Barber House – Hopkins, South Carolina
South Carolina | SC Picture Project | Richland County Photos | Barber House
According to the South Carolina Department of Archives and History, the Harriet Barber House was constructed in Hopkins in 1880. The house is an important landmark due to its ties to the SC Land Commission, whose goal was to give freedmen the opportunity to own land. Even though many freedmen lost their land over time, the land on which the Barber House was built has been owned by the same family since 1872.
A former slave named Samuel Barber bought these 42 1/2 acres in 1872 and grew cotton on almost half of the land. Harriet, his wife, made the final payment in 1879 and received the title to the land. According to the Barber family, Samuel Barber founded St. John’s Baptist Church near Hopkins.
Samuel and Harriet Barber both died during the 1890s, and the land along with the house was passed to their son John, his wife, and their eleven children. John Barber continued to farm the land, but also was a public school teacher and a Baptist preacher throughout most of his life. John Barber passed away in 1957, and the house continues to remain in the Barber Family.
This majestic sugarberry tree pictured above is located on the Barber land, and was named a winner in the Treasured Tree designation by the Midlands Arbor Day Committee during Arbor Day 2009. According to Barber family tradition, the tree has always stood on the property purchased by Sam and Harriet Barber and is unique to the area. Family members attended a December reception at the Governors Mansion, honoring recipients of the Treasured Tree award from across the Midlands.
The Harriet Barber House is part of the South East Rural Community Outreach program, which is a coalition of representatives from Lower Richland community groups, historic sites, and local historians and preservation advocates who meet once a month to review projects and organize programs for this area.
Many thanks to D.S. Brooks of Hopkins, who provided these pictures and great information to SCIWAY in October 2010.
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