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Pomaria – Pomaria, South Carolina


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The Town of Pomaria in Newberry County may have fewer than 200 residents, but it has a surprisingly rich history. Initially called Countsville, Pomaria was established in the mid-eighteenth century by German, Swiss, and Dutch settlers striving to escape the persecution and poverty that followed the Thirty Years’ War. These settlers brought with them a strong religious heritage, and in 1830 the South Carolina Lutheran Synod chose to open a seminary here which later evolved into Newberry College.

Pomaria Marker

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

By 1840 town had changed its name to Pomaria, the same year William Summer opened his renowned Pomaria Nursery. The root of the town’s name – pomology – is the study of fruit cultivation. Summer’s extensive knowledge in this realm, particularly in cultivating new varieties of fruits, made Pomaria a distinguished agricultural district. By 1851 the Newberry to Columbia Railway had been completed, which included a stop in Pomaria. The little town was booming.

In 1865, at the end of the Civil War, Union troops ravaged most of South Carolina – Pomaria included. The railroad was destroyed, and the nursery went bankrupt. Summers attempted to rebuild his business and offered a catalog with 338 varieties in 1878. He died shortly afterwards, and his family members closed the nursery for good.

The town suffered great difficulties during and after Reconstruction, as did most of the South. In the early twentieth century, Pomaria was designated a site for a Rosenwald school. Rosenwald schools were built throughout the rural south to educate African-American children living in poverty. Funding for these schools was provided by Sears and Roebuck founder Julius Rosenwald, and the schools were named for him. The Hope Rosenwald School was built in 1925 and operated until 1954, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a separate but equal educational system – under which the Hope School operated – was unlawful.

Hikers along the Peak-to-Prosperity portion of the Palmetto Trail, a hiking path that utilizes abandoned railways, will pass through this little town with a fascinating history.


Pomaria Info


Address: Holloway Street, Pomaria, SC 29126
GPS Coordinates: 34.268532,-81.419829


Pomaria Map




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9 Comments about Pomaria

Pam BrownNo Gravatar says:
June 17th, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Hi, my maternal side of family are also “Free” from Newberry County, SC and Pomaria. We could be related! Feel free to email me.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
May 10th, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Hello Diane, we did a little googling to try and find information on the Free family but nothing has jumped out at us yet to show why the streets were named for the family. Have you tried reaching out to the Newberry County Historical Society? We did find a website for them with some e-mail addresses that would be of some help. Here is the link with a list of contact e-mails. Good luck on your search! http://www.newberrycountyhistorical.com/board.html

Diane WilsonNo Gravatar says:
May 8th, 2017 at 9:08 am

My birth name is Diane Free. I am trying to find information on anything about the Free family. I am an African American I have family here in Pomaria but I saw a street named after Joe Free and wanted to know if there was any info you could give me. I would appreciate it.

Michael HineNo Gravatar says:
September 23rd, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Hello Carrie, my name is Michael, I don’t think I can give you any history on your home but I am a pharmaceutical courier that travels through Pomaria and a big time history buff and metal detectorist always looking for new property to search. If I can get permission I’ll be more than happy to give you anything that I find relating to your home.

CarrieNo Gravatar says:
January 8th, 2017 at 10:42 pm

I live in one of the old homes that still stand in Pomaria. Maybe you can give me more history on my home, 111 St. Paul’s Road.

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
November 30th, 2015 at 9:18 am

We could not find a marker for Thurmon Ruth in the Historical Marker Database.

Clyde PickensNo Gravatar says:
November 27th, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Pomaria was the birthplace of Thurmon Ruth, founder of the legendary Selah Jubilee Singers and promoter of gospel music at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Is there a commemorative marker somewhere in town?

SCIWAYNo Gravatar says:
August 18th, 2014 at 5:07 am

Congratulations to you and your wife on your new family member! We are dog lovers at SCIWAY and own a few rescues ourselves! Pomeranians, the breed, are named for the European region from where they originated. The town of Pomaria is named for its history of fruit cultivation – called pomology. We think it’s a sweet name for your sweet pup! Enjoy!

NealDNo Gravatar says:
August 18th, 2014 at 12:48 am

My wife and I just rescued a Pomeranian dog from Gaffney. On the way home to Myrtle Beach, we noticed the name of the town, Pomaria. We’re thinking of naming her with the same name! To your knowledge, has that happened before? Hope to hear from you. Thanks. Neal






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