To fully enjoy the 213-acre Cheraw Historic District (843/537-8425, www.cheraw.com ), remember there are three basic components: Market Street , the main drag which includes the Village Green and is mostly Victorian; perpendicular Third Street , where the grandest antebellum homes are located; and the Riverside , which includes a historic church and a riverwalk on the Pee Dee itself.
The Cheraw Visitors Bureau (221 Market St., 843/537-8425, Mon.–Fri. 9 a.m.–5 p.m., www.cheraw.com ) inside the Chamber of Commerce building puts out an excellent walking tour map. Call or go by to get one. You can even make appointments to tour sites on the weekend, but make sure to call ahead.
A natural first stop is the place where Cheraw’s favorite son grew up, the Dizzy Gillespie Home Site Park (300 block of Huger Street, dawn–dusk, free). Get here by taking Huger a couple of blocks north off of Market as you come into town. No building stands here today, just some benches, attractive flowers, and a number of striking modernist sculptures invoking the spirit of jazz.
A particularly cool aspect of the park is the chrome fence along Huger Street, illustrating several bars from Gillespie’s biggest hit, “Salt Peanuts.” (No statue of Dizzy? No worries. There’s a nice one a few blocks further into town.)
Scoot a block north and ease onto McIver Street to see the grand Powe House (143 McIver St.), used by General Sherman himself as headquarters during his occupation. A few doors down is the Enfield House (135 McIver St.), headquarters of Union General Howard.