About the Little Mountain Reunion

Every year, the town of Little Mountain hosts the "Little Mountain Town Reunion" during the month of August. The Little Mountain Reunion is one of South Carolina’s oldest folk festivals. It began in 1882, as an effort by a person connected to Newberry College for encouraging local class reunions, the hope being that it would generate interest in the new college. The college experienced a number of set-backs since its organization; misused by Federal troops during the Civil War, moved to Walhalla in the upper part of South Carolina, and finally back to Newberry, the county seat of Newberry County. Because most people traveled either on two or four feet due to the lack of trains and automobiles, meeting places were selected mainly on the convenience of their location.

The Newberry Observer documents that in 1882 this group met first at Corinth Lutheran Church across the Saluda River. It was probably in the next year, or possibly the following year, that the officials decided to try the site at Little Mountain. The event was so successful that it was decided by those present that each year a Newberry College Reunion would be held at the foot of Little Mountain. The even took place on property recently purchased by A. N. Boland from Frederick Henry Dominick. He was quite agreeable to this plan and for many years prepared and sold barbecue, rice and hash, lemonade, and ice-cream to those who attended. For those who wished to bring along their own picnic, tables were erected between trees. Every year, people came riding in on horseback or in buggies, wagons, carts, etc. Then in 1890 when the first train came through Little Mountain, old-timers recall how more coaches were added at reunion time to bring people from Irmo, Ballentine, White Rock, Hilton, Chapin, Clinton, Goldville, Kinards, Prosperity, Newberry and Slighs.

A typical Little Mountain Reunion afforded not only a time to renew friendships made at school but the time to catch up on political thinking and the state of politics in the Dutch Fork. A welcoming address by the president of Newberry College made everyone feel at home and gave a pretty good idea of the state of the college.

These reunions became a traditional part of the community, situated in the heart of the Dutch Fork area, and were eagerly anticipated by everybody in the area. The simple pleasures afforded here along with the community spirit helped maintain the reunion until the eve of World War II.

In 1976, the Town of Little Mountain and the Ruritan Club decided to renew the reunion as a bicentennial project. The idea generated a great deal of enthusiasm in the town. The festival was such a success that the Little Mountain Association was formed and the Little Mountain Reunion again became an annual affair.

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