The 80-year-old structure at Cheraw State Park known as the House on the Hill is showing its age.
Efforts to restore the building have taken the structure down to the bare bones — boards, rather — and revealed that many of them were nearly soft as cotton.
Although the renovation effort, estimated to cost $250,000, got off to a good start, “we are still in need of contributions,” Cheraw Mayor Andy Ingram said this week. “Anyone who has not yet given to the effort is reminded their contributions are tax-deductible, and that any amount is welcome.”
When the project is complete, the building will house an updated kitchen, central heating and air and restrooms that no longer open to the outdoors. A huge deck will be added across the back of the structure, offering views to the lake. Landscaping plans call for the removal of a good many trees that currently block that view.
Along with many agencies, the town of Cheraw is contributing $15,000 toward the effort, to be paid from the town’s hospitality fund. According to Ingram, the kind of recognition the town gets with the promotion of Cheraw State Park is priceless.
“Every piece of literature that goes out on the park has our name on it,” said Ingram. “It is the Cheraw State Park. We couldn’t possibly afford that kind of advertising on our own. It can’t help but promote tourism for the community.”
Anyone wishing to donate to the project can make checks payable to “The House on the Hill — BPA.” Mail to: Cheraw State Park, 100 State Park Road, Cheraw, SC 29520.
Online payments may be made by visiting www.southcarolinaparks.com/cheraw/introduction.aspx and clicking on the link that reads “Click here to make a donation The House on the Hill.”
History of the House on the Hill
Before there were trees blocking the view, before there was a golf course surrounding it, before the House on the Hill was built, the people, even the children of the community, were involved in the creation of Cheraw State Park.
The year was 1934. Children had collected pennies and adults had gathered more substantial donations; some as much as $25. The Community Committee took the money and purchased 706 acres of land to turn over to the state, making Cheraw State Park the first to be built in South Carolina under the New Deal program.
As the park enters its 80th year, the House on the Hill is in need of some major updates, said Ingram, who is leading a fundraising effort to renovate the facility. The project was announced earlier this summer with a $75,000 donation from Duke Progress Energy.
Lou Fontana, director of corporate affairs for the State Park Service, said the park is in complete support of the project and will not only be using in-house craftsmen to do the work, but park officials will be kicking in $40,000 as well.
“Any and all donations will be accepted and appreciated,” said Ingram. “We’re counting on the people of Cheraw to continue this great tradition of giving back to the community.”