Newberry College – Newberry, South Carolina
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Newberry College is a liberal arts college situated on a 90-acre campus in Newberry. It bears roots in a Lutheran seminary founded in 1828 at the bequest of South Carolina Lutheran Synod president Reverend John Bachman, friend of John James Audubon and discoverer of the now-extinct Bachman’s warbler, named for the reverend. The Synod opened the seminary in neighboring Pomaria, and later it moved to Lexington, where it remained for nearly 30 years.
In 1854 the Synod agreed to incorporate a college within the seminary. This larger school was moved to Newberry and given the name of Newberry College in 1855, a year before receiving its official charter. The college was successful until the Civil War, when it lost much of its faculty and student body to the Confederacy. After the war the campus, which had been occupied by Federal troops, was not fit for use. The college instead met in St. John’s Evangelical Lutheran Church in Walhalla. Thanks to the efforts of locals, the college reopened in 1877, though the seminary remained closed until 1884. The seminary then became a separate entity and moved to Mount Pleasant before settling in its present home in Columbia.
The college remains associated with the Lutheran church, though its 1000-seat Wiles Chapel, pictured above, holds regular interdenominational services for students. The contemporary chapel stands in contrast with Holland Hall, seen at the top of the page. Holland Hall is one of the campus’s earlier buildings, completed in 1904 and designed by Frank P. Milburn, architect of the South Carolina statehouse dome.
The Weber House, pictured above, is the location of the college’s campus ministry. Though students attend worship services in the chapel, religious groups of all denominations meet in the Weber House.
Holland Hall is listed in the National Register, which says the following about the campus:
Newberry College, established in 1856, has grown from a single structure institution into a modern building complex spread across a sixty-acre campus. While the majority of the college’s buildings date from the 1950s when a program of expansion was undertaken, four of the oldest structures remain. These four buildings – Smeltzer Hall (1877), Keller Hall (1895), Holland Hall (1904), and Derrick Hall (1925) – which significantly represent the college’s development, comprise the Newberry College Historic District.
These four brick buildings are typical of late 19th and early 20th century institutional architecture. Smeltzer Hall and Keller Hall are Italianate influenced and Romanesque Revival style buildings, while the later buildings, Holland and Derrick Halls, reflect the Neo-Classical and Colonial Revival styles of the early 20th century. Holland Hall was designed by prominent architect Frank P. Milburn. Located on a landscaped green, the historic district occupies approximately 12 acres.
Newberry College Info
Address: 2100 College Street, Newberry, SC 29108
Newberry College Map
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