2161 Walker Solomon Way2161 Walker Solomon Way
Site of Seeger's Brewery
In the nineteenth century, the Seegers family owned several dozen acres bounded by Elmwood Avenue, Barhamville Road, and the Southern Railroad tracks—land that is now occupied by Drew Park (originally called Seegers Park) and residential streets. The Seeger family operated a farm on this acreage and established a brewery in the 1850s. Built circa 1852, the original brewery building was described as a “frame oblong building with four rooms and cellars beneath.” A three-story brick addition was added later.
Business petered out during the Civil War and remained all but inoperative until John Conrad Seegers re-established the country brewery in 1895. Seegers advertised his high grade German beers—Bergner & Engels Tanhauser, Christian Moerlein—in The State, and delivered crates of the beer to city patrons. Seegers’ beer business was discontinued in the early 20th century, though for decades afterward the property was still referred to locally as the “Old Seegers Brewery.” When fire destroyed it in late November of 1928, the old brewery building was serving as a storage place for hay, seeds and old furniture.
J.C. Seegers’ sister and her husband, W.G. Allworden, lived on the Seegers property and owned a house which survived the fire, and the family continued to live there and operate a small farm until the 1940s. In 1944, Dr. Samuel Higgins, president of Allen University, purchased and moved into the home. In the same year, the city of Columbia acquired ten acres of the old Seegers property for the purpose of creating an African American park—what would become Drew Park—and private development established a new subdivision of “high class” African-American residences on the remaining acreage.