Edgefield County - Bettis Academy Virtual Tour

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Rev. Alexander Bettis, a former slave who could read but couldn't write, established Bettis Academy in 1882 to provide education for African-Americans in South Carolina. Bettis Academy provided both day and boarding options for its students.

Bettis Academy and Junior College, which closed in 1952, played an important role in the education of African American students in what are now Edgefield, Aiken, Greenwood, and Saluda counties.

Between 1900 and 1945, Bettis Academy expanded its student body to more than 1,000 students, its campus to fourteen buildings on 350 acres, and its curriculum to include instruction from first grade through junior college level. Three buildings remain on what was once the campus of Bettis Academy and Junior College. These include the Alexander Bettis Community Library, constructed in 1938 by students; the Classroom Building, constructed c. 1935 by students; and Biddle Hall, constructed in 1942 for a home economics unit.