Hope Station – Pomaria, South Carolina

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Hope Station is the name of the former railroad depot in the Newberry County town of Pomaria. It is named for John Christian Hope, a former teacher, Lutheran minister, planter, and South Carolina representative and senator. This building actually served as a store about a half mile from the depot.

Hope Station Store

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hope, born in Newberry District in 1806, began his career teaching school in nearby rural communities. At the behest of the Reverend John Bachmann, the first president of the South Carolina Lutheran Synod, Hope left the area for seminary in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, in 1829. He returned to the newly-formed Lutheran seminary – what would eventually become Newberry College – in Pomaria in 1831 and began teaching theology. When the seminary moved to what is now Corley Hall Plantation in Lexington in 1834, Hope left Newberry County and reestablished his life in Lexington on property owned by his wife. However, he traveled to Newberry County often to serve churches there as well as in Lexington and Columbia.

In 1847 the Greenville and Columbia Railroad sought to establish a route through his property in Pomaria near St. John’s Lutheran Church, where the South Carolina Lutheran Synod met in 1824 and in 1838. Hope granted the railroad access, and the depot became known as Hope Station. Hope Station remained a railroad stop until 1982.

In 1851 Hope was stripped of his title as a Lutheran minister for his disagreement with church doctrine. He then focused on planting on his Lexington property and served several terms in both the South Carolina House of Representatives and in the South Carolina Senate. He also served as Post Master for the community at Hope Station, traveling frequently between Lexington and Newberry Counties, much as he did as a minister. The general store pictured above, located near the former railroad stop, was likely also the post office; both were usually available near depots during the height of railroad travel.

Hope Station Info

Address: Peak Road and Hope Station Road Intersection, Pomaria, SC 29216

Hope Station Map

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