Barnwell, South Carolina

Barnwell, South Carolina

Infobox Settlement
official_name = Barnwell, South Carolina
settlement_type = City
nickname =
motto =

imagesize =
image_caption =


mapsize = 250px
map_caption = Location of Barnwell, South Carolina

mapsize1 =
map_caption1 =

subdivision_type = Country
subdivision_name = United States
subdivision_type1 = State
subdivision_name1 = South Carolina
subdivision_type2 = County
subdivision_name2 = Barnwell

government_footnotes =
government_type =
leader_title =
leader_name =
leader_title1 =
leader_name1 =
established_title =
established_date =

unit_pref = Imperial
area_footnotes =

area_magnitude =
area_total_km2 = 20.1
area_land_km2 = 19.8
area_water_km2 = 0.4
area_total_sq_mi = 7.8
area_land_sq_mi = 7.6
area_water_sq_mi = 0.1

population_as_of = 2000
population_footnotes =
population_total = 5035
population_density_km2 = 254.6
population_density_sq_mi = 659.5

timezone = Eastern (EST)
utc_offset = -5
timezone_DST = EDT
utc_offset_DST = -4
elevation_footnotes =
elevation_m = 66
elevation_ft = 217
latd = 33 |latm = 14 |lats = 40 |latNS = N
longd = 81 |longm = 21 |longs = 48 |longEW = W

postal_code_type = ZIP codes
postal_code = 29812-29813
area_code = 803
blank_name = FIPS code
blank_info = 45-04060GR|2
blank1_name = GNIS feature ID
blank1_info = 1244965GR|3
website =
footnotes =

Barnwell is a city in Barnwell County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 5,035 at the 2000 census. It is the county seat of Barnwell CountyGR|6.


Barnwell is located at coor dms|33|14|40|N|81|21|48|W|city (33.244534, -81.363214)GR|1.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.8 square miles (20.2 km²), of which, 7.6 square miles (19.8 km²) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.4 km²) of it (1.80%) is water.


As of the censusGR|2 of 2000, there were 5,035 people, 2,035 households, and 1,353 families residing in the city. The population density was 659.5 people per square mile (254.8/km²). There were 2,304 housing units at an average density of 301.8/sq mi (116.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 49.81% White, 47.37% African American, 0.40% Native American, 1.05% Asian, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.34% from other races, and 0.99% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.62% of the population.

There were 2,035 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.2% were married couples living together, 22.1% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.5% were non-families. 30.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.42 and the average family size was 3.01.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.4% under the age of 18, 8.9% from 18 to 24, 27.6% from 25 to 44, 20.3% from 45 to 64, and 14.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females there were 86.8 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.7 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,722, and the median income for a family was $37,841. Males had a median income of $35,039 versus $21,912 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,709. About 20.4% of families and 22.0% of the population were below the poverty line, including 30.5% of those under age 18 and 16.7% of those age 65 or over.


The county was originally part of Orangeburg District, and in 1785 it was named Winton County. It was given its current name in 1798 when the County and its seat were named for Revolutionary War leader John Barnwell (1748-1800), who headed a militia in South Carolina. Barnwell County originally stretched from the Savannah River on the west almost to the Atlantic Ocean.

Built in 1832, the South Carolina Railroad connected Charleston to Hamburg on the Savannah River. Hamburg was near Augusta, Georgia. This was the first steam railroad in the world. The railroad went through the middle of the county. Two stops on the railroad created the towns of Blackville, South Carolina and Williston, South Carolina in the mid-nineteenth century.

Built in 1858, the sundial in Barnwell is often thought to be the only remaining vertical freestanding sundial in the USA. It was surrounded by a parking lot in the 1960’s but in the 1990s the Town of Barnwell removed the parking, built a park, and made the sundial a focal point. Another, of more recent construction, exists in front of the Wise County Courthouse in Texas [The Wise County Courthouse Sundial can be seen here [] ] , and there may be more.

Civil War

Barnwell gave generously to the Confederate cause; the most distinguished person was General Johnson Hagood, who was later governor of South Carolina. Soon after Hagood's election, one of his constituents asked him if he wished to be called "General" or "Governor". "Call me General," Hagood said, with a twinkle in his eye, "I fought for that and begged for the other."

Barnwell was hated by General Sherman; he felt that the town should be burnt to the ground since it carried the name of one of the most prominent politicians who had demanded South Carolina’s withdrawal from the Union. When Major Kilpatrick’s cavalry marched through Barnwell, they used the Church of the Holy Apostles, erected in 1856, as a stable for his horses. The hoof prints are still visible in the floors. The medieval font in the church was used to water the horses.

Built of cypress wood from the local swamps, the Church of the Holy Apostles was constructed in 17xx and has been listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

Barnwell County has decreased in size over the years as new counties were created within its boundaries (Aiken in 1871, Bamberg in 1897 and Allendale in 1919).

avannah River Site

In 1950 the federal government asked Eleuthère Irénée du Pont to build and operate a plutonium production plant near the Savannah River in South Carolina. The company had unmatched expertise in atomic energy, having designed and built the plutonium production complex at the Hanford site, for the Manhattan Project during World War II. A large portion of farmland was bought under eminent domain and converted to the Savannah River Site (formerly known as the Savannah River Plant - SRP) managed by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission.

Several towns and over 100 cemeteries were relocated during this time. Dunbarton and Ellenton are but two. Dunbarton was the town in which Duncannon was located; it was once a sprawling wildlife preserve and early 19th century plantation. Former President George H. W. Bush, with his brothers, used to visit their grandfather George Herbert Walker at the plantation. He and his family spent many Christmases there. Union General William T. Sherman allegedly spared the plantation, built in 1835, because a woman and sick child were resting in a bedroom upstairs

US Army soldiers were brought into the county and were used as guards at this new facility. A camp was constructed for the soldiers off of Clinton Street in an area of the Little Salkehatchie swamp called O’Bannon Point. Most locals call this road “Barracks Road”. After discharge, many of these troops stayed on at SRP as civilian guards.

DuPont ran the Savannah River Site until 1989, when Westinghouse began the management of the facilities for the Department of Energy. The Savannah River Plant changed its name to the Savannah River Site. It was once one of the largest employers in the county.

Notable People

*Legendary entertainer James Brown was born in the Snelling area of Barnwell in 1933. He moved to Augusta to live with his aunt at the age of 6.
*The county was the home of several powerful state politicians, known collectively as the "Barnwell Ring." Included were state Senator Edgar A. Brown (1888-1975), Speaker of the House Solomon Blatt, Sr. (1895-1986), and Governor Joseph E. Harley (1880-1942).
*The South Carolina poet and novelist, William Gilmore Simms, lived most of his life in the county. The county was also home Louis M. Shook, the first Baptist missionary sent to China. Mr. Shook is buried in the Baptist churchyard in Barnwell.
*Troy Brown- Patriots wide receiver.
*Henry Louis Wallace -serial killer.
*James O'H. Patterson (1857-1911) - United States Representative from South Carolina.
*R. Winston Morris - professional tuba player and teacher.


External links

* []

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