Trails to You
There’s a chill in the air and the days are growing shorter. Yards are
springing up with scary decorations and pumpkins. Trees are beginning
to show signs of color other than green. It’s that time of year again
– time for a spooky road trip.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. While on
the Square, you might want to check out a show at the Opera House, but
you may get more than you’re paying for. At least two ghosts have been
spotted there in the past few years. Whether they’re from a travelling
show from the long history of the Opera House or new arrivals since
the renovations, no one yet knows who they are. Head west on Main Street
and turn right on Drayton Street. After passing Willowbrook Park, turn
left on Crosson Street. Behind the Newberry Middle School on the right
is the West End Cemetery. This is the setting for the “Bride of West
End.” Again, no one today knows who she was or for whom she’s waiting.
She can be seen in the evening wandering about the cemetery in a flowing
white dress, waiting for the lover that left her waiting at the altar.
Turn right on Belfast Road. Cross Bush River. Turn left on Spearman
Road. On a bend in the road to the left is the Reagin Family Cemetery.
Cross Beaverdam Creek. At the end of the road, bear right on Hwy 34.
Turn left on Werts Road. Just beyond the point where the road crosses
Turners Creek, a section of the old Greenville Railroad crosses. Be
careful at this intersection, for it was the site of a collision between
a School Bus and a train. The accident occurred on December 18, 1946,
and resulted in the death of the bus driver and eleven children. A monument
to the crash lends a solemn feel to the place on even a sunny day, but
more recently strange phenomena have been reported here. Across from
the end of Werts Road is a large oak tree. This is a seedling of a large
oak that was called a hanging tree. Legend has it that it is haunted
by the bartender of the old tavern at the crossroads who hung himself
in the early nineteenth century. Turn right on Deadfall Road.
Down the road on the left is New Chapel Methodist Church. Founded in
the first decade of the nineteenth century, the church has been on this
site since 1830. There is a nice cemetery behind the church. Turn right
on George’s Loop. On the left is the Cannon House which was built in
1869. There’s nothing spookier than having a real tombstone in the front
yard. Hang a sharp left to stay on George’s Loop. Turn right on Deadfall
Road. Cross Beaverdam Creek. Turn left on Hwy 395.
The point where Hwy 395 crosses Bush River is near the site of Bobo’s
Mill which is the setting for an old ghost story: the Phantom Rider
of Bush River. First published in 1860, it is one of the oldest written
ghost stories in South Carolina. Set during the Revolutionary War, it
recounts the tale of Charity, a Quaker girl, and her lover, who was
a patriot soldier. The soldier vowed to return from the war in one year,
dead or alive. On the appointed day he failed to make it back, but that
night the sound of his horse could be heard racing up and down the old
road. No tracks were found. The sound of horses hooves tell of his attempt
to find his love after death. Turn right on Cannon Swamp Road.
Turn left on Schumpert Mill Road. Turn right on Clara Brown Road. Cross
Kinards Creek. Turn left on St. Luke’s Church Road. Around a bend in
the road on the left is the old Dunker Cemetery. The old cemetery is
a favorite of road trips. (The mailbox contains information on the cemetery,
but it still looks spooky.) Turn right on Fire Tower Road and then left
on Clara Brown Road. Cross Timothy Creek. Coming into Prosperity, the
Moseley House, circa 1880, is on the left. Spanish moss on trees in
the yard gives it a haunting feel. Turn right on Main Street. Turn right
on Broad Street and then left on McNeary Street. At the edge of town
on the left is the Prosperity Cemetery. The oldest section of the cemetery
was the graveyard from Prosperity ARP Church. In the late nineteenth
century, a mysterious glow was seen over the trees at the edge of the
cemetery. It was never satisfactorily explained. Turn left on Rikard
School Road. Turn right on Macedonia Church Road. Cross Susannah Branch.
Turn left on Mt. Pilgrim Church Road. On the right is Mt. Pilgrim Lutheran
Church and its cemetery. Founded in 1880, the present church which is
faced with field stones was constructed in 1934. Beyond the church is
a view of Little Mountain looming over the landscape. At the bottom
of a steep hill, cross Camping Creek. Turn right on Pa Metts Road. Turn
left on Old Dutch Road. Around a bend in the road on the right is a
small family cemetery. Turn right on Hwy 76 and then left on Dr. Bowers
Road. Turn right on Mt. Tabor Road. On the right are Mt. Tabor Lutheran
Church and its cemetery. The church was organized in 1880. Turn left
on Main Street. Though the Town of Little Mountain was incorporated
in 1890, it is the setting of a much older tale. The Weber Heresy took
place in 1760 and involved a land grant scam, sacrilege and murder.
Jacob Weber convinced the locals that he was God and that his wife and
son were the Virgin Mary and Jesus. After the murder of John Smithpeter,
one of his conspirators, Weber was tried and hanged in Charleston. Turn
left on Pomaria Street. At the end of the road, turn left on Hwy 176.
Cross Crim’s Creek into downtown Pomaria. Turn right on Holloway Street.
Turn right on Hwy 176 and left on St. Paul Road. In the nineteenth century,
near St. Paul’s, a woman was accused of witchcraft. After a train had
run over her cow, she spread fat on the tracks so that the train would
skid and stop on the spot. She gave the crew a “blessing out.” Turn
right on Jolly Street Road. At the intersection of Old Jolly Street
Road, the old schoolhouse is on the right. On the left, before the intersection
of St. Philip Road, is the Kinard Family Cemetery. Near here, an old
Kinard House, according to legend, was haunted. Even after nailing the
doors and windows shut, they would nightly open and close. Turn right
on St. Philip Road. Cross Cannon’s Creek. Turn left on Halfacre Road.
On the right at the corner of Clayton Church Road is the Gallman House,
circa 1860. Near the end of the road on the left is the DeWalt-Gray-Gallman
Cemetery. The sound of horse’s hooves can be heard hear sometimes at
night. (There are other such traditions around the county. Could they
all be part of the Phantom Rider tale, or do we have several ghostly
riders in Newberry?)
Turn right on Oxner Road. Turn left on Hwy 34. Turn right on General
Henderson Road. On the left is the National Guard Armory. At the end
of the road, turn right on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. Turn left on Kings
Creek Road. (An old Honey Locust tree sets the stage for some Persimmon
beer.) Cross the south fork of King’s Creek before reaching the highway.
Cross Hwy 121 and Little King’s Creek. Across a field to the right near
the end of the road stands the George W. Glenn House. It is said to
be haunted. Mysterious blood stains have been reported on the floorboards.
Turn left on Old Whitmire Hwy. Turn left on Hwy 76 and right on College
Street. On the left is Rosemont Cemetery. The Annals of Newberry records
that ethereal music has been heard in the cemetery. Listen for it as
you return to historic downtown Newberry.
To School II
As students and teachers begin their new school year, it’s time to take
a look at some of the county’s school buildings old and new. Today,
all of Newberry is covered by one school district. When the Public School
system was begun in the late nineteenth century, each community sponsored
its own school. In 1900, there were 57 school districts in the county
and all but one had both a black and a white school. As the twentieth
century progressed, smaller schools consolidated, so that by 1951 the
county was down to seven districts and seven high schools. Now, our
one district has 15 schools, including adult education.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Travel
east on Main Street. Turn right on College Street. On the right at the
corner of Johnstone Street is a stucco covered brick building which
originally housed the Newberry Female Academy. The school in Newberry
was divided into a boy’s school and a girl’s school. This building housed
the girl’s school from the 1850’s through the 1880’s. When the public
school was established, the Female Academy building served as the first
public school while Boundary Street School was under construction. Turn
right on Boundary Street. Just over the bridge on the left is the imposing
red brick house built by Dr. Pressley Ruff in 1856. The house is built
on the site of the original Male Academy. Turn right on Jessica Avenue.
On the left is Oak Grove with its neoclassical Doric portico. Rev. J.
Taylor Zealy operated the Newberry Female College here from 1867-8.
Turn left on O’Neall Street. Just beyond Scott’s Creek is Newberry Middle
School. Cross Kendall Road onto Belfast Road. Turn left on Spearman
Road. Down the road on the right is Reuben Elementary School. This school
was named for Dr. Odell Richardson Reuben (1918-70), a native of Silverstreet
who served as President of Morris College in Sumter from 1948-1970.
At the end of the road, turn left on Main Street (Hwy 34).
Turn left on School Street. As the name implies, this street leads to
the site of Silverstreet School. Though much of the site is in disrepair,
the 1926 auditorium on the right is still in use. In 1924, the schools
at Deadfall, Utopia, Burton, Mt. Zion, Trinity, Silverstreet, Reagin
and Ridge Spring consolidated to form this school. Turn right on Lake
Street. Turn left on Church Street. On the right is Silverstreet Lutheran
Church. Though the congregation has its roots in the Deadfall Mission
of 1874, this church was established in 1908. Turn right on Woodland
Way. As the road bends sharply to the right there is a small house with
pink siding which was built out of the old Deadfall Schoolhouse. Turn
right on Hwy 34 and then take a sharp left on Deadfall Road. Down the
road on the left is New Chapel Methodist Church, founded in the first
decade of the 19th century. New Chapel marks the beginning of Utopia
community. It was named by the students at the local school who felt
their home resembled Thomas Moore’s fictional land. In the woods across
Beaver Dam Creek was the site of Utopia School. Across from Hannah AME
Church is Hannah School, a Rosenwald school from the 1930’s. In the
1960’s it, too, was consolidated into Silverstreet. Turn right on Hwy
395. Turn left on Stoney Hill Road.
Down the road a few miles on the right is Stoney Hill School. This school
was established in 1924 when two older schools in the area, St. Luke’s
(circa 1872) and Big Creek (circa 1890) joined forces. Classes were
last held here in 1958. On the left at the intersection of St. Luke’s
Church Road is St. Luke’s Lutheran Church, established in 1828. Stay
on Stoney Hill Road. Turn left on Hwy 391 (Mc Neary Street in Prosperity).
On the right at Rikard School Road is the Prosperity Cemetery (even
on a back to school trip I can’t resist a good cemetery). Jog to the
right as the road bends and turn left on Main Street. Turn left on School
Drive. On the right is the old Prosperity School which now serves as
Town Hall. Prosperity can lay claim to being the oldest public school
in the county with an ancestry dating back to Crosson Field School of
1868. The present building dates back to 1927, when area schools began
to consolidate. Turn left on Brown Street and then right on Main Street.
Turn left on Grace Street. On the right, the addition to Grace Lutheran
Church (organized 150 years ago in August 1859) is coming along well.
Turn right on Hwy 76. On the left is Prosperity-Rikard Elementary School.
On the right at the corner of Cy Schumpert Road is the new Mid-Carolina
High School, with the Middle School across the street. Mid-Carolina
Schools was the result of the consolidation of Prosperity, Little Mountain,
Pomaria, Peak, Stoney Hill and O’Neal Schools. Continue on Hwy 76 toward
Little Mountain. As you pass Mt. Pilgrim Church Road, Oak Grove Presbyterian
Church is visible to the right across a field. There is another Rosenwald
School in front of it. Turn left on Mt. Tabor Church Road. On the right
is Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church. The congregation started an academy in
1885 that eventually became Little Mountain School. Turn left on Main
Street. Turn right on Mill Street. Ahead is Little Mountain Elementary
School which is currently being renovated and added on to. The school
has been on this site since 1908. The auditorium and some of the classrooms
were built in 1929. Turn around. Turn right on Main Street. Turn left
on Pomaria Street. On the right is Holy Trinity Lutheran Church (founded
in 1891) with its new addition.
Pomaria Street becomes Hwy 202. At the end of the road, turn right on
Hwy 176. Down the road on the left is Pomaria Plantation which was built
circa 1826. (My first grade teacher, Mrs. Huggins, lived there.) Turn
left on Hope Station Road. On the right is St. John’s Lutheran Church
which was originally established in 1754. On the left are the old church
(circa 1809), an old school and the cemetery. The 1763 land grant included
land for religious and educational purposes. The school at St. John’s
operated until 1921 when it consolidated with Pomaria. Down the road
on the left is Hope School, a Rosenwald school which has very recently
been renovated as a community center. At the end of the road, across
from the old W. D. Summer Store, turn left on Peak Road (this becomes
Folk Street as you come into town). On the left is Pomaria Lutheran
Church (organized in 1910). This church was the outgrowth of a Sunday
school held in the nearby Bethel Academy in 1906. In 1921, Bethel Academy
(not to be confused with Mt. Bethel Academy) and St. John’s School merged
to form Pomaria School which is ahead on the left. Turn right on Holloway
Street. Turn right on Hwy 176. On the left is a historical marker commemorating
the site of the Eichelberger House, where the Lutheran Seminary was
established in 1831. Also on the left is Pomaria-Garmany Elementary
School. Turn right on New Hope Road. On the left is Bethlehem Lutheran
Church (organized circa 1788). Bethel Academy was an outgrowth of this
Turn left on Graham Road. Before you get to St. Matthew’s Road on the
right is the site of Pressley School. Schools in this section of the
county were so far removed from the county’s high schools that many
were bused to Monticello High School in Fairfield County. Turn left
on Hwy 34. Turn right on Ringer Road. Cross Heller’s Creek (several
times). Turn left on Mt. Pleasant Church Road. Turn right on Mt. Bethel-Garmany
Road. Turn right on Hwy 176 and right again on Molly’s Rock Road. In
the woods off to the right is the site of Mt. Bethel Academy. Founded
by early Methodists, the classical academy opened in 1795. The academy
provided most of the first students for South Carolina College (now
USC). The school operated for about twenty-five years. Turn right on
Hwy 176. Turn left on Old Whitmire Highway. On the right is the site
of Long Lane School. A brick school was built here in 1922 when the
older schools of Beth Eden Church and King’s Creek Church merged. Granite
retaining walls can still be seen marking the site.
At the end of Old Whitmire Hwy, turn left on Hwy 76 and right on College
Street and return to historic downtown Newberry.
A Different Kind of Road Trip
The following is a Road Trip based on a fictional premise. The places
and events are real, but their interconnectedness is questionable. There
has been a lot of publicity lately about hidden codes in famous landmarks
and works of loosely historical fiction which reveal the underlying
connections. This trip follows along that type of vein: that our founding
fathers built our town with a hidden premise or message. This preface
is included only to warn those who might take it seriously. (This is
a walking road trip, so be sure to dress for the weather and keep hydrated.)
Follow the architectural elements of Newberry and see where they lead.
Begin your journey to enlightenment on the Square in historic downtown
Newberry. The Square around the Old Court House is the heart of downtown
Newberry. This two acre lot was given by John Coate to the newly formed
county in 1789 as a site for the court house and jail which would act
as the judicial and governmental seat for Newberry County. Since we
all know that Newberry is the center of the universe, this means that
the Square is the center of the center. In essence it is like the Capitoline
Hill in Rome. The original town was laid out by Marmaduke Coate as a
series of blocks surrounded by a grid of narrow streets. The Coates
became the first real estate developers in the downtown, selling off
the blocks in one quarter acre lots. This accounts for the land from
Boundary Street to Harrington Street and from Nance Street to College
Street. While on the Square, have a seat in the wooden park bench and
take a look at the pediment of the Old Court House’s portico. The decorative
allegory was added in 1879 when this building (the fourth court house
on the site) was being repaired following a fire. In this version of
the “Scales of Justice,” an eagle (the Federal government) uproots a
Palmetto tree (South Carolina) while a dove of peace (Reconstruction)
tries vainly to balance a Gamecock (our defiant spirit). Take a closer
look at the gamecock. Originally it sported a gold coin for its eye
(the coin subsequently disappeared during a later renovation), giving
it a special emphasis and marking it as the starting point for our quest.
The gamecock appears to be staring at something beyond the eagle or
the dove. If you follow the line of sight for the bird, you will see
that it is really looking at the tower of the Opera House (despite the
fact that the Opera House hadn’t been built yet.)
At the corner of Boyce and McKibben Streets is the Newberry Opera House.
Since its completion in 1882 as city offices and an auditorium, the
Opera House, too, has been a hub of community activity. This handsome
brick building features round arches, segmental arches (encompassing
a segment of a semicircle), granite trim and fine corbelled brickwork.
Perched atop the Opera House is a garfish acting as a weather vane.
Though it points in many directions, it must be suggesting a path to
Scott’s Creek. Walk north on McKibben Street. On the left is the old
Fire Station. The original fire department was in the Opera House, but
a separate building was completed in the 1890’s. This was later remodeled
in the Art Deco style of the 1930’s. On a building to the right is a
Coca Cola advertisement from the 1930’s (a refreshing reminder on a
hot day) which was restored about ten years ago. From the intersection
of Harrington Street, the Coppock House (home of the Newberry County
Museum) can be seen on the next hill beyond Scott’s Creek. Turn right
on Harrington Street. This isn’t the creek, but the street is parallel
to it, and there may be a clue ahead.
On the left at the corner of Caldwell Street is a small brick building
that was built as a veterinary office circa 1940. It has decorative
brick trim and round arches suggesting that this is the right track.
(Speaking of tracks, the basement vents on this building are made from
train wheel hubs.) Ahead is the County Court House. This neoclassical
building was constructed in 1908 and features Ionic columns (the ones
with the scrolls in the capitals), a round arch and other classical
details. Signaled by the arch and the columns, it’s time to change direction.
Turn left on College Street. Across from the post office is the original
site of the Gauntt house. Most of the land ahead of us up to the college
was at one time part of the Gauntt farm. City Hall is on the right in
the old Newberry Federal building. Scott’s Creek is straight ahead.
Across the creek, the office of Pope & Hudgens reminds us of refreshment
in the old Coca-Cola Bottling Plant. Bethlehem Baptist Church, circa
1901, with its obelisk-shaped tower is a clue to go upstream. Cross
the parking lot for Lindsay Furniture (in the old A&P building)
to get to the Japanese Gardens.
A point of tranquility in an urban setting this exotic garden begun
in 1930 could be a destination itself. Pause for a seat in the shade
on a curved stone bench. To the right, the gate house roof curves upward,
pointing back to town. Follow the avenue of crape myrtles and begin
walking along Lindsay Street toward town. The steeple of Redeemer can
be seen above the skyline. The granite retaining walls behind the Court
House suggest another turn. Turn left on Martin Street. Martin Street
Beer Parlor was established in 1947 and might suggest another form of
refreshment. Ahead, a granite tower rises over the flies of the Ritz
Theater (circa 1936). Ahead, the Agriculture building and the School
District Office are reminders of other important aspects of life in
Newberry. Near the end of the street the residential district begins.
At the end of Martin Street on the left is the Hunt-Summer House which
was built in 1908. The houses along this section of Calhoun Street all
have wide eaves to shade the upper stories and wide porches which often
wrap around the sides. The Ionic Columns on the Hunt-Summer House suggest
Turn right on Calhoun Street. Immediately on the right is Aveleigh Presbyterian
Church. Founded in 1835, the congregation moved to this site in 1852.
The present church, though remodeled several times, was begun in 1907
after the old church was destroyed in the Great Fire. Ahead on the left
is Newberry ARP Church (also circa 1907) and on the right is St. Luke’s
Episcopal Church which was rebuilt after the Tornado of 1984. All of
these churches feature Gothic arches (slender and pointed) and urge
us to go straight ahead. After crossing Main and then Friend Streets,
there is a cluster of columned houses. On the left is the John Kinard
House (circa 1900) with porches of Ionic columns. Ahead, through the
trees at the end of Calhoun Street is Coateswood (circa 1848) with Doric
columns (similar to those found on the Old Court House). On the right
is the Floyd-Carpenter House (circa 1902) with a curved portico of Corinthian
columns (leafy capitals). All these columns signal a turn. Turn right
on Johnstone Street. Across from the Anderson House (a brick home circa
1890) is a granite marker in the yard of the Paysinger House which marks
the spot where Newberry troops were mustered for the War Between the
States. On the right is the Pool-Trefsgar House (circa 1910) with Ionic
columns across the wide front porch. Turn left through the church parking
Across from the end of the parking lot is the Higgins House (circa 1820).
The portico indicates a turn. Turn right on Boundary Street. The arches
in the Family Life Center and the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer mark
that this is the right way. Founded in 1853, this 1965 church is the
third building to house the congregation. Across the street, granite
retaining walls mark the site of the old Boundary Street School. The
present school building has more segmental arches leading the way along
this street. In the distance to the right, the tower of Central Methodist
can be seen. On the right at the corner of College Street is the Female
Academy. Built in the 1850’s, it was the only brick school building
in the county before the Civil War. Ahead is First Baptist Church (circa
1908) with its Doric portico. Turn right on Caldwell Street.
Immediately on the right are two early twentieth century houses with
wide front porches. On the right is Central Methodist Church. Built
in 1900, this church features many round arches and beautiful stained
glass windows. On the left at the corner of Friend Street is the first
building that was constructed to house the Post Office. Prior to its
1880 construction, the post office was housed in the hotel. Corbelled
arches in the facade suggest this is the right path. The arches continue
in the Old Hotel at the corner of Main Street. This Romanesque style
building was designed by G. L. Norman (who later designed the Opera
House) in 1880.
Across the street, a mural on the side of Jezebelles depicts an early
twentieth century street scene. A gentleman reads a copy of the Observer
while sitting on a park bench. Now missing arches from the hotel are
reflected in the painted store windows. Is the man in the mural really
looking at the paper? By standing in front of him and looking back at
the hotel, it could be that he is really staring at an unusual decoration
on a third floor gable window: a curious smiling face. This enigmatic
Mona Lisa smile suggests a conclusion. If there is a hidden message
downtown, it might be this: enjoy those wide porches during the summertime,
observe the town around you and smile. After all, this is the city of
friendly folk! (Also some cold refreshment might be in order, too.)
This is a month of commemoration. So far we’ve had Mother’s Day, Confederate
Memorial Day and Memorial Day, and Father’s Day is just around the corner.
No matter where you drive in Newberry County, there’s something nearby
related to commemoration. It’s a beautiful time of year to get out and
enjoy nature’s plenty and maybe encounter some history or a special
memory along the way.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Before
leaving, wander around and visit the war memorials behind the Old Court
House (Confederate Monument, Korean War and the Vietnam War) and in
Memorial Square across from the Opera House (World War I and World War
II). Take a moment to remember those who gave their lives for our freedom.
From the Square, head east on Main Street. Turn left on College Street.
Just past Newberry College is Rosemont Cemetery. Established in 1862
to replace the overcrowded Village Cemetery, Rosemont is another good
place to remember and commemorate.
Turn right on Whitener Road. Turn left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. May
is resplendent with beautiful blossoms and the recent rain has produced
lush foliage. Among the many blooms found along the roadsides during
this trip are various Roses (mostly white, red and pink), Yucca (tall
spikes of creamy white flowers), Queen Anne’s Lace, Daisies, Vetch (mostly
purple), Honeysuckle, Prickly Pear Cactus (yellow flowers – mind the
thorns) and the ubiquitous orange Daylily.
On the left is the old Kennerly House, a two story frame home built
circa 1900. Across I-26 is the Brown House, a typical farmhouse with
end chimneys made of granite. If you remember the old mural that used
to be on the side of Newberry Drug, this was the house in the background.
The granite in the chimney reminds us that there is a granite ridge
which runs almost east to west across the county. In fact, just down
the road granite outcroppings and boulders begin to appear. On the left
at the corner of King’s Creek Road stands a one story frame house built
in the mid-19th century. The old Mt. Bethel-Garmany School is also on
the left. It is now a community center. Lebanon Methodist Church is
on the left. It was founded in 1875, and its cemetery is down the dirt
road to the side of the church. On the right, in a bend in the road
is the Chalmers-Brown House. Begun in the 1830’s, it was enlarged in
At Hwy 176, jog to the right to stay on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. Even
with the underbrush filling in, the old road trace is visible in many
places. Turn left on Mt. Pleasant Church Road. There are lots of Honey
Locust trees along hear which evoke thoughts of fall and persimmon beer.
On the left is the Graham House, a typical farm house with end chimneys
and a wide front porch. Like many older homes, it has two front doors.
Just beyond Ringer Road on the left, the Darby cemetery overlooks the
road. Stay on Mt. Pleasant Church Road as Maybinton Road veers off to
the left. Down the road on the left will be Mt. Pleasant Methodist Church.
Though the present church was built in the twentieth century, the congregation
was established in 1822. After the road bends to the right beyond Old
Blair Road is Glymphville. Once large enough to boast a post office,
the name of the community is still preserved in a road name.
Cross Hwy 34 onto Broad River Road. After St. Matthew’s Church Road
is the Suber-Dickert House on the left. Built by the Suber family in
the 1850’s, it was later the home of Col. Augustus Dickert. Among other
things, Col. Dickert is remembered for riding his horse up the steps
of the Old Court House during a heated political rally in 1876. Down
the road on the right is Crooks House. Built in 1896, it has a wraparound
porch with decorative brackets. At the corner of New Hope Road is an
old store building with its front porch resting on piers made of pebbles
and small rocks. This was Ruff’s Store. While crossing the first “fill”
at Heller’s Creek, notice the causeway to the old bridge below on the
right. Down the road is the Cannon’s Creek Fill. These “fills” were
created when the Broad River was dammed for the Parr Reservoir. Turn
right on Peak Road (even though we aren’t going there this time and
the road doesn’t go there either). On the right is the old Summer’s
Store. Turn left on Hope Station Road. On the right is St. Paul’s AME
Church. Next door to it is the old Hope School, a Rosenwald School which
is being renovated as a community center. At the top of the hill, Little
Mountain can be seen rising in the distance. Near the Crim’s Creek crossing,
the newest section of the Palmetto Trail crosses the road. This segment
begins at Alston in Fairfield County, crosses the Broad River trestle
at Peak and winds up behind Wilson’s Grocery in Pomaria.
St. John’s Lutheran Church has served this area for 254 years and is
usually considered the epicenter for the old Dutch Fork. The “new” church
is on the left, while the school, cemetery and old church are on the
right. The old church was built in 1808. The site of the original church
is marked by a granite monument on the other side of the cemetery. Turn
right on Hwy 176. On the right is the Stuck House which was built circa
1910. Down the road on the right is the Summer-Huggins House which was
built circa 1826. This was the seat for Pomaria Plantation and the origin
of the town’s name. A small building behind the house served as the
first post office in Pomaria. Cross Crim’s Creek into downtown Pomaria.
The town was established in 1851 as a depot on the Greenville and Columbia
Railroad and has some really nice nineteenth and early twentieth century
homes. Turn right on Holloway Street. On the left is Oakland House which
was begun in 1821. It has a two-story portico on the front and a separate
office building in the yard. On the left opposite the end of Folk Street
is the Holloway House. Tradition has it that the front porch of this
house (the home of the first mayor of Pomaria) served as the center
point for the circle of the town limits. Turn right on Hwy 176 and then
left on St. Paul’s Road. Just after the end of Jollystreet Road is the
old Epting House with its wraparound porch.
On the left is St. Paul’s Lutheran Church. Established in 1761, it is
the oldest Lutheran congregation that has always been in Newberry County
(St. John’s was in Lexington for a while). The present granite church
was built in 1938 and sits beside a large cemetery. Be sure to notice
the granite bench that protrudes from a tree in front of the church.
Cross I-26. On the right work can be seen on the new Industrial Park.
On the left is the golf course for Mid-Carolina Country Club. Turn right
on Hwy 76.
Prosperity was originally called Frog Level and was also a depot on
the Greenville and Columbia Railroad. Founded in 1851, the town’s name
was changed to Prosperity in 1873. The town has many beautiful nineteenth
century homes. On the left is Grace Lutheran Church. Founded in 1859,
the church was originally called Newville. Turn left on Grace Street.
At the town square, turn right on North Main Street. On the hill to
the left at the edge of town is the Wise-Connelly House which was built
circa 1852. Follow Main Street as it merges with Hwy 76 and return to
historic downtown Newberry.
This trip is dedicated to the memory of Mrs. Grace Werts Evans.
& Back Again: A Saluda Excursion
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. In front
of the Old Court House is a granite marker which indicates the distance
to neighboring county seats and other important places. One of the distances
shown is to Edgefield. Today it is two counties over, but, prior to
the 1890’s when Saluda Greenwood and McCormick Counties were formed,
Edgefield was our immediate neighbor to the south. Today you would get
to Edgefield by taking Highways 121 and 23 through Saluda County; however,
in the days of ferries, fords and bridges, there were at least nine
ways to cross over into Edgefield. We’re not going quite that far today.
From the Square turn left on Nance Street and right on Boundary Street.
Follow it as it merges into Hwy 121. All through today’s Road Trip look
out for the colors of spring. There are green fields stretching across
rolling hills, bright green new leaves set against the dark of the evergreens
and flowers in bloom everywhere. In yards, azaleas are taking the forefront
while ragged robins (cornflower) dominate the fields and ditches and
white and purple flags are found around old home sites. Butterflies
Stay on Hwy 121 through Deadfall Crossroads. On the left, after Deadfall
Road, is the Blair-Boozer House. Its massive double-shouldered chimney
marks it as having been built in the early 19th century. Also on the
left is the Werts House which was begun in 1896. After Long Farm Road
on the left is the site of the Higgins House. The house was later moved
to Lake Murray. The Higgins Family operated a ferry across the Saluda
River, just south of the present bridge. Cross the Saluda River into
Saluda County. Originally part of Edgefield County, Saluda County was
established in 1895. Its name comes from the river which, in turn, comes
from an Indian word meaning “River of Corn.”
Just beyond Hightower Road on the right is the Coleman House with its
impressive portico of Ionic columns. Turn right on Hollywood Road and
left on Pine Pleasant Church Road. On the left is another Coleman House,
this one with Corinthian columns. Down the road on the right is Pine
Pleasant Baptist Church. This old brick church was established in 1831
and has a nice cemetery. Under a granite canopy in front of the church
is the grave of Luther Rice (1783-1836), a Baptist minister and orator
who helped organized the Baptist Church on a national scale and placed
an emphasis on foreign missions and education. Continue on down the
road. Notice the dogwoods blooming in the woods. This road follows the
old road trace very closely. It gets a bit muddy at times, but it is
nothing compared to the high-banked ditch that forms the road trace
off to one side. Throughout this section of the trip most of the creeks
are tributaries of Big Creek which meanders through northeastern Saluda
County on its way to Little Saluda River and Lake Murray. On the right
after the second creek is a series of channels which may be the site
of an old mill.
At the stop sign, turn left on Zoar Road. (On the map this appears as
Coleman’s Crossroads.) “Moo” at the cows in the beautiful pastures with
the meandering stream. On the left is Zoar Methodist Church. Founded
prior to 1830, this was originally called Persimmon Creek Church. In
the cemetery are many old tombstones and an unusual grave enclosure.
These enclosures over family plots were common in the 18th and 19th
centuries, but are rarely seen today. This one has a wooden roof and
a picket fence. At the end of the road, turn right on Hwy 121. (On this
side of the river it’s called Newberry Hwy.) Cross Big Creek. Turn right
on John J. Rushton Road. After the pavement ends, enjoy the fields,
pastures and forests. Cross Dry Creek and then Big Creek again.
Turn right on Old Town Ruritan Road. On the left, near the end of the
road is a lonely old building that may have been a house or a school.
Turn left on Yarborough Road. Turn left on Shiloh Church Road. Cross
Big Creek again. On the right is Shiloh Methodist Church. This church
was established in the 19th century and has an extensive cemetery across
the road. Turn left on Hwy 39 (Chappells Road).
As you get closer to town, early 20th century houses begin to appear.
When you cross into town (Saluda, the county seat), the highway becomes
North Jefferson Street. On the right just beyond Elwood Street is a
nice two-story house with a portico and wraparound porch. After crossing
Greenwood Hwy (Travis Avenue), another grand 2-story house is on the
right. Turn right on West Butler Street and left on North Calhoun Street.
On the right is Mt. Pleasant Lutheran Church. Founded in 1903, the present
brick church was begun in 1925. The church was remodeled in 1963 with
new stained glass windows. Turn left on West Church Street. On the left,
at the corner of Main Street, is the mural depicting the treaty of Old
Town in 1755. Across Main Street on the right is the Saluda County Court
House on the Square. Next door to the court house is the Saluda Museum
in an Art Deco theater. (After the Square, the street becomes East Church
Street.) At the end of the street is Redbank Baptist Church which was
founded in 1784. Predating the town by over a century, it was named
for nearby Red Bank Creek. The present brick church is the third sanctuary
and was built in 1911. It has a portico with Ionic columns, a cupola
and a bell tower to side. It has a nice extensive cemetery. Turn around
and stay on Church Street.
Turn right on North Rudolph Street. On the right is Ramey Funeral Home
which is housed in a turn of the century home. Turn left on East Butler
Street. On the left is St. Paul’s Methodist Church which was founded
in 1898. This church was rebuilt in 1917. Turn right on North Main Street
and right on Travis Avenue. Turn left on Hwy 194 (North Jennings Street).
Bear to the right to stay on Hwy 194 as it becomes Denny Hwy. Turn left
on Butler Road and then right on Butler Church Road. The land for Butler
Methodist Church was given in 1856 by Maj. Gen. William Butler and his
wife Behetheland. Their home was nearby and they are buried in cemetery.
The present church was completed in 1947. It has a beautiful setting,
with pastures and fields all around. Return to Denny Hwy and turn left.
On right old store, cross Big Creek, Several Hollywood buildings are
visible to the right, the school, fire station and Ruritan club, cross
Indian Creek, on right is Salem Baptist Church, cemetery on left, cross
Hwy 395 (Nance Street), Cherokee Trail joins in, left on Corinth Road,
on left is Corinth Lutheran Church (1842, 1927), since my last trip
out here they’ve added a family life center, memorial for Corinth School
(1830-1927), stay on Corinth Road, when you get to Hwy 194, turn left,
on right an interesting old house 2 story wraparound several additions,
at the end of the road, turn left on Hwy 391, cross Black’s Bridge into
Newberry County, turn left on St. Luke’s Church Road, Big Creek (not
the same one), winding mountainous road, on right at intersection of
Stoney Hill Road is St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (1828, 1957), cross 3
branches of Timothy Creek, on left at intersection of Fire Tower Road
is Dunker Cemetery, Rock House, Kinard’s Creek, Lester House, turn right
on Hwy 395, Hartford School, return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
We’ve had a few warm days, but the cool days are not quite over. The
deciduous trees are still bare, but the tiniest hints of spring foliage
are beginning to appear. The flowering bulbs of February are nearly
over, but forsythia (yellow bells) and Star of Bethlehem are here to
take their place. It’s time to hit the road and enjoy some of the rolling
hills, beautiful farms and winding creeks of southwestern Newberry County.
While we’re at it, we’ll probably get a little history, too. Begin your
tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry.
From the Square, turn left on Nance Street and follow it as it becomes
Hwy 395. Turn right on Mendenhall Road. If the early blooms of spring
are not enough, stop by Carter and Holmes to see some indoor blooms.
Turn left on Dennis Dairy Road. On the right (at the historical marker)
is the old Quaker cemetery. Most of the Quakers came to Newberry by
way of Virginia and Pennsylvania. They began settling here around 1765
and remained until the congregation left beginning in 1808. Many of
those families initially moved west into the Ohio River valley. At the
end of the road, turn right on Deadfall Road.
While driving through the roads among fields and forests this time of
year, keep an eye out for the colors of early spring. Judas trees (eastern
redbud) can be seen with purple flowers and the reddish buds of maple
trees are beginning to show. White blooms of pear and wild plum and
the pink of peach blossoms can be seen in the edges of fields and near
farm sites. A low-growing purple weed, henbit, can be seen on roadsides
and in yards. Thrift, another low-growing plant, can be seen in masses
of purple, pink and white in yards and at old home sites. The bright
yellow trumpets of Yellow Jessamine, our state flower, also herald the
coming of spring. This bloom, which is found in every corner of South
Carolina, became an official state emblem in 1924.
Shortly after Deadfall Crossroads, the road merges with Hwy 34. This
is Main Street for Silverstreet. Founded as Shop Springs, a depot on
the Columbia and Greenville Railroad, the town’s name was changed to
Silverstreet early in its history. As Hwy 34 veers off turn right on
Silverstreet Road. Turn left on Island Ford Road. A road leading from
Pennington’s Fort on the Enoree to the Indian Island Ford (now under
Lake Greenwood) was commissioned in 1770. That road more closely followed
what is now Hwy 560 and part of Poplar Spring Road which forms the border
between Newberry and Laurens Counties; however, the name is preserved
in this road which has been around since at least 1807. Down the road
to the left is Windmill Farm, a typical Newberry County farmhouse of
the mid-nineteenth century. Cross Little River. This small river drains
much of the western part of the county into the Saluda River. Cross
Mudlick Creek. The Battle of Mudlick Creek, a small Revolutionary War
battle, took place about five miles upstream from here. The battle took
place on March 2, 1781, at William’s Fort and was considered a patriot
victory (just barely). Down the road on the right is Crossroads Baptist
Church. Organized in 1807, it is an outgrowth of Bush River Baptist
Church. The old meeting house is set amid a beautiful cemetery. The
drive follows the old road trace. A second road (hence the name of the
church) came from the side near the outhouse and does not have a counterpart
on today’s map.
Cross Sharp’s Creek. At the end of the road, turn right on Hwy 34. Welcome
to Chappells. In 1792, Thomas Chappell was given permission to build
a bridge over the Saluda River. The town grew up around the bridge (and
at times ferry) which was to the east of the present bridge on Hwy 39.
Stay on Hwy 34 to the very edge of the county. Just before the Saluda
River bridge is Buzzard’s Roost. Turn right to get to the river access
ramp. A short walk away is the Lake Greenwood dam, which was completed
in 1940. The Buzzard’s Roost Hydro-electric plant is now part of Santee-Cooper.
Return to Hwy 34 and turn left. Turn left on Scurry Church Road. Glimpses
of Lake Greenwood may be caught to the left. On the left is Scurry-Spring
Hill Baptist Church, an African-American church with an extensive cemetery.
The church has an unusual façade with two short towers flanking the
gable. At the intersection of Hwy 39, the Boazman House, circa 1845,
can be seen with its wide front porch and decorative brackets. Turn
left on Hwy 39. At the intersection of Hwy 56, the Scurry House is to
the left. Begun in the early nineteenth century this home was extensively
remodeled in the early twentieth century. In the distance behind the
house can be seen the family cemetery.
Bear right on Hwy 56. Among the things that made land in this area so
attractive to settlers were the many creeks which twist and turn through
fertile farmland. First, you’ll cross Page’s Creek and then Mill Creek.
Both are tributaries of Mudlick Creek, which in turn flows into Little
River. About two miles up Mill Creek from this point is the site of
Caldwell’s Mill. Three Revolutionary patriots (James, John and William
Caldwell) lived there. Turn right on Mudlick Road. Cross Mudlick Creek.
Turn left on Island Ford Road. Turn left on Sandy Run Creek Road. Along
this road you will cross Mechanic Creek, Sandy Run Creek and Reeder
Branch, all of which flow into Little River. The number of creeks also
encourages wildlife – I saw a flock of wild turkeys along this stretch.
Turn right on Brehmer Road. On the right in the middle of a field, a
lonely monument in an iron fence marks a Dominick family cemetery. Turn
right on Belfast Road. Turn left on Sim Abrams Road. Cross Sandy Run
Creek. Turn right on Floyd Road. Turn left on Bel Ivy Road. In this
part of the county, a lot of place names and roads have the prefix “bel.”
This is from the Gaelic word for “spring” and is a tribute to the Scots-Irish
families that settled here both before and after the Revolution. Cross
Welch Creek. This creek merges with Beaver Dam Creek before joining
the Saluda River.
Turn left on Belfast Road. Cross Welch Creek, again. On a hill to the
left (just before you get to Rocky Creek Road) is the cemetery for Old
Kadesh Methodist Church. An eighteenth century congregation, Kadesh
merged with Shady Grove in 1835 to become Trinity Methodist Church.
On the right is Smyrna Presbyterian Church. This church was organized
in 1838 by the Boozer, Senn and Clary families. Among the many old monuments
in the churchyard is one to Sgt. Henry Boozer (1756-1837) who served
in the South Carolina militia during the Revolutionary War. Beyond the
church on the left, the portico of The Oaks, an antebellum plantation
is visible across a field. (This house has a museum connection – it
belonged at one point to E. S. Coppock who also owned the home which
houses the museum.) Cross Bush River. The old trestle bridge is visible
to the right. After you cross Hwy 121, the road becomes O’Neall Street.
Continue through the West End neighborhood and return to historic downtown
Since February is Black History Month, the Road Trip this month will
have a look at some historic sites related to African-American heritage.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. On the
north side of the Square at the corner of Boyce Street (where Gentlemen’s
Corner is now) was the residence and store of Antoine Gilbal. Prior
to his death in 1842, Gilbal, a native of France, operated a candy store
and bar in Newberry. He is also believed to have had the first inter-racial
marriage in town. Walk around the Square to the Opera House. During
the renovations, the grand chandelier in the auditorium was dedicated
to the memory of Dr. Julian E. Grant (1900-1997) a black physician who
worked in Newberry for over forty years.
From the Square, turn right on Nance Street and right on Harrington
Street. Turn left on College Street. Bethlehem Baptist Church. Turn
right on Evans Street. On the left is Newberry College. In 1966, Nancy
Lou Anderson became the first African-American to attend. Turn right
on Lindsay Street. On the left at the corner of Cheek Street is the
site of St. Monica’s Episcopal Church. St. Luke’s Episcopal Church established
a mission called St. Luke the Physician which operated a school for
African-American children on Lindsay Street beginning in 1899. Later
the church changed its name to St. Monica and relocated to South Street.
The congregation merged with St. Luke’s in the 1970’s. At the end of
the street, turn right on Main Street.
Turn left on McKibben Street. Traditionally, African-American businesses
in the downtown were located along Nance and McKibben Streets between
Main and Johnstone Streets and along Friend Street from Caldwell Street
west to the railroad tracks. A brick building which is no longer standing
occupied the space between the two existing buildings on the right (it
would have been 1107-9). That building housed F.B. Pratt Funeral Home
(established in 1929) and Singleton’s Drug Store on the ground floor
with Dr. Grant’s and Dr. Benjamin Qualls’ (a dentist working here from
1923-1955) offices upstairs.
Turn left on Friend Street and right on Caldwell Street to visit Graveltown.
Newberry’s oldest African-American community, Graveltown was laid out
after the War Between the States along the south fork of Scott’s Creek
off of Caldwell and Drayton Streets. It takes its name from its proximity
to a granite quarry. Just before you cross the railroad tracks on the
right is the site of Hoge School. Founded in 1867 by the Freedman’s
Bureau, it was named for Samuel Hoge who was a Congressman during the
Reconstruction era. After the railroad tracks on the left (at 600 Caldwell)
is an early twentieth century house which was operated by Rosalie Lessane
as a “Tourist Home. “ At 500 Caldwell Street stands Miller Chapel AME
Church. Founded in 1869, it is one of the oldest African-American churches
in the county. Turn right on Milligan Street and follow it the end.
This is the Werts Cemetery. Many of the older monuments are handmade
Leave the cemetery along Hill Street and turn left on Drayton Street.
On the left is Drayton Street School which served as the high school
for the African-American community from 1921-1954. It continued to serve
as a middle school and elementary school into the 1960’s. The building
that still stands was the gymnasium which was built in 1947. Turn left
on Center Street. As the road bends to become South Street, the current
facility for F.B. Pratt Funeral Home is on the left. Turn left on McSwain
Street. Ahead on the right is the old Gallman High School. Completed
in 1954, this school was built during the “separate but equal” era.
It was named for Ulysses S. Gallman, Sr., who was a black educator and
supervisor for the Jeanes Fund (Southern Education Fund) for forty-four
years. After integration Gallman School served as a middle school and
later as an elementary school. The new Gallman Elementary School is
located on Hawkins Road. As McSwain Street curves around the school
it becomes Brantley Street. Stay on this street and turn left on Drayton
Turn right on Crosson Street and left on Vincent Street. On the right
at 1706 Vincent Street is a raised cottage which was built around 1875.
This was the residence of George W. Singleton who operated Singleton’s
Drug Store at 1109 McKibben Street (at the time it was Nance Street).
On the left, a park marks the site of the People’s Hospital (1719 Vincent
Street). Dr. Grant established the hospital when he came to Newberry
in 1929. It served the African-American community until about 1950,
when Newberry County Memorial Hospital began treating everyone.
Continue on Vincent Street. When you cross Kendall Road you will be
in Helena. Founded as a depot on the Columbia and Greenville Railroad,
Helena was named for Helen O’Neall, the wife of John Belton O’Neall.
It was the location of the maintenance shops for the railroad and was
also the point where the Laurens Railroad branched in 1854 (the branch
was later moved and is now behind Newberry Elementary School). On the
right at the corner of Gray Street is Mt. Zion Baptist Church. Founded
in 1896, the present church was built in 1968. Turn right on Giff Street.
On the left is the new Helena Community Center. Turn left on Brown Chapel
Road. Turn right on Belfast Road. Turn left on Spearman Road.
Down the road on the right is Reuben Elementary School. This school
was named for Dr. Odell Richardson Reuben (1918-70). A native of Silverstreet,
Dr. Reuben received his Ph.D. from Duke University and served as a Baptist
minister. He was President of Morris College in Sumter from 1948-1970.
At the end of the road, turn left on Main Street (Hwy 34). Turn left
on Hwy 34-121. On the left, behind Senn Trucking Company is the old
building for Elisha School. Elisha was one of several Rosenwald schools
in the county. Rosenwald was Vice-president of Sears and set up a fund
to help build black schools across the south. The local communities
would raise half of the money or materials and the fund would pay the
remainder. This fund helped to build standardized schoolhouses across
the south. Usually the schools are closely associated with a church.
This school is located about halfway between Elisha AME (on Elisha Church
Road) and Welch Zion Baptist Church. Continue on Hwy 34-121. On the
left is Welch Zion Baptist Church. Founded in 1890, the present church
was rebuilt in 1945. The church stands on land which was given by the
Welch family who lived in the house opposite the end of Harold Bowers
Stay on Hwy 34-121. As you approach town it becomes Boundary Street.
The west end of Boundary Street is called Cannon Town and is a traditionally
African-American neighborhood. Stay on Boundary Street and return to
historic downtown Newberry.
Winter is here, and you know what that means – it’s the perfect time
to see things in the woods that are usually hidden by underbrush. On
this trip through the county, be on the lookout for old house sites
and family cemeteries that are often obscured by foliage. A stand of
deciduous hardwoods among the pines, a crumbling chimney or granite
fence posts may be all that is left of a family homestead. This is the
time of year to spot them. It’s also a good time to get a feel for the
local geography. Without the dense underbrush, creeks are more visible
as they meander through the rolling hills.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Looking
south on McKibben Street there’s something new that has appeared in
the downtown vista. The classical portico of one side of the new library
acts as the new focal point for the end of the street. The new building
opened this month and is named for Hal Kohn, a local businessman who,
among other things, operated a book store where Jezebelle’s is now.
From the Square, head south on Nance Street and turn right on Boundary
Street. Bear left on Dennis Dairy Road. Be sure to watch for the Quaker
Cemetery to the right. This is the most visible reminder of the Quakers
that lived in Newberry from the 1760’s until the 1810’s. When you pass
Dennis Dairy Lane, the road becomes O’Dell Ruff Road. Turn left on Deadfall
Road. On the left is New Chapel Methodist Church. Founded in the first
decade of the 19th century, the church was moved to its current site
in the 1830’s. (I guess that makes the previous site “old New Chapel.”)
The present church building was begun in 1879. New Chapel marks the
beginning of Utopia community. Unlike Thomas Moore’s version (for which
this section of the county was named) Utopia is bounded by New Chapel,
the Saluda River, Bush River and Stoney Hill. Turn right on George Loop.
On the left is the Cannon House which was built around 1870. It was
the home of Dr. D. A. Cannon (1831-1890), a local physician. Continue
bearing to the left to stay on George Loop. At the end, turn right on
Deadfall Road. In the woods across Beaver Dam Creek was the site of
Utopia School which consolidated with six other schools in 1924 to become
Silverstreet School. Across from Hannah AME Church is Hannah School,
a Rosenwald school from the 1930’s. In the 1960’s it, too, was consolidated
Turn right on Hwy 395. All through this trip watch for farmhouses. There
are several old ones along this stretch of road. Turn left on Stoney
Hill Road. Perched at one hilltop, the view ahead to the next hill is
what I like to call “Bush River Valley.” At this point, widening toward
Lake Murray, the stream looks more river-like than it does at almost
any other point. Turn right on Fred Kunkle Road. This part of the trip
has beautiful rolling hills. Be sure to “moo” at the cows as you pass.
Turn left on Harmon Quarters Road. Turn right on Stoney Hill Road. On
the right is Stoney Hill Community Center in the old school building.
The school was established in 1925 when two smaller schools consolidated.
In 1958, Stoney Hill was consolidated into Prosperity. On the left is
St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Founded in 1828, the present church was
built in 1955. Turn right on St. Luke’s Church Road. There’s a good
bit of wildlife around this time of year. Keep an eye out for hawks
and geese (and of course deer). On the left, an old farmhouse is clearly
visible on Hunter Lane. At the end of the road, turn left on Hwy 391.
Bear to the right on Walker Road. Straight across from the end of the
road is the Bedenbaugh House, a fine Victorian home. Turn right on Ira
Kinard Road. On the left is O’Neall Fire Station and Community Center.
Also on the left is Mt. Moriah AME Church, which was begun in 1914.
Like many roads on the eastern end of Newberry County, this road ends
at Lake Murray. Completed in 1930, this 50,000 acre lake was built to
provide hydro-electric power. Today, it is a major recreational and
residential attraction for the region. When you get to the lake, turn
around and head back up Ira Kinard Road. Turn right on Huston Road.
Turn right on Bethel Church Road. There is a beautiful old farmhouse
on the right. Just beyond it is Bethel Baptist Church. Founded in 1840,
the present building was remodeled in 1971. Down the road on the left
is Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church. Founded in 1882, the gothic revival church
was built in 1890. Follow the road out to the lake and turn around.
Turn left on Zion Church Road. On the left is Zion Methodist Church
with its churchyard extending to both sides of the road. Founded in
1813 as Harmon’s Church, the congregation moved to the present site
in 1829. The present sanctuary was built in 1936. Continue on Zion Church
Road. Turn right on Hwy 391.
Turn right on Rikard School Road and left in the second entrance to
Prosperity Cemetery. About halfway down on either side is the oldest
part of the cemetery. The Prosperity Associate Reformed Presbyterian
(ARP) was established here in 1802. The church moved into town in 1889.
From the cemetery, turn right on McNeary Street (Hwy 391). Posperity
is blessed with many beautiful homes from the last quarter of the nineteenth
century. On the left, at the corner of Dominick Street is the Hunter-Fellers
House. Begun in the nineteenth century as a frame building, the classical
portico and the brick siding were added in the early twentieth century.
On the left, on the corner of Church Street is the Dr. C. T. Wyche House,
circa 1890, with its elaborate gingerbread decoration. On the right
is the Prosperity Depot for the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens railroad
which arrived in town in 1890. Follow the bend over the railroad tracks
and turn left on Main Street. Turn right on Grace Street. On the right
is Grace Lutheran Church which is getting ready to celebrate the 150th
anniversary of its founding. Established in 1859 as Newville, the name
was changed to Grace in 1878. The present sanctuary was built in 1974.
Turn left on Wheeler Street (Hwy 76). Turn right on Bachman Chapel Road.
The vistas of hills, forests and pastures are particularly beautiful
this time of year. On the right, at the corner of Candy Kitchen Road,
is Bachman Chapel Lutheran Church. Established in 1886, the church is
named for Rev. Dr. John Bachman who, among other things, was one of
the founders of Newberry College. When you cross Jolly Street Road,
this road becomes St. Philip’s Church Road. Turn left on Halfacre Road.
Turn right on Clayton Memorial Church Road. Immediately on the left
is the Gallman House which was built circa 1860. Down the road on the
right is Clayton Memorial Universalist Church which was established
in 1907. At the end of the road, turn left on Hwy 219. Follow this road
as it becomes Main Street and return to historic downtown Newberry.
(October Road Trip on WKDK)
The nights and the shadows are getting longer. There’s a chill in the
air and brightly colored leaves are beginning to fall. It’s time to
remember spooky tales and share them by the fireside. It’s also time
to enjoy the outdoors and Newberry’s scenic byways before winter gets
too close. Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry.
From the Square, drive east on Main Street. Look for yards adorned with
bright chrysanthemums and pumpkins. Many old gardens have camellia sesanquas
beginning to bloom. Seasonal decorations like spooky scarecrows, witches,
ghosts and spider webs emerge from seemingly ordinary porches and shrubs.
Turn left on Hunt Street. The old hospital (now apartments) is on the
right after Harper Street. The impressive brick building was built in
1925. Turn right on Harrington Street. Turn left on Kinard Street. Newberry
County Memorial Hospital is ahead on the left. On the night before Halloween
it will be the setting of the 13th annual Safekids Halloween event.
At the end of the road, bear right on Pender Ridge Road and then turn
left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road.
This is a favorite haunt of the road trips. Following closely to an
old trace, Mt. Bethel- Garmany Road has been travelled by many generations.
The scenery on this road is picturesque during every season. This time
of year, the leaves are beginning to change with lots of scarlet and
some gold showing through the dark evergreens. Cross Hwy 176 onto Molly’s
Rock Road. Several stone monuments recall the time when stone-cutting
and the quarrying of granite were important to this area. The old gravel
road with tall trees follows the trace of the Buncombe Road closely.
Even if it isn’t haunted, it has a very haunting feel. At the end of
the road, turn right on Hwy 176. Cross King’s Creek. Turn right on Brazzelman’s
On the right (just beyond Crowville) down a drive flanked by concrete
piers is King’s Creek A. R. P. cemetery. This is one of the oldest churchyards
in the county. In more recent years, it is one of the places called
Zombieland, presumably because of the large number of table or altar
tomb type monuments. Cross Enoree River. On the left is the old metal
trestle bridge. This is one of several bridges that are locally known
as “Cry Baby Bridge.” According to the various stories the mournful
cry of a child can be heard at night and usually has something to do
with an untimely death. Though there are many unexplainable hauntings,
this type of isolated bridge is also a common home to bobcats which
make a similar sound.
On the right is Seekwell Baptist Church with its extensive cemetery.
Founded in 1867, it is one of the oldest African-American congregations
in the county. The present church was built in 1948 and remodeled in
1968. Beyond it on the right is the site of Ebenezer Methodist Church
in Maybinton. Though the congregation was founded in 1784, the third
and last church burned in 1974. The old cemetery stretches out beside
the old church site. Among those buried here is Dr. George Douglass
who played a part in the legend of the Hound of Goshen (see below).
Turn right on Maybinton Road. Turn left on Tyger River Road. On the
right at the corner is an 1830’s house that ought to be haunted. On
the right is Dogwalla Road. This winding road leads down near the river
ferry before looping back to Maybinton. It presents an adventure in
itself. Turn left on Peter’s Creek Road. On the right is the Hardy House
which was built circa 1826. This fine plantation house forms one end
of a tale that features the “Hound of Goshen.” The legend of the ghost
dog pre-dates the antebellum story which starts at the Hardy House.
The story has its roots in an early nineteenth century hanging. The
victim of the noose had a large white dog which lingered by the hanging
tree and howled. Some time later it was killed, but, not long after
that, people in the neighborhood were bothered by a ghostly white dog
with a toothy grin. This last detail gives the dog his other name of
“Happy Dog.” In 1855, a young slave from the Hardy plantation was sent
to fetch Dr. Douglass late one night. He arrived at his destination
screaming and could not be convinced to return home until after daylight.
It seems that after he began his journey, a large white dog with a toothy
grin came out of Ebenezer Cemetery and “hounded” him until he reached
the doctor’s house. So, watch out for big white dogs in this neck of
the woods. At the end of the road, turn right on Maybinton Road. (Oops!
We’ve crossed into Union County.) The site of The Oaks, the home of
Dr. Douglass, is down this road to the right.
Turn left on Hwy 121. Cross the Enoree River into Newberry County. At
Whitmire, bear to the right on Hwy 72. Whitmire was incorporated in
1891 as a depot on the Carolina-Georgia and Northern Railroad. Straight
ahead is Whitmire Methodist Church, founded in 1892, with its impressive
Doric porticoes. Turn right on Church Street. Turn left on Railroad
Avenue and then left on Main Street. A lot of work has been done in
downtown Whitmire recently. On the right is St. Timothy’s Lutheran Church.
Founded in 1939, the present church was moved to the site in 1947 and
brick-veneered. Prior to that, it served as the army chapel at Camp
Croft in Spartanburg. Straight ahead is First Baptist Church. With its
roots in the Lower Duncan’s Creek Baptist Church (founded in 1787),
the congregation moved into town in 1893. Turn right on Glenn Street.
Turn left on Park Street. Straight ahead is the old mill which is being
demolished. Turn right on Central Avenue and visit the old mill village.
Cross Duncan’s Creek. On the left is Little Egypt Road where a band
of gypsies camped in the early twentieth century. Down the road on the
left is Mollohon, the Herndon House, with its Greek revival portico.
Turn left on Old Newberry Hwy. Turn right on Tabor Methodist Cemetery
Road. On the right is the old church cemetery with many fine old monuments.
Turn left on Jack Wilson Road. Turn right on Old Newberry Hwy.
Turn right on Monument Road. This is another road trip favorite – especially
this time of year. Though once part of a thriving farming community,
this lonely road winds through the Sumter National Forest and other
forested lands. It’s a perfect setting for spinning yarns about the
unexplained. At the end of the road is the monument that gives the road
its name and commemorates the B-25 collision in February 1943. Turn
left on Beth Eden Church Road. Turn right on Old Whitmire Hwy. Turn
left on Hwy 76 and right on College Street.
Coming back in to Newberry on the left is Rosemont Cemetery. Established
in 1863 to alleviate the overcrowded Village Cemetery, this “silent
city” incorporates the earlier Calmes Family Cemetery. John Chapman
in The Annals of Newberry reported hearing ethereal music above Rosemont.
This is a good time of year to stop and listen for it. Stay on College
Street and return to historic downtown Newberry.
Good Old Summer Time
(July Road Trip on WKDK)
Summer is here and has been here for a while. It’s very hot and very
dry and the thunderstorms have been few and far between. In Newberry
County, the mention of summer brings to mind hot weather, family reunions
and swimming holes, but it can also mean something entirely different
– the surname “Summer.” Summer is one of the German surnames that have
been a part of this area since the early 1750’s. The name does not refer
to the season but may mean either “measure of grain” or “tambourine
beater” depending on the source. John Adam Summer was the first to arrive
here from Germany by way of Pennsylvania. If even half the legends about
him are true, he must have been an interesting and colorful character.
The area of eastern Newberry County between the Broad and Saluda Rivers
and near Little Mountain reminded him of his homeland. So, he settled
here, and so did a lot of others.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Don’t hop
in the car yet! There are plenty of Summers downtown. In the early 1880’s,
three brothers (John H. Summer, George W. Summer and Charles E. Summer)
moved to downtown Newberry from the Dutch Fork area and set up business.
By the turn of the twentieth century, Summer Brothers was one of the
most successful businesses in Newberry. They operated a dry goods store,
a clothing store, a grocery store, a hardware store, a grain warehouse,
a cotton warehouse, a fertilizer warehouse and a buggy warehouse. They
were also instrumental in the establishment of Mollohon and Oakland
Mills. The grocery store for Summer Brothers was on the east side of
Caldwell Street in Mollohon Row (where Jeze Belles is now) while the
clothing store was across the street in the building that later housed
McCrory’s (now Out on a Whim). Without getting too genealogical, John
H. Summer left the partnership in 1905 to open a men’s clothing store
at 1100 Main Street (now Steven W’s). Later his son, T. Roy Summer,
opened another store in the 1200 block. Summer and Hipp opened on Boyce
Street in 1905 and stayed there until a bank was built on the site (now
Wachovia). G.B Summer and Sons operated a furniture store at 1201 Boyce
Street and, of course, C.T. Summer Hardware is still there, a little
further up the block.
From the Square, head north on Caldwell Street. Turn right on Harrington
Street. (There is another Summer business on the right.) Watch out for
the new construction on the right between Lindsay and McMorris Streets.
When you pass Glenn Street, you will be in a neighborhood that was created
around 1900 by subdividing the 196-acre Lambert Jones estate. Turn right
on Summer Street. This street was named for George W. and John H. Summer
whose land the street cut through. Originally Summer Street ran the
block from Johnstone to Main Streets, but it was extended when the Jones
land was subdivided. To the right at the far corner of Main Street is
the John H. Summer House. The neoclassical home with monumental columns
was designed Ernest Summer in 1905. John Summers old house (circa 1885)
stands next door. The house, with its delicate gingerbread decoration,
was moved out of the way when the new house was constructed.
Turn right on Johnstone Street. Turn left on Glenn Street. Turn right
on Milligan Street. On the right are Kendall Park and the site of Mollohon
Mill. George W. Summer was president of the mill until it was sold to
Kendall Mills in the 1920’s. Also on the right is Summer Memorial Lutheran
Church. In 1911 a Lutheran Church was established for the mill village.
The original church was built by the Summer brothers as a memorial to
their parents, George W. and Martha D. Summer. The present church building
was constructed in 1952.
Turn left on Caldwell Street. Turn left on Nance Street and continue
as it becomes Hwy 395. As you drive through the county this time of
year, watch out for the beautiful blooms of Crape Myrtles. Introduced
to South Carolina by Andre Micheaux in the 1790’s, this summer-blooming
tree brightens our vistas with all shades of pink, white and red. Also
watch out for the orange blooms of Cow Itch along fences and in ditches.
If you have a sharp eye, you may also spot one of the hummingbirds which
like these blooms.
Turn left on St. Luke’s Church Road. On the right, at the intersection
of Fire Tower Road, is the Old Dunker Cemetery, which is also known
as the Chapman-Summers Cemetery. “Summers” is the English form of the
German surname “Summer.” The Summers in this cemetery are descendants
of Rev. Joseph Summers, a Quaker preacher, who settled in the area about
1760. Also worthy of mention here are John Chapman, of Annals of Newberry
fame, and Rev. Giles Chapman who is credited with marrying more couples
in the county than any other preacher (probably because he only charged
Turn left on Stoney Hill Road. On the left is St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
and the old part of the cemetery. St. Luke’s was established in 1828
with the present church dating from 1957. After you cross Hwy 391, the
road becomes Mt. Pilgrim Church Road. Turn right on Macedonia Church
Road. As you get closer to Lake Murray, subdivisions begin to spring
up, especially on the right hand side of the road. One that fits the
category of this trip is called “Summer Oaks.” At the end of the road,
turn around and enjoy the views out onto Lake Murray. Surrounded by
the lake on three sides is Macedonia Lutheran Church, built circa 1914.
The congregation was established in 1847.
Turn right on Wheeland Road. Cross the Camping Creek arm of Lake Murray.
As you approach the town of Little Mountain, the mountain itself (or
monadnock, if you prefer) will be visible to the right. Turn right on
Main Street. Turn left on Pomaria Street. Holy Trinity Lutheran Church
will be off to the right at the corner of Church Street. Founded in
1891, the present church was built in 1922. Continue on Pomaria Street
as it become Hwy 202.
Turn right on Hwy 176. Down the road on the left is the Summer-Huggins
House which is also known as Pomaria Plantation. Beyond the house, on
the left, a Magnolia tree marks the lane which leads to the Summer Family
Cemetery. Turn left on Parr Road.
Just before you get to the Broad River, there is a river access steeply
cut to the left. Cross the Broad River for a brief excursion into Fairfield
County. Turn around at the entrance to the V. C. Summer gates. Named
for Virgil C. Summer, Jr., who was at various times president, CEO and
chairman of the board of SCE&G, the nuclear power plant stands on
the site of the Parr grist mill. In 1913, Parr Shoals became the first
hydro-electric power plant in the state. On the way back, turn left
on Alston Road. Alston was the depot town which marked the other end
of the Peak trestle. Eventually you’ll run out of road, so be sure to
turn around. The road actually passes under a section of the trestle.
Dr. Pinner, of Peak, kept a car on the Fairfield side of the trestle
in the 1930’s and 40’s so he could tend patients on both sides of the
Return to Parr Road, turn left and return to Newberry County. Turn right
on Broad River Road. When the Parr Shoals reservoir was formed, several
tributaries of Broad River were affected. The first of these “fills”
is at Cannon’s Creek. There is a boat access and recreational area here.
Turn left on Hughey Ferry Road. Turn left on New Hope Road. On the right
is Bethlehem Lutheran Church. This congregation was established about
1788. The church building, with its two square towers was begun in 1881.
Turn right on Hwy 176. Bear left on Hwy 219. Turn left on Boinest Road.
Turn right on Jollystreet Road. Turn right on Hwy 76 and return to historic
“I Could’ve Had a V-8!” Tour of Newberry
(May Road Trip on WKDK)
Last month I was on my way to the radio station to record the road trip.
Sue Summer and Jimmie Coggins were on the air talking about the three
V’s of visiting Newberry (Vend-a-moo, Vineyard and Very Quaint Shops).
The suggestion was made that, if more V’s were available, we could’ve
had a V-8. After I stopped laughing at the implied head-tapping among
tourists, I decided that the May Road Trip was up to the challenge.
I soon realized that there are many more than eight V’s around here,
but here are some of my favorites. So, get ready for a different sort
of Road Trip. Begin your tour on the Square in Very historic downtown
Victorian Homes & Buildings
Yes, Newberry has some beautiful buildings from the era of Queen Victoria.
Standing on the square we have the Greek revival Old Court House, the
Victorian Opera House, the Romanesque revival Old Newberry Hotel and
many storefronts from the era of 1880-1920. Just a few blocks away are
streets full of nineteenth and early twentieth century homes and churches.
If you want to knock the socks off your guests, try driving a circuit
of the downtown. Try heading east on Main Street to about Douglas Street,
then turn right. Turn right on Johnstone Street and then left on Calhoun
Street. Turn right on Boundary Street and right on College Street. Turn
right on Evans Street, then Glenn Street and then Harrington Street.
Turn left on Calhoun Street and right on Main Street to return to historic
Village Cemetery & Rosemont
If you want to know a community, visit its cemeteries. Fortunately the
Village Cemetery fits today’s category. From the Square, drive south
on Caldwell Street. Turn left on Coate’s Street. The Village Cemetery
is to the left in the bend of the street. Though there are graves all
the way out to the street, most of the surviving monuments are near
the top of the hill. In 1809, George McCreless gave one acre of land
to the town for a public burying ground. In 1846, more land was purchased
as the old cemetery became overcrowded. Most of the original markers
were wooden and have been lost to time.
From Coate’s Street, turn left on Boundary Street and then right on
College Street. Beyond Newberry College on the right is Rosemont Cemetery.
Founded in 1863, Rosemont was established to provide more burial space
for the growing community. It’s a beautiful place to wander around and
admire the carved tombstones while learning a bit of history. As John
Chapman put it at the close of The Annals of Newberry: “Of quiet, holy
Sabbath days it sometimes gives me a calm, though a melancholy, pleasure
to walk and meditate and rest in that Silent City adjoining our town.”
There’s something appealing about a machine that will “moo” at you.
Newberry is the dairy capital of South Carolina, and no trip is complete
without thanking the cows that have contributed to this title. Driving
around the county there are ample opportunities to do just that. The
most popular dairy cattle here are Jerseys (think of Elsie and Maggie
of Borden’s and Mayfield’s, respectively) and Holsteins (their black
and white pattern inspired a computer box). From the Square, drive north
on Nance Street, turn left on Pope Street and stay on it as it becomes
Bush River Road. The Vend-a-moo is located about three miles out on
the right at Bush River Jersey Farm. While you’re out there, enjoy the
fields and pastures of the county. Turn right on Beaverdam Creek Road
or Gary’s Lane and follow Hwy 76 back to historic downtown Newberry.
Vintage – Museum, Opera House, Antiques & Shops
A lot of territory is covered in this category. A visit to historic
Newberry just isn’t complete without a stroll through the shops downtown
– antique or otherwise. Whether a performance is in town or not, the
Opera House is an interesting place to tour. For informative displays
of life in old Newberry, the Museum and the Gauntt House (the oldest
house in town) sit on top of the hill at 1503 Nance Street.
Round out your trip to Newberry with a meal (or two or so). Whether
it’s fine dining, a light snack, or local favorites (like mustard-based
barbecue or “liver knieps”), there’s something in Newberry to please
Vanilla & Other Orchids
Did you know that the vanilla vine is actually an orchid? This is one
of the many things you can learn from a visit to Carter & Holmes
Orchids. Drive south on Nance Street from the Square and turn right
on Boundary Street. As you leave the city, bear to the left on Dennis
Dairy Road. Turn left on Mendenhall Road. Carter & Holmes is on
the right. After you’ve had your fill of exotic plants, continue on
to Hwy 395, turn left and return to historic downtown Newberry.
Lynches Woods is one of the natural treasures of Newberry County. This
tract of forest consists of over 250 acres which was once part of the
Johnstone family estate. In the 1940’s, as part of the CCC, the tract
was developed into a park with a five-mile long drive. Today, with additional
hiking trails, it forms a leg of the Palmetto Trail. From the Square,
drive south on Caldwell Street and turn left on Johnstone Street. At
the end of the street (next to the family cemetery) turn right on Hwy
76. Turn left on Walter Cousins Road. Enjoy the winding mountainous
road and the scenic woodlands and work your way back to historic downtown
All it takes is a short drive out Winnsboro Hwy (Hwy 34) to Dusty Road
to visit Newberry’s own Enoree River Winery. Our newest “V” on the list,
the gift shop and winery is a nice way to round out a visit to Newberry.
Dusty Road continues through to Hwy 219 which becomes Main Street as
you get closer to historic downtown Newberry.
That brings to a close this version of the V-8 tour. There are still
plenty more V’s to work with and certainly plenty to do and see in Newberry.
Quakers and the Old Wagon Road
(April Road Trip on WKDK)
Spring is here and everything is green. Fields and forests alike are
decked out in the latest seasonal styles. Around every bend in the road
something is in bloom. The words of Col. Robert Rutherford recorded
in the Annals of Newberry must have referred to this time of year. “South
Carolina is the garden-spot of the world, and Newberry the garden-spot
of that garden-spot.”
Early settlers to Newberry County arrived here mainly by three ways:
by immigration from Europe, by westward movement from established coastal
areas and by travelling south on the road from Philadelphia. Today’s
trip will consider this third method and some of its possible routes
through the county. The great wagon road lead down the Appalachian Mountains
from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia and brought settlers to the
piedmont of North Carolina, South Carolina and Georgia. The road made
its way into South Carolina near York and split, with one branch going
to Augusta by way of Camden and Columbia and the other getting there
by way of Chester, Newberry and Edgefield. It was along this general
route that the Quakers and many Scots-Irish families came to Newberry.
While driving today, keep an eye out for road traces, the high-banked
ditches that passed for roads in the eighteenth century, as they run
parallel to many of the modern roads.
Begin your tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Along the
north side of the Square is Boyce Street. This street was named for
a successful Newberry merchant, Ker Boyce, who had a brisk trade with
Philadelphia through the wagon road. Head east on Main Street. The intersection
of Main and College Streets was once called Baltimore Corner because
another merchant, William Pinchback, had a store here and traded with
Baltimore, MD. On one trip, he returned with a wagon-load of whet-stones
which greatly amused the townsfolk. Turn right on College Street. The
next street parallel to Main is Friend Street, which was named in honor
of the Quakers, the Society of Friends. Turn right on Boundary Street
and follow it out as it becomes Hwy 34-121.
It’s impossible to name everything in bloom right now. It’s a good time
of year to relax and enjoy the symphony of colors. A few wildflowers
to watch for are the blue, purple and white blooms of Ragged Robin,
the red trumpets of Wood Bine and the white Dogwood peeking through
the woods. On the left, at the intersection of Harold Bowers Road is
the old Paysinger House, a typical county farmhouse, with end chimneys
and a porch across the front. On the left after Deadfall Road is the
Blair-Boozer House. The massive two-stage chimney on the end indicates
its early nineteenth century construction.
On the left, just after Long Farm Road, is the site of the Higgins-Werts
House which was moved to Lake Murray. The Higgins family operated a
ferry across the Saluda River. Turn right on Higgins Ferry Road. Higgins
Ferry represents the southern end of the wagon road as it passed out
of Newberry County. At the Saluda River, turn around and return to Hwy
121. Turn right. On the right, beyond Long Farm Road, is the Werts House
which was begun in 1896. Turn right on Deadfall Road. Turn left on Odell
Ruff Road and stay on it as it becomes Dennis Dairy Road. After crossing
Bush River, the Quaker Cemetery and the site of the old Quaker Church
are on the left. Zachariah Dicks, an itinerant preacher, predicted a
great conflict over the issue of slavery. After his predictions, many
of the Friends moved west. By 1822, there were no practicing Quakers
left in the county. On the right, next to Newberry Outdoor Equipment,
is a home which originally belonged to the Coppock family. Turn right
on Mendenhall Road. About halfway up the hill on the left is the Ramage
Turn left on Hwy 395.
Turn right on Glenn Street Extension. On the right, in a bend of the
road is Ebenezer Methodist Church. Though Methodists in this community
were worshipping in their homes as early as 1800, Ebenezer was founded
in 1814. The present church building was begun in 1867 and has a nice
cemetery next to it. Stay on the road as it becomes Glenn Street. After
crossing Hwy 34 Bypass, the Mollohon Mill Village will spring up on
either side. The second of Newberry’s mill villages, Mollohon was begun
in 1901 on the site of Innisfallen Dairy.
Turn right on Main Street. Most of the large homes in this neighborhood
were built in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. Turn
left on Winnsboro Hwy. On the left, just beyond Whitaker Floor Coverings
is the original site of Aveleigh Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1835,
the church moved downtown in 1852. Turn left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road.
A favorite of road trips, this old road closely follows its original
trace. It is one of several roads that may have formed the upper portion
of the wagon road in Newberry County. Turn left on Hwy 176. On the right
is the historical marker for Mount Bethel Academy.
Turn right on Molly’s Rock Road. On the left is Molly’s Rock Recreational
Area with its old water pump. Beyond the park, the road bends and the
pavement gives way to gravel. This is a portion of the old highway leading
from Charleston to Buncombe, NC. It was probably one of the routes taken
by the Quakers on their westward trek. Just beyond Mean’s Road, a forest
service road angles sharply to the left. This leads to the Mt. Bethel
Academy site. Across the road on the right is the site of the Edward
Finch House. Finch hosted Francis Asbury in 1793 and gave the land for
the academy. Though the Methodist-supported school closed in 1820, its
name survived in community schools into the twentieth century. Turn
left on Hwy 176 and immediately left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. Turn
left on Mt. Pleasant Church Road. On the left, opposite the end of Ringer
Road, is the Darby family cemetery. Further down on the left is Mt.
Pleasant Methodist Church. Founded in 1822, the present church was built
in 1949. Turn left on Old Blair Road. After the first intersection,
the Suber Cemetery is off the road to the left. Turn left on Henderson’s
Ferry Road. At the end of the road is the old Henderson House, circa
1790. The family operated a ferry on the Enoree River beginning in 1805.
Theodosia Burr Alston stayed here on her way back from Philadelphia.
Turn around. On the right, behind a granite wall, is the Henderson Cemetery.
Return to Old Blair Road. Turn left.
This road closely follows the trace to Ashford’s Ferry on the Broad
River. When you get to the end, turn around. Turn left on Fellowship
Church Road. On the left is Fellowship Baptist Church. Founded in 1867,
this is one of the oldest African-American churches in the county. Turn
left on Mt. Pleasant Church Road. Cross Hwy 34 onto Broad River Road
(following another old county road). Turn right on St. Matthew’s Church
Road. On the right is St. Matthew’s Lutheran Church which was founded
in 1827. Turn right on Graham Road.
Turn left on Hwy 34. Driving back toward town, watch out for old farmhouses
and beautiful farms. Turn left on Dusty Road. Newberry’s own Enoree
River Winery is on the left. Turn right on Hwy 219. On the right at
the corner of Cockrell Drive is the Halfacre Cemetery. Stay on Hwy 219
as it becomes Main Street and return to historic downtown Newberry.
A Visit to Rosemont
(March Road Trip on WKDK)
Easter has just passed and spring has sprung. In this season of rebirth
it’s time to take a trip that looks at our past and to “visit” some
Newberrians that helped shape the community we live in today. It won’t
be possible to mention everybody, so today we’ll just hit some highlights.
Begin your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. Head south
on Caldwell Street. Turn left on Coates Street. The old Village Cemetery
is on the hill to the left. In about 1809, George McCreless gave one
acre of land to the town for use as a public burying ground. Though
later expanded, the old burying ground was almost completely filled
by 1860. A new cemetery was built on the other side of town and some
of the family graves in the old cemetery were moved to the new one.
Newspaper articles of the day describe families carrying their loved
ones’ remains down what is now College Street on their way to re-interment
in Rosemont. Turn left on Boundary Street. Turn right on College Street.
Just beyond Newberry College, Rosemont Cemetery stretches off to the
right. Rosemont, founded on February 6, 1863, was established to relieve
the overcrowded conditions of the older Village Cemetery. It has been
expanded several times. The south entrance lines up closely with Calmes
Street, the original southern boundary of the cemetery. The back street
which runs along the crest of the hill marks the old eastern boundary.
The northern boundary was just beyond the old north entry (where the
other set of granite piers is standing). Enter the cemetery at the southern
The monolithic granite piers which mark the older entrances were a project
of the Newberry Civic League. The ones which flank the south entrance
bear bronze plaques as memorials. The southernmost pier was placed in
memory of Ola Clark Floyd (first president of the Civic League) while
its northerly counterpart commemorates Walter Herbert Hunt (first president
of the Cemetery Association). Turn left on the front street. On the
right, in the Norris plot are some of the graves which were moved from
the old Buzzardt Cemetery for the construction of Komatsu. Also on the
right (since the left is just crape myrtles and College Street), under
the lone Magnolia tree, is the third and final resting place of Calvin
Crozier (1840-65). Crozier was a Confederate soldier heading home to
Texas at the end of the War who was killed by Union soldiers stationed
in Newberry. The full story is inscribed on the monument itself. A short
way beyond the Crozier plot is the Blease family plot where is buried
Coleman Livingston Blease (1867-1942) who was Governor of South Carolina
from 1910-1914. While visiting Rosemont, be sure to notice all the iron
crosses which mark the graves of Confederate soldiers.
The southern pier of the north gate of the cemetery is a memorial to
Ione Fant McCaughrin, a benefactor of the cemetery. Turn right on the
road from the north gate and right again on the next cross road. On
the right is the Dickert plot where Col. David Augustus Dickert (1844-1917)
is buried. Col. Dickert was in charge of the Pomaria Lancers when he
rode his horse up the steps of the Old Court House. The next plot over
is the resting place of Colin C. Davis (1859-1916) and his family. As
a master builder and contractor, Davis built many of the grand homes
and churches in downtown Newberry. The monuments in this plot are made
of pink granite. Down the road on the left (between the holly trees)
is the angel statue. According to the inscription, the statue represents
the image in the minds of her husband and children of Nina Dominick
Vandiver who is buried here. At the end of the street, turn left. On
the left, now the Bowers’ plot, was a space originally assigned for
the use of Luther Chapel (now Redeemer). Turn left again on the next
On the left is a Buzzhardt family plot which has more of the graves
which were moved from the site of Komatsu. On the right is the Holmes
family plot which features a beautiful cross of white marble decorated
with a spray of passion flowers. Just beyond it is the Evans plot. Herbert
H. Evans (1852-1925) was mayor of Newberry in 1895. (He was the one
that cut down all the walnut trees from Main Street.) Mary Ann Butler
Evans, who founded the Public Lounge, is also buried here. In the center
of the old part of the cemetery is the gazebo. On the plat of Rosemont
in the museum, it is called a “rest house.” Near the end of the street
on the right is a granite pedestal with a cross that serves as a memorial
to Rev. George William Holland (1838-95) who was president of Newberry
College from 1878-1895. Straight ahead at the end of the street is the
Gauntt family mausoleum. It was built in 1916 and has a bronze door
on the front.
Turn right on the paved road and right again on the next street. On
the left, in the Wells family plot, is the grave of Osborne Wells (1831-1916).
As a local contractor, Wells was responsible for the decoration in the
pediment of the Old Court House as well as the construction of the Opera
House and the original building at Newberry College. Also on the left
is the O’Neall family cemetery which was moved to Rosemont from the
Village Cemetery. Chief among those buried here is John Belton O’Neall
(1793-1863) of Annals of Newberry fame (among many other things) and
his wife Helen Pope O’Neall (1797-1871) for whom Helena is named. Many
of the older monuments in Rosemont are either altar tombs (box-like
structures topped with a marble slab) or obelisks (tapered stone shafts
reminiscent of classical antiquity). Near the end of the street on the
left is Gist-McCaughrin plot. Among those buried here is Robert Lusk
McCaughrin (1834-1882), first president of Newberry Cotton Mills. Turn
left on the paved street and left again on the next cross street.
On the right, under the holly tree, are some old altar tombs which comprise
a Summer family plot moved from the Village Cemetery. On the left in
another Summer plot is Dr. Mamie Summer (1888-1959), without whom Newberry
would not be the community it is today. On the right is a plot belonging
to Central Methodist Church. Next to it is the Coppock family plot where
E. S. Coppock, who owned the house where the museum is located, is buried.
On the right, a large obelisk marks the grave of Robert Moorman (1814-73)
who was one of the signers of the Ordinance of Secession from Newberry.
In the Stewart family plot on the right is a monument to Dr. Daniel
Dobson (1822-48). Dobson came to Newberry as a school teacher circa
1840 and later studied medicine and practiced here. He died shortly
after retrieving his friend John Stewart’s body from Mexico where he
had died in the Mexican War. Both were originally buried in Aveleigh
Cemetery on the old Winnsboro Highway.
Also on the right is the Fair family mausoleum. Built of massive blocks
of rough-cut granite, it is the resting place of Simeon Fair (1801-73)
who was also a signer of the Ordinance of Secession. On the left is
the grave of Lambert J. Jones (1813-1894), a prominent Newberry lawyer.
His house stood in the 2100 block of Main Street. Jones Street, which
was originally the lane to his barn, is named for him. At the end of
the street, turn right on the paved street and left on the next street
(this one runs along the crest of the hill. There is a beautiful view
of the new baseball stadium from here. On the right, inside a brick
enclosure is the Calmes family cemetery. Not originally part of Rosemont,
it pre-dates the larger cemetery. Among those buried here is William
Calmes, Sr. (died 1836) who fought in the American Revolution. Follow
the road as it bends to the left. On the right is a drop-off to the
newer section called Springdale.
At the end of the road, make a sharp right on the southern boundary
road of Springdale. Turn left on the third street. On the left are a
series of slab tombstones which were moved from Aveleigh Cemetery. Among
them is the grave of David Boozer (1788-1850) whose second wife was
the subject of much gossip in antebellum Newberry and eventually inspired
the books La Belle and Another Jezebel. At the end of the row, turn
left and follow this street to the northernmost gate of the cemetery.
Turn left on College Street and return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
Trip to Maybinton, Whitmire and Back
(February Road Trip on WKDK)
The Road Trip of the Month started this month back in 2002. In celebration
of this anniversary, we’ll be taking a look back to the first of these
trips. The original road trip was a search for spring bulbs and consisted
of driving directions only with no historical comment. This month’s
trip follows the same route but with commentary added.
As you drive around the county this month, watch out for beautiful spring
bulbs, including: Jonquils (bright yellow flowers with slender dark
green stems and leaves, and a sweet, rich fragrance); Yellow Narcissus
(star-shaped yellow flowers borne in clusters – smaller than a Jonquil
but twice as fragrant); Butter-and-Eggs (also called buttercups, loose
clusters of petals ranging in color from greenish-white to yellow with
blue-green foliage and no fragrance); Snow Drops (stalks of bell-shaped
white flowers with green dots, rising from a cluster of dark green leaves);
and a myriad of naturalized Daffodils and Narcissuses. Other flowers
to watch for are: Quince (a prickly shrub with white, pink or red flowers);
Forsythia (often called “yellow bells” for the shape of the tiny yellow
flowers); Spirea (a shrub with innumerable tiny white flowers bursting
from its branches – the double form is called “Bridal Wreath”); and
Flowering Almond (a low-growing shrub with neon pink pompon-shaped flowers).
Growing along the edges of gardens and embankments, the tiny pink, purple
and white blooms of Thrift can also be seen this time of year.
Begin your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. Head east
on Main Street. Look for the traditional spring flowers listed above
as you drive by the beautiful homes of the Main Street Historic District.
Bear left on Winnsboro Hwy. Turn left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. This
road is a favorite of road trips because it closely follows the trace
of one of the oldest roads in the county. After crossing I-26, watch
for the old Mt. Bethel-Garmany School building on the left. Garmany
School was established near here before the Civil War. The present building
(now a community center) was the result of the merger of Mt. Bethel,
Garmany and McCrary Schools in 1918. Further down the road on the left
is Lebanon Methodist Church. The church was established in 1875, and
the old cemetery is down the road to the left of the present building.
On a bend in the Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road to the right is the Chalmers-Brown
House. Begun in the 1830’s, the house was enlarged with the addition
of a portico around 1850. This time of year large outcrops of granite
can be seen in the fields and forests along this road. Jog across Hwy
176 to stay on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road.
Across from the end of the road is the site of the Pope House. Though
the house is long gone, the spring bulbs serve as reminders of the house
site. Turn left on Mt. Pleasant Church Road. Down the road on the right
is a mercantile building that served as Reese’s Store. On the left is
the Graham House which is typical of nineteenth century farm houses
in the county. Though usually one room in width, these house are usually
several rooms in length with chimneys at each end. The presence of two
front doors was common here and in the lowcountry. On the left, just
beyond Ringer Road, on a little hill is the Darby Cemetery.
Turn left on Maybinton Road. Cross the Enoree River. The name “Enoree”
comes from an Indian word meaning “River of Muscadines.” Turn right
on Tyger River Road. This intersection is near the center of the present
Maybinton Community. Once a prominent plantation center, Maybinton is
now mostly part of the Sumter National Forest. The new Fire Department
building is on the right, next to the park. Turn left on Peter’s Creek
Road. The Hardy House, circa 1825, is on the right. Built along the
old river road, the house retains much of its original appearance and
setting. When we cross into Union County, the road name changes to Glymph
Road. Like Newberry, Union was one of the counties formed from the Ninety
Six District in 1785. Turn right on Maybingdon Road (they misspell it
in our neighboring county). Near here on the right is the site of The
Oaks, the plantation home of Dr. Douglass and one end of the tale of
the Hound of Goshen. On the right is St. Matthew’s AME Zion Church.
Turn left on Hwy 72-121.
Cross the Enoree Rive back into Newberry County at Whitmire. Stay on
Hwy 72. Established as a trading post on the Old Buncombe Road in the
1790’s, the “pearl of the piedmont” became a railroad depot in the 1891.
As the road merges with Church Street, Whitmire Methodist Church will
be on the left with its imposing porticoes. Founded in 1892, it is the
oldest congregation in town. Turn left on Railroad Avenue (before the
bridge) and left again on Main Street. Most of the downtown was rebuilt
after a fire in 1916. Embedded in the unusually high sidewalks are iron
rings which were used as hitches for horses. On the left at the intersection
of Gilliam Street is the town hall, built in 1923. On the right is St.
Timothy’s Lutheran Church, which was founded in 1939. The last building
on the right was built in 1903. Originally an office for the mill, it
has impressive decorative brickwork. At the end of Main Street stands
First Baptist Church which moved to the downtown in 1902. Turn right
on Glenn Street and then left on Park Street. Along this street stand
some of the supervisors’ homes for the mill. At the end of the street
is the site of the Glenn-Lowry Mill which is currently being demolished.
Turn right on Central Avenue (Hwy 66). The next few blocks pass through
“old hill,” the older section of the mill village. As you leave town,
keep an eye out for Mollohon, the Herndon House, which was begun in
the 1790’s. The massive Doric portico was part of an 1850’s remodeling.
Turn left on Old Newberry Hwy.
Turn right on Tabor Cemetery Road. Near here was Mt. Tabor Methodist
Church, an antebellum congregation that later merged with the church
in Whitmire. Visit the old cemetery and follow the road back around.
(It becomes Jack Wilson Road before returning to Old Newberry Hwy.)
At the end of Old Newberry Hwy, turn right on Hwy 121. New Hope Baptist
Church, founded in 1890, is on the right. Cross Indian Creek. Turn right
on Old Whitmire Hwy. This section of the county is known as Long Lane.
In the early years, the road cut through several large pastures, producing
a long lane. On the right is Renwick Grove Baptist Church. On the left,
just beyond Seymore Branch Road is the Dr. G. W. Glenn House. Glenn
Street in Newberry was named for Dr. Glenn and his old house is typical
of Newberry County farmhouses from the early years of the nineteenth
century. In the woods to the right, across from the end of Folk Road
is Tea Table Rock. This large granite outcrop is the site where, according
to local tradition, ladies of the area entertained Sir Banastre Tarleton
with a “tea” and delayed his arrival at an important Revolutionary War
battle. At the end of the road, cross Hwy 76 and turn right on College
Street. This intersection, sometimes called “Devil’s Crossroads” is
the site of Blackjack Tavern, which appears on many old maps of the
area. Coming back into town, you will pass Rosemont Cemetery. Take a
moment to stroll through the cemetery and return to historic downtown
(January Road Trip on WKDK)
in Newberry County is an ideal time to study the wide vistas of our
hilly topography and to notice things that are often hidden by lush
foliage. The clear blue skies, picturesque bare trees and the dark green
of pine forests form an excellent backdrop for a study of how the built
environment relies on the underlying terrain. So bundle up for the chilly
weather, because this is the perfect season for finding house sites,
cemeteries and road traces and for enjoying the view from hilltops.
tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry. Since the Square and
the old part of the downtown are laid out on the declivity (downward
slope) of a hill, there are not as many wide sweeping vistas that would
be found on a hilltop. Still, glancing through spaces between buildings
and along the cross streets you can see the crest of the downtown hill
and three others. From the west end of the Square (Nance Street side)
the top of the hill where Newberry Cotton Mills stood is visible. Although
the mill is no longer there, the peaked roof of the McWhirter House,
circa 1860, is clearly visible. The land for the mill was purchased
from the McWhirter family, and the house was purchased by the mill in
1891 for supervisors’ quarters. Gazing northward, the eye is drawn across
the Scott’s Creek trestle to the next hill, where the Museum and the
Gauntt House (Newberry’s oldest dwelling) are clearly visible. The crest
of that hill is punctuated by a communications tower next to Newberry
Elementary School. Along the Boyce Street side of the Square a vista
opens up next to Delamater’s (near where the old Locust Tree once stood).
The spire of Wiles Chapel and the tower of Keller Hall mark the site
of Newberry College.
Square, turn right (north) on Nance Street. Turn left on Cornelia Street
and pull into the drive of the Newberry County Museum. Though not on
the top of the hill, the Museum offers one of the best panoramic views
of the downtown. This time of year, houses from Boundary to Harrington
Streets can be seen along with the skyline of the business district.
Among the many notable buildings seen are the tower of the Opera House,
Central Methodist Church, the old Newberry Hotel, the Lutheran Church
of the Redeemer, the Parr Building, the County Court House, Newberry
A R P Church and Bethlehem Baptist Church.
to Cornelia Street and turn left. On the right is the Queen Anne style
Wilson House which was built circa 1900. Turn right on Moon Street and
left on Cline Street. Turn left on Vincent Street. On the left are two
raised cottages built in the 1870’s. They are similar to the ones on
Harrington Street. This type of house, with the living spaces raised
to the second floor, was once more common in Newberry than it is now.
Turn right on Crosson Street and left on Drayton Street. On the right
is Willowbrook Park, part of the mill village for Newberry Cotton Mills.
Driving through this neighborhood, look for rows of nearly-identical
one and two story houses. Turn right on Main Street and left on Langford
Street. While coming down the hill, look to the right to see a normally
hidden view of Oak Grove (or Gildercrest, if you prefer). Turn right
on O’Neall Street and left on Jessica Avenue. On the right is the imposing
Doric portico of Oak Grove, built by Frederick Nance in 1822 and attributed
to Robert Mills. Turn right on Boundary Street and follow it out of
town as it becomes Hwy 34-121.
through the county in winter is a good time to find old house sites.
This stretch of road is a good practice because there are several sites
on both sides of the road where the old house is still standing. Look
at these sites and imagine them without buildings. What is left are
large trees (often oak), evergreen shrubbery, old bulbs (which we’ll
see next month) and maybe a pile of brick or stone from a chimney. The
small cluster of large trees (sometimes called sentinels) is an important
clue for house sites. Left to their own devices, oaks will reproduce
rapidly, becoming a grove or a forest. To see a few old trees clustered
together means that something was there to keep the young trees from
on Deadfall Road. A few miles down the road on the left, New Chapel
Methodist Church is clearly visible through the bare trees. Driving
along past farms, forests, churches and old house sites it’s easy to
understand why this area was called Utopia. At the end of the road,
turn left on Hwy 395. Something else to look for in winter are road
traces which are more visible now that the underbrush is gone. Old roads,
or traces, were little more than ditches with high banks. They are often
visible running parallel to existing roads or crossing them near creeks.
Since most creeks were forded, the trace will run alongside the creek
and then turn back up to the ridge. Modern bridges usually go straight
across. Turn right on Clara Brown Road. Turn right on Schumpert Mill
Road. On the left is the Schumpert-Cousins House with its fancy Victorian
gingerbread. This road and the next we’ll turn down closely follow the
old traces while running roughly parallel to Bush River. Turn right
on Cannon Swamp Road. Nearing the crest of the hill there is a good
view of the circa 1840 Werber House. The narrow house with end chimneys
is typical of Newberry County farm houses. Turn right on Hwy 395. On
the left is the Buzhardt House. Like the Werber House, it is typical
of the homes built in Newberry in the mid-nineteenth century. The picket
fence with granite posts was found surrounding many Newberry dooryards.
on St. Luke’s Church Road. Coming down the hill, look off to the left
to catch a glimpse of the Rock House. Built by Jacob Hoffman in the
1750’s, it is probably the oldest building in the county. Nearer the
road, under a large Cedar tree is the Kinard-Nobles Cemetery. Further
down the road on the right is the Dunker Cemetery. Bear left on Fire
Tower Road. Along this road examples of everything we’ve mentioned so
far can be seen. Sometimes the trees around a newer house are much older
than the house itself. Historians have a saying about this: “a good
site is a good site.” Often new houses are built on the sites of older
on Stoney Hill Road. Cross Hwy 391 onto Mt. Pilgrim Church Road. Several
miles down the road on the right (at the crest of a hill) stands Mt.
Pilgrim Lutheran Church. This church was built in 1934 and is constructed
of field stones. Hold onto your horses as you go down one of the steepest
grades in the county. With the land rising sharply, you can tell we’re
getting close to Little Mountain. On the right is Oak Grove Presbyterian
Church. Founded shortly after the Civil War, it is one of the oldest
African-American churches in the county. A Rosenwald school associated
with it stands across the road. Turn right on Hwy 76. As you approach
the town of Little Mountain, there are several views of the mountain
itself to the right. At over 800 feet, it is the highest point east
of Greenville. Take a sharp left on Mt. Tabor Road. Off to the left
is a really nice view of the mountain.
Lutheran Church (on the left) was founded in 1880. Tradition has it
that the present church, circa 1925, was built from revenue made from
eggs laid on Sundays. At the church, cross the railroad tracks to the
right and turn left on Kibler’s Bridge Road. At Berley-Boland Road,
turn right to stay on Kibler’s Bridge Road. The bridge is over Crim’s
Creek which winds its way through Pomaria and Peak before joining the
Broad River. Not far from the bridge, the mid-nineteenth century Kibler
House is on the right. Two smaller houses beyond it (across from Mid
Carolina Country Club) may date to the eighteenth century. Turn right
on Hwy 773. On the right across I-26 is St. Paul’s Lutheran Church.
Founded in 1761 it is the oldest Lutheran congregation that has always
been in Newberry County. Turn left on Jollystreet Road.
intersection of Old Jollystreet Road on the right is the old Jollystreet
School. Just before the intersection of Bachman Chapel Road on the left
is a Kinard family cemetery. Continue along Jollystreet Road and turn
right on Claude Counts Road. Watch out for red mud. As the road turns
away from I-26,
it becomes Bearington Road. On the right will be the Cannon’s Creek
A R P Cemetery (left). Although the congregation, the oldest
A R P Church in the county, moved to a new location on Hwy 76 in 1948,
this church dates back to the 1770’s. Take a moment to wander around
the old cemetery to look at the monuments and read the inscriptions.
It’s hard to believe that the Newberry Industrial Park is at the top
of the next hill. At the end of the road turn right on Jollystreet Road.
Turn right on Hwy 76 and left on Adelaide Street and return to historic
(December Road Trip on WKDK)
your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. The Square was
the site of three court houses prior to the Old Court House. Until the
Old Court House was built in 1852, the jail also stood on the Square.
This was the governmental center of the county (even if it wasn’t exactly
the geographic center) and all official measurements were made in distance
from the court house; hence, the granite mile marker, unearthed in the
1970's, shows the distance to the capital, to the neighboring seats
of Edgefield and Laurens and to Hamburg a settlement on the Savannah
on Main Street. Turn right on Nance Street. This street was named for
Frederick Nance who, according to tradition, was the first person to
buy a lot in the court house village. The village was laid out in a
regular grid of streets around the Square. At the corner of Harrington
Street, you’ll see the Opera House parking lot to the right. This is
the site of an old jail. When the Old Court House was built, the jail
was moved off of the public square and built on Harrington Street. In
1918, a third jail was built here. At the time, this was the end of
McKibben Street and not the intersection of Nance. (The streets were
switched when Hwy 395 was widened in 1973.) That sturdy jail was described
as the safest in the state. Pieces of its intact foundation still remain
below the parking lot (which partly explains why the lot is so much
higher than the surrounding land).
left you will see parts of the old water works with the Newberry County
Museum on top of the hill behind the Public Safety Complex. The Gauntt
House, circa 1808, (the oldest residential building in town) sits in
front of the Museum. It was moved to this site in the 1970's from its
original location on College Street across from the Post Office. At
the base of the hill, behind the fire station, is a granite-lined pond
which was part of the original landscaping for the water works. This
section of Nance Street became a popular neighborhood known as Brooklyn.
It was formed when several farms were subdivided in the 1870's to make
room for the growing town. On the hill to the left is Newberry Elementary
School which started out as Newberry High School in 1926. Across from
the school is Margaret Hunter Park and its frisbee golf course.
the right, at the corner of Fair Street is the Wells House. Built circa
1855, this house is built on a raised foundation and has unusual English
Gothic arches. It was the home of Newberry master builder Osborne Wells
(who is remembered for his design in the pediment of the Old Court House).
Turn right on Pope Street. Wells Park is a subdivision which was laid
out in the 1940's. This is the creek where, according to local tradition,
a Spanish helmet dating to the time of Desoto was discovered in the
1890's. Turn left on College Street. As you turn the corner, Newberry
College can be seen off to the right. This Lutheran-supported school
was founded in 1856. Turn right on Cemetery Street (or, better yet,
turn into the cemetery and visit Newberrians of Newberry past). Rosemont
Cemetery (above) was established in 1862 since the old village
cemetery at the end of Coates Street was overcrowded. Turn right on
Luther Street. Down a grove of Bradford Pears along what used to be
Bachman Street is a bronze bust of Rev. Dr. John Bachman, one of the
original trustees of the college.
on Evans Street. As you’ve probably guessed, most of the older streets
in town were named for families. (No, there wasn’t a “Main” family or
a “College” family, but these streets were originally “Pratt” and “Adam,”
respectively.) This street ran through land belonging to H. H. Evans,
who was Mayor of Newberry in the 1890's. He was the one responsible
for chopping down all the walnut trees in town from Walnut Street to
the railroad tracks. According to a newspaper article, the task was
accomplished in the span of a week. It so altered the face of the downtown
that families coming into town on Saturday didn’t realize they were
in Newberry. Turn right on Glenn Street and cross the north fork of
Scott’s Creek. The town was largely settled around the north and south
forks of this creek. The forks meet west of town near the site of Langford’s
Mill before joining Bush River.
on Harrington Street. This area of town was developed beginning in the
1870's. There is an eclectic mix of nineteenth and twentieth century
homes in this neighborhood. To the left, behind some hedges, stands
a one and a half story frame building which once housed the Newberry
Male Academy. The school (the Male and Female Academies) was housed
in various places over time. This one, now a residence, was built in
the 1870's. Further down the street on the left are two raised cottages
which were also built in the 1870's. These homes are built like those
in the Lowcountry with the principle rooms on the upper floor. On the
right, set back from the street is the Maybin-Pool House which was built
in 1871 by A. H. Maybin and later remodeled by the Pools with work by
C. C. Davis.
on Calhoun Street. (Can you be a city in South Carolina without a Calhoun
Street?) Remember the “C” in John C. Calhoun is for “Caldwell,” another
old Newberry name. Though ravaged by the great fire of 1907, there are
some really great old houses in these next few blocks. On the right,
Aveleigh Presbyterian Church is the oldest Presbyterian Church in town.
It was originally established in 1835 one mile west on the road to Ashford’s
Ferry (about where Whitaker’s Floor Coverings is now). It has been on
this site since 1852. The Newberry A. R. P. Church is on the left at
the corner of Main Street. Built in 1907, this church replaced an earlier
one on Thompson (now Lindsay) Street. Founded in 1854, that church burned
in the 1907 fire. On the right is St. Luke’s Episcopal Church which
was rebuilt after the tornado of 1984. At the corner of Friend Street
stands the Floyd-Carpenter House with its imposing Corinthian portico.
Street and bear to the right on Boundary Street (so-named because it
was on the edge of the original village). On the left, facing Johnstone
Street is “Coateswood” which was the home of Job Johnstone, an influential
nineteenth-century Newberry lawyer. (One of his many influences was
getting an extra “e” added to the family name.) Down the street on the
left is the Mower House. Another C. C. Davis design, the house features
a wrap-around porch, turrets, fine woodwork and everything you’d expect
to find in a grand Queen Anne style home. Also to the left is the Francis
Higgins House. Begun in 1820, it was one of the first large homes in
town. To the right is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer. Founded in
1853 as Luther Chapel, the present modern church (circa 1964) incorporates
the bell from the original church and some stained glass from the 1897
on Caldwell Street. On the right is First Baptist Church. Founded in
1832, it is the oldest congregation in town. Across the street to the
left is the Z. F. Wright House with its imposing Corinthian columns.
Wright was Mayor of Newberry as well as director of the Commercial Bank
and Newberry Cotton Mills. From here to the south fork of Scott’s Creek
is Graveltown. Named for its proximity to the quarry of Leavell &
is an African-American neighborhood laid out in the late 1860's, just
after the Civil War. Turn left on Coates Street. Coates Street is named
for John Coate who gave the land for the court house and square. One
of the traditional boundaries to Graveltown is the Village Cemetery
(right). When you get to the grassy part, cut left across the
lower cemetery and head up to the top of the hill.
George McCreless gave one acre of land on Coates Street to serve as
the Village Cemetery. In 1846, two additional acres were purchased for
the then overcrowded cemetery. The cemetery fell into disuse after the
establishment of Rosemont in 1863. In 1939, a city ordinance was passed
prohibiting the use of the old cemetery for burial purposes except in
walled family plots. Although some of the graves were later moved to
Rosemont, the absence of visible grave markers in the bulk of the old
cemetery suggests that most of the old markers were wood and have long
since disappeared. Go up to the crest of the hill to see some of the
from the cemetery is Boundary Street School. In 1890 the first free
public school in Newberry was built on this site. Though the old building
is no longer there, the bell is still preserved in a tower by the entrance.
Continue on Coates Street. Turn left on Main Street and return to Historic
Thanksgiving Road Trip
(November Road Trip on WKDK)
time of year, the last colors of fall are falling off to reveal bare
branches and evergreens. Buildings and houses are sprouting colorful
garlands, bows and fanciful characters as we approach the Christmas
season. This is a time of harvest, thanksgiving and family. So, while
the family is in town, take a road trip through Newberry County by starting
on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry.
the Square, remember that the Old Court House, circa 1851, was designed
by Columbia architect Jacob Graves in the Greek revival style. In 1879,
Osborne Wells added the colorful decoration in the tympanum of the pediment.
The design represents an allegory of the Scales of Justice as seen through
the eyes of the era of Reconstruction. The American Eagle (looking very
vulture-like) and representing the Federal Government has uprooted a
Palmetto tree (forming the fulcrum of the scales) representing South
Carolina. In the branches, a dove of peace with an olive branch is unable
to balance the scales which are tipped by a Gamecock representing our
the Square, turn left on Nance Street and continue as it becomes Hwy
395. On the right, just beyond Mendenhall Road is Hartford Community
Center. Established in 1870 in the old Universalist Church (which in
turn was an outgrowth of the Dunker Church), the present structure was
built in 1924 as Hartford School. Just beyond it on the left is the
Paysinger-Lester House, circa 1915. Down the road to the right is the
old Buzzardt House, circa 1840, with its end chimneys and massive transom
and sidelights at the front door. It is typical of the old farm houses
found in Newberry County. On the right, opposite the end of Cannon Swamp
Road, is the Werber House, circa 1846. This house was built by a German
immigrant, Dr. Werber, who experimented in contour terrace farming for
soil conservation. Cross Bush River.
Dennis Dairy Lane on the right is the Isaac Herbert Boulware House,
circa 1884, at Utopia Farm (you are now entering Utopia Community).
Turn right on Deadfall Road. On the right is Hannah School, directly
across from Hannah AME Church. Both the school and the church trace
their origins to the 1870's when they were located down Hannah Church
Road. Both institutions were moved to the present site in the 1930's
when the Rosenwald school was built. In the 1960's Hannah was consolidated
into Silverstreet School. Cross Beaverdam Creek. Off the road to the
left is the Dr. D. A. Cannon House, circa 1870. This was once the home
of the Utopia Post Office. Off to the right is New Chapel Methodist
Church. Established before 1820 near the Saluda River, the congregation
later moved to the present site and built the current church in 1879.
A small Sunday School building stands next to the church.
121. Opposite the end of Werts Road was the site of Head’s Tavern. Bear
to the left onto Main Street as you approach Silverstreet. Turn right
on Long Street, left on Woodland Road and left again on Church Street,
putting you in front of Silverstreet Lutheran Church. Though its roots
go back to the Deadfall Mission Church of 1871, Silverstreet Lutheran
was organized in 1908. The present church was built in 1949. Turn right
on Lake Street. At the end of the street is the site of Silverstreet
Graded School which was begun in 1912. To the right is the Gymnasium
and Cafeteria annex which was added in 1941 by the WPA. Turn left on
School Street. Immediately to the left is the Auditorium which was built
in 1926. Turn right on Main Street at the Post Office. As you leave
town, bear slightly to the right onto Silverstreet Road.
Turn right on Trinity Church Road. On the right, at the corner of Trinity
Springs Road is Trinity Methodist Church. This congregation was established
in 1836 when three older churches in the area merged. Turn right on
Belfast Road and immediately left on Bel Ivy Road. Be sure to “moo”
at the cows. Turn right on Sterling Road. Turn right on Rocky Creek
Road. At the intersection of Beaverdam Creek Road on the right stands
the old Gilder House which was begun circa 1830. Turn left on Beaver
Dam Creek Road. Cross Bush River. Turn left on Bush River Road.
left after the Fire Station is the Braswell House which was built in
the 1850's. To the right will be Bush River Baptist Church, an African-American
congregation which split from the old church after the War Between the
States. Ahead on the left is Bush River Baptist Church. Its old cemetery
is on the left just before you get to the church. Founded circa 1771,
this is the “mother church” of many Baptist congregations in the area.
Turn right on Crowder Road. Turn right on Bush River Road. On the right
is Valley Farm, the Smith House, built circa 1880. Turn right on Hwy
560. Cross Bush River. This stretch of the highway runs along the line
with Laurens County, so Newberry is on the right and Laurens is on the
was established as a depot on the Newberry and Laurens Railroad in 1854.
It was named for Captain John Martin Kinard. Turn right on Carlisle-Oxner
Road. On the right is an old wooden general store. This was originally
M. W. Oxner & Sons and was built in 1907. It is similar to wooden
stores that lined many streets in downtown Newberry prior to fires in
the last quarter of the nineteenth century. Ahead, on the right is Sharon
Methodist Church. Founded in 1854, this handsome gothic church was built
in 1905. Captain Kinard is buried in the cemetery behind the church.
Return to Hwy 560, turn right. Cross the railroad tracks and turn right
on Hwy 76. As you leave town, the Summer-Smith House will be visible
to the right. Built by Jacob Summer in 1854, it is a typical Newberry
farmhouse. On the left is the
Gary House (called “Oakdale”) which was built circa 1855. Watch out
for fields of cotton in this part of the county. Even when the field
has been harvested, there is still a frost-like residue of cotton standing
out against the red clay. A couple of miles down the road on the left
stands the Mc Crackin House, which received its grand porticoes during
a Cam Davis remodeling circa 1900.
on St. James Church Road. Straight ahead is St. James Lutheran Church.
Founded in 1840 as Liberty Hill, the congregation moved to Jalapa in
1889 and became St. James. The present church was built in 1942. Turn
left on Jalapa Road. Turn right on Beth Eden Church Road. On the left,
at the corner of Monument Road is the monument which stands in memory
of the men killed when two B-25's collided in 1943. Turn right on Monument
Road. Monument Road is a favorite of road trips. The wildlife and natural
beauty of the forest combine with the rough character of the road to
make a very picturesque drive. Unfortunately, the dry weather means
that natural waterways are low or non-existent. Look out for wildlife
while crossing the three one lane bridges over Indian Creek.
on Newberry Hwy. Turn right on Hwy 121 and then turn left on Hwy 176.
Cross Kings Creek. Turn left on Molly’s Rock Road. After you pass the
park, the road follows very closely to the trace of the old Buncombe
was a branch of the Wilderness trail which originated in Pennsylvania
and brought many settlers to western South Carolina in the late 1700's.
In the woods to the left is Molly’s Rock (photo at right).
This rock formation is part of the granite ridge that runs across the
county. It is the setting of local legends about Molly who is said to
have lived on the rock and collected water in a natural basin at the
176 onto Mount Bethel-Garmany Road and enjoy the scenery as you return
to Historic Downtown Newberry.
County's Ghosts and Legends
(October Road Trip on WKDK)
is a little chill in the air as Fall flourishes and Winter begins to
draw near. Trees have started to lose their leaves as a multitude of
green shades change to gold, russet, scarlet and (thanks to the drought)
brown. As the days grow shorter and night comes sooner, it is time to
explore tales that offer a certain shiver and chill of their own — time
to explore the darker side of history and nearly-forgotten lore. An
important aspect of a successful ghost story is a convincingly eerie
setting. As we drive through the byways of Newberry County today, be
aware of ways in which our beautiful landscape can be downright spooky
at times. All it takes are a few long shadows, the fog rising from a
pasture pond or an abandoned farm to set the stage for a ghostly encounter.
Today we’re going to visit places associated with some of Newberry’s
many ghosts and legends.
your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. But, before you
go anywhere, have a look at the Opera House. Since its completion in
1882, the Newberry Opera House has dominated the skyline downtown. G.
L. Norman designed this imposing civic building to house city offices
and serve the theatrical needs of the community. Now, of course, after
the renovations were completed in 1998, the Opera House serves as a
regional center for the arts. There’s something about the cavernous
space of an auditorium and the seemingly endless corridors backstage
that set the imagination in motion for a ghost story. No details are
known about the eerie presence that has been seen and felt on the stage
and in the balcony of the Newberry Opera House. Many volunteers and
visitors have experienced something, but, whether it is a spirit from
the days of the traveling shows or a relative newcomer from the renovations,
no one is certain.
west on Main Street. Turn left on Nance Street and right on Boundary
Street. As you leave town, bear left on Dennis Dairy Road. Before you
get to Bush River on the right is the Quaker Cemetery (an historical
marker points to the location). The “Phantom Rider of Bush River” is
a story associated with the Quaker settlement near Bobo’s Mill (a mill
on Bush River between Dennis Dairy Road and Hwy 395). The tale was first
published in The Rising Sun, one of Newberry’s ante-bellum newspapers,
on April 25, 1860. It is one of the oldest South Carolina tales to survive
in written form. The story is set at the time of the American Revolution.
Newberry’s loyalties were split three ways — patriots, loyalists and
the Quakers. Their beliefs forbade taking part in the conflict. Thus
the love shared by a young Quaker girl and a young patriot was kept
secret. When the tides of war drew close to the upcountry, the young
soldier followed the army, but he vowed to return to his love in one
year — dead or alive. The year passed and, on the appointed day, the
young girl anxiously waited for any sign of the soldier. Late that night,
the thunder of hoof beats could be heard coming up the river road. The
girl peered outside to see a soldier on horseback silhouetted against
flashes of lightening. The next morning, no hoof prints could be found
to prove an earthly visitor. It is said that on moonless nights, the
sound of a galloping horse can still be heard on the old road to Bobo’s
on Dennis Dairy Road even after it becomes O’Dell Ruff Road. Turn right
on Deadfall Road (an appropriate road name for a trip with spooky tales).
Turn right on Hwy 121. Near the site of Lester’s Store, on the right,
a ghostly vision may or may not be waiting for you. When I first moved
to the Silverstreet area, I found myself driving in to Newberry many
times late at night. As I approached the intersection of the Old Ninety
Six Road, I would sometimes glimpse a stately columned home amid the
trees off the road. I was intrigued but could never think about the
house during the daytime. When I finally had an opportunity to search,
I found that there was no house with columns anywhere near my nighttime
vision. Whether it’s a ghostly image or an optical illusion created
by a yard light and a grove of trees, it is unclear. Still, on certain
dark nights you may see a house that isn’t there.
on Hwy 121. Turn right on Dixie Drive (Hwy 34 Bypass) and right again
395. Turn left on St. Luke’s Church Road and try to catch a glimpse
of the old Rock House, the oldest residence in the county, across a
pasture to the left. On the right, at the intersection of Fire Tower
Road is the Old Dunker Cemetery (at left). There’s something
spooky about a cemetery with a mailbox. Turn left on Fire Tower Road
and left on Clara Brown Road. Follow this road into downtown Prosperity.
Turn right on Main Street and follow it to the right as it jogs onto
Hwy 391. Leaving town on the left is the Prosperity Cemetery (below).
years ago a strange occurrence was reported at the cemetery. For several
nights, a mysterious glow was seen hovering over the trees. The
glow was never satisfactorily explained. Some said it was the glow of
moonlight reflected on a large spider web. Others insisted that it had
a more supernatural explanation.
to Main Street in Prosperity and turn right. Continue as it becomes
Macedonia Church Road. Turn right on Mt. Pilgrim Church Road. There
should be some wonderful fall color along this road. Turn right on Hwy.
76 and head toward Little Mountain. Back in the eighteenth century,
the mountain was the scene of a bizarre cult. Though not precisely a
ghost story, somehow, the Weber Heresy seems to fit in well with the
traditions set the story at the mountain, while others place it farther
east near Irmo. At any rate, the story revolves around Jakob Weber (a
settler from Switzerland by way of Pennsylvania who was an itinerant
preacher ), John Smithpeter (a settler from Bavaria by way of Pennsylvania
who was driven away from Penn. accused of being a sorcerer) and Frederick
Doubber ( a self-proclaimed black preacher who practiced voodoo rituals
near Little Mountain). This sounds like it would make a good mini-series.
To make a long and complicated story somewhat shorter, the three eventually
set themselves up as the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Together with twelve
apostles and Weber’s wife Hanna, a.k.a. the Virgin Mary, they set up
a scam to swindle families out of their land grants to acquire enough
land in the Dutch Fork to create the “new earth” foretold in Revelation.
Smithpeter, who had been essentially excommunicated from the others,
was eventually trampled to death between two mattresses and burned.
the militia finally arrived to settle the scam, Weber, his wife and
two “apostles” were taken to Charles Towne for trial. Weber was found
guilty of murder and hanged in April 1761. The others were convicted
but eventually pardoned.
Little Mountain head back along Mt. Tabor Church Road (where, of course,
you will pass Mt. Tabor Lutheran Church). Turn right on Kibler’s Bridge
Road and follow it up to Hwy 773 (St. Paul’s Church Road). When you
cross I-26, the granite building of St. Paul’s Lutheran Church will
be to the right. It was near St. Paul’s Church that a woman lived in
the 1850's whom the people of the community thought was a witch. It
seems that a train on the new railroad hit her cow. To exact her revenge,
she rubbed fat on the tracks. When the train came back, it stopped at
the exact spot, and the witch blessed out the engineer and crew.
left on Jolly Street Road. Enjoy the beautiful Fall scenery and the
rolling vistas as you return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
Trip to Greenwood
(September Road Trip on WKDK)
we started with a look at the mileage marker in front of the Old Court
House. Another neighboring county seat which is not on the marker is
Greenwood which, like Saluda is a relative newcomer as far as counties
go. This trip will take a short visit to Greenwood County and back home.
Begin your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry.
Square, head west on Main Street. Turn left on Drayton Street and then
right on O’Neal Street. When you cross Hwy 121, this becomes Belfast
Road. Turn left on Island Ford Road. The “Island Ford” to which the
road name is referring was near the site of the dam at Buzzard’s Roost.
As the Saluda River split to go around an island, it became shallow
enough to ford. Of course, this is all under Lake Greenwood now, but
be sure to watch for the other side of Island Ford Road while driving
in Greenwood County. Turn right on Hwy 34. Continue through Chappells.
right, just before the bridge is the dam at Buzzards Roost, which holds
back the waters of the Saluda River to form Lake Greenwood. Completed
in 1940, the dam provided jobs and a ready power supply. (If you have
time, pull into the fishing access area and take the short walk back
to the dam.) Cross the Saluda River into Greenwood County. Established
in 1897, Greenwood was made from parts of Edgefield and Abbeville Counties.
The name came from the town of Greenwood which was the new county seat.
Traditionally an agricultural county, Greenwood become a textile and
industrial center in the twentieth century. It is home to Lander University
and Piedmont Tech. Continue on Hwy 34 until you get to Ninety Six.
few minutes to visit Ninety Six. Main Street veers off from Hwy 34,
and there is a Visitors Center next to the fountain. Riding around the
streets of the town, there are many nineteenth century homes, churches
(including Ninety Six Presbyterian Church, organized 1774) and unusual
brick mill houses (the mill was established in 1902). Ninety Six became
a depot on the Columbia-Greenville Railroad in 1852. If you have time,
be sure to visit Star Fort National Historic Site. This was the site
of two important engagements during the Revolutionary War. The first,
in November 1775, was the first Revolutionary War battle south of New
England. The second, in 1781, was a British victory probably because
of the unusual shape of their fort — an 8-pointed star. No matter which
side the Patriots attacked, they ended up in the crossfire between two
to Hwy 34 and continue left toward Greenwood. A couple of miles out
of town, turn right on Cambridge Road. (Cambridge is a point on the
map about ten miles below Ninety Six.) Turn right on Emerald Farm Road.
Emerald Farm is part of a 450-acre plantation begun in the nineteenth
century. Since 1988, soap has been made here from a herd of Saanen goats
(a breed of Swiss dairy goats). The complex includes several shops and
a display of model trains. Return to Cambridge Road and turn right.
come into Greenwood, Cambridge Road becomes East Cambridge Avenue (Business
72). Greenwood takes its name from “Green Wood” the summer home of John
McGehee. The house was built in 1823 and the town of Woodville was established
nearby in 1837. It became Greenwood about the time the railroad came
through in 1852. The color green still plays an important role in the
community since Greenwood is known as the “Emerald City.” The city has
a population of over 22,000, making it the seventeenth largest city
in the state. Coming into town are many fine homes from the early to
mid-twentieth century. A lot of the homes are built of red brick and
yellow brick. Some will look familiar (which isn’t too surprising since
Newberry architect Ernest Summer had an office in Greenwood for a number
of years.) At the corner of Main Street on the left are two churches:
First Presbyterian on one corner and Main Street Methodist on the next.
First Presbyterian, with a Doric portico, was built in 1957 (an earlier
wing to the back is reminiscent of Central Methodist in Newberry). Main
Street Methodist was built in 1917 in a Gothic style with a square tower.
When you pass Main Street, East becomes West (Cambridge Avenue, that
is), but it is still Business 72. On the right is St. Andrews Anglican
Church. Just beyond the church, turn right into Lander University.
(at left) was founded in 1872 as the Williamston Female Academy
(it was in Williamston at the time). In 1904, the school moved to Greenwood
and was renamed in honor of its founder, Samuel Lander (1833-1904).
The 1904 building (looking a lot like the old buildings at Newberry
College) stands in the heart of the campus. The university has grown
to 3,000 students. Return to Hwy 72 via Lander Street. Turn right and
veer left onto Calhoun Avenue. On the left is the Greenwood Country
Club. Turn left on Mathis Street North then left on Lowell Avenue. Founded
in 1890, Greenwood Cotton Mill was the first of textile mills and mill
villages in Greenwood. Though the mill is being demolished, rows of
brick houses still stand. Turn right on Kitson Street.
on Maxwell Avenue (Hwy 10). Turn right on Edgefield Street. Turn left
on Park Avenue. The Greenwood County Court House and the Confederate
Monument will be on the left. Turn right on Monument Street. Turn left
on Marion Street. On the right, at the corner of Main Street is Resurrection
Episcopal Church which was founded in 1910 and built in 1934. Turn right
on Main Street. On the right is South Main Street Baptist Church with
its hexastyle Ionic portico. Also on the right is Self Memorial Hospital.
Founded by former mill president James C. Self in 1955, it is now Greenwood’s
at your next opportunity and come back in on Main Street. Greenwood
boasts the widest Main Street in the world. At one point, there were
nine sets of railroad tracks coming up the middle of the street. The
last track was removed in 1982. On the right is the old Greenwood High
School which is now apartments. Downtown Greenwood is known as “Uptown,”
presumably because it is on the north end of Main Street. To the left,
next to the old movie theater is the Greenwood Museum.
the jog to the right onto Beaudroit Avenue and veer left to stay on
Main Street (this will put you right in between the Presbyterian and
Methodist churches we saw earlier). Turn left on Cambridge and immediately
right on Grace Street (Hwy 221). Stay on Grace Street as it becomes
Hwy 254. After the By-pass it will become Cokesbury Road. As you leave
town, watch out for Deadfall Road, a familiar Newberry road name. A
few miles out on the right is a historical marker for the site of Tabernacle
Methodist Church. Following the drive next to the marker will get you
near the cemetery which is the final resting place for two Civil War
generals: Gen. N. G. Evans and Gen. M. W. Gary. Continue on Cokesbury
Road. To the left is Park Seed Company. Founded in 1868, Park Seed is
noted for its beautiful experimental gardens which are open to the public.
visiting Park Seed, turn left on Cokesbury Road. Just beyond Cokesbury
Motel, turn left on Asbury Road (there’s a small brown sign for Cokesbury
College). Down this road is a collection of antebellum buildings which
surround Cokesbury College (at right). Originally called Mt.
Ariel (after the church), the village was renamed in honor of Francis
Asbury and Thomas Coke, the first two Methodist bishops in America.
Toward the end of the road is Mt. Ariel Church, a brick store and the
Masonic Female College (circa 1854). Turn right on Hwy 246.
road an intersection and an old store indicate Stoney Point. Further
down Hwy 246 is Coronaco. The origin of this name is uncertain, but
it may be from an Indian word of unknown meaning. Turn left on Hwy 72.
Cross Lake Greenwood (the Saluda River) into Laurens County. Turn right
on Main Street (Hwy 39) to visit Cross Hill. According to tradition
this community received its name from Indian paths leading to the fish
dams on the Broad River (near Carlisle) and similar ones on the Saluda
River. The paths crossed at the hill. Turn right on Liberty Springs
Road to visit Liberty Springs Presbyterian Church, which was founded
in 1787. Surrounding the church is a large cemetery with many traditional
Newberry County names. Return to Main Street and turn right. After the
Confederate Monument, bear to the left on Hwy 560.
on Hwy 56. To the right is Belfast. Begun in the 1780's, this handsome
brick house was enlarged in the early nineteenth century. Cross into
Newberry County. Turn left on Belfast Road and return to Historic Downtown
(July Road Trip on WKDK)
“Dog Days” of Summer and it is hot. Even on the rare occasion that the
temperature doesn’t soar above 90 degrees (it does happen from time
to time), it’s still hot. It’s a good time to crank up the air conditioning
and take a road trip through the county. Begin your tour on the Square
in Historic Downtown Newberry.
north side of the Square, where Delamater’s is today, originally stood
a large locust tree which played an important role in the formative
years of Newberry’s history. With its branches spreading across a corner
of the Square, it was a popular gathering place outside the court house.
The locust tree was cut down in 1853 to make way for the Newberry Bank.
This time of year I’m sure we still miss its shade. Head west on Main
right on Drayton Street. On the left is Willowbrook Park (photo
at left). Part of the mill village at West End, this park has been
a favorite place for generations of Newberrians. Running right through
the middle is the north fork of Scott’s Creek. In ages past, a popular
summer pastime involved neighborhood children damming the creek to form
a temporary swimming hole. Turn left on Crosson Street. Behind Newberry
Middle School is West End Cemetery. Although the mills were designed
to be distinct communities, West End is the only one of the Newberry
mill villages to have its own cemetery. Turn right on O’Neall Street
(which becomes Belfast Road after Hwy 121). Somewhere between here and
the intersection of Brown Chapel Road is the site of Springfield. Originally
known as Kelly’s Store, this was the plantation of John Belton O’Neall.
on Spearman Road. Turn left on Stoney Battery Road. Beyond Harold Bowers
Road on the right is the Reagin-Crosson House, circa 1840. Note the
varge-board decoration in the eaves. Turn right on Hwy 121. Turn left
on Old Ninety Six Road. Turn left on Longshore Road. Along this road
is a grove of pecan trees which marks the site of the old Longshore
House. After the pecans, it becomes a cedar-lined dirt road. At St.
Mary’s AME Church, turn left on St Mary’s Church Road. Watch out for
fields of corn and sunflowers. Turn left on Dennis Dairy Road. Cross
Bush River. Ahead on the left is the Quaker Cemetery. The Quakers formed
an important part of Newberry County from 1770 until about 1822. By
that time most had moved west and only the cemetery and family names
on Mendenhall Road. Across the creek, near the top of the hill on the
left, the Ramage Cemetery can be seen through the trees. Also on the
left is Carter & Holmes with their greenhouses of exotic plants.
Turn right on Hwy 395. To the right is the Hartford Community Center
which was originally Hartford School. In 1870, the old Universalist
Church (which had its roots back in the Dunker Church) was used as a
community school. In 1924, the familiar wooden building was completed.
On the left is the Paysinger-Lester House, circa 1915. Down the road
to the right is the old Buzzardt House, circa 1840, with its end chimneys,
massive transom and sidelights at the front door. Turn left on Cannon
Swamp Road. This road is running nearly parallel with Bush River. Turn
left on Schumpert Mill Road. At the end of the road to the right is
the Schumpert-Cousins House, circa 1895, with its elaborate Victorian
gingerbread. Turn right on Clara Brown Road (as you get nearer to Prosperity
this becomes Brown Street). Just after a bend in the road as you approach
Prosperity stands the H. C. Mosely House on the left. This impressive
Victorian home with its two story front porch was built in 1880 by a
Prosperity merchant. Directly across the road stand the ruins of the
on Main Street and enjoy downtown Prosperity with its stores and restaurants
around the square. As you leave town, Main Street becomes Macedonia
Church Road. A few miles out of town on the left is the Fairview Community
Center in the old Fairview School. Though not named Fairview until 1894,
a school was established here in 1884. The present building was constructed
in 1917. At the end of the road, right next to the lake, is Macedonia
Lutheran Church. When the church was established in 1847, this was part
of Lexington County. The present picturesque church was built in 1914.
When the waters of Lake Murray began to rise in 1928, all but one of
the roads leading to the church were submerged. Turn around at Macedonia
Church. Turn left on Edgewater Drive. Near the end of the road on the
left is the old Higgins House. Built in the early nineteenth century
at Higgins Ferry (near Hwy 121), the house was moved to the lake and
restored. Turn around and return to Macedonia Church Road. Turn left.
Turn right on Wheeland Road.
Creek as it widens toward the lake. Driving around this time of year,
two flowering trees with an interesting connection are visible along
the roadside and in yards. These are Crape Myrtles and Mimosas. Both
grow well in South Carolina, but neither are native to this continent.
Both were also introduced by Andre Micheaux, a French botanist who operated
a nursery near Charleston in the eighteenth century. Usually Mimosas
bloom earlier in the season, but the cold snap and the dry weather have
had an effect. Crepe Myrtles, though still colorful, have also been
hurt by the same factors. Mimosas were imported from Persia and Crape
Myrtles from the Mediterranean coast.
a bend in the road to the right is a Sease Family Cemetery. Across the
road to the left is an old plantation house with a stone chimney on
the end. Turn right on Mill Road. Approaching Little Mountain watch
out for more sunflowers (at right) and a nice view of the mountain.
As you get into town on the left is Reunion Park, the setting for the
Little Mountain Reunion. Begun in August of 1882, the reunion is the
oldest folk festival in the state. Turn right on Main Street. Turn left
on Pomaria Street. Turn left on Koon Trestle Road. Turn right on Berly
Road. This is a good road trip road. It follows an old trace through
the woods. The dry and dusty road really fosters an appreciation for
air conditioning. Cross a branch of Crims Creek on a wooden bridge and
arrive in downtown Pomaria.
176 and turn right on Main Street (after the bend, this becomes Rest
Street). Turn left on Folk Street. On the left is the old Pomaria School.
Begun in 1913, this school was enlarged as many of the smaller community
schools were consolidated into it. Pomaria was also a victim of consolidation,
for, in 1958, classes began to move to Mid-Carolina. Turn right on Holloway
Street. Turn right on Hwy 176. On the hill to the left is the site of
the Eichelberger House. In 1831 the Lutheran Synod established a seminary
and academy at this site. Three years later, the school was moved to
Lexington. This facility was the ancestor of the seminary in Columbia
and Newberry College. Cross Cannons Creek.
on Hwy 219. Turn left on Clayton Church Road. Clayton Memorial Universalist
Church is on the left. It is the only one surviving of four Universalist
churches which were once in Newberry County. Named for Rev. Daniel Bragg
Clayton, the church stands on land which was set aside for a Halfacre
family cemetery. Down the road on the right, looking across a field,
you can see the portico of the Gallman House (circa 1860). Turn right
on Halfacre Road. Off to the left is the DeWalt-Gray-Gallman Cemetery
surrounded by a low granite wall. Turn left on Hwy 219 and return to
Historic Downtown Newberry.
Drive Around Newberry
(aired in May on WKDK)
your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. On the Caldwell
Street side of the Square is a row of brick buildings completed in 1884.
Two of these still feature their original corbeled brickwork laid in
elaborate patterns across the facade. When they were built, they were
known as Mollohon Row. The origin of the name is unclear. An area in
the northeast part of the county bore that name in the 18th century.
It was notorious for its rowdy inhabitants. Mollohon Row was noted for
its taverns. There must be a connection there.
east on Main Street and turn left on College Street. Just after Newberry
College is Rosemont Cemetery. You may wish to stop by and visit the
residents of Newberry past. When you reach the intersection of Hwy 76
(sometimes called Devil’s Crossroads) you will be near the site of Blackjack
Tavern which appears on some of the old maps of Newberry. Turn left
on Hwy 76 and go over the new bridge. Turn right on Lumberyard Road.
Turn left on Old Whitmire Hwy. In the woods to the left after Folk Road
is Tea Table Rock, where ladies of the area delayed Banastre Tarleton
sufficiently to turn the tide of the American Revolution. On Franklin
Road is the trail head for the Palmetto Trail. Turn left on Beth Eden
Road. Beth Eden Lutheran Church is on the right. This church was established
in 1843 as Dutch Fork families began to move westward. On down the road
to the left is the Renwick-Carlisle House which was built circa 1852.
On the right, at the corner of Monument Road is the monument which stands
in memory of the men killed when two B-25's collided on February 5,
1943. Turn right on Monument Road.
Road is a favorite of road trips. The wildlife and natural beauty of
the forest combine with the rough character of the road to make a very
picturesque drive. This year’s late cold snap means that many trees
still have their bright green new growth from spring. Others have the
of summer and the combination is stunning. Unfortunately, the dry weather
also means that natural waterways are low and wildflowers are a little
scarce. Watch for Queen Anne’s Lace, daisies and vetch to dominate the
roadside. Also in bloom are the orange daylilies and the white flowers
of yucca. Though not always the case, yucca often marks the site of
family cemeteries. Look out for wildlife while crossing the three one
lane bridges over Indian Creek.
left on Old Newberry Hwy. This is the Whitmire side of the Old Whitmire
Highway. Turn right on Hwy 66. On the left is Whitmire Community School.
Just beyond it on the right is Mollohon. This house was begun by Col.
Benjamin Herndon prior to 1800. The massive Doric portico was added
circa 1850. Take a few minutes to drive around Whitmire and see the
to the downtown and the many old homes. Return to Hwy 66 west and turn
on Little Egypt Road. The exotic name of this road comes from a band
of Gypsies that camped nearby. Old Ninety Six Road crosses. This short
road is a remnant of the an old road which crossed Newberry on the way
to Ninety Six and beyond. Turn left on Colonial Drive. On the right
is Jasper Hall (photo at right). This Greek revival home was
built circa 1857 by Dr. James Epps, a wealthy cotton planter. Turn right
on Hwy 121. Turn left on Hwy 176.
left on Molly’s Rock Road. After passing Molly’s Rock Park, the road
follows closely the old road trace for the Buncombe Road. This was part
of the Wilderness Trail which lead settlers down into South Carolina
from Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania. The “rock” at Molly’s Rock
is off the road to the left. At the end of the road, turn left on Hwy
176 and then left on Mt. Bethel-Garmany Road. Like many roads on these
trips, Mt. Bethel-Garmany follows closely to its original trace — the
deep-rutted lanes which passed for roads in the eighteenth century.
Often the trace can be seen on either side of the present road. Turn
right on Mt. Pleasant Road.
left on Hwy 34. (Don’t think of it as a highway. Think of it as the
road to Ashford’s Ferry.) Turn right on Livingston Road. At the corner
stands the Wicker House, circa 1835. It is built like many of the early
farmhouses in Newberry, a single room deep with end chimneys and an
ell of additions. Turn left on Graham Cemetery Road. Down the road on
the left is the Graham Cemetery, one of the many family cemeteries in
the county. Turn right on Graham Road. At the intersection is the Graham
House. Built in the early nineteenth century it is a good example of
a small farm house. Turn left on New Hope Road. Down the road on the
left is New Hope Methodist Church with its unusual twin spires. This
congregation was organized in 1795 about two miles from the present
site. The church has been in this location since 1831. Turn right on
Broad River Road. This old road closely follows Broad River. When the
Broad River was dammed at Parr Shoals, the water back-filled into Heller’s
and Cannon’s Creeks. Today, these two “fills” are recreational areas.
right on Peak Road. Turn left on Hope Station Road. On the right, beside
St. Paul AME Church is Hope School, a Rosenwald school which is currently
being renovated as a Community Center. Down the road is St. Johns Lutheran
Church, the oldest Lutheran church in the county. On the right is the
cemetery and the old (circa 1809) church. The newer sanctuary (circa
1950) is on the left. Turn right on Hwy 176. Down the road on the right
stands the Summer-Huggins House at Pomaria Plantation (circa 1826).
The name of this plantation, the home of a nursery during the mid-nineteenth
century, is the source of the name of the town. Turn left on Hwy 202.
As you approach Little Mountain, this becomes Pomaria Street. Little
Mountain was established as a depot along the Columbia, Newberry &
Laurens Railroad in 1890, although the area has been settled since the
1750's. Turn right on Main Street (Hwy 76). Turn left on Wheeland Road.
right on Macedonia Church Road. On the right will be the old Fairview
School. Though not named Fairview until 1894, this school was established
in 1884. The present building was constructed in 1917 and now serves
as a community center. Turn left on Stoney Hill Road. Turn right on
Hwy 391. Visit Prosperity Cemetery. The cemetery began as the churchyard
to the Prosperity A. R. P. Church which was founded in 1802. As the
community of Frog Level (Prosperity) grew, it became the town cemetery.
Turn left on Church Street. As you leave town, the road becomes Counts
Sausage Road. When you cross Bush River, it actually looks wide enough
to be a river (despite the drought). Turn right on Hwy 395.
left on Deadfall Road. This is part of the Utopia community. On the
left will be Hannah A.M.E. Church and directly across from it Hannah
School. Hannah School was built in the 1930's as a Rosenwald school.
Cross Beaverdam Creek. Near the creek is the site of a school which
was established in 1880. Tradition has it that students at the school
were inspired by Thomas Moore’s Utopia to name the community after the
fictitious place. Off the road to the left on a bend in the road will
be the old Cannon House, a farmhouse built circa 1870. On the right
is New Chapel Methodist Church which is sporting a brand new steeple.
Originally established closer to the Saluda River, the congregation
moved to this site in 1833. (I guess that makes the other site old New
Chapel.) The present church was built in 1879. Across Hwy 121 is Deadfall
Crossroads. Here (the intersection of Werts, Deadfall and Elisha Church
Roads and now Hwy 121) once stood a tavern where a clandestine between
John C. Calhoun and Job Johnstone occurred. They reportedly wrote the
Nullification Papers in the tavern. Turn left on Main Street (Hwy 34).
Silverstreet was established in the 1850's as a railroad depot on the
Columbia and Greenville Railroad. If you haven’t been through the town
lately, take a moment to drive down a few side streets to see the Lutheran
Church, the old school auditorium and the residences. Turn right on
the roads were straightened into highways, Spearman Road was the principle
route between Newberry and Silverstreet. On the left is Reuben Elementary
School. Watch out for cows on the way home. After all, June is Dairy
Month. Turn right on Belfast Road and return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
(aired in April on WKDK)
been a long trip and, when we last met, we were on the beach at the
Isle of Palms. Now it’s time to kick the sand out of your shoes, make
sure the seashells won’t smell all the way home and head back home.
I know it’s tempting just to take the interstate and be home in no time,
but there’s a whole realm of unexplored territory along the Santee-Cooper
River system, and that’s where we’re headed today. The initial plan
was to follow the historical markers, but there were too many. We’ll
have to skip a few if we’re going to make it home in time for supper.
Blvd., turn onto Hwy 517 and take the Isle of Palms Connector. The view
from this bridge is stunning: marshes, tidal creeks, birds and the Cooper
River Bridge in the distance. Turn right on Hwy 17 North. Up the road
on the right (opposite the turn for Boone Hall) is Christ Church Parish
Church. This Episcopal church was founded in 1706 as part of the Parish
Church Act. The original wooden church burned in 1726 and was replaced
in that year by a brick one. Although it has been subsequently burned
by the British in 1782 and Union Army in 1865, the original walls still
stand. The church was restored in 1874. A newer church was built across
the cemetery from the old sanctuary to meet the tremendous amount of
growth experienced in the past few years. Just beyond the church is
the sign for Seven Mile Community. All through this area are roadside
stands for Sweetgrass Baskets. Turn left on Hwy 41.
historical markers for Laurel Hill Plantation, Phillip’s Community and
Wando Pottery before we reach the Wando River and cross the drawbridge
into Berkeley County. At this point, the river is a wide expanse of
beautiful blue water. Off to the left is the road to Cainhoy which leads
to the Parish Church of St. Thomas and St. Dennis, Middleburg Plantation
and Pompion Hill Chapel, but that’s an adventure in itself. Staying
on Hwy 41, there are pine forests, saw palmetto and myrtle. This is
part of the Francis Marion National Forest. The Long Leaf Pines have
grown a lot since Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Bear left on Hwy 402. The
Huger Recreational Area for the National Forest is to the left. Periodically
along the road there is a tunnel created by the interlacing branches
of Live Oaks. On the left at the railroad crossing at Cordesville is
an old-time store. Turn left on Sawmill Road.
left on Dr. Evans Road (turning right at this point would eventually
lead to Mepkin Abbey) and right into the Heritage Preserve. On the right
is Strawberry Chapel (photo at left), the chapel at ease for
St. John’s Parish, Berkeley County. Built in 1725, it is the only intact
eighteenth century building remaining in Childsbury. There is a beautiful
churchyard surrounding the old church. At the end of the road is a kiosk
with information on the Heritage Preserve and the old town of Childsbury.
James Child laid out the town’s 185 lots on 100 acres of his plantation
and reserved lots for a chapel, a free school, a college and other public
squares. The school was established in 1733, but there is no evidence
that the college was ever built. After wandering around the site of
Childsbury, return to Cordesville (about 5 miles) and turn left on Hwy
Road on the left are the ruins of Biggin Church which was the parish
church of St. John’s Berkeley. The original church was built in 1712.
That church burned in a forest fire in 1775 and was restored, only to
be burned again by Col. Coates of the British Army in 1781 and again
restored. The church burned again in a forest fire in 1886 and was left
as a ruin. Gen. William Moultrie and Henry Laurens were among the vestrymen
of this parish. At the traffic light turn left on Hwy 52/17-A. Cross
the Dennis C. Bishop bridge over the Tail Race Canal. Old Santee Canal
State Park and the Berkeley County Museum are off to the left. Bear
right on Hwy 17-A. Turn left on Carolina Avenue to get to the business
district of Moncks Corner.
town of Moncks Corner is located about a mile from the eighteenth century
plantation of Thomas Monck, for whom the town was named. It was an important
crossroad where the Cherokee Path intersected the Charleston Road. In
1856, the Northeastern Railroad established a depot here. In 1895, it
became the seat of Berkeley County. Turn right on Main Street (Hwy 6).
On the left, the Berkeley Adult Education Center is located in the old
High School (circa 1929). Cross 17-A. On the left is the Dr. William
H. Lacey Memorial Park with a stream and picnic tables. When Hwy 6 forks
to left, bear right to visit Pinopolis.
Pinopolis was a popular summer community set among the healthy pine
trees. Now nestled along the edge of Lake Moultrie, the community has
some older Victorian homes, nice churches and new homes. On the left
is Pinopolis Methodist Church, a frame building with stained glass windows
and a belfry. Further to the left is Trinity Episcopal Church which
was established in 1875. There have been some alterations and additions,
but old church is still standing. With pines and Spanish moss and views
to the lake, Pinopolis is really a pretty spot. When you run out of
road, turn around and head back. Bear right on Hwy 315. On the left
is St. John’s Baptist Church, founded in 1851. The present church was
built in 1881 and has a nice cemetery. When you get to Hwy 6, turn right.
bear right on Hwy 6. On the left is a historical marker for Moss Grove
Plantation. By 1840, this was one of the most productive cotton plantations
in Berkeley County. The present house was built in 1880 by Adam Cross
who farmed the property and operated a store, cotton gin, grist mill,
rice mill, saw mill and turpentine still. Down the road to the right
is the Cross Post Office where Adam Cross also served as the first Postmaster.
Bear left on Hwy 6. On the right is a historical marker for the Cherokee
Path. This path extended from the Cherokee towns in present day Tennessee
to Charleston and was in use prior to 1730. This trade and transportation
route passed near here and played an important role in the expansion
of the North American frontier. Hwy 45 merges in. Cross into Orangeburg
the right is a small park commemorating the Battle of Eutaw Springs.
A monument placed by the D.A.R., some historical markers and an interpretive
kiosk help tell the story of this bloody battle of the American Revolution
which took place near this site on September 8, 1781. The waters of
Lake Marion cover most of the battle site as well as the springs themselves
which were openings to an underground river system. At the edge of the
lake is an outcropping of Santee Limestone. Estimated to be about 40,000,000
years old this stone serves as the underlying bedrock for the region
and often contains marine fossils. It is used in the production of Portland
cement in nearby factories.
of Eutawville was settled in the 1840's as a summer refuge for Santee
River plantation owners. The town was chartered in 1888 as a depot on
the railroad. On the right, coming into town is the Episcopal Church
of the Epiphany which was established circa 1760. The present sanctuary
was built in 1849. Eutawville also has a trail head for the Palmetto
Trail. Drive around the town along highways 6 and 45, but continue along
Hwy 6 to continue the trip. As we travel toward Vance and Santee, there
are actually a few hills appearing in the relatively flat landscape.
Approaching Santee on the left is the Santee-Cooper Country Visitors
Center. It’s a good place to stop and find out what is available in
the region. It also has great facilities. Santee has every motel and
restaurant imaginable. It also has a lot of golf courses. Cross I-95
and continue on Hwy 6.
pass a point on the map called Parler on our way to Elloree. Founded
in 1886, Elloree has nice old homes and churches. Cleveland Street (Hwy
47) is the main street. On the left just beyond the intersection of
Hwy 47 is the Elloree Heritage Museum. As we leave town, cotton fields
begin to be seen. Watch out for family cemeteries and old farm houses.
There are some really nice old farm houses along this road, although
not all of them are restored or occupied. Cross into Calhoun County.
Established in 1908 from parts of Lexington and Orangeburg Counties,
Calhoun is the second smallest county in the state. It was, of course,
named in honor of John C. Calhoun.
left is a grove of Paulownia trees. When I passed by earlier this spring
they were in bloom, but they are still impressive — tall slender trees
in a densely-packed grove. On the left at Creston is St. Matthews Lutheran
Church. Though the present church was built circa 1900, the congregation
dates back to 1737. The old cemetery on the side is “swept.” Prior to
the twentieth century (and even later) most yards were swept and kept
free from grass. Continuing along the road, high embankments suggest
that we are following pretty close to the original road trace. It’s
getting downright hilly in places. Welcome to St. Matthews, the county
seat of Calhoun County. Founded in the 1840's as Lewisville, this was
a depot on the South Carolina Railroad. The name was changed in 1876.
Coming into town on Bridge Street, St. Paul’s Methodist Church (built
in 1916) is on the left. The town is laid out along a grid at the intersection
of Highways 6 and 601 with the railroad running right through the middle
and crossed by bridges at the main streets. Take a few minutes to drive
around town and see the beautiful homes and churches. The County Court
House (circa 1913) is on F. R. Huff Drive. There is a lot of road work
on Hwy 601 and some of the bridges are closed. Leaving town on Hwy 6,
First Baptist Church is on the left. Just beyond St. Matthews, turn
right on Hwy 176 (Old State Road) and stay on it.
takes us into the Sand Hills with long leaf pines and wide vistas of
the ridges at the fall line. On the right as we approach Sandy Run is
Sandy Run Lutheran Church. Lutherans were worshiping on a site near
here as early as 1751. Incorporated in 1788 as Salem Lutheran Church
on Sandy Run, the name was later shortened. The present church was built
in 1919. In the cemetery is a marker for Rev. Christian Theus which
was moved here in 1932 from the Congarees church in Saxe Gotha Township.
Hwy 21 joins in to Hwy 176 at Sandy Run. After the Zeus plant, but before
Eastman, is a small road to the right leading to the Geiger Family Cemetery.
A wooden marker at the entrance states that it is where Emily Geiger
(of Newberry County Revolutionary fame) is buried. Continue on Hwy 176.
Cross into Lexington County.
I’m offering a surprise ending. It’s been a long trip and I’m anxious
to get home in time for supper. At this point in the trip, we are at
exit 119 on I-26. The quickest way to get home is to follow the interstate
which, though the bane of road trips, is a modern convenience that our
ancestors did not have. Following the older route (Hwy 176) will take
us through Cayce, Columbia, Irmo, Peak, Pomaria and on to Newberry,
but that’s a road trip in itself. Though we may argue about the wording
on the signs placed at the entrances to the county, there is no more
beautiful sight near the end of a road trip than one declaring that
we are back in Newberry. Follow your preferred route and return to Historic
Every Newberrian Needs to Know in the
(aired in March on WKDK)
is part two of a three-part series on some connections between Newberry
and Charleston and the various ways to get there and back again. As
we all know from our South Carolina history, Charleston (originally
Charles Towne) was founded in 1670. The original settlement (long called
Old Towne) is now Charles Towne Landing State Park on Old Towne Road
(Hwy 171). The city was moved to the peninsula between the Ashley and
the Cooper (pronounced “cuppah”) Rivers in 1684. It is the oldest city
in the state and, prior to the establishment of Columbia, served as
the Colonial (and later State) capital of South Carolina.
the end of the last trip, we were heading toward the peninsula on Hwy
61. Cross the Ashley River on the James Island Connector. This bridge
offers beautiful views of the harbor, the marinas and the city itself.
From this perspective, with church spires punctuating the skyline, it
is easy to see why Charleston is called the “Holy City.” Turn right
on Lockwood Drive. On the right is the old West Point Rice Mill, a reminder
of the wealth generated in the Lowcountry from the production of rice.
As we make the bend toward Broad Street, clumps of Sweet Grass can be
seen growing along the street to the right. This is one of the key ingredients
in the famous Sweet Grass Baskets made by African-Americans in Charleston.
left on Broad Street. Turn left on Ashley Avenue. To the right is Colonial
Lake (photo at right). This tide-fed “lake” started out as
a mill pond, but, by the late-nineteenth century, it evolved into a
fashionable residential area and park. Turn right on Beaufain Street.
As we drive through the streets of town, be sure to watch for Single
Houses. These are Charleston’s unique contribution to architecture.
They are built to maximize the use of narrow lots and are constructed
with the narrow end to the street and the main entrance to the side.
The houses are one room in width (hence “single”) and have wide porches
called piazzas running the length of the house. Bear right on Market
Street and turn right on Archdale Street. On the left is St. Johns Lutheran
Church. Besides being the oldest Lutheran Church in town, it was also
the congregation where Rev. John Bachman (1790-1874) who founded Newberry
College preached for 56 years. He is buried under the altar. The present
church was built in 1818. Also on the left is the Unitarian Church,
a beautiful gothic church remodeled in the 1850's. Turn right on Queen
Street. Turn left on Legare (that’s “luh-GREE”) Street.
left on Broad Street. On the left is the Cathedral of St. John the Baptist
which was completed in 1906. The intersection of Broad and Meeting Streets
was labeled as the “Four Corners of Law” in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not.
On the right is the Post Office and Federal Court House (circa 1896);
to the left is the County Office Building (old State House, begun circa
1753 and restored after a fire in 1788); across to the left is City
Hall (built circa 1801); and across to the right is St. Michael’s Episcopal
Church (completed circa 1759 with a spire of 165 feet). Facing the end
of Broad is the Old Exchange, circa 1767, which was one of the finest
British buildings to be built in Colonial America. Turn right on East
Bay Street. On the left is a block of shops which bears the name of
Coates Row. Built by Thomas Coates in 1806, there just has to be a connection
to the Newberry Coates Family. On the right between Elliott and Tradd
Streets is Rainbow Row. These primarily 18th century houses were merchant
homes built on the wharves. This row was one of the first sections of
the city to be restored in the 1920's and 30's and are painted the bright
colors that were popular in the early 20th century.
down East Battery, we come to the high battery with the old homes that
look out over Charleston Harbor. According to tradition, this is the
place where the Ashley and Cooper Rivers meet to form the Atlantic Ocean.
At the tip of the peninsula is White Point Gardens with its live oak
trees, cannons and monuments. Turn right on King Street and right again
on South Battery. Turn left on Meeting Street. Some of the homes in
this part of town that are open to the public include the Heyward-Washington
House (87 Church Street), the Nathaniel Russell House (51 Meeting Street),
the Edmunston-Alston House (21 East Battery) and the Calhoun Mansion
(16 Meeting Street). At 100 Meeting, just beyond City Hall is the Fireproof
Building. Now home to the South Carolina Historical Society, it was
built in 1822 by Robert Mills as the County Records Office. It is very
similar to what the Mills’ courthouse in Newberry was supposed to have
looked like. The churchyard of the Circular Congregational Church has
some of the oldest tombstones in town. Market Hall at the intersection
of Market and Meeting Streets is home to the Confederate Museum which
is run by the UDC.
275 Meeting Street is Trinity Methodist Church with its imposing Corinthian
columns. (If that’s not a Newberry connection ...) At Calhoun Street
is Marion Square, formerly called “the Green.” Facing the Square are
two churches with exceptionally tall steeples. To the right is Citadel
Square Baptist Church (circa 1856). To the left is St. Matthews Lutheran
Church (circa 1872) which was for many years the tallest building in
the state at 255 feet. On the north side of the Square is the Old Citadel
where the military college was founded in 1842. It is now a hotel. At
350 Meeting Street is the Joseph Manigault House (circa 1803) which
is open to the public. Turn right on John Street. On the left is the
Charleston Museum. Founded in 1773, it is the oldest museum in the country.
Turn left on Elizabeth Street. At the corner of Judith Street is the
Aiken-Rhett House which is also a house museum. This was the home of
Gov. Aiken who called for the formation of the Palmetto Regiment which
fought in the Mexican War. (Remember, that’s how we get Jalapa in Newberry
County.) Turn left on Wragg Square Street (that’s the north side of
Wragg Mall). Cross Meeting Street and jog around the bend to turn right
on Anne Street. Housed in warehouses from the SC Canal & Railroad
Company is the Charleston Visitor’s Center. Turn left on King Street
and right onto Radcliffe Street. Turn left on St. Philip’s Street and
continue across Calhoun Street.
out for construction work as we pass by the College of Charleston. Founded
in 1770, it is the oldest college in the state and the oldest municipal
college in the country. Turn right on Wentworth Street. Ahead on the
right is Grace Episcopal Church (circa 1848) with its fine gothic details.
Turn right on Glebe Street. This street takes its name from glebe lands
originally given to St. Philip’s Church. Turn left on George Street.
Turn right on Coming Street. At 126 Coming Street stands the Episcopal
Cathedral of St. Luke and St. Paul. In the churchyard is a Greek revival
mausoleum built for the Johnston family. A plaque on the side comments
about the addition of the “e” to the name about 1848. Turn left on Radcliffe
Street. Turn Left on Rutledge Avenue. On the left is Ashley Hall, the
girls’ school. To the right is the Medical University of South Carolina.
Cross Calhoun Street. On the right are the ruins of the Old Museum in
the midst of a park. Turn right on Bennett Street. Turn right on Ashley
Avenue. In the upper part of Ashley Avenue, especially near the Crosstown
, may be found Freedman’s cottages. Many of these small one-story single
houses were built by freed slaves in the years following the War.
right on Mary Murray Boulevard and follow it along the edge of Hampton
Park. Originally a racetrack, this park was the site of the South Carolina
Interstate and West Indian Exposition in 1902. On the west side of the
park is the entrance to the Citadel which moved to this site in 1922.
Continue around Hampton Park and leave on Cleveland Street. Turn left
on Rutledge Avenue and drive through Wagener Terrace. Turn right on
Mt. Pleasant Street, then left on Meeting Street. Turn right on Cunnington
Avenue. At the end of the street is Magnolia Cemetery. This beautiful
cemetery was established in 1849. Among the many Newberry connections
found here are Ker Boyce and Mayor William Courtenay. Ker Boyce was
a merchant from Newberry (1787-1854) who later expanded his business
and moved to Charleston. Boyce Street is named for him. His beautiful
monument, carved by R. A. Launitz of New York, depicts a garlanded urn
resting on a draped altar. Mayor Courtenay, whose bronze bust appears
on his monument, established a mule train between Newberry and Charleston
after the Civil War to aid in the transportation of goods while the
railroads were being repaired.
back toward Charleston on Meeting Street. Turn onto Highway 17 South
and cross the Arthur Ravenel, Jr., Bridge. This new bridge is the longest
Cable Stay bridge in North America. It dominates the skyline for many
miles. Bear right onto Coleman Blvd. Cross Shem Creek and smell the
seafood cooking. Bear right onto Whilden Street to drive around the
Old Village of Mt. Pleasant. From 1883-1895, Mt. Pleasant served as
the county seat of Berkeley County. The Darby Building was built in
1884 as the Berkeley County Court House. It served as the Lutheran Seminary
from 1898-1911 and has also served many other purposes including Town
Hall. St Paul’s Lutheran Church is on Pitt Street at the corner of Queen.
The old church (circa 1884) still stands next to the newer (circa 1972)
one. On McCants Street is Ocean View Cemetery. According to the historical
marker, this is really two cemeteries, one for St. Paul’s and one for
the African American community. They are separated by Hallelujah Lane.
Turn right on Coleman Blvd.
the Ben Sawyer Bridge over the Intra-Coastal Waterway onto Sullivan’s
Island. Turn right and follow the signs to Fort Moultrie. This is the
site of Revolutionary War Fort Sullivan where Gen. William Moultrie
successfully defended Charleston harbor from the British Fleet in 1776.
This battle is commemorated by the Palmetto Tree on the South Carolina
flag, since the old fort was built of palmetto logs. Return across Sullivan’s
Island on Hwy 703. The island is divided into stations which are a reminder
of the days when a streetcar system was in place. Cross Breech Inlet
onto the Isle of Palms. This dangerous inlet was where the British army
tried unsuccessfully to cross to get to the unfinished side of Fort
Sullivan. It was also the passage used by the Confederate submarine
Hunley on its way to sink the Housatonic. Originally called Long Island,
the name was changed to Isle of Palms to present the island as a beach
resort. At 2101 Palm Boulevard stands the Coastal Retreat Center of
the SC Synod. Aside from having pronounced Newberry connections, it
is also a good place to take a public access to visit the beach. End
your tour on the beach, peering east to spot England or Bermuda in the
distance. Next month we will return to Newberry via a different way.
The Back Way
in February on WKDK)
After talking about topography last month, this month’s trip goes from
rolling hills to sand hills to nearly flat to really most sincerely
flat. Today, we can travel from Newberry to Charleston in about two
and one half hours (assuming no stops, 70 mph and interstate all the
way) — from point A to point B without experiencing anything in between.
Prior to the interstate system, travel by car from Newberry to Charleston
meant leaving before the crack of dawn to get there in time for lunch.
It also meant passing through a lot of quaint small towns and scenic
byways. Prior to paved roads and automobiles, the preferred way to get
there from here was by rail. In the 1850's that route would have been
the Greenville-Columbia line to Columbia, the Columbia rail to Branchville
and the South Carolina Railroad to Charleston. It could be done in a
day if you got all the connections right. This was a vast improvement
over the course taken by early settlers who would slog through swamps
and marshes and spend about seven or eight days — one way. This trip
won’t take that long, but it may be more interesting than staying on
your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry. The Square, of
course, is land that was given by John Coate in 1789 for the court house.
His blacksmith shop was located near the highway leading to Charleston.
From the Square head west on Main Street and turn left on Nance Street
(Hwy 395). Turn left on St. Luke’s Church Road. Off to the left (and
still visible this time of year) is the Rock House, circa 1758, the
county’s oldest dwelling. It was built on the Charleston Highway. Wave
at St. Luke’s Lutheran Church as we continue south and east. Turn right
on Hwy 391. Cross Black’s Bridge over the Saluda River (Lake Murray)
into Saluda County. Stay on Hwy 391 as you cross into Lexington County.
As you approach Batesburg (as in Batesburg-Leesville) the road becomes
Summerland Avenue. At Batesburg, Hwy 178 merges in with Hwy 391.
Highways 391 and 178 fork, outside of town, stay on Hwy 178. Just as
we have seen a resurgence in the growing of cotton in Newberry County,
we begin to see cotton around here and will continue to see fields of
it almost all the way to our destination. Two Notch Road crosses. This
is a very old highway whose name is derived from notches placed on the
trees to indicate the road (follow the trees with “two notches”). On
the right is a historical marker for Quattlebaum Saw Mill which was
the home of Paul Quattlebaum who was a statesman, planter and manufacturer.
He operated a saw mill, flour mill and foundry which made percussion
rifles for the Confederacy. As the lay of the land starts to change,
we begin to see more sand and swamps. After crossing I-20, there are
wide vistas of sand hills and ridges. Welcome to Pelion, home of the
SC Peanut Party. On the right is Holy Trinity Lutheran Church which
is the last Lutheran church for quite some time. The vistas are slowly
changing to sand hills, sandy soil, Longleaf Pines, and fields of cotton.
At the intersection of Hwy 3 on the left is Ebenezer United Methodist
Church. Established in 1792, the present church was built in 1969. Cross
into Orangeburg County. Orangeburg is a portion of the Orangeburg District
which was formed in 1769 (Newberry and Edgefield were originally part
of it). On the left is Salem Baptist Church which was established in
1812. The present church was built in 1938. It has a nice old cemetery
behind it and a view to the Sand Hills on the Fall Line. Check names
on the tombstones for the “Newberry Effect.” At the intersection of
Hwy 321 is the town of North. Founded in 1891, it was named for John
F. North, one of three men who gave one hundred acres of land to establish
a town and railroad depot. The main street is Savannah Hwy. Many of
the towns we will pass today have a regular grid of streets, so take
a few minutes to drive around town and see some of the nice old homes
and churches on the side streets. At the end of Dogwood Drive on Salley
Road is North United Methodist Church, built in 1917, with a portico
and dome. Continue on Hwy 178 to Bull Swamp. Bull Swamp Plantation House
will be on the right, just after the swamp. As we approach Orangeburg,
we see more fields of cotton and Classical revival homes with big columns.
into Orangeburg, stay on Hwy 178 as it becomes Chestnut Street. Turn
right on Magnolia Street (Hwy 21). There are some really grand turn-of-the-century
buildings on the side streets off the business district. On the left
is South Carolina State University which was founded in 1896. Turn right
on Russell Street (Hwy 33). Take a moment to visit the Square (you can’t
miss it with the Confederate Monument) and some of the sites around
it. At the corner of Church and St. Paul Streets is (you guessed it)
St. Paul’s Methodist Church, built in 1896. On Doyle Street at the end
of St. Paul Street is the Old Presbyterian Church Cemetery, founded
in 1835, with some beautiful old tombstones. In the block bounded by
Amelia, Docket, Gibson and St. Paul Streets is the Orangeburg County
Court House, a big yellow brick building. According to the historical
marker on the Square, this was the fifth court house for the county
and was built in 1928, when the older court house was torn down and
the Square turned into a park. An earlier court house designed by Robert
Mills was destroyed when Union forces occupied the town in February
1865. Continue on Russell Street. On the right is Edisto Memorial Gardens.
Begun in the 1920's on five acres, the site has grown to 150 acres and
features an All-American Rose Selections test garden. In April, the
South Carolina Festival of Roses is held here. Turn right on Hwy 601-301.
Cross the North Fork of the Edisto River.
Orangeburg by Hwy 601-301. This next leg may seem out of the way, but
it’s an opportunity to see another town. On the right at the corner
of Zion Church Road is a little white church. St. John Methodist is
a small clapboard church with four columns typical of the mid-19th century.
There is a nice cemetery next to it with lots of Salleys. Even taking
the secondary highways, you have to wonder what lies down the side roads.
Occasionally in the fields a tree lined avenue (like the one at Magnolia
Lane Farms with its avenue of Magnolias) will lead off to a barely visible
columned plantation house. Cross the South Edisto River into Bamberg
County. This county was formed in 1897 from Barnwell County. The county
seat, Bamberg, was named for an early German settler and was originally
a water stop on the Charleston-Hamburg Railroad. As you come into town,
the road becomes Main Highway. On the left is the Bamberg County Court
House and the Confederate Monument. The principle streets in town are
very wide and there are beautiful homes and churches along the side
streets. At the corner of Carlisle and Midway Streets is a historical
marker for the Carlisle Military School. Founded in 1892 as the Carlisle
Fitting School, it served as a coeducational preparatory school for
Wofford College, a Methodist College. From the 1930's until 1977 it
served as the Carlisle Military School for young men. At the corner
of the Main Hwy and Presbyterian
Street is Rest Land Cemetery. Return to Hwy 78 (Heritage Highway) and
head east toward Branchville. On the right is Trinity United Methodist
Church which was built in 1904. Down the road on the right is a historical
marker for Woodlands (off the road to the left). Woodlands was the country
home of William Gilmore Simms (1806-1870), who is considered the most
prominent and prolific writer of the antebellum South from 1836 until
his death. At the fork of Highways 78 and 61, stay on Hwy 78 despite
what the sign says. (This sign proves that all roads really do lead
to Charleston.) Cross the Edisto River into Orangeburg County.
to Branchville, established in 1858. Be sure to drive around the streets
of the town and see some of the fine Victorian homes and churches. Branchville
United Methodist Church (circa 1904) is at the corner of Berry and Barton
Streets. Branchville Baptist Church is on Ott Street and was built in
1912. On the main street (Hwy 21) is the depot which now houses the
Museum. Branchville was built on the South Carolina Railroad halfway
between Charleston and Hamburg. When the line to Columbia was started,
it branched here, making Branchville the oldest railroad junction in
the world. Leave town on Hwy 78. Crossing into Dorchester County is
a point on the map called Dorange (Dorchester + Orangeburg = Dorange).
The forests are really quite pretty through here with dark glossy magnolia
leaves glinting amid the bare and budding branches. There are live oaks
and pine. Water in the swampy land is glinting everywhere. Pass through
Reevesville, a railroad depot with some nice homes on and off the main
road. Pass through Polk Swamp. Cross I-95 into St. George.
you approach town, Hwy 78 becomes Jim Bilton Blvd. (Later it becomes
Memorial Blvd.) St. George Cemetery is on the right as you come into
town. The granite gateposts and iron arch were added by the U. D. C.
in 1926 in memory of the Confederate Dead. Hwy 15 is the principle street
(Parler Street). There are some nice old homes on the side streets.
Take a few minutes to drive in and out around the downtown. Some special
points of interest include: County Office Building at corner of Raysor
and Ridge Streets; County Court House at the corner of Ridge and Railroad
Streets; Memorial Baptist Church (founded 1891, rebuilt 1941) at the
corner of Gavin and May Streets; and St. George United Methodist Church
on Parler Street. There is a historical marker for the South Carolina
Canal and Railroad Company. The railroad began the first regular scheduled
steam railway service on December 25, 1830. By 1833 its 136 miles from
Charleston to Hamburg made it the world’s longest railroad. Leave town
by Hwy 78. We will pass more cotton fields and swamps. Pass through
the depot towns of Byrds, Pregnall and Dorchester. At the intersection
of Hwy 178 is a historical marker for the Four Hole Swamp Bridge. The
first bridge over Four Hole Swamp, a branch of the Edisto River, was
built between 1770 and 1780. It was the site of some Revolutionary War
action in 1781 and 1782. Near the point where we are standing was Harley’s
Tavern, the first Post Office in what is now Dorchester County, which
was opened in 1803 by William Harley. It was a frequent stop for travelers
on the Columbia Road. The town of Harleyville is named for William’s
grandson William W. (1825-1906).” Cross Four Hole Swamp and other swamps.
We will pass near Ridgeville and through Jedburg on our way to Summerville.
right on North Main Street (Hwy 17 A). At the corner of West 3rd Street
N. is the Summerville Visitors Center — a fine place to stop for information
and facilities. Summerville takes its name from the fact that plantation
owners summered there — the pine forest was deemed healthier than the
swampy rice plantations. When the railroad came in 1831, the town became
one of the first commuter suburbs of Charleston. The grid pattern of
streets were laid out by the railroad company near the tracks while
the older part of town retained its rambling paths. Cross the railroad
tracks and stop on the Square to visit the downtown area. Some of the
spots you won’t want to miss are: St. Luke’s Lutheran (we haven’t seen
one of these for a while), Henry Timrod Library (opened in 1915), Azalea
Park (the name says it all), St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, the many beautiful
old homes and the Museum (on E. Doty Street in the Old Jail). Summerville
is the home of the Flowertown Festival each spring.
right on South Main Street and follow the signs to the Historic Plantations
and Gardens on Hwy 61. This portion of Hwy 61 follows the old road parallel
to the Ashley River. It is a scenic highway with lots of Spanish Moss-laden
Live Oaks hanging out over the road. Three plantations along this road
are open to the public: Middleton Place, an eighteenth-century landscaped
garden with beautiful terraces leading down to the river; Magnolia,
long-known for its picturesque gardens and 19th-century landscaping;
and Drayton Hall, a preserved 1738 Palladian
villa. Beyond Drayton Hall on the left is St. Andrews Parish Church
(right). Established in the Parish Act of 1706, this church
was built in 1706. It is the oldest Episcopal church building in the
state. Continue on Hwy 61 until it crosses the Ashley River onto peninsular
Charleston. Next month we’ll see a few sites in Charleston that every
Newberrian ought to know.
in January on WKDK)
Begin your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry! In 1826,
Robert Mills described the village of Newberry as lying in the declivity
of a hill (downward slope) about 3 miles from Bush River. At that time,
the village consisted of the original eight blocks around the Square.
You can see the declivity by walking around the Square itself. At the
front of the Old Court House, the first floor of the building is only
two steps up. The Main Street entrance has ten steps. The rear has a
full basement level as well as a retaining wall to form the terrace.
Topography plays an important role in this months trip. With trees and
deciduous underbrush bare and with crops low to the ground, the lay
of the land will be more visible this time of year than it is in warmer
weather. The lack of underbrush also makes it easier to discern old
house sites, cemeteries and road traces. House sites, once the house
has vanished can often be spotted by a cluster of oak or hardwood trees,
evergreen groundcover plants, and piles of brick or stone. Cemeteries
are usually in a crest of a hill where planting a farm would be difficult.
Road traces (the ditches that served as roads for horses and carriages)
can be seen near many of the older roads as high, tree-lined embankments
that are parallel to the present road or veer away to ford a stream.
west on Main Street. At the top of the hill to the left is the site
of Newberry Cotton Mills. Begun in 1883, it was the first mill in America
to be powered entirely by electricity. The mill building was torn down
in 1990, the mill village (West End) is still relatively intact. In
its heyday, the village had its own schools, churches, parks and even
a cemetery. Turn right on Drayton Street. The two-story house to the
left was built circa 1860 by the McWhirter family. The land for Newberry
Cotton Mills was purchased from this family. The Mill purchased the
house in 1891 and from then on it was used as the Superintendent’s house.
At the corner of Poplar Street on the left is Mayer Memorial Lutheran
Church. Founded in 1899 as the Lutheran Church for the mill village,
it was named for O. B. Mayer. The present sanctuary was built in 1957.
On the left, following the north fork of Scott’s Creek is Willowbrook
Park. An interesting tree grows in the park — the Osage Orange. Named
for the large fruit it produces in the fall and for the smell of its
wood, this tree is a native of the Red River Valley. It was used by
farmers in the Midwest as hedgerows before the invention of barbed wire.
The trees would be planted close together and their upper branches clipped,
so that they would produce a nearly impenetrable wall of thorny branches.
Turn left on Crosson Street. Somewhere along this stretch of the north
fork of Scott’s Creek was the Fernandis Mill pond which is mentioned
in the Annals of Newberry. This pond was drained in 1831, but, prior
to that time, had been considered the source of unhealthful conditions
for the courthouse village. Behind Newberry Middle School is West End
Cemetery. Although the mills were designed to be distinct communities,
West End is the only one of the Newberry mill villages to have its own
right on O’Neall Street. When you cross Hwy 121, the road becomes Belfast
Road. Somewhere off to the left, between Hwy 121 and Bush River is the
site of Springfield, the home of John Belton O’Neall. In the early years
of the nineteenth century, the farm had
also been known as Kelly’s Old Store and was the site of a store and
mill in the eighteenth century. As you cross Bush River, look to the
left to see the old metal trestle bridge (at left). This part
of the county was settled largely by Scots-Irish families. Many of the
place names and road names use the prefix “Bel” which comes from the
Gaelic meaning “ford” (of a river or stream). On the left is Spearman
Road, the old road to Silverstreet. Off to the right (visible this time
of year) is The Oaks (Senn-Johnson House) which was built circa 1835
featuring four massive piers across the front. There are plenty of cows
in this section of the trip, so be sure to “moo” at them. On the left
is Smyrna Presbyterian Church, which was founded in 1839. The present
brick church was built in 1935.
beyond Rocky Creek Road on the right is the site of Old Kadesh Methodist
Church. The old cemetery is in a grove of trees on top of the hill (there
is a sign). This was one of the three churches which merged in the 1830's
to form Trinity Methodist Church. Kadesh was founded in 1812. This section
of the county, from Old Kadesh west along Belfast Road is sometimes
shown on maps as Longshore, after the old Longshore store near the intersection
of Island Ford Road. In the nineteenth century, the community was called
Belmont (a road and church still bear that name). On the right, at the
corner of Floyd Road is an impressive plantation house, built circa
1845. It was the home of Washington Floyd who, in 1860, owned 200 slaves
— the most in Newberry County. Turn right on Floyd Road. There are a
series of swampy creeks along this road, they are branches which meet
to form Sandy Run Creek.
you approach Bush River Road, Bush River Baptist Church will be visible
to the right. Founded in 1771, it is one of two pre-Revolutionary Baptist
congregations still active in the county. It is considered the “Mother
Church” of many upcountry Baptist churches. Even though we think of
the front of the church as facing Bush River Road with its portico (circa
1917), the wing visible from this side looks much more like a nineteenth
century meeting house. Turn right on Bush River Road. The newer portion
of the cemetery is behind the church, but the old cemetery is ahead
on the right. Ahead on the right, the old house with two chimneys on
either end is typical of the larger farmhouses found in western Newberry
County. On the left is New Bush River Baptist which was founded in 1896,
by Rev. Dan Sperman. The present brick sanctuary was the result of a
left on Reeder Road. Our warm spell around Christmas has confused many
of our spring flowers into blooming early. Flowering Quince, yellow
“February” bushes, Breath of Spring and Forsythia are starting to make
an early appearance across the county. Moo! There are more cows along
this stretch of road. Turn right on Gary’s Lane. Cross the railroad
tracks and turn left on Hwy 76. Ahead on the right (just beyond Mead-Westvaco)
is Oakdale, the Gary House, which was built circa 1855. As you approach
Kinards, the Summer-Smith House, circa 1854, can be seen to the left
just behind two massive Magnolia trees. These trees were brought from
Charleston and planted in front of the house during the Civil War. Kinards
was named for Captain John Martin Kinard and was established in 1854
as a railroad depot. Across the railroad tracks to the left is Sharon
Methodist Church. Founded in 1854, the present church was built in 1905.
Capt. Kinard is buried in the cemetery behind the church. Turn left
on Hwy 560. This road runs along the boundary between Newberry and Laurens
County. Both counties were established in 1785 from a portion of the
old Ninety-Six District. Cross Bush River. On a hill to the right (in
a pasture) can be seen a family cemetery.
left on Hwy 56. We’ve strayed a little into Laurens County and need
to get back. Just inside Laurens County on the right is Belfast House
(at right, the farm for which Belfast Road gets its name).
Begun in the 1780's, this handsome brick house was enlarged in the early
nineteenth century. In its early years, Belfast housed the only post
office between Newberry and Laurens.
On the right, just inside the county line is Little River-Dominick Presbyterian
Church. The church was built in 1937 when the congregations of Little
River (founded in 1761) and Dominick (founded in 1913) decided to merge.
Veer right to stay on Hwy 56. Cross Little River. Little River drains
much of southwestern Newberry County before it joins the Saluda River
west of Higgins Ferry. Turn left on Brehmer Road. Cross Little River
again. Turn right on Sandy Run Creek Road. As the name implies, this
will lead to Sandy Run Creek (the second creek crossing). It also crosses
other branches leading to Little River. Keep an eye out for donkeys
in a pasture to the right. Turn left on Island Ford Road. Turn right
on Silverstreet Road. There are more cows along this road (this time
Jerseys). Turn left on Hwy 34 and follow it as it becomes Main Street
in Silverstreet. Stay on Hwy 34 and return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
A Newberry Primer
(aired in December on WKDK)
festive season, with friends and relatives coming to call, it’s a good
time of year to recall some basic Newberry history and see some of the
sights of our historic downtown. So, without further ado, begin your
tour on the Square in historic downtown Newberry.
on the Square, remember that the Old Court House, circa 1851, was designed
by Columbia architect Jacob Graves in the Greek revival style. In 1879,
Osborne Wells added the colorful decoration in the tympanum of the pediment.
The design represents an allegory of the Scales of Justice as seen through
the eyes of the era of Reconstruction. The American Eagle (looking very
vulture-like) and representing the Federal Government has uprooted a
Palmetto tree (forming the fulcrum of the scales) representing South
Carolina. In the branches, a dove of peace with an olive branch is unable
to balance the scales which are tipped by a Gamecock representing our
on Caldwell Street. At the corner of Main and Caldwell stands the Old
Newberry Hotel. This was the site of the first hotel in Newberry. The
antebellum building burned in the Fire of 1879. The Romanesque style
building was completed in 1880 and was designed by the same architect
(G. L. Norman) who designed the Opera House. On the left at the corner
of Friend Street is Central United Methodist Church. Founded in 1833,
it was the second congregation to form in the downtown. The present
Romanesque style church was built in 1901. On the right at the corner
of Boundary Street is First Baptist Church. This is the oldest congregation
in downtown Newberry and was established in 1831. The present Classical
revival building was constructed in 1908. On the left is the imposing
Z. F. Wright House with its Corinthian portico. Wright was Mayor of
Newberry as well as being president of the Newberry Cotton Mills and
the Exchange Bank. Just ahead to the right is the C. C. Davis House.
Now sporting Tudor-style half-timbering from the 1920's, the house was
originally built in the 1890's. As Caldwell street goes downhill toward
Scott’s Creek, the neighborhood is called Gravel Town. This is the oldest
African-American neighborhood in Newberry and was so-named because of
a gravel pit and granite quarry nearby.
on Coate’s Street. Coate’s Street is named for John Coate, a local blacksmith,
who gave two acres to the County in order to build the Court House for
the County seat in 1789. In a bend in the road to the left is the Old
Village Cemetery. Established in 1809 as a public burying ground, the
cemetery had grown to about three acres by the 1850's. Many of the original
markers were wooden, and have been lost to time, but some of the stone
markers remain near the crest of the hill. On the right is Boundary
Street School. The site of the first public school in Newberry, this
school was extensively remodeled this past year. The bell to the original
school is preserved in a new tower.
on Boundary Street. On the left is the Lutheran Church of the Redeemer.
Though the present church was completed in 1965, the city’s oldest Lutheran
congregation was founded in 1853. Two stained glass windows from the
1897 church are preserved in the present complex and a bell-tower houses
the bell from the original church. On the right is the Caldwell-Higgins
House which was built between 1816 and 1820. Just beyond it to the right
is the Mower House. This impressive Queen Anne style home with its wraparound
porch and towers was built in 1893 by C. C. Davis. At the end of Calhoun
Street on the right is Coateswood. Built in 1842, this was the home
of Job Johnstone, a prominent Newberry lawyer and politician. Turn left
on Calhoun Street. On the left, the Floyd-Carpenter House, with its
curved portico of Corinthian columns, was built in 1903. At the corner
of Main Street on the right is Newberry Associate Reformed Presbyterian
Church. This church was designed by Columbia architect Frank Milburn
and built in 1907 when the original church on Thompson Street (now Lindsay
Street) burned in the Fire of 1907. To the left is St. Luke’s Episcopal
Church which was rebuilt after the Tornado of 1984. Ahead on the left
is Aveleigh Presbyterian Church. Founded in 1835 on what is now the
Winnsboro Hwy (just beyond Whitaker Floor Coverings), the church moved
to its present site in 1852. Turn left on Martin Street.
on McMorris Street. Turn right on Main Street. On the right is the Martin
House. Begun in 1830, the house was enlarged in the late nineteenth
century. Ahead on the right is the Ritz Theater. This handsome Art Deco
style building was built in 1936. Just before the corner of Lindsay
Street (where Armfield’s Office Supplies is now) there was a dynamite
explosion in 1932. At the time, it was Lominack’s Hardware Store. In
the next block on the right is a small park formed from the demolition
of buildings following the 1984 tornado. It is near the site of John
Coate’s eighteenth century blacksmith’s shop. Through the park can be
seen the side of the Newberry County Court House. Completed in 1908,
it was the first court house built away from the original Square. On
the corner of College Street is the Parr Building which towers over
the city with its five stories of office space. It was built in 1918
as the Exchange Bank building. Turn left on College Street. On the left
is the County Library in its fine 1911 Classical revival building. It
served as the Post Office until 1967. On the right at the corner of
Boundary Street is the old Female Academy. Built in the 1850's as a
girls’ school, it was later converted to a residence and doctor’s office.
Turn right on Boundary Street.
south of town where Nance Street now crosses Boundary Street was once
known as Halcyon Grove or simply the Grove. Used as a park for nineteenth
century Newberry, the Grove was also the site of many tent revivals
and circuses. Cross over the railroad tracks. When the Columbia-Greenville
branch of the South Carolina Railroad arrived in Newberry in 1851 it
literally changed the course of our history. The railroad was Newberry’s
connection to the rest of the world and the progress of the next hundred
years. Across the tracks on the left is the Ruff House, built in 1855
by local physician, Dr. Pressley B. Ruff. Throughout this neighborhood
are many fine homes from the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
Turn right on Jessica Avenue. On the left is Oak Grove. This imposing
plantation house was built by Frederick Nance in 1822 and is attributed
to Robert Mills. Turn right on O’Neal Street. This is part of the West
End community. When the Newberry Cotton Mills opened in 1883, West End
was part of the mill village. Rows of nearly identical homes characterize
this neighborhood which originally had its own schools, churches, parks
and even a cemetery. Turn left on Drayton Street. Turn right on Main
Street. On the right is the site of the old Newberry Cotton Mills building.
Look ahead to enjoy the view of downtown Newberry.
on McKibben Street. On the right is the Confederate Monument which was
dedicated in 1880. On the left is the Newberry Opera House. Needing
room for city offices which were separate from the Court House, the
Opera House was begun in 1881 to serve the civic and theatrical needs
of the growing community. The town clock was added to the tower in 1906.
Next door to the Opera House is the newly renovated Convention Center
in the old Fire Department. When the fire department was organized in
1883, it was housed in the Opera House. Around 1900 a two story brick
building was erected on this site. Additions and remodeling in the Art
Deco style were made in 1936. Turn left on Harrington Street and right
on Nance Street. On the top of the hill to the left is the Coppock House,
a two-story white building begun in the 1820's. It now serves as the
Newberry County Museum. In front of it, the smaller wooden building
is the Gauntt House. Built in 1808, it originally stood on College Street
and is the oldest house in the downtown. Further along Nance Street
on the left is Newberry Elementary School — a new name for a building
which has served generations of Newberrians. Built in 1926 as the High
School, it became the Middle School when the “new” high school was built
in 1979. On the right at the corner of Fair Street is the Wells House.
This home with its fanciful gothic arches was built by Osborne Wells
(remember the pediment on the old court house) in the early 1850's.
on Pope Street. Wells Park was laid out as a subdivision in the 1940's.
It follows the creek which forms from Wells’ Spring. According to tradition,
it was here that in 1895 some college students found a sixteenth century
Spanish helmet. Turn right on College Street. On the left is Newberry
College. The college has been celebrating its sesquicentennial this
year (that’s 150 years). The oldest building on campus is Smeltzer Hall
which was built in 1877 on the site of the original college building.
Turn left on Evans Street. Turn left on Luther Street. To the left amid
an avenue of Bradford
Pears is a bust of Dr. John Bachman. This Lutheran minister and noted
naturalist was one of the founders of the college. Turn into Rosemont
Cemetery (photo at left). Founded in 1863, Rosemont was established
to relieve the overcrowded conditions of the old Village Cemetery on
Coate’s Street. A visit to Rosemont is a good way to learn a lot about
Newberry’s history in a short amount of time.
on College Street. Turn left on First Street. Oakland Mill (now American
Fiber & Finishing) was organized in 1912. It is the youngest of
Newberry’s three mill villages and the only one in which the mill is
still standing and operating. Turn left on Nance Street and return to
historic downtown Newberry.
Trip to the Old Dutch Fork
(aired on November 30 on WKDK)
of year between Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s, Newberrians
think a lot about food (of course, its something I think about all the
time, but more so this time of year). After thinking about food for
a while, it’s only natural to think of the Dutch Fork. Today, we’ll
drive around the Dutch Fork and recall a bit of culinary history as
well. Begin your tour on the Square in Historic Downtown Newberry.
Newberry celebrates Octoberfest each year in (you guessed it) October.
Right here on the Square is the site of the Liver Nips Cook-off. When
you think of Dutch Fork and food, it is only natural to think of this
local delicacy, so we can get it out of the way at the beginning of
the tour. Head east on Main Street. Turn left on College Street. Down
the street is Newberry College — a legacy of the Dutch Fork and all
its Lutheran Churches. While we’re on the subject of food, during the
War Between the States, Rev. J. P. Smeltzer, then president of the College,
supplemented his income by baking bread. Since yeast was scarce, he
substituted Rabbit Tobacco, which gave the bread a peculiar flavor.
During the Federal occupation, Union troops purchased some of the bread.
Suspecting it was poisoned, they wouldn’t eat it until they saw Rev.
Smeltzer feeding it to his family. Turn left on Pope Street. Turn left
on Nance Street and follow it as it becomes Hwy 395. Turn right on Mendenhall
Road. The greenhouses of Carter & Holmes will be to your right.
Turn left on Dennis Dairy Road. Ahead on the right is the Quaker Cemetery
and the site of the old Quaker church. (Though not German, their settlement
along Bush River was one of the traditional boundaries of the Dutch
Fork.) Come back after dark to visit the Christmas lights display at
the corner of Quaker Road. Turn left on Dennis Dairy Lane. Turn right
on Hwy 395.
on Stoney Hill Road. Bush River, broadening as it flows toward Lake
Murray, looks more like a river than it does farther west in the county.
As you approach the heart of Stoney Hill Community, you’ll see the Community
Center housed in the old school off to the right. At the intersection
of St. Luke’s Church road is St. Luke’s Lutheran Church. Founded in
1828, the present sanctuary was completed in 1955. Turn right on Hwy
391. Turn left on Bethel Church Road. There are several old farm houses
along this road. Down the road to the left is Bethel Baptist Church
(after all, it is Bethel Church Road). Bethel was established in 1840.
The present sanctuary is the result of a remodeling in 1971. Just down
the road on the left is Mt. Olivet Lutheran Church. Founded in 1882,
this may be the smallest Lutheran Church in the county. The handsome
gothic church was built about 1890. Turn around. Return to Siebert Road
and turn right.
of the yards seen on this trip you’ll see a patch of cabbages and collard
greens. These leafy vegetables were staples of the Dutch Fork. Collard
Greens are especially important this time of year as a traditional dish
on New Year’s Day (representing greenbacks for the coming year). Sauerkraut,
the result of fermented cabbage, was once called the national vegetable
of the Dutch Fork. During the winter months, it was eaten for at least
two meals a day. (I’ve never heard of it being used at breakfast, but
...) At the end of the road on the left is the new Lake Murray Public
Safety Complex. Turn right on Macedonia Church Road. At the end of the
road, right next to the lake, is Macedonia Lutheran Church. The church
was established in 1847 when this area was part of Lexington County.
The present picturesque church was built in 1914. When the waters of
Lake Murray began to rise in 1928, all but one of the roads leading
to the church were submerged. Lake Murray has a beautiful blue color
this time of year. Turn around. Turn left on Edgewater Drive. Near the
end of the road on the left is the Higgins House which originally stood
on Hwy 121 near the Saluda River. It was moved to the lake and restored.
Return to Macedonia Church Road and turn left. Turn right on Dreher
Island Road. Cross into Lexington County at Camping Creek (Adams Camp
left in a bend of the road is St. Peter’s Lutheran Church (a.k.a. the
Church in the Piney Woods). Organized in 1794, this was an outgrowth
of St. John’s — just nine miles away as the crow flies. The present
church, the third to serve the congregation, was completed in 1936.
There is a nice cemetery across the road. Turn right on St. Peter’s
Church Road. Turn right on Chapin Road (Hwy 76). Welcome to Chapin.
Chapin was founded in 1889 as a depot on the Columbia, Newberry &
Laurens Railroad. It was named for Martin Chapin who moved from Cortland,
NY, to live in the “piney woods” for health reasons. He established
a lumber mill in the area and bought up much of the forested land near
Chapin (much of which is now under Lake Murray). Turn left on Lexington
railroad tracks and turn right on Beaufort Street. On the left are turn-of-the-century
buildings from the old downtown. On the right are newer buildings with
an old look. Turn left on Clark Street. Turn right on Columbia Avenue.
Along this street are many early twentieth century cottages. On the
right is Mt. Horeb Lutheran Church. Established in 1891, the present
church was built in 1963. To the left is Mt. Horeb Cemetery, with its
rock wall across the front. Cross I-26. Turn left into cemetery for
St. Jacob’s Lutheran Church (photo at right). On the right,
a set of steps mark the site of the original church building. This congregation
was established in 1776. The new building across the street (the fourth)
was built in 1956.
on Columbia Avenue and left again on Berea Road (across from the church).
Cross into Richland County. (Crossing the county line changes the road
name to Martin.) The border between Lexington, Newberry and Richland
Counties is a little problematic. There has been some dispute over the
boundary since 1802. Cross Hwy 176 onto Jake Eargle Road. Turn left
on Ralph Counts Road. While driving this forested land, its sometimes
hard to imagine that this was all farmland in the nineteenth century.
Turn left on Wash Lever Road. Turn right on Broad River Road. On the
right at the corner of Mike Stuck Road is the Stuck-Summer Family cemetery.
Bear to the right on R. Stoudemire Road. The high embankments give this
road the impression of an old trace. (Traces of a trace can be seen
from time to time on either side of the road.) Cross into Newberry County.
Bear to the right on Church Street and head for downtown Peak.
established as a depot on the Columbia and Greenville Railroad and was
named for H. T. Peak, the superintendent of the railroad who was in
charge of the original trestle construction. The old Peak School (now
Community Center) is off to the left. It was built in 1924. There is
a cemetery on left for Mt. Hermon Lutheran Church (ahead on the right).
Not many flowers are blooming right now, but one that can be seen in
many old yards is Camelia Sasanqua, with its evergreen leaves and blooms
of white and shades of pink. As Church Street bends to the left, the
old trestle over the Broad River can be seen through the trees to the
right. During the bend, the street becomes Mulberry Street and then
River Street. The downtown businesses of the Peak Pharmacy, Pinner Clinic,
and the Town Hall & Fire Department will be to the left. There’s
been some new road construction and the road under the trestle is not
there anymore. Turn right on the new road. The trestle is visible to
the right as you cross Crim’s Creek (the old swimming hole). Cross Parr
Road (Hwy 213) onto Broad River Road.
on Peak Road and left on Hope Station Road. Turn right into St.
John’s Lutheran Church cemetery to see the site of the old St. John’s
school house (photo at left). In 1763, St. John’s received
a land grant from King George for 100 acres for religious and educational
purposes. Classes were originally held in the church itself, even after
the 1809 “White Church” was built. The “new” church across the street
was built in 1950. Continue on Hope Station Road. Turn right on Broad
River Road (Hwy 176). Off to the right, down an avenue of Magnolias,
is the Summer Family Cemetery. (Among others, Martin Chapin is buried
there.) On the right is Pomaria Plantation which was built in 1826.
In the mid-nineteenth century it was the home of Pomaria Nurseries which
shipped and developed ornamental and agricultural plants. The name “Pomaria”
is from the Latin for “orchard.” Turn right onto Holloway Street when
you get to downtown Pomaria. This street has several beautiful old homes.
Turn right on Hwy 176 and left on St. Paul Road.
Lutheran Church was founded in 1761, and the present granite building
was built in 1936. (It’s the oldest Lutheran Church in the county that
has always been in Newberry County.) Turn around at St. Paul’s, go back
up to Jolly Street Road and turn left. On the right at Old Jolly Street
Road is the old Jolly Street School. Turn right on Claude Counts Road.
Follow it as bends parallel to I-26. At some point the road becomes
Bearington Road. On the right is the old cemetery for Cannon’s Creek
A.R.P. Church. The site of the old church is across the road from the
cemetery. Cannon’s Creek was established in 1770. The congregation has
moved to the mission church on Hwy 76. Turn right on Jolly Street Road.
Turn right on Hwy 76 and return to Historic Downtown Newberry.
Road Trips (October and September)