Four Holes Park Dedicated and Opened
The Post and Courier, 15 July 1999

Cow Bill would have been tickled pink.

Doris Harley Salley, the granddaughter who compiled the family history, unveiled a historical monument to mark the location of his granddad's 18th century tavern and post office. Haskell Parler, the great-great-grandson who spurred the creation of Four Holes Park, spoke at its dedication ceremony.

The dedication Wednesday of the park at the fork of U.S. Highway 78 and U.S. Highway 178 marked a milestone for the family of William Washington "Cow Bill" Harley, the founder of Harleyville, and his grandfather, William Harley.

William Harley in 1796 was deeded 500 acres along the swamp. He opened a tavern and post office at the spot where a bridge crossed the swamp on a road from Charleston to Orangeburg.

Cow Bill Harley in the mid-1800s raised cattle there and drove them to Charleston to market.

A century later, a road crew digging footings for the U.S. Highway 78 bridge unearthed a cannon from a Revolutionary War outpost at the swamp bridge - a strategic, fought-over crossing.

The cannon ended up in Summerville. Parler in 1997 said in a casual aside that he'd like to see it returned and the history of the swamp better recognized.

Dorchester County Administrator Ed Carter pushed to build the park and made the cannon its centerpiece. On Wednesday, it formally opened with fife, drums and fiddle players among other 2nd Regiment South Carolina Line re-enactors.

"It is a very historic place, a very telling place," said keynote speaker state Sen. Glenn McConnell, who sat alongside Parler on the gazebo dais.

"On behalf of myself and all the people of Dorchester County, thank you," Parler said. "On behalf of all the descendants of the Harley family, I'm honored and proud."


 

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