South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Pomaria — Pomaria, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Newberry County  |  Pomaria

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The Town of Pomaria in Newberry County may have fewer than 200 residents, but it has a surprisingly rich history. Initially called Countsville, Pomaria was established in the mid-eighteenth century by German, Swiss, and Dutch settlers striving to escape the persecution and poverty that followed the Thirty Years’ War. These settlers brought with them a strong religious heritage, and in 1830 the South Carolina Lutheran Synod chose to open a seminary here which later evolved into Newberry College.

Pomaria Storefront

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

By 1840 town had changed its name to Pomaria, the same year William Summer opened his renowned Pomaria Nursery at the site of his home, the Summers-Huggins House pictured below. The root of the town’s name – pomology – is the study of fruit cultivation. Summer’s extensive knowledge in this realm, particularly in cultivating new varieties of fruits, made Pomaria a distinguished agricultural district. By 1851 the Newberry to Columbia Railway had been completed, which included a stop in Pomaria. The little town was booming.

Summers Huggins House

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1865, at the end of the Civil War, Union troops ravaged most of South Carolina – Pomaria included. The railroad was destroyed, and the nursery went bankrupt. Summers attempted to rebuild his business and offered a catalog with 338 varieties in 1878. He died shortly afterwards, and his family members closed the nursery for good.

Pomaria Marker

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The town suffered great difficulties during and after Reconstruction, as did most of the South. In the early twentieth century, Pomaria was designated a site for a Rosenwald school. Rosenwald schools were built throughout the rural south to educate African-American children living in poverty. Funding for these schools was provided by Sears and Roebuck president Julius Rosenwald, and the schools were named in his honor. The Hope Rosenwald School (seen below) was built in 1925 and operated until 1954, when the United States Supreme Court ruled that a separate-but-equal educational system – under which the Hope School operated – was unlawful.

Hope School

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Hikers along the Peak-to-Prosperity portion of the Palmetto Trail, a hiking path that utilizes abandoned railways, will pass through this little town with a fascinating history.

Pomaria Info

Address: Holloway Street, Pomaria, SC 29126
GPS Coordinates: 34.268532,-81.419829

Pomaria Map

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15 Comments about Pomaria

Miriam Allen says:
March 17th, 2019 at 4:52 pm

I am Miriam Allen. My grandmother’s name was Julia Counts, born either 1901 or 1904. She married Perry Wilson, born 1881, in 1922. I am looking for “Counts” related to me in the Newberry area.

Robert Counts, Jr. says:
December 28th, 2018 at 11:51 am

My name is Robert Counts, Jr. born in Columbia, SC (1949) and father Robert Counts, Sr. born in Pomaria around 1925. Father Forest Counts and Mother Mamie Henderson-Counts – all 3 deceased and all born in Pomaria but moved to Columbia in 1930s. Father Robert – a WWll, Korea, and Vietnam Veteran – spent much of his young life in the military, retiring in 1969, so didn’t know many in his family. Had one brother, Thomas J. Counts, also deceased, so we children of the Counts never really knew our Pomaria background but has heard a lot about Countsville in Newberry and Lake Murray area. Thank you for these readings. Robert Jr. aka Bobby Counts, II, Columbia, SC!

SC Picture Project says:
October 17th, 2018 at 12:18 pm

Curtis, we are so sorry to hear about the passing of your grandmother. The easiest way we know of to locate people is to utilize the free search option located at Just enter the first and last name and a location, it will populate likely results. Hope this helps!

Curtis Sims says:
October 16th, 2018 at 8:51 pm

My grandmother is from Pomaria, she recently passed on 10/12/2018, she was 102. I am trying to find my kin folk. Can you give me information about Pomaria? I am the second grandson out of 33, any advice would help, thank you.

Pam says:
January 26th, 2018 at 12:50 pm

My grandmother’s brother’s name is Joe Free from Pomaria. They are of the indigenous Cherokee nation meaning original Cherokee before the colonist arrived.

Pam Brown says:
June 17th, 2017 at 7:20 pm

Hi, my maternal side of family are also “Free” from Newberry County, SC and Pomaria. We could be related! Feel free to email me.

SCIWAY says:
May 10th, 2017 at 5:50 pm

Hello Diane, we did a little googling to try and find information on the Free family but nothing has jumped out at us yet to show why the streets were named for the family. Have you tried reaching out to the Newberry County Historical Society? We did find a website for them with some e-mail addresses that would be of some help. Here is the link with a list of contact e-mails. Good luck on your search!

Diane Wilson says:
May 8th, 2017 at 9:08 am

My birth name is Diane Free. I am trying to find information on anything about the Free family. I am an African American I have family here in Pomaria but I saw a street named after Joe Free and wanted to know if there was any info you could give me. I would appreciate it.

Rema Thomas says:
January 25th, 2018 at 6:54 pm

Carrie, we moved to 4684 St Paul Road this past summer! Have you lived here a long time? I would like to get to know folks out here if you are interested! Thank you!

Michael Hine says:
September 23rd, 2017 at 12:11 pm

Hello Carrie, my name is Michael, I don’t think I can give you any history on your home but I am a pharmaceutical courier that travels through Pomaria and a big time history buff and metal detectorist always looking for new property to search. If I can get permission I’ll be more than happy to give you anything that I find relating to your home.

Carrie says:
January 8th, 2017 at 10:42 pm

I live in one of the old homes that still stand in Pomaria. Maybe you can give me more history on my home, 111 St. Paul’s Road.

SCIWAY says:
November 30th, 2015 at 9:18 am

We could not find a marker for Thurmon Ruth in the Historical Marker Database.

Clyde Pickens says:
November 27th, 2015 at 3:21 pm

Pomaria was the birthplace of Thurmon Ruth, founder of the legendary Selah Jubilee Singers and promoter of gospel music at the Apollo Theater in Harlem. Is there a commemorative marker somewhere in town?

SCIWAY says:
August 18th, 2014 at 5:07 am

Congratulations to you and your wife on your new family member! We are dog lovers at SCIWAY and own a few rescues ourselves! Pomeranians, the breed, are named for the European region from where they originated. The town of Pomaria is named for its history of fruit cultivation – called pomology. We think it’s a sweet name for your sweet pup! Enjoy!

NealD says:
August 18th, 2014 at 12:48 am

My wife and I just rescued a Pomeranian dog from Gaffney. On the way home to Myrtle Beach, we noticed the name of the town, Pomaria. We’re thinking of naming her with the same name! To your knowledge, has that happened before? Hope to hear from you. Thanks. Neal


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