Our History

Our History

The Barber House, according to family tradition, was constructed ca. 1880 and expanded in the early twentieth century. It is significant for its association during the late ninteenth century with the South Carolina Land Commision, a unique attempt by a southern state to give freedmen the opportunity to own land. Although many freedmen eventually lost their land, the land on which the Barber House is located has remained in the same family since 1872. The numerous additions made to the house in the early twentieth century reflect the growing prosperity of this black family in the years after the Civil WarIn 1872 Samuel Barber, a former slave, purchased lot number 35, which contained forty-two and one-half acres of the Hopkins Tract, one of six tracts in Lower Richland County purchased by the South Carolina Land Commission for redistribution. In 1879 his wife, Harriet, also a former slave, made the final payment and received title to the property. According to the 1880 census, the family was farming approximately twenty-four acres of the land; two acres were planted in Indian corn and twenty-two were planted in cotton. The farm included one mule and one working ox. According to family tradition, Samuel Barber founded St. John’s Baptist Church near Hopkins.

After the deaths of Samuel Barber in 1891 and Harriet Barber in 1899, their son John and his wife Mamie Holly lived in the house, where they raised eleven children. In addition to farming the property, John Barber was a public school teacher for approximately forty-five years and a Baptist preacher for over sixty-years. Since John Barber’s death in 1957, the house has remained in the possession of the Barber family. (Source: SC Archives & History)

RELATED LINKS

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *