South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Old Newberry County Courthouse — Newberry, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Newberry County  |  Old Newberry County Courthouse

Adopt A South Carolina Landmark
Old Newberry County Courthouse

The architecture of the Old Newberry County Courthouse in the county seat of Newberry tells the story of antebellum South Carolina, the Civil War, and Reconstruction. Built in 1852 during Newberry’s period of cotton-bred wealth, the Greek Revival structure was a testament to the success of the town’s merchants and planters.

Newberry Courthouse

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

By the war’s end in 1865, the state was scorched and struggling to rebuild its prosperity, an impossible task without the free labor of slaves. In 1876 architect Osborn Wells was hired to remodel the courthouse. To exhibit hope and strength in an economically-devastated South Carolina, he added two porticoes, each with three prominent columns, and designed a bas-relief that depicted the spirit of the state at the time.

Newberry Courthouse

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2014 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Seen in the bas-relief is an eagle – symbolizing our nation – carrying an uprooted palmetto tree, representing the state. On the tree’s roots sits a fighting gamecock, said to be “crowing defiantly.” At the tree’s crown is a dove holding an olive branch.

Newberry Courthouse

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This courthouse was used until 1906 is now a community hall. A fifth courthouse was built in 1908 and is still in use. The Old Newberry County Courthouse is listed in the National Register:

The Old Court House, erected 1852, was designed by Jacob Graves and built by James Damron. An outstanding example of Greek Revival architecture in stuccoed brick, the building has six fluted, Tuscan columns which support a massive, triangular pediment. The intricate Doric entablature includes a frieze design of alternating triglyphs and undecorated metopes and regulas of architrave and mutules of cornice decorated with guttae. The building’s elaborate detail and massive proportions attest to the affluence of pre-Civil War Newberry County.

During Reconstruction, Osborne Wells was assigned the task of remodeling the courthouse. Wells’ additions included two-column porticos at side entrances and a bas-relief mounted on the frontal pediment. This bas-relief depicts the spirit of the prostrate state: a U.S. eagle holds an uprooted palmetto tree in its talons; perched upon the tree roots is a gamecock crowing defiantly; at the top of the tree a dove bears an olive branch. This building, the fourth in a series of five County Courthouses, was used for court sessions between 1852 and 1906.

Old Newberry County Courthouse Info

Address: 1207 Caldwell Street, Newberry, SC 29108
GPS Coordinates: 34.274592,-81.619750

Old Newberry County Courthouse Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!

Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!


Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks


Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Alcolu Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Erhardt Eutawville Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Great Falls Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Hodges Holly Hill Honea Path Hopkins Hotels & Inns Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Lowndesville Manning Marion Mars Bluff McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinewood Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Prosperity Ravenel Restaurants Ridgeland Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Santee Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Sunsets Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Ware Shoals Waterfalls Water Towers Wedgefield West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York