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South of the Border, South Carolina

As told by Stories: YES Lake View High School
Lake View, South Carolina

Story Narrative:

In collaboration with Dillon County Theatre Association in South Carolina, Liz Herlong's Broadcast Journalism student Gavin Kelly produced this story about the roadside attraction, South of the Border. Julia Bailey and Richard Schafer describe its history and the most recent additions. Lake View High School aired a different segment about the area each Wednesday morning on the Gator TV Morning News broadcast as part of a series called, "Way Back Wednesdays." It was created for Museum on Main Street's Stories: YES program.

Find the complete transcript at the bottom of this page.

Gavin Kelly: Stop and stretch your legs at South of the Border in Dillon, South Carolina. South of the Border was established in 1950 by Alan Schafer and was meant to be a bar because North Carolina prohibited alcohol. And the bar was just a stone's throw away from the boarder, so North Carolinians could easily grab a drink. South of the Border is a rest stop with restaurants, gas stations, a video arcade, a motel, and a truck stop. As well as a small amusement park, a mini-golf course, shopping, and firework stores. One of the many restaurants at South of the Border is the Peddler's Steakhouse. It is run by Mitch Drigger.

Julia Bailey: [0:40] When I was younger, South of the Border, we used to come here. Actually to play put put with my relatives and it was right over there where the aligator adventure is. And Allan Shaffer had it to begin with. It started from a hot dog stand and then he started putting more into it. He got the company, the Blooming Ginger Ale. Just kinda expanded from there. Right now, his grandson owns it and what he is doing now is renovating it and also putting in a dirt bike track. Probably about six years ago and it's actually for sports, semi-professional I think. But that's all that I really know about it. Actually this restaurant used to be the hotel office. That's why it's circle, because the cars would actually pull up where the dining area is. The actual office itself would have been our kitchen. And that was the original office.

Gavin Kelly: [1:40] While you're there stop by Reptile Lagoon, the largest indoor reptile exhibit in the United States, to see snakes, crocodiles, alligators, and turtles.

Richard Schafer: [1:50] South of the Border was a offshoot of another company that my father owned and my grandfather owned. In Little Rock we had a beer distribution company called Schafer Distributing Company. [2:05] And it started in 1933, we worked over half the state of South Carolina in the end. The name South of the Border came from the United States Postal Service. He was getting mail, Alan Schafer, south of the North Carolina border. So at that point in time, so much of it came that way he finally just renamed the business, South of the Border. Well he grew from that, the beer joint as I called it, he had to have a restaurant added and have to have food to have on premise service. And the business just started growing from that because of tourism.

Richard Schafer: [2:49] And all of the sudden there was nothing between Fayetteville, North Carolina and Florence South Carolina. Nothing on 301 at that point in time. And it was half way in between them, well basically half way, and people started stopping. Funny a lot of the business started purely by just watching what tourists do. At that point we're talking about 1949 now. People would stop and there was a cotton field on the west side of 301. Big cotton field.


Additional content in transcript . . .

Asset ID: 8550
Themes: Crossroads, tourism, history, marketing, travel, journeys
Date recorded: 2019
Length of recording: 4:59 m
Related traveling exhibition: Crossroads: Change in Rural America
Sponsor or affiliated organization: Dillon County Theatre Association, South Carolina
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