WKDK Road Trips


2009 Trips

Spooky Trails to You
(October)

Back to School II
(August)



The Newberry Code:
A Different Kind of Road Trip

(July)

May Road Trip (May)

There and Back Again:
A Saluda Excursion
(April)

Spring Fever (March)

Black History Month (February)

Winter Vistas (January)

 

2008 Trips

October Road Trip
July Road Trip
May Road Trip
l April Road Trip
March Road Trip l February Road Trip
January Road Trip


2007
December Road Trip
November Road Trip
October Road Trip
September Road Trip
July Road Trip l May Road Trip
April Road Trip l March Road Trip
February Road Trip l January Road Trip

2006

December Road Trip l November Road Trip
Road Trip Archives (October/September)

 

Spooky Trails to You
October 2009


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.


Back To School II
August 2009

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 congregation.

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.



The Newberry Code:
A Different Kind of Road Trip

(July 2009)

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 a turn.

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 lot.

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.)

 


May Road Trip
May 2009

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 the 1850’s.

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.

 

There & Back Again: A Saluda Excursion
April 2009

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 are everywhere.

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
.


Spring Fever
March 2009

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 Newberry.


Black History Month
February 2009

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 of concrete.

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 Street.

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 Road.

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 Vistas
January 2009

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 into Silverstreet.

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.

 

 

 

 

Ghoulies, Ghosties, Etc.
(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 Bridge Road.

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.


 

The 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 a dollar).

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 river.

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 downtown Newberry.

The “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 Newberry.

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 downtown Newberry.

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.”

Vend-a-moo
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.

Vittles
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 every palette.

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.

Virgin Forest
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 Newberry.

Vineyard
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.

Of 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 family cemetery.
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 gate.
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 cross street.

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.


A 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 Newberry.

 

January Road Trip
(January Road Trip on WKDK)

Winter 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.

Begin your 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.

From the 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.

Return 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.

Driving 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 growing up.

Turn left 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.

Turn right 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 ones.

Turn left 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.

Mt. Tabor 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.

At the 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 downtown Newberry.

December Road Trip
(December Road Trip on WKDK)

Begin 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 River.

Head west 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).

To the 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.

To 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.

Turn left 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.

Turn right 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.

Turn left 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.

Cross Johnstone 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 church.

Turn left 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 & Speers, Graveltown 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.

In 1809, 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 tombstones.

Across 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 Downtown Newberry.

 

A Thanksgiving Road Trip
(November Road Trip on WKDK)

This 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.

While 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 defiant spirit.

>From 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.

Just after 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.

Cross Hwy 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.

On the 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 left.

Kinards 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.

Turn left 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.

Turn right 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 Road. This 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 top.

Cross Hwy 176 onto Mount Bethel-Garmany Road and enjoy the scenery as you return to Historic Downtown Newberry.

Newberry County's Ghosts and Legends
(October Road Trip on WKDK)

There 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.

Begin 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.

Head 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 Mill.

Continue 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.

Continue on Hwy 121. Turn right on Dixie Drive (Hwy 34 Bypass) and right again on Hwy 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).

Many 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.

Return 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 season.

Some 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.

When 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.

From 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.

Turn left on Jolly Street Road. Enjoy the beautiful Fall scenery and the rolling vistas as you return to Historic Downtown Newberry.

 

A Trip to Greenwood
(September Road Trip on WKDK)

Last month 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.

From the 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.

On the 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.

Take a 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 points.

Return 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.

As you 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.

Lander (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.

Turn left 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 largest employer.

Turn left 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.

Follow 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.

After 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.

Down the 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.

Turn right 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 Newberry.

 

Summer Meanderings
(July Road Trip on WKDK)

It’s the “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.

On the 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 Street.

Turn 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.

Turn left 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 remained.

Turn right 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 Brown House.

Turn right 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.

Cross Camping 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.

On 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.

Cross Hwy 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.

Bear left 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.

 

A Drive Around Newberry
(aired in May on WKDK)

Begin 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.

Head 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.

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. This year’s late cold snap means that many trees still have their bright green new growth from spring. Others have the deep green 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.

Turn 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 improvements 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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 Spearman Road.

Before 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.

Return from Charleston
(aired in April on WKDK)

It’s 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.

From Palm 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.

We’ll pass 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.

Turn 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 402.

At Biggins 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.

The present 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.

Like Summerville, 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.

At Cross, 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 County.

On 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.

The town 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.

We will 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.

On the 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.

Hwy 176 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.

Today, 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 Downtown Newberry.

 

What Every Newberrian Needs to Know in the
Holy City
(aired in March on WKDK)

This 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.

At 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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.

Heading 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.

At 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.

Watch 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.

Turn 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.

Head 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.

Cross 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.

 

Charleston: The Back Way
(aired 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 I-26.

Begin 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.

When 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.

Coming 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.

Leave 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.

Welcome 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.

As 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.

Turn 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.

Turn 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.

 

Winter Landscapes
(
aired 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.

Head 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 cemetery.

Turn 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.

Just 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.

As 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 1960 remodeling.

Turn 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.

Turn 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)

In this 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.

While 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 defiant spirit.

Head south 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.

Turn left 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.

Turn right 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.

Turn left 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.

The area 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.

Turn left 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.

Turn right 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.

Turn right 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.

 

A Trip to the Old Dutch Fork
(aired on November 30 on WKDK)

This time 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.

Downtown 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.

Turn left 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.

In many 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 Bridge).

To the 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 Avenue.

Cross the 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.

Turn left 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.

Peak was 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.

Turn left 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.

St. Paul’s 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.


Earlier Road Trips (October and September)

 


The "Road Trip of the Month"
is brought to you by
The Newberry County
Historical and Museum Society.
The Newberry County Museum
is located at
1503 Nance Street,
behind the
Public Safety Complex.
The drive is off Cornelia Street.

The Museum is open on the first and third Saturdays of each month from 1:00 to 4:00 PM
or any time by appointment.

For more information, contact Ernest Shealy (above photo)
at
(803) 924-0282.


 

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