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Bamberg City

Bamberg City Hall is located at 2340 Main Highway, Bamberg, SC 29003; phone: 803-245-5128.

Beginnings [1]

The town of Bamberg began about 1832 when a water tower was built at a point called variously Seventy-six, Simmon's Turnout and Lowery's Turnout, on the Charleston to Hamburg rail line. A small village soon grew around this turnout. About 1855 the village was incorporated as Bamberg in honor of William Seaborn Bamberg, who had settled in the area in the 1840s and contributed much to the development of the community. By 1860 stores and residences lined Railroad Avenue, laid out along the tracks as the town's first street. The Civil War dealt harshly with Bamberg. Always a trading and railroad center, it suffered as money became scarce and rail service more erratic. General Sherman's troops destroyed several buildings in Bamberg, including the depot, as well as the railroad tracks for miles on either side of town. Efforts to revitalize the town were begun in the 1870s led by General Francis Marion Bamberg, brother of William Seaborn Bamberg, Colonel T.J. Counts, and H.J. Brabham. Railroad Avenue continued as the main residential street in this period joined by the present Carlisle, Cannon, Church, Fifth, Second, and Faust Streets among others.

By 1890 Bamberg was entering its most prosperous era. Population was about 1,600. Many of the middle- and upper-income citizens constructed homes along Railroad Avenue and its side streets which now included Third Street, North Street, and extensions of Cannon, Carlisle, and Second Streets.

During this decade several events occurred to spur the town's development. About 1892, a group of prominent local citizens, including Mayor E.R. Hays, General Francis Marion Bamberg, and H.J. Brabham incorporated and constructed the Bamberg Cotton Mill.

  1. Suzanne Pickens Wylie and John Wells, National Register Staff; Margaret Lawrence; Margaret Marion, Lower Savannah Council of Governments, Bamberg Historic District, Bamberg County South Carolina, nomination document, 1983, National Park Service, National Register of Historic Places, Washington, D.C.
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