Barber House

Barber House

Barber House is a historic house located in Hopkins, South Carolina. The Barber House, which according to family tradition was constructed ca. 1880 and expanded in the early twentieth century, is significant for its association during the late nineteenth century with the South Carolina Land Commission, a unique attempt by a southern state to give freedmen the opportunity to own land.

Although many freedmen eventually lost their land, the land on which the Barber House is located has remained in the same family since 1872.

The numerous additions made to the house in the early twentieth century reflect the growing prosperity of this African American family in the years after the Civil War.

In 1872, Samuel Barber, a former slave, purchased the forty-two and one-half acre lot. In 1879, his wife, Harriet, also a former slave, made the final payment and received title to the property.

According to family tradition, Samuel Barber founded St. John’s Baptist Church near Hopkins. After the deaths of Samuel Barber in 1891 and Harriet Barber in 1899, their son John and his wife Mamie Holly lived in the house, where they raised eleven children. In addition to farming the property, John Barber was a public school teacher for approximately forty-five years and a Baptist preacher for over sixty years.

The house has remained in the Barber family. It is a rectangular, one-story, frame building with weatherboard siding. Various additions have been made to the rear of the house more than doubling the size of the building.

The Barber House was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on March 27, 1986.

The Barber House is now a living history museum and open to the public.