South Carolina Education - Bamberg County

Year County Established

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Bamberg County


On December 24, 1883, the South Carolina General Assembly passed an Act to establish a new special school district in the town of Bamberg in Barnwell County, and authorized voters to decided upon an additional special school tax not to exceed three (3) mills on real and personal property.

[Note - When created, the school district was in Barnwell County. The town of Bamberg and its school district was in Bamberg County in 1897.]

SC Methodists began an institution on this site in 1892 naming it Carlisle Fitting School, for James H. Carlisle, president of Wofford College 1875-1902. It served as a coeducational preparatory institution for Wofford. Col. James F. Risher (1889-1973) leased Carlisle in 1932 and purchased it 1938, renaming it Carlisle Military School by 1943. It educated young men from the US and many countries until closing in 1977.

[Note - When it began, Carlisle Fitting School was in Barnwell County. In 1897, it was in Bamberg County.]

Voorhees College, founded by Elizabeth Evelyn Wright in 1897 as the Denmark Industrial School, was an effort to emphasize a vocational curriculum for rural African American students on the model of the Tuskegee Institute. The school, with funding from philanthropist Ralph Voorhees, was renamed Voorhees Industrial School for Colored Youth in 1904, Voorhees Normal and Industrial in 1916, and Voorhees School and Junior College in 1947.

Voorhees, supported by the Episcopal Church since 1924, changed its mission during the first half of the twentieth century and in 1962 became Voorhees College. In 1967 it became a senior liberal arts college. The historic portion of the campus was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1982 as Voorhees College Historic District.


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