Orangeburg Out of the Past

Old Mellichamp School, 1909: Pictured is the old Mellichamp School. It was the first building constructed for the newly formed public school system in Orangeburg that started around 1890. It was built in 1894 on Sellers Avenue. In the early years it was known as the Graded School, but after …

Russell Street at Broughton Street, 1922: This scene, looking east from the intersection of Broughton Street and Russell Street, reveals an unusual middle of the street parking pattern. Policemen, as above, were stationed to manually turn the stop signs before the advent of traffic lights. T…

Woody Culler’s 5th Birthday Party, 1943: Woody Culler, Jr., son of a prominent Orangeburg family, celebrated his 5th birthday in 1943 with his cousins and friends at his parents’ home on the North Road. These children had a marvelous time playing together and eating ice cream and birthday cake.

W.J. Stoudenmire and Manuel Black, c. 1950: For many years W. J. Stoudenmire and Manuel Black were mainstays on the faculty at Orangeburg High School. Mr. Stoudenmire taught Shop and Mechanical Drawing, while Mr. Black taught Agriculture. In Mr. Black’s college days at Clemson in the early 1…

Pictured is the Orangeburg American Legion Post 4 baseball team from 1960 when they were the runners-up in the South Carolina state championships. Orangeburg has been a powerhouse many times in the past in South Carolina. Pictured above are: Front: Al Livingston, batboy. First Row: Sammy Gun…

Sen. Joe Biden in Orangeburg, 2007: Former Senator and Vice President of the United States Joe Biden is shown here in March of 2007 when he addressed the Kiwanis Club of Orangeburg. He was campaigning in Orangeburg at that time for the upcoming 2008 Democratic Primary. Sen. Biden returned to…

Boy Scout Troop 45, 1955: Scouting has always been involved in molding character and service values in young men. For many years Troop 45 has had a tremendous program in Orangeburg. Pictured here are some of these boys in 1955 with legendary scoutmaster, Lawrence Garick. From left to right, …

Edisto Memorial Gardens, c.1950: Orangeburg’s Edisto Memorial Gardens have mesmerized many visitors with its beauty and grandeur through the years. Seen in the above picture are visitors around 1950 strolling along the banks of the river and enjoying the beautiful azaleas in full bloom.

Orangeburg had an all-star baseball team that would play against neighboring towns in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pictured above is one of these local teams from around 1907 to 1910. First Row: Cecil Culler, pitcher; LeRoy Van Orsdale, catcher; Joe Brunson, manager and pitcher. Second Ro…

Dr. Geb Runager, 1960: Orangeburg mourns the recent passing of Dr. (Coach) Geb Runager. Dr. Runager devoted his entire life to turning students and athletes into good citizens here in Orangeburg. From coaching students in sports, to being an outstanding elementary school principal, to foster…

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department, 1949: The Sheriff’s department was responsible for maintaining the peace throughout the county. In this era resident deputies were assigned areas around the various towns in the county. From left to right: Front Row: George Shuler, Carolyn Fogle(later …

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Department, 1949: The Sheriff’s department was responsible for maintaining the peace throughout the county. In this era resident deputies were assigned areas around the various towns in the county. From left to right: Front Row: George Shuler, Carolyn Fogle(later …

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Mrs. Isabel Whaley Sloan: From 1949 to about 1985, Mrs. Isabel Whaley Sloan came to Orangeburg to teach children ballroom dancing, manners, and social etiquette. She was a legend all across South Carolina for her classes and leadership in instilling the social graces to her students. In Oran… Read more

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The Young America Co., as it was first known, was the first volunteer fire department in Orangeburg. It was established in 1854 after a terrible fire destroyed much of the downtown business district. Their fire station, pictured above, was erected in front of the parsonage of First Baptist C… Read more

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The Young America Co., as it was first known, was the first volunteer fire department in Orangeburg. It was established in 1854 after a terrible fire destroyed much of the downtown business district. Their fire station, pictured above, was erected in front of the parsonage of First Baptist C… Read more

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Orangeburg High School, Girls’ Basketball Team, 1934-35: Pictured is the girls’ basketball team from Orangeburg High School for the academic year 1934-1935. Front Row: Mary Louise Player, Elma Bonnette, Frances Jeffords, Ida Moran (Team Captain), Margaret Castleberry, Elizabeth Chestnut, Jan… Read more

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Orangeburg native started Clemson’s illustrious football program: Orangeburg native, Walter Riggs, started Clemson’s first football team in 1896. He grew up in a large house at the corner of Broughton and Russell Streets here in town. Today, an abandoned bank building occupies this site. Read more

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Melicue Metts: Melicue Metts died last week at age 92 after a long career in education in Orangeburg. He was an outstanding coach and administrator in Orangeburg School District 5. His 1962 track team at Orangeburg High School won the state championship. In 1963 his Orangeburg High girls’ ba… Read more

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Ice storms: Late January and early February brought devastating ice storms in 2004 and 10 years later in 2014. Ice storm PAX in 2014 (pictured) resulted in more than 364,000 electrical outages and more than $260 million in damage throughout the state, much of it resulting from falling trees … Read more

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Demolition of the Old Hospital, 1985: After the Orangeburg Regional Hospital moved to newer and more modern facilities on the St. Matthews Road in 1981, the older portions on the front of the old hospital on Carolina Avenue were razed. This allowed for the refurbishing of the newer additions… Read more

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DENMARK  --  Rev. Rhonda D. Brooks-Heyward a 1994 graduate of Voorhees College, was recently appointed the new pastor of Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal Church in Edisto Island, S.C. Read more

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New Post Office, 1969: By the late 1960s, Orangeburg had outgrown its Post Office facility on the Square. Thus a new one was constructed on Middleton Street to meet the current needs. Pictured here is the new Post Office under construction in 1969. It was occupied in 1970. Read more

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Elder Hop: For nearly a decade, a New Year’s Day event was held in downtown Orangeburg as a fundraiser for the Orangeburg County Council on Aging's Meals on Wheels program. Elder Hop featured the traditional New Year's good luck meal complete with Hoppin' John, collard greens and corn bread.… Read more

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Old Riley Street Christmas: Julian and Evelyn Stroman stand in front of their elaborate Christmas display on Old Riley Street in December 2004. The wonderland that entertained generations in Orangeburg for 50 years began as a Christmas present for their daughter. A small manger came first, f… Read more

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First Orangeburg Assembly Debutante Ball, 1961: December is the month when many debutante balls occur where young ladies are officially introduced into society. The Orangeburg Assembly was founded in 1961 by several local ladies. Pictured here are the debutantes presented that first year. Fi… Read more

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Bowman Candlelight Christmas Parade, 2007: Members of the Orangeburg Line Dancers brought lots of Christmas cheer to those viewing the Town of Bowman's Candlelight Christmas Parade. The theme the holiday procession was "Enchanting the Holidays with the Spirit of Joy." Read more

Farmers’ Market Site, 1971: Pictured here are several buildings at the corner of Russell and Church Streets in 1971. In recent years this has been the site of a parking lot with a mural on the side of the old Sifly Building. The new Farmers’ Market Pavilion will be built on this site next ye…

Courthouse Square, c. 1920: By this time automobiles had pretty well replaced horses and buggies in Orangeburg. The Orangeburg Hotel is on the left, the Elk’s Club building is in the center, and the Post Office is on the right.

Children's Garden Christmas in Edisto Memorial Gardens is in its 26th year. The City of Orangeburg's lights in the famous gardens continue to draw huge crowds from Thanksgiving through New Year's. Additions have been made across the years. Admission remains free. Here are photos and the T&am…

Local Militia on Parade, circa 1917: As we celebrate Veterans’ Day, Nov. 11, to honor all those who have served in our country’s military to protect the freedoms that we enjoy, this photograph is an example of those who have served. This is thought to be the local militia on parade adjacent …

Fil Mabry, Orangeburg’s Hospital Administrator, 1961-1993: Fil Mabry was an acknowledged leader in the field of hospital administration. His longtime tenure at the Regional Medical Center from 1961 to 1993 propelled our hospital into the forefront of health care. Mr. Mabry was responsible fo…

Orangeburg Baseball Team, circa 1907-1910: Orangeburg had an all-star baseball team that would play against neighboring towns in the late 1800s and early 1900s. Pictured above is one of these local teams from around 1907 to 1910. First row: Cecil Culler, pitcher; LeRoy Van Orsdale, catcher; …

Orangeburg High School’s First Football Team, 1913: First Row: Duck Wannamaker, Joe Gelzer, Pot Whittaker, Dink Wannamaker, Eddie Mirmow, Johnny Scoville, Lawrence Thackston. Second Row: Gus Rich, Chesley Wise, Mike Watson, Luther Sauls, Doc Bowman, Ernest Funderburk. Third Row: Doyle Sherif…

Nikki Haley wins GOP nomination for South Carolina's gubernatorial race, June 22, 2010: Nikki Haley, center, is joined on stage by her family, and former opponent, Attorney General Henry McMaster, left, after winning the Republican nomination for governor in Columbia, S.C., June 22, 2010. U.…

Orangeburg County Fair, Judge Hughes and Mrs. Annie Fogle, c. 1950s. Judge Hughes was the Secretary of the Orangeburg County Fair from 1911 until his death in 1970. Essentially the Secretary was the general manager in charge of the entire fair. He had the reputation as the best manager aroun…

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Over the course of three days in early October 2015, parts of The T&D Region and the Midlands received more than 20 inches of rain, leading to multiple dam failures, overloaded storm drains and the worst flooding many residents have ever experienced. That’s on top of the close to $1.2 mi…

L. Bennett & Co., 1915-1920: Over the years Mr. Leonard Bennett’s local business has included gun repairs, bicycle sales and repairs, automobile sales and repairs, and an automobile parts supply business. Standing in front are the staff from around 1915 to 1920, are left to right, Richie…

Hurricane Matthew’s winds ripped through The T&D Region Friday night, Oct. 7, and Saturday morning, Oct. 8, 2016, downing power lines and trees, including this iconic one at First Baptist Church in downtown Orangeburg. A peak wind gust of 64 mph was reported Oct. 8 at the Orangeburg Muni…

Aftermath of Hurricane Hugo, September 1989: The Old Rocks Plantation House near Rocks Pond Campground off Highway 6 in Eutawville sits amid the ruins of a forest of trees downed by Hurricane Hugo. The Rocks Pond area and subdivisions near Lake Marion looked like a war zone for months after …

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Avenue of the Oaks, 1950s. The beautiful oak trees lining the main entrance to The Oaks retirement community were planted by Mr. John Francis Brailsford of Shady Grove Nursery in the late 1940s when the Edgewood Sanitarium was then located in the former Hawthorne School of Aeronautics facili…

Coach Willie Jeffries, Nov. 24, 2001: South Carolina State University football players douse Coach Willie Jeffries with a cooler full of ice water on Saturday, Nov. 24, 2001, after the Bulldogs’ 16-10 victory over Norfolk State at Oliver C. Dawson Bulldog Stadium in Orangeburg. It was Jeffri…

In 2004: Pictured are Katelyn Huff joined by her younger cousins Hayden Player and Haley Hewitt, as they played in the water at the Edisto Memorial Gardens Spray Park. The park first opened to the public on May 27, 2004.

Albert J. Thackston, 1869-1953: A.J. “Cap” Thackston was the legendary superintendent for the Orangeburg public schools for forty nine years. He literally touched the lives of thousands of students, preparing them for the future. “Cap” Thackston was born in 1869 in Laurens County to Elijah R…

River Pavilion Construction, 1950: The new river pavilion at the Edisto River swimming area was built in 1950 by the city. Alec Brown, the city engineer, designed this building, as well as oversaw its construction. This new building replaced an earlier structure that was built around 1930. T…

Thurgood Marshall visits Orangeburg in 1955: Thurgood Marshall, then special counsel to the NAACP, visited Orangeburg in November 1955, speaking at Claflin University as an advocate for equal rights. Following the unanimous Brown vs. Board of Education decision, Marshall returned to South Ca…

Ladies’ Fountain, c. 1970: After the old Court house was torn down on the town square in 1928, City Councilman John Sifly was sent to find a suitable war memorial statue for the new landscaped town square. He returned with this statue of scantily clothed women. In 1951 when major upgrades we…

Wilkinson High Honor Society, 1952: The Wilkinson Honor Society in 1952 represented the outstanding students in that 1952 graduating class. Several of these class members went on to become successful physicians and dentists. Pictured above are these high achievers. Left to Right: First Row: …

Orangeburg Coca-Cola Bottling Co., 1941: For many years Coca-Cola products were only available in bottles. Featured here is a picture from 1941 showing the bottling process at the Orangeburg plant. The Orangeburg Coca-Cola Bottling Co. was established in 1904 by Robert Jennings, Sr., Perry M…

Orangeburg Fire Department Rescue Truck, early 1950s:  In 1951 the Orangeburg Fire Department added a rescue truck to its fleet to provide emergency care for local citizens. Pictured above are Will Stroman and Tommy Godowns with this truck and all of its equipment. 

Summertime in Orangeburg, c.1963: Three young Orangeburg boys had some fun in the summer of c. 1963 when they drove their pony cart to downtown Orangeburg. They are shown here parking on the Square. The buildings in the background are now part of the parking lot that formerly contained the m…

Dixie Library, Mae Riggs, Librarian, 1939: Orangeburg’s first library was the endeavor of a group of civic-minded ladies that was called the Dixie Club. It was started in 1896 by Mrs. Harry Wannamaker Sr. as a book club. By 1899 they had accumulated so many books that they started a library …

American Legion World Series: In 1966 Orangeburg hosted the American Legion Baseball World Series for the entire United States. These games were played at historic Mirmow Field. To increase the seating capacity, the end zone bleacher seats from the football stadium at the fairgrounds were mo…

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Main Building and Offices, c. 1954.  The Methodist Home for the Aging was the brainchild of Rev. J.F. M. Hoffmeyer. Beginning in the 1940s he implored the South Carolina Methodist  Church’s governing body, the Annual Conference, to start  a retirement home for Methodist senior citizens. It a…

Baseball has always been a favorite pastime in Orangeburg. This 1907 picture shows an Orangeburg all-star team that played other city all-star teams in the South Carolina League. Front row: DeArmond, umpire; Lawford, pitcher; Rickard, right field; and Lawrence Thackston, pitcher. Second Row:…

Orangeburg Festival of Roses 2000: These young performers at the Orangeburg Festival of Roses in 2000 are now young adults possibly with children of their own soon to become festival performers. The show goes on. The 47th annual Festival of Roses from May 3-6 will feature a wealth of enterta…

Branchville tornado 10 years ago: All the ingredients came together the night of March 15, 2008, for what weather officials called a perfect storm. Two of the twisters struck locally, one causing heavy damage in Branchville. The 150-mph tornado caused an estimated $2.2 million in insured and…

Orangeburg High School Golf Team, 1949: Pictured here are the members of the 1949 Orangeburg High School golf team. Left to Right: Bobby Boswell, Hank Mirmow, Tim Castleberry, and Ralph Irick. 

The first Masters: In 2001, then-Clemson President Dr. Jim Barker, left, presented Orangeburg Department of Public Utilities Director Emeritus Alan McC. Johnstone with a photograph of Clemson’s first golf team, of which Johnstone was a member. Johnstone, who died in 2006 at age 95, also held…

Edisto Memorial Gardens, 1950s:  The beautiful Edisto Memorial Gardens have graced Orangeburg for the last 90 years. The graceful splendor as seen here in the azalea garden in the 1950s has soothed the emotions of many visitors all through the years. Back in the 1950s the number of visitors …

1967: Claflin President Dr. Hubert V. Manning, first on right, played host to Benjamin F. Hooks (center), NAACP executive director, and Dr. M. Maceo Nance, left, president of South Carolina State College, at a special Founders’ Day program held at Claflin. This photo by Cecil Williams is fro…

Aerial View of Downtown Orangeburg, Mid to Late 1960s:  Downtown Orangeburg was a vibrant hub of activity when this aerial photograph was taken in the mid to late 1960s. The Square, officially known as Memorial Plaza, is in the upper left center area. Russell Street with the blocks on either…

Girls dorm at Claflin burns in 1955: The Mary E. Dunton Hall at Claflin was gutted by an early morning fire of suspicious origin on Feb. 6, 1955. Of this photo from his book “Freedom & Justice,” Orangeburg photographer Cecil Williams writes: “I was awakened about 4 a.m. by sirens and an …

Howards and Nances, 1968: Pictured above at a black tie social function in 1968 are the Robert Howards and the Maceo Nances. Dr. Howard was the legendary principal of Wilkinson High School as well as the Assistant Superintendent of School District Five for many years. Dr. Nance was the renow…

Aerial view of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School and Orangeburg Mall, circa 1972: Pictured is an aerial view of the Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School campus and the Orangeburg Mall area from around 1972. O-W was formed with the merger of the old Orangeburg High School and the Wilkinson High Sc…

Orangeburg School Board, 1939: The local school board in Orangeburg oversaw all the school operations and finances for the school district. Pictured here is the 1939 Orangeburg City School Board: Front row: James M. Green, Wallace C. Bethea(Chairman), Mrs. Harry(Lilla) Wannamaker, Sr. Back r…

Cleveland Sellers and his son Bakari were in the national spotlight this past week amid the observance of the 50th anniversary of the Orangeburg Massacre. Beyond 1968, Dr. Cleveland Sellers went on to a career culminating in the presidency of Voorhees College in Denmark. Bakari Sellers becam…

National Honor Society, Orangeburg High School, 1939: The charter for the first National Honor Society at Orangeburg High School was issued in 1939. Members were elected on four major characteristics: scholarship, leadership, character, and service. Here is the inaugural membership group in …

New River Pavilion Construction, 1950: A new river pavilion was constructed at the swimming area at the Edisto River back in 1950. This facility replaced the outdated original pavilion that was constructed around 1930. This new pavilion was designed by City Engineer Alec Brown, who also supe…

Mid-1960s: Shelly Thomas, first on left, and Ulysses Jarvis, far right, entertained the Orangeburg community with their special brand of jazz and popular music. This photo is from “Orangeburg 1968: A Place And Time Remembered,” a book by noted civil rights photographer Cecil Williams.

Orangeburg High School Girls’ Basketball Team, 1947: Pictured above is the 1947 girls’ basketball team at Orangeburg High School. This team was coached by Miss Lois Shuler. Left to Right: Front Row: Joan Bryant, Frances Ann Cox, Harriet Whisenhunt, Joyce Jackson, Kathleen Tyler. Second Row: …

1968: S.C. State President Dr. and Mrs. M. Maceo Nance, right, enjoy a Christmas formal in the student center accompanied by Dr. and Mrs. Robert E. Howard. The event was sponsored by Omega Psi Phi Fraternity. The photo by Cecil Williams is from his book, “Orangeburg 1968: A Place and Time Re…

Sunshine Pre-School Christmas Party with Santa Claus, December, 1951: In the days before public kindergarten existed there were several private pre-schools or kindergartens around Orangeburg. Shown here are the Sunshine Pre-School students at their Christmas Party with Santa Claus in Decembe…

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