Newberry, Newberry County, South Carolina

Newberry, a town and county of Dutch Fork, has three reported origins, none of which has been verified: for the village of Newbury in England; for Captain John Newberry of General Thomas Sumter's troops; or, the favorite of present resi-
dents, for the profuse grape and scadine vines bearing luscious fruit found by the early 17th-Century settlers.

Newberry Opera House

Downtown Newberry

Wells Japanese Garden is a small Japanese garden located on Lindsay Street in Newberry, South Carolina. It is open daily.

The garden was created by W. Fulmer Wells in 1930, donated to the city in 1971, and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1980. It is currently being restored and maintained by the Newberry Council of Garden Clubs.

The garden contains two ponds, concrete bridges in a Japanese style, torii, a teahouse, and a variety of indigenous and exotic flora including lotus, Japanese iris, water lilies, crepe myrtle, dogwood, and cypress.


Newberry is located at 34°16?40?N, 81°36?60?W (34.277655, -81.616560)GR1.
According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 17.0 km² (6.6 mi²), all land.

Newberry is a town in Newberry County, South Carolina, 43 miles (69 km) west -northwest of Columbia. The charter was adopted in 1894. In 1890, 3,020 people lived in Newberry, South Carolina; in 1900, 4,607; in 1910, 5,028; and in 1940, 7,510. The population was 10,580 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Newberry CountyGR6.

Points of interest

  • Wells Japanese Garden
  • Newberry Opera House
  • Newberry Court House


Newberry is noted by the murder of Vickie Lander.

Newberry College was a hospital for Confederate and later Union troops during the American Civil War.

The Newberry Historic Court House was burned by William T. Sherman's Troops during the Civil War.

Newberry College (A Luthern College) was attended by Lee Atwater.

The Super Wal Mart is the economic hub of Newberry.

As of the census GR2 of 2000, there were 10,580 people, 3,970 households, and 2,528 families residing in the town. The population density was 621.8/km² (1,609.2/mi²). There were 4,388 housing units at an average density of 257.9/km² (667.4/mi²). The racial makeup of the town was 52.85% White, 41.36% African American, 0.47% Native American, 0.60% Asian, 0.12% Pacific Islander, 2.88% from other races, and 1.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 9.49% of the population.

There were 3,970 households out of which 29.7% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.5% were married couples living together, 22.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.3% were non-families. 31.7% of all households were made up of individuals and 15.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 2.97.

In the town the population was spread out with 23.3% under the age of 18, 14.9% from 18 to 24, 25.5% from 25 to 44, 18.6% from 45 to 64, and 17.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 86.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 81.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,064, and the median income for a family was $33,490. Males had a median income of $28,681 versus $20,887 for females. The per capita income for the town was $14,389. About 23.8% of families and 28.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 39.9% of those under age 18 and 21.0% of those age 65 or over.

Newberry is known for its recently restored Opera House, which hosts a variety of musical and theatrical acts. The downtown area is home to a number of antique shops and fine dining establishments.

The first settler within the village limits of Newberry was Major Frederick Nance, In 1814 a tract of land was granted to Major Nance by the Governor of South Carolina, at that time Joseph Aiston.7 In 1857 William Nance, grandson of Frederick, built a tvo story house on this land. He called his new home Gildercrest. It is of Doric style and has eight rooms. Looking towards the front of the house, one sees six large columns and a front door inlaid with colored glass. The design in the glass is that of flowers with very
rounded petals. The glass design is also repeated above the staircase in the interior of the house. When William Nance built the house, there were three slave houses built behind the main house. Two of these houses still stand. James R. Leavell owned Gildercrest after William Nance, and it is now owned by Mrs. Otto F. Armfield.

On the corner of Johnstone and Wilson Streets in Newberry stands the Robert Stewart House. Stewart built the house, consisting of six rooms downstairs and four upstairs, in 1835. The house is given a very square appearance by a narrow front porch. A small alcove or room on the left side of the house once had steps leading to the flower garden. Stewart maintained an extremely beautiful yard around the house. The garden, dividing by circular walks, had a terrace and a sunken area. A summer house with shaded seats
was located in the center of the garden. Robert Mills, South Carolina's most famous architect, designed two residences in Newberry.
One of the residences is the Parr-Baker House. This house was built in 1820 by Captain James Williams. After Captain Williams and his son lived there, it was occupied by Thaddeus T, Duncan. Henry Lakin Parr, builder of Parr Shoals, bought the house in 1905. Parr's daughter, EJlie Mae, married Ralph Barre Baker, and the house has since been lived in by members of the Baker family.

This house contains twenty-two rooms. It has porticoes, lofty ceilings, and four separate flights of stairs, The topmost flight ends in a cupola with six windows from which an entire view of Newberry can be had.

One of the most interesting pieces of furniture in the house is the secretary in the parlor. This desk belonged to Mrs. Baker's great-great-great grandfather, General John Pearson, the first white child born in Richland County. Standing in a field a few hundred yards from the old Bush River - Charleston Highway is the Rock House. Land for this house was granted to Jacob Hoffman in 1738. The house is made of field stone, mortified together, and is approximately two-hundred years old. The walls of the two-storied house are eighteen inches thick. Each level of the house consists of two rooms.

It is said that the house was built shortly before or during the Revolutionary War by a settler as protection against the Indians. This
story is reinforced by observing the architecture of the house. The windows in the main part of the house are very small, and the windows in the attic are like tiny holes. Windows of this type were used to place the barrels of guns for firing. The windows are carved with doubled frames and the joists are about three by six inches.


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