2017-08-18 / Travel

Pineville, a frontier village - Part 2: Academy

By Warner M. Montgomery, Ph.D.


The early schools built by Pineville parents for their children looked like this before being replaced by modern Berkeley County schools in the 1940s. The early schools built by Pineville parents for their children looked like this before being replaced by modern Berkeley County schools in the 1940s. The small village of Pineville was incorporated by the State of South Carolina in 1805. The first order of urgency was a chapel constructed in the center of the village in 1810.

The town’s leaders then established an academy for their children after deciding they could finance the venture if they charged an annual $50 tuition per child. This would pay a headmaster’s annual salary and provide a teacherage ( home for the headmaster plus beds for 14 students).

The ambitious citizens immediately put their slaves to work building a church with aid from the bishop. With that done, they built a schoolhouse with a fireplace and chimney at one end. A separate shed was built for student recitations.

They advertised in Charleston newspapers for a headmaster who would be paid $1,200 a year and stating the Pineville Academy would instruct young boys and girls in the classics: Greek, Latin, literature, philosophy, and history. Tuition was $50/year. School hours would be 8 am to noon and 2:30 to 5:30 pm, separated by a meal and siesta time.


Understanding the importance of education, the Pineville citizens built a school and hired a teacher. Understanding the importance of education, the Pineville citizens built a school and hired a teacher. The early headmasters were Alpheus Baker of New Hampshire, Mr. Lowry of Chesterfield, S.C., Mr. Snowden the pastor at the St. Stephen’s Church, and Charles Stephens who resigned, opened a store in Pineville, became wealthy, bought Cedar Grove Plantation, and died in 1833.

The Pineville Academy closed in 1836 due to The Fever, reopened in 1842, and closed in 1861 due to the Civil War.

Continued Next Week

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