Bowen's Corner, an African-American farming community from the mid-19th century through the late-20th century, was originally part of a rice plantation established along Goose Creek in 1680. That tract was granted by the Lords Proprietors to Barnard Schenckingh (d. 1692). It was later owned by Benjamin Coachman (d. 1779), member of the Royal Assembly. By 1785 it passed to John Bowen (d. 1811), a state representative, for whom Bowen's Corner is named.
Bowen and later absentee owners through the antebellum and post-Civil War era often employed slaves and freedmen as overseers or managers, giving them an opportunity to work toward self-sufficiency. "Bowen's Old Place" was subdivided into small farms after the war. By 1936 the Bowen's Corner community, between the railroad and the Goose Creek Reservoir, was centered on Bethel A.M.E. Church and Bowen's Corner School, for grades 1-8, which closed in 1954.