The hamlet of Govan, located in Bamberg County, was once home to a thriving agricultural community. The town, with a population of just 65 during the 2010 census, is named in honor of Govan Kennedy, the youngest son of one of Govan’s founding families.
Private H. Govan Kennedy died in the Civil War at the Battle of Second Manassas (Bull Run). He was 17 years old. His body is buried in a Confederate mass grave in Warrenton, Virginia. The community of Govan was originally called Verden, but when railroad officials decided to change the name of the local station, Kennedy’s brother, Lawton, suggested Govan in his brother’s honor.
Govan was incorporated on December 23, 1885. Other founding family names include Browning, Cook, Gunnells, Hartzog, Hay, Hutto, Lancaster, Odom, and Ray.
Reminders of the town’s past are evident in the scattering of seemingly abandoned barns, sheds, homes, and stores such as Lancaster’s Store (shown below) along Carolina Highway.
Mountain Home Plantation, shown below, is located along Georges Creek Road and gets its name from the surrounding hilly terrain. The home was built in 1859 for owner Samuel J. Hartzog. Enslaved people harvested cotton here, which was the primary crop.
Frank Pickens Williams, Sr., grandson of Samuel Shannon Williams, a previous owner of Mountain Home, shares the following:
There is an inscription written in pencil on the side of a mantel in an upstairs bedroom that states, “This house was moved into on May 14, 1859, total cost of this house was $2,993.08.” This inscription has never been painted over and is very legible.
Updated Pictures of Govan
The following images were submitted to us by Sandy Laney, she shared: “Sadly the three old buildings are no more. Discovered that the building depicted in the third photo has been knocked down and will likely be cleared from the land just as the others have been. I was fortunate to have photographed it a mere three weeks ago.”