale and provide much-needed relief from repetitive daily routines. A one-on-one, engaging conversation can sharpen seniors' minds and give them something in which to be excited.

At Always Best Care, we only hire care providers that we would trust to care for our own loved ones. Our senior caregivers in Hickory Grove, SC understand how important it is to listen and communicate with their seniors. A seemingly small interaction, like a short hug goodbye, can make a major difference in a senior's day. Instead of battling against feelings of isolation, seniors begin to look forward to seeing their caregiver each week.

Understanding the nuances of senior care is just one of the reasons why our care providers are so great at their job.

Unlike some senior care companies, our caregivers must undergo extensive training before they work for Always Best Care. In addition, our caregivers receive ongoing training throughout the year. This training ensures that their standard of care matches up to the high standards we've come to expect. During this training, they will brush up on their communication skills, safety awareness, and symptom spotting. That way, your loved one receives the highest level of non-medical home care from day one.

Assisted Living Referral Services

While it's true that many seniors prefer to age at home, sometimes in-home care isn't the best fit. For those seniors and their families, choosing an assisted living facility makes more sense. Unfortunately, finding the optimal care facility is easier said than done in today's day and age. That's when Always Best Care's assisted living referral services begin to make a lot of sense.

Assisted living is a form of housing intended for seniors who require varying degrees of medical and personal attention. Accommodations may include single rooms, apartments, or shared living arrangements. Assisted living communities are typically designed to resemble a home-like environment and are physically constructed to encourage the independence of residents.

Respite Care Hickory Grove, SC

At assisted living communities, seniors receive help with daily activities such as bathing, dressing, and eating. They may also benefit from coordination of services with outside healthcare providers, and monitoring of resident activities to ensure their health, safety, and well-being. Caregivers who work at assisted living communities can also provide medication administration and personal care services for older adults.

Other services offered within assisted living communities can include some or all of the following:

  • Housekeeping
  • Laundry
  • Recreational Activities
  • Social Outings
  • Emergency Medical Response
  • Medication Monitoring
  • Family Visitation
  • Personal Care
 Caregivers Hickory Grove, SC

At Always Best Care, our representatives can match your senior's emotional, physical, and financial needs with viable assisted living communities nearby. Results are based on comparative data, so you can select the best choice for you or your loved one.

Always Best Care works closely with local senior living communities to gain valuable knowledge that we then use to help seniors and their loved ones make informed decisions. This information can include basic care and rent, resident availability, and services provided. Because Always Best Care is compensated by these communities, we provide senior living referral services at no extra cost to you.

Some of the most popular assisted living communities to consider in our area include the following:

  • Summit Place of Kings Mountain
  • Ivy Grove Assisted Living
  • Kings Mountain Care Center Inc
  • Kingston Residence of Hickory
  • Heavenly Touch Care Home
  • Country Time Inn
Home Care Hickory Grove, SC

For many seniors, moving into a senior living community revolves around how and when they want to make a transition to more involved care. Some seniors are more proactive about transitioning to independent living. Others choose to remain home until their care needs or other requirements are satisfied. Remember - our staff is here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about assisted living communities and how we can find a facility that exceeds your expectations.

 In-Home Care Hickory Grove, SC

Taking the First Step with Always Best Care

The first step in getting quality in-home care starts with a personal consultation with an experienced Always Best Care Care Coordinator. This initial consultation is crucial for our team to learn more about you or your elderly loved one to discover the level of care required. Topics of this consultation typically include:

A discussion of your needs and how our trained caregivers can offer assistance in the most effective way


A draft of your care plan, which includes highly detailed notes and a framework for the care that you or your senior will receive


Discuss payment options and help coordinate billing with your insurance provider


Our caregivers are trained to spot changes that clients exhibit, like mental and physical decline. As your trusted senior care company, we will constantly assess and update your Care Plan to meet any new emotional, intellectual, physical, and emotional needs.

If you have never considered in-home care before, we understand that you and your family may have concerns about your Care Plan and its Care Coordinator. To help give you peace of mind, know that every team member and caregiver must undergo comprehensive training before being assigned to a Care Plan.

At the end of the day, we only hire the best of the best at Always Best Care. Whether you need home care in Hickory Grove, SC 24-hours a day or only need a respite for a couple of hours, we are here to serve you.

When you're ready, we encourage you to contact your local Always Best Care representative to set up a Care Consultation. Our Care Coordinators would be happy to meet with you in person to get to know you better, discuss your needs, and help put together a personalized Care Plan specific to your needs.

 Elderly Care Hickory Grove, SC

Latest News in Hickory Grove, SC

In tiny town of Hickory Grove, one man spends $3,000 on free July 4 fireworks show

There is usually not much noise in tiny Hickory Grove. In the tiny western York County town of 467 people, not including the horses and goats and cows and chickens, quiet rules the day and the night 364 days a year.There are just a couple of street lights. No stoplights. The darkness in Hickory Grove is the darkest, deepest dark. It is what people call “The Country.”Except July 4.Then Hickory Grove is simply The Big Boom.July 4 in Hickory Grove is the biggest light display in the darkest country sky an...

There is usually not much noise in tiny Hickory Grove. In the tiny western York County town of 467 people, not including the horses and goats and cows and chickens, quiet rules the day and the night 364 days a year.

There are just a couple of street lights. No stoplights. The darkness in Hickory Grove is the darkest, deepest dark. It is what people call “The Country.”

Except July 4.

Then Hickory Grove is simply The Big Boom.

July 4 in Hickory Grove is the biggest light display in the darkest country sky anybody ever saw. People come from all over, they park on rural S.C. 211 and Church Street and at the little town park across the highway.

They “ooooooh” and ‘ahhhhhhh.”

And one man, not an office holder or politician but just a guy, spends $3,000 of his own money earned working in a warehouse to buy and set off all these fireworks for The Big Boom. His name is Wesley White and he stands about 5 feet 4 inches tall.

But in tiny Hickory Grove, he is a giant on July 4.

“I just love fireworks, but more, I love people,” said White, 29. “In this world we have so much division, so many things that keep people apart, I just always wanted to find a way to bring all kinds of people together in America. What better way than fireworks on July 4?”

In South Carolina, fireworks are not just legal, but so legal that people come from other states to buy truckloads of them. White buys some of the biggest and best, saving all year to splurge for July 4. He already has towers of boxes ready to go.

“I want the show to be the best so that people can have a great time and know that somebody out here loves them,” White said. “I have had strangers stop and cry and say it was so great. We have had people come up here and hug us all and thank us for giving them a little bit of togetherness in this world.”

White, a proud Christian who has started a clothing line – and a motto for his life – called “Prayed Up,” started humbly six years ago with his show. He wanted the kids in his family to see fireworks out in the country and not have to travel 30 miles to Rock Hill or 40 miles to Charlotte. The show has gotten bigger and better, and louder and brighter, every year.

“He always loved the things that went boom, the fireworks, so it just seemed natural that he would do this,” said Harriet White, Wesley’s mother. “He has this giving spirit.”

Wesley’s father, sisters, daughter, nieces, aunts all get in on the event, with a free community cookout, even swimming in their family pool for anyone who shows up. There is a mountain of food, fellowship and fun.

And it is all free.

There are black people and white people and Hispanics who watch the fireworks and meet new people. People start showing up around 4 p.m. and stay until way past dark. The food is shared and the sweet tea is shared and then the fireworks are shared. Because on July 4, White said, America’s greatness shows through by the sharing of patriotism.

“Everybody on July 4 loves America,” White said. “We all wave the same flag. We all should love each other. Maybe this is one way I can help change the country so that more days we can all love each other a little bit more.”

The Big Boom over six years has boomed, as word spreads on social media and at church and just plain old-fashioned word of mouth.

And it all happens in a tiny town where the summer darkness changes on July 4 every year to an afternoon of togetherness and fun and a night of explosions.

“Hickory Grove is a small place,” White said. “Real small. But I want to show the world that on July 4 we have the biggest heart.”

Andrew Dys: 803-329-4065, @AndrewDysHerald

This story was originally published July 3, 2016, 8:40 AM.

St. James Rosenwald School in Hickory Grove Set to Receive a South Carolina Historical Marker

HICKORY GROVE, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – More than 60 years ago a group of Hickory Grove students would be surprised to know they would soon become a part of history. This Saturday, September 18th the Hickory Grove Rosenwald School will get a South Carolina Historic Marker.The Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee meeting at the St. James Rosenwald school, on this Thursday, remembering what their education there meant.Former student and now Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee Treasurer, Eva Byrd say...

HICKORY GROVE, S.C. (CN2 NEWS) – More than 60 years ago a group of Hickory Grove students would be surprised to know they would soon become a part of history. This Saturday, September 18th the Hickory Grove Rosenwald School will get a South Carolina Historic Marker.

The Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee meeting at the St. James Rosenwald school, on this Thursday, remembering what their education there meant.

Former student and now Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee Treasurer, Eva Byrd says, “You know everybody was family here, and our teachers were family.”

Built by area farmers between 1929 and 1930, this two classroom school house was one of many built for mostly rural communities African-American students. This school system created by Booker T. Washington and Julius Rosenwald, president of Sears, Roebuck and Company helped establish nearly 5,000 schools for black students, between 1912 and 1932.

Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee President and former student, Robert Good, says, “I learned that it was something special I guess about 1996, I was living in Raleigh and I found out that Rosenwald schools – two room schools — were special. I said, ‘Oh, there’s one of those in my hometown’.”

Now, more than 60 years after the school closed its doors, those same doors are re-opening to be honored as a South Carolina historical marker.

“This marker that’s going to be put out there, is something that’s going to be written down and that’s something we in the black community don’t really have. We kind of pass things down verbally, but this marker will be here hopefully forever,” says Good.

After the school’s closing in 1957, a family came together to remodel the building, making it a church, St. Paul’s.

Hickory Grove Community Preservation Committee Vice Chair, Carl Bankhead, says, “My dad and uncles they took an interest in it. They had a smaller church down in the country so they came in somehow acquired the permission to use the school.”

With such a long history in the community this committee’s leaders reflect on what they hope black youth take away from this moment.

“When I was coming up, you didn’t get an education like you can today, you weren’t privileged to have an education. So I’m hoping they realize the importance of today and having an education,” says Byrd.

“It was just a fun place to be and I think it got me interested in academics and so it started me thinking about things other than down on the farm,” says Good.

This is the second Rosenwald school in the area to get this honor and CN2’s Rachel Richardson is speaking with the Hickory Grove former students about what this dedication means.

Hopewell Hash rural tradition lasted 101 years in York County. Now, it might be over

A century-old tradition of hash and fellowship appears to be over in York County -- and it’s passing might be forever.The annual Hopewell Day celebration in western York County, which celebrated 101 years in 2018, has been canceled for 2019. A lack of volunteers, conflict with schoo...

A century-old tradition of hash and fellowship appears to be over in York County -- and it’s passing might be forever.

The annual Hopewell Day celebration in western York County, which celebrated 101 years in 2018, has been canceled for 2019. A lack of volunteers, conflict with school calendars and dwindling attendance all contributed to the decision to cancel the event this year, organizers said.

The event was always celebrated on the third Wednesday in August after rural farmers in the countryside and towns of Hickory Grove, Smyrna and Sharon had finished putting crops away. A whole cow would be butchered and made into hash, then folks would gather for fellowship and Gospel singing.

“It hurts not to do it, but it got to be just too much for a few people to be able to do it,” said Melvin Howell, a longtime organizer who has missed just one Hopewell Day in more than seven decades.

For decades politicians would stump for votes and people would line up for the beef hash made of nothing but meat, onions, butter and salt. But politicians now can reach voters through the Internet and social media, and few people farm anymore.

The future of one of South Carolina’s longest-running rural traditions is uncertain.

“The number of people out here who can be a part of volunteering for it has dwindled,” Howell said. “It was not an easy decision. It hurts, to tell you the truth.”

Not even the fact that Dolly Parton’s family lived nearby at one time decades ago was able to stir interest.

The event was put on by the Tr-Cities Club at the old elementary school that served the area. The building was saved and refurnished by volunteers. The “Tri-Cities” are the tiny towns of Hickory Grover, Sharon and Smyrna. Smyrna is the smallest incorporated town in South Carolina with about 50 residents.

Chris Revels, another organizer, said he and others will talk in the coming year about possibly moving the event to the weekend.

“We just can’t muster enough help and crowds have dwindled,” Revels said. “But we are going to talk about what we can do. This is a great tradition.”

High-Speed Internet Spreads in Rural South Carolina

(TNS) — Some parts of York County, S.C., that haven't had high speed internet are about to go online.Fiber optic based internet at speeds up to 1 Gbps will extend to Smyrna, Hickory Grove and western York County. Full upgrades could take two or three years, but some western York County residents could have new service by mid-2021.The change comes through a partnership with Comporium and York Electric Cooperative. It impacts about 5,000 York Electric members in York and parts of Cherokee counties. Some details are still to...

(TNS) — Some parts of York County, S.C., that haven't had high speed internet are about to go online.

Fiber optic based internet at speeds up to 1 Gbps will extend to Smyrna, Hickory Grove and western York County. Full upgrades could take two or three years, but some western York County residents could have new service by mid-2021.

The change comes through a partnership with Comporium and York Electric Cooperative. It impacts about 5,000 York Electric members in York and parts of Cherokee counties. Some details are still to be determined, per a joint release from Comporium and York Electric, after a year of discussion already on the project.

Other Comporium services like streaming video, voice, security and home automation will be available along with the improved internet access.

In the release, Comporium executive vice president and COO Matthew Dosch praised the partnership.

" Comporium is delighted to work hand-in-hand with the staff at York Electric to extend state-of-the-art broadband service to residents of western York and parts of Cherokee County who have long been overlooked by the larger providers," Dosch said.

High speed internet has become increasingly useful in recent years as everything from shopping and banking to entertainment and communication have gone online. The COVID-19 pandemic that began last spring also sent school virtual, as grocery deliveries and more did the same as many people stayed home.

York Electric CEO Paul Basha , in the release, said his group always wants to look out for its members.

"We are excited to partner with Comporium to bring broadband to many who have suffered from insufficient access for several years, holding true to our promise of improving the quality of life for those living in our communities," Basha said. "After recognizing the growing need for high speed Internet, especially during the pandemic, YEC's board of directors and management team responded with a plan to help."

York Electric is a nonprofit electric utility based in York with more than 63,000 customers in York, Lancaster, Chester and Cherokee counties. It's one of 20 electric cooperatives in South Carolina. Comporium, based in Rock Hill, has more than 134,000 customers in a more than 4,000-square-mile service area.

(c)2021 The Herald (Rock Hill, S.C.). Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

Boat ramp to improve York County recreation

Of the few access points on the Broad River, the one at the Irene Bridge on S.C. 211 in western York County has always been for the adventurous.The bank was washed out, logs were lying around and it was "pretty snaky," said Tom Jackson, who spent much of his time growing up in York and floating down the Broad River awaiting whatever sight nature had to offer around each bend.He would pull his canoe out of the water and carry it up a steep embankment to his vehicle parked in the grass on the side of the road. But he di...

Of the few access points on the Broad River, the one at the Irene Bridge on S.C. 211 in western York County has always been for the adventurous.

The bank was washed out, logs were lying around and it was "pretty snaky," said Tom Jackson, who spent much of his time growing up in York and floating down the Broad River awaiting whatever sight nature had to offer around each bend.

He would pull his canoe out of the water and carry it up a steep embankment to his vehicle parked in the grass on the side of the road. But he didn't always feel safe pulling out onto S.C. 211.

Soon river goers will have a safer, public place to launch their boats near the bridge.

The state Department of Natural Resources, with help from York County, plans to build a 2.5-acre public boat ramp about 5 miles southwest of Hickory Grove at the S.C. 211 bridge over the Broad River in York County.

The facility will include a gravel parking area and a concrete ramp to accommodate trailer launching, said County Engineer Mark Kettlewell.

Federal grants and money allocated for York and Cherokee counties through the state Department of Natural Resources will pay for the project, which is expected to cost about $280,000.

Assisting DNR, York County will purchase the property up front and be reimbursed later. The county will also handle the process of bidding out construction.

The county's primary responsibility after the ramp is built will be to maintain it.

York County Council won't have to appropriate any local funds for the project, said County Manager Jim Baker.

A lack of public access along the river has deterred most people from using the river, said Chad Chandler, who owns the property slated for the ramp.

Mostly only folks who know people living along the river use it.

The ramp, which will be named in honor of his grandfather, Marion Cecil Chandler, will open up the river to more people, he said.

Chandler has already received a call from a kayak rental company interested in setting up an operation nearby.

The ramp at the S.C. 211 bridge will be "wonderful" and ideal, Jackson said.

Not only will the facility provide a safer way to get in and out of water, a better place to park, and eliminate the risk of getting stuck, it will also open up the river to adventurers who aren't quite willing to risk the more primitive boat launches and "throw-ins," he said.

And there's always the added benefit of the outdoors, he said.

"It gets people off the couch and away from work," Jackson said.

Wanted: More recreation

The discussion about the boat ramp has been ongoing among state and local officials in York and Cherokee counties, Baker said.

They considered sites for a public river access in Cherokee County and around York County-owned Worth Mountain near Hickory Grove, but none worked out.

Worth Mountain, which DNR leases from the county, is primarily used for hunting. There are gravel roads and good fishing locations there, but not much parking, Baker said.

Shallow water at the only location for a possible boat ramp would have ruled out power boats. There also were significant flooding issues, Baker said.

The boat ramp comes at a time when officials are assessing York County's need for more open space, public parks and recreation opportunities.

York lacks recreation facilities compared to some other counties in South Carolina, according to a recent study by the York County Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Bennish Brown, executive director of the CVB, shared the study with the York County Council last week.

Aiken County staffs five parks and has 14 unstaffed parks and eight boat landings, the study showed. Aiken has a population of 160,000.

Charleston County, with about 350,000 residents, maintains 19 boat landings and 25 parks, which include water parks, dog parks, meeting and event rental spaces, a marina, equestrian center, and climbing wall, campgrounds and fishing piers, among others.

York County, by comparison, owns and manages four parks: Ebenezer Park, Allison Creek landing, Nanny's Mountain and Worth Mountain.

The study shows that parks and open space opportunities are high priorities for York County residents.

Whether York County has adequate park space has come up in relation to other controversies.

Earlier this year campers at Ebenezer Park complained when the county raised the rates at the only county-run campground.

Residents living along Dave Lyle Boulevard said they wanted to see more park and recreation facilities as priorities in the county's vision for how the corridor, which will extend east of Rock Hill toward the Catawba River, will be developed.

More parks planned

The county has several plans in the works for additional parks and recreation opportunities, Baker said last week.

There has been some talk about transforming the boat landing at Allison Creek into a "bigger and better Ebenezer Park," Baker said.

Duke Energy owns the land but can qualify for grant money aimed at encouraging the company to create more recreation opportunities on water ways where its facilities are located.

The county was granted land as part of the Crowder's Creek and Allison Creek planned developments, and since then, there has been discussion about putting ball fields there, Baker said.

A master plan for that site is in the works, Brown said.

The county has also been exploring properties that might be good sites for agritourism activities and officials are assessing what it would take to see the project through.

York County Council Chairman Britt Blackwell said after Brown's presentation that parks and recreation - like tourism - are important to providing residents with better quality of life.

After talking with his daughter about how many young people enjoy having pets, he asked the county to see whether a dog park would be feasible on county property.

However the county moves forward with exploring its options for parks and recreation opportunities, it should consider what municipalities already offer, Brown and Baker have said.

The City of Rock Hill, for example, maintains 31 parks and four recreation centers, according to its website.

Baker said it's unclear how the county's plans will pan out.

The challenge, he said, will be to find "a package that everybody supports. ...We're going to have to figure out where the council is as a whole and put together a program that has pieces of what everyone is enamored with."

That still leaves the question of who will pay for them.

"These are all wonderful amenities, but they all cost money," Baker said.

This story was originally published December 27, 2011, 12:00 AM.


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