City Directories and History: “Erskine College of Due West (Abbeville County) began in 1836 as Mount Vernon Academy, becoming Clark and Erskine Seminary in 1837. The Seminary was named for the Rev. Ebenezer and Ralph Erskine, brothers who founded the Associate (secession) Church of Scotland, and for the Rev. Thomas Clark, “father of the Associate Reform Presbyterian Church in the South,” who came from Scotland via Ireland to the Long Cane Creek section of Abbeville District in 1784.
In 1839 Erskine College became the first four- year denominational college in South Carolina, though the name was not shortened to this, its present title, until 1842, when it was moved, still within the town of Due West to its present campus. Erskine Building, constructed in 1892, includes part of the wall of the original Erskine Building of 1842.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on Jan. 7, 1891 – “The board of Erskine College met in Chester, S.C. to consider moving the college from Due West to a more central location. Bids were submitted by three locations; Sardis, N.C., ($18,865. and a ten acre site), Rock Hill, S.C. ($40,000. in town bonds, $4,000. in private funds and a 10-20 acre site), and Chester, S.C. ($40-45,000. and 82 acres). The board decided to remain in Due West and erect a new college building at an estimated cost of $30,000.”
The Yorkville Enquirer reported on March 15, 1893 – “Erskine College was damaged to the extent of several thousand dollars last week by the collapse of defective masonry. It has not yet developed whether the loss will fall on the college or upon the contractors who are erecting it.”
Erskine Building, Erskine College Quadrangle, (1892): Three-story, brick building with central pavilion and two wings. Notable features include two towers and central dome. The west tower has a domed observatory. The east tower has an octagonal section containing the college clock and features elaborate brick work. Fenestration varies, but all windows have rounded arches. The northeast wall incorporates a section of a wall of the original building (1842) which burned in 1892. (SCDAH)
A stop on the Built of Brick Jaunt – Driving Tour
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