South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

Faith Cabin Library at Seneca Junior College, Oconee County (298 S. Poplar St., Seneca)
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Fire Place

The Faith Cabin Library at Seneca Junior College is significant for its role in African American education and social history in South Carolina between 1937 and 1939. This building, constructed in 1937 and known as the Oberlin Unit because it was largely the result of the interest and efforts of students at Oberlin College in Ohio, is important on a local level for its impact on the African American community in Oconee County, and on the state level as one of only two remaining free-standing Faith Cabin Libraries extant of the thirty built in South Carolina between 1932 and 1943. The Faith Cabin Library at Seneca Junior College was a part of the larger Faith Cabin Library program created by Willie Lee Buffington, a white mill worker who later became a Methodist minister and college professor, that offered library services to rural African Americans in South Carolina. The segregation laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century barred African Americans from using other library facilities beyond what was offered in Columbia and Charleston. The black community in Seneca was one of the thirty communities fortunate to participate in the Faith Cabin Library program. With donated money and timber from the community, and books from the students of Oberlin College, Buffington established the library, a free-standing two-room log cabin, on the campus of Seneca Junior College. When the Faith Cabin Library program began, the faculty of the college contacted Buffington to build a library on the campus. The library remained open for only two years, when in 1939 Seneca Junior College closed its doors due in part to the construction of a new black high school nearby and the economic impact of the Great Depression. It is the only building remaining from the Seneca Junior College campus. Listed in the National Register November 14, 2012.

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