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Lower Richland

Hopkins Graded School


Schools in rural communities rivaled churches as the premier social and cultural centers for the community. Hopkins Graded School is but one example of how rural white citizens received education during the early twentieth century. Originally built around 1897 for white students of all grades, the building functioned for fewer than twenty years and later became a teacherage, which housed the principal and his family.

Lower Richland

Hopkins Graded School

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Lower Richland

Hopkins Turnout

The growth of the railroad brought employment for immigrants and African Americans, while creating new connections between cities. Hopkins Turnout was originally the name of present day Hopkins, as it was named after John Hopkins, a native of Virginia, a surveyor and planter who received land in South Carolina from a royal land grant in 1764. The name also is linked to a connection with the railroad, as Hopkins Turnout was where the South Carolina Railway ended its line from Charleston, and until 1842, travelers had to "turnout" and exit the railroad and then take a stagecoach to visit Columbia.

Lower Richland

Hopkins Turnout

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Lower Richland

Felder House

Erected around 1875, this wood frame cabin located in Hopkins was once part of a row of temporary housing built for railroad, logging and cotton mill workers. The structure retains its original handmade nails and wood siding, and rests atop piers – a foundation method common to the era and its building type. Standing adjacent to the railroad, the surviving house provides a picture of a major industry in Hopkins in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.

Lower Richland

Felder House

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Lower Richland

Claytor House

Image courtesy of Richland Library

Dr. Hubert Claytor had this wood frame cottage built in 1887. For sixty years, Dr. Claytor practiced medicine in the ground floor front room, providing his health care services to the rural Hopkins community. The property on which the cottage stands consists of nine acres and includes several outbuildings, such as a smokehouse and barn.

Image courtesy of Richland Library

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Claytor House

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Lower Richland

Barber House

Image courtesy Southeast Rural Community Outreach

This 42-acre property is well known for its connection with the South Carolina Land Commission, a governmental body established to help freed-men acquire land ownership and avoid the misfortune of sharecropping. Since its purchase by freedman Samuel Barber in 1872, the Barber House property has remained in the same family. After Samuel and his wife, Harriet, died in 1891 and 1899, respectively, the circa-1880 house and property passed to their son Jon, who, as a farmer, teacher and preacher, raised eleven children with his wife Mamie. Today, the Barber house is managed by descendants of the Barber family and the Southeast Rural Community Outreach.

Lower Richland

Barber House

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Lower Richland

Congaree National Park

The Santee River Cypress Logging Company harvested timber from land belonging to Francis Beidler from 1881 until about 1914, when Beidler realized the difficulty and unprofitability of the operation and he placed his land under “timber reserve status.” The area remained in private hands within the Beidler family until the 1950s when Harry R.E. Hampton, a member of the Cedar Creek Hunt Club and editor of The State, advocated for the preservation of the Congaree Swamp. Soaring timber prices in the 1960s prompted Hampton and others’ conservation advocacy efforts to ensure the site’s future. Ultimately, their leadership led to the 22,200-acre site being designated a National Monument by President Gerald R. Ford in 1976. President George W. Bush designated Congaree a National Park in 2003 following research that demonstrated the area was the largest intact old-growth, bottomland hardwood forest remaining in the southeastern United States and that it retained many agricultural remnants from earlier settlers such as cattle mounds, dikes and bridges.

Click the link below to see the transcript of President Gerald R. Ford’s Speech designating the park a National Monument.
http://www.fordlibrarymuseum.gov/library/document/0122/1253087.pdf

Lower Richland

Congaree National Park

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Lower Richland

Congaree Baptist Church

Image courtesy of Richland Library

Episcopal and Baptist churches were the earliest and most common religious denominations in Richland County and all across the South. African Americans gravitated most toward the Baptist religion, especially after the Civil War when they were free to choose their own faith practice. Only a handful of rural churches existed in the early nineteenth century, primarily because of population density, therefore, churches served as important cultural and social centers for the surrounding towns. Congaree Baptist Church is a connection to this antebellum era and was the first organized Baptist church in Lower Richland as it was established in 1765.

Lower Richland

Congaree Baptist Church

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Lower Richland

Kingville

Image courtesy of South Caroliniana Library, Ben Roberts S.C. Railroads Collection

An old railway town that disappeared with the decline of the railroad, this area just north of Congaree National Park, once included a post office, shops and a hotel in 1860. The town derived its name because of its prominent railroad junction and was established in 1840 as a station on the Charleston to Columbia line, which also connected travelers to Camden. In fact, during the Civil War, railroads through Kingville transported both soldiers and supplies across the South, contained a refugee camp that housed former slaves and a wayside hospital established by the Young Ladies’ Hospital Association. By the 1920s, new roads in the area made Kingville’s rail lines obsolete and residents began to move away from the town. All that remains of this once prosperous town is an historical marker and local memories.

Image courtesy of South Caroliniana Library, Ben Roberts S.C. Railroads Collection

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Kingville

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Lower Richland

Kensington Mansion

Image courtesy of Richland Library, Russell Maxey photograph collection

Colonel Richard Singleton, a wealthy cotton planter, lived at the 1853 Italianate plantation home overseeing the production of cotton, rice, potatoes, wheat, corn, rye and oats. The sprawling mansion’s details reveal international elements of wealth and luxury reflective of the original owner’s tastes. In addition to the main house, there once existed 54 buildings on the property, which included 40 cabins for enslaved workers and 13 farm buildings. In 1981, Union Camp Corporation, later superseded by International Paper, purchased 4,000 acres in Richland County, which included Kensington Mansion, to build a wood pulp and paper mill. The paper company restored the house and partnered with the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation six years later and offered tours of the mansion on select days of the week. Today, the site retains several extant buildings including the original kitchen building and one slave cabin; however, International Paper dissolved its partnership with the Scarborough-Hamer Foundation and the future of Kensington Mansion remains unknown.

Lower Richland

Kensington Mansion

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Lower Richland

J. A. Byrd Mercantile

Constructed circa-1910, the J.A. Byrd Mercantile building represents the commercial history of a small rural town. Built as a general merchandise store for Julian A. Byrd, who also founded the Farmers and Merchants Bank next door in the early 1910s, Byrd’s main customers came from the large cotton producing farms around the area. The structure was rendered in the Beaux Arts style, an architectural movement popularized in the United States during the 1890s through early 1900s, which incorporated classical elements such as rusticated masonry, ionic columns and decorative stone work with a modern twist.

Lower Richland

J. A. Byrd Mercantile

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Lower Richland

Bellaire

Virginia native Drury Bynum financed the construction of this refined Greek Revival plantation home on his property as a wedding gift for his son, William. Upon William’s death, the home passed down to his daughter, Frances Hopkins Adams. Thereafter, numerous persons owned the property including the Lowder family, who from after World War II to around 1970, used the plantation’s former slave cabin as a country store. In 1989, after Hurricane Hugo swept across Lower Richland County, the home’s chimneys and porches, as well as the exterior barn, were significantly damaged and required extensive repair.

Lower Richland

Bellaire

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Lower Richland

Goodwill Plantation

This image was taken by an unknown photographer and depicts Goodwill's Cotton Gin, which was built in the nineteenth century. Image courtesy of Richland Library

Daniel Huger had Goodwill Plantation built in 1799. At its height in the nineteenth century, the plantation involved 976 enslaved workers cultivating cotton and rice. An important aspect to the success of the plantation was the innovative canal irrigation system, which was one of the first in South Carolina. Today, the original mill, cabins for enslaved workers, main house, lodge, blacksmith shop, silo, archaeological sites and agricultural earthworks and waterways remain a physical legacy to this period in South Carolina’s antebellum history.

Lower Richland

Goodwill Plantation

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Lower Richland

Good Hope Baptist Church

Image courtesy of Richland Library

Good Hope Baptist Church is among the few remaining rural antebellum churches today. Constructed in 1857 “for the distant poor and other members” on land deeded from James Seay, Good Hope Baptist Church began as a branch of Congaree Baptist Church and became a separate congregation in 1866. The building remains as a tangible link to a period in which the architecture of segregation played a major role in social interaction. Its second-floor gallery was designed to seat enslaved laborers away from their white owners, who worshipped on the main floor.

Lower Richland

Good Hope Baptist Church

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Lower Richland

Laurelwood

Image courtesy of Richland Library

James H. Seay had this plantation home built around 1857 as a summer residence away from his Kingville plantations. It stands upon land purchased from his father, John Seay, who arrived in Lower Richland around 1810. James H. Seay was a planter who produced corn and cotton and by 1860, owned 77 enslaved workers. By the start of the Civil War, Seay had sold most of his 2,500 acres and had given part of his land to Congaree Baptist Church, which was used to construct Good Hope Baptist Church.

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Laurelwood

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Lower Richland

Alwehav

Image courtesy of Richland Library

In 1815, James Hopkins, one of several Sand Hills area planters, built this house amidst the property’s roughly 1,800 acres. Hopkins daughter, Mrs. Keziah Goodwyn Hopkins Brevard, inherited the house in 1844 when her father passed away. At that time she called it the Brevard House. Later, she moved the structure to the top of the hill and renamed it Brevard Place. Keziah enlarged the property in 1850 as she added several parlors and bedrooms. Keziah also kept a meticulous journal that recorded her life in Lower Richland in 1860 and 1861. The house was renamed Alwehav in 1903 when Caroline Adams LeConte purchased the property at a public auction. Caroline restored the property and gardens and lived there with her son, Louis, and daughter, Eva. The gardens became a big draw for horticulturalists as the house had a wide variety of magnolias, including the Magnolia Pyramidata. In 1986, the house was listed in the National Register of Historic Place and the land was placed under the Department of Natural Resource’s Heritage Trust Program to protect the sites natural cultural resources.

Lower Richland

Alwehav

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Lower Richland

St. John's Episcopal Church

Image courtesy of Richland Library

In an attempt to establish an Episcopal church in Lower Richland, Governor James Hopkins Adams and Dr. William Weston IV instigated the construction a church on part of the former Adams family burying ground. Enslaved workers completed the original Gothic Revival church in 1859. Unfortunately, the 1865 fire that burned one-third of Columbia destroyed most of the church’s early historical records, as the records were sent to the capital city for safekeeping during the Civil War. On December 26, 1981, a fire consumed the original nineteenth-century structure, but the church was rebuilt the following year using the original architectural plans.

Lower Richland

St. John's Episcopal Church

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Lower Richland

McEntire Joint National Guard Base

Image courtesy of Richland Library, Jimmy Price Studios photograph collection

Part of the Columbia Army Air Base, the airfield was established in 1943 and has had several different names, including the Fort Jackson Airdrome and the Congaree Army Airfield. After World War II, the South Carolina Air National Guard formed and made the Congaree Army Airfield its headquarters. In 1961, the facility was renamed in honor of Brigadier General Barney B. McEntire, the first commander of the state’s Air National Guard who was killed in a plane crash that year. Today, the facility is home to the 169th Fighter Wing and elements of the South Carolina Army National Guard.

Lower Richland

McEntire Joint National Guard Base

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Lower Richland

Wavering Place Plantation

Image courtesy of Richland Library

After moving to Lower Richland in the eighteenth century, Joel and Richard Adams settled on the land surrounding Wavering Place Plantation by 1768. The original house that adorned the property was lost in a fire around 1850 and the family rebuilt a Greek Revival mansion in its place shortly thereafter. Originally named Magnolia Plantation, primarily because of the tall magnolia trees surrounding the property, the grounds contained several outbuildings including a smokehouse and two dwellings for enslaved workers. In 1869, Colonel James Pickett Adams, a grandson of Joel Adams, purchased the property at public auction and changed the name to Wavering Place. The home went through a series of different owners, all of whom were descendants of the Adams family, until Dr. Julian Calhoun Adams purchased the mansion and 225 acres in 1986. Julian Adams restored the interior and exterior of the former plantation home and furnished the home with family and period appropriate furniture. Additionally, Dr. Adams invested in the gardens around the property and planted an English garden. Recently, the historic site was converted into an event venue and the owners rehabilitated the circa-1790 plantation kitchen house into a bed and breakfast. The site was also listed with the Congaree Land Trust in order to help conserve and protect the natural environment around the property.

This photograph depicts one of Wavering Place Plantation's remaining outbuildings, a former kitchen house that has since been rehabilitated to function as a bed and breakfast.

Lower Richland

Wavering Place Plantation

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Lower Richland

Grovewood Plantation

Image courtesy of Richland Library

Written records suggest Grovewood Plantation’s main house was either built around 1765 and moved from a previous location or built on site as late as 1835. Architectural evidence such as nails, hardware and other building materials that were made in the property’s blacksmith shop, suggests an early nineteenth century date of construction. The residence’s living room or parlor features mantels and molding with a palmetto and shell pattern reflecting the Adam style, an architectural movement popular during the 1790s through 1810s that involved rich, intricate and delicate classical details. Grovewood’s rich interior architectural elements connoted wealth and power to all visitors, particularly in light of the house’s rural setting.

Lower Richland

Grovewood Plantation

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Lower Richland

Siloam School

As part of the many New Deal programs that president Franklin Delano Roosevelt initiated to combat the national financial crisis known as the Depression, the Works Progress Administration (WPA) is remembered most for employing millions of jobless Americans to build public works projects. One such example is the circa-1936 Siloam School, located adjacent to Siloam Baptist Church, which was constructed with WPA funds as a separate but equal school and ultimately replaced the Beulah School. The Siloam School was one of several other new schools built for African Americans in the 1920s and 1930s in Lower Richland County.

Lower Richland

Siloam School

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