In 1820, Alexander Downer, a wealthy plantation owner, died at age 68 and left the bulk of his wealth to build a school for orphans. The school, the first Downer Institute, was built in 1843 in Beech Island. Classes began in 1848 and continued until the end of the Civil War. Three other Downer schools followed holding classes until 1986. Downer Elementary was closed, as was Jackson Elementary in Jackson, SC. These two communtites and schools merged to form Redcliffe Elementary.
Redcliffe Elementary was completed in 1986, and is a Title 1 School located in rural southeast Aiken County, SC, about halfway between the communities of Jackson and Beech Island. It is 96.930 sq feet, has 52 classsrooms and approximately 748 students.