Voorhees College Historic District

National Register Listing
Street Address:
Voorhees College Campus, Denmark, SC (Bamberg County)

NRHP Nomination

Record Number:
Description and Narrative:
Voorhees College was founded in 1897 as Denmark Industrial School by Miss Elizabeth Evelyn Wright. The Voorhees College Historic District is comprised of thirteen contributing buildings built between 1905 and 1935. The district’s significance is derived from its importance as a pioneer in higher education for African Americans in the area and from its association with Elizabeth Wright, teacher, humanitarian and founder of Voorhees. Elizabeth Wright’s determination to establish a school for poor African Americans based on the ideals of her mentor, Booker T. Washington, for whom the 1905 hospital was named, never wavered in the face of anger, distrust, and prejudice. Her high ideals inspired those who worked with her as well as her benefactors. In 1923 Voorhees became affiliated with the Protestant Episcopal Church and the American Church Institute for Negroes. Many of the buildings on campus were built by students at the campus. These brick buildings had leaded glass windows, curvilinear gables, dentil moldings, decorative brickwork, and cupolas. The buildings were not simply utilitarian but reflected an admiration for architectural design and a desire to master masonry techniques. Listed in the National Register January 21, 1982. Two contributing buildings, Blanton Hall and the Old Agricultural Building, are no longer extant as of 2019.
Period of Significance:
1904;20th century
Level of Significance:
Area of Significance:
Education;Architecture;Social History;Ethnic Heritage: Black
National Register Determination:
Date of Certification:
January 21 1982

Related places
Bamberg County