Newberry County was established in 1785, but, as part of the 96 District, it traces its history back before the American Revolution. Newberry has always been known for its fertile farmland, and this is revealed today in the many large and beautiful homes and farms which are seen throughout the county.
Nearly 78% of the county is forested, and the Sumter National Forest, Lynches Woods and Dreher Island State Park offer a variety of recreational opportunities. Bounded in part by the Broad, Saluda, Tyger and Enoree Rivers, Newberry is literally surrounded by waterways. With Lake Murray to the southeast and Lake Greenwood to the southwest, Newberry can boast 150 miles of scenic and recreational shoreline.
Centrally located in South Carolina near the mountains and the coast, Newberry is right off of Interstate 26, which connects to Asheville, N.C. with Columbia, the state's capital, and Charleston, another of South Carolina's historic sites.
Air travel to any destination is extremely convenient, with major airports in Columbia, Greenville, and Charlotte, N.C. just a short drive away.
The small-town atmosphere and mild climate of Newberry County is not only inviting to visitors, but also to retirees and businesses seeking relocation opportunities.
"The City of Friendly Folks"
Founded in 1785, the City of Newberry enjoys a proud and diverse heritage. Newberry College, a Lutheran-supported liberal arts school, was founded in 1856 and now offers over 20 majors. The Newberry Opera House, built in 1881, provides a cultural center for the region and received the League of Historic American Theatres’ 2008 Outstanding Theater Award. The county seat of Newberry offers a convenient downtown district where locals and visitors can shop at specialty shops and dine at casual and fine-dining restaurants. Welcome to Newberry and make sure you explore all we have to offer! The population of the City of Newberry is 10,277.
Chappells is located around 19 miles west of the Newberry Court House. In 1756, Thomas Chappell acquired many acres of land and settled on the Saluda River, where he and his descendents operated a ferry across the river. The first three stores in Chappells were destroyed by a tornado in 1884, in addition to several other buildings. The town was laid off in lots after this. Chappells was an important depot on the Columbia-Greenville Railroad which came through in 1851. From the early 1880s through the mid 1920s, Chappells served as the hub of an affluent and bustling community. Nearby Buzzard’s Roost is the site of the dam for Lake Greenwood. The population of Chappells is 824.
Originally known as “Countsville,” Pomaria was one of Newberry County’s earliest settlements. In 1823, the first Post Office was established. According to National Archive records, “Countsville” became Pomaria in 1840, probably for William Summer’s nearby plant nursery. The name is derived from “Pomis,” the Latin word for plants or fruit trees. William Summer operated a well-known nursery just outside of town. By 1851, the Columbia and Newberry railroads completed a line through Pomaria. On Dec. 17, 1902, Mr. Thomas W. Holloway, a merchant and assistant postmaster, filed for a charter to incorporate Pomaria. This petition was made official on Jan. 1, 1903. Holloway laid out the boundaries of the town in a circle measuring one thousand yards in all directions from a stake in his yard. The population of Pomaria is 179.
Silverstreet is among the older communities in Newberry County. Land around Silverstreet was useful in the production of cotton, and numerous gins sprang up to process the commodity. The Southern Railroad laid tracks through the community around 1850 and helped get the cotton to market. Due to this, a mini-marketing center grew up in the region during the first part of the 19th Century. A bank and Post Office were established in 1865. The origin of the name is uncertain but legends about the name range from silver coins found in the street to Indian names. Incorporated in 1910, 162 residents live here.
Kinards is located on Highway 76 near the Newberry-Laurens County line. The Newberry-Laurens Railroad came to Kinards in 1854. The town was named for Martin Kinard, Jr. Kinard moved to the area in the first part of the 19th Century from Pomaria. He eventually owned most of the land between the present town and nearby Goldville (now Joanna) and became a wealthy plantation owner. A Post Office opened in 1856. The name of the town changed from Kinards Turnout to Kinards in 1881. The early 20th Century saw Kinards as a thriving agricultural community. The Sharon United Methodist Church (circa 1869) was founded in 1854 on land given by Kinard. The population is 810.
“The Pearl of the Piedmont”
Whitmire is located near the Union County line and less than 3 miles from the Laurens County line. The town is unique in that it is 10-18 miles from any other town in any direction. Before the Revolutionary War, George Frederick Whitmire built his home where the River Road crossed the Island Ford Road. Later, he established a trading post at his home and the settlement that grew up there bears his name. The first Post Office was established in 1852. Jasper Hall (ca. 1857) is an impressive antebellum home built by Dr. James Epps. Set among crepe myrtles and oak trees, this Greek revival house evokes romantic images of the old south and is located at 125 Colonial Drive. Whitmire was incorporated in 1891 and has 1,441 residents.
Originally named “Frog Level,” this community was founded in 1851 when the Southern railroad came through. The name was changed to Prosperity in 1873 after the Prosperity Meeting House. In 1886, the Columbia, Newberry, and Laurens Railroad became the second railroad to build a depot in Prosperity. Many beautiful 19th century homes line historic streets including The Hayne-Hawkins House (ca. 1852) off Main Street; the H .C. Moseley House (ca. 1880) on Brown Street; and The Wyche House (ca. 1890) on McNeary Street. Lake Murray provides a major recreation and tourist attraction for the area. Today, logging and timber farming are important sources of farm income and local employment. Incorporated in 1851, the town has a population of 1,180.
Known as “Ruff Mountain” until the 1800s, the mountain rises 800 feet above sea level, making it South Carolina’s highest point east of Greenville. The Little Mountain Reunion, begun in 1882, is South Carolina’s oldest folk festival. Because of the number of German settlers, the area between the Broad and Saluda rivers around Little Mountain is known as the “Dutch Fork.” The largest meteorite to ever be found in South Carolina was discovered on the slope of Little Mountain in 1844 and weighed 117 pounds. Incorporated in 1890, the town has 291 residents.
The village of Peak was named for H. T. Peak, superintendent of the Columbia and Greenville Railroad. He was in charge of constructing the trestle bridge over the Broad River in 1850. This trestle is now part of the Palmetto Trail. Peak was incorporated in 1850 and is governed by the Mayor and Town Council. The population of Peak is 64.
(Population numbers are based on the 2010 census.)