Historic Markers Across South Carolina

The English School

Marker ID: SCHM 37-15
Location: Corner of S. Church and Short Sts., Walhalla, SC
County: Oconee
Style: Free Standing **


Walhalla, in what was Pickens District until Oconee County was created in 1868, was founded by the German Colonization Society of Charleston in 1850 and boasted as many as 500 German settlers by 1855. The first school offering instruction in English opened in a frame building on Church Street between mid-1850 and late 1852. It was described in January 1853 as “a good English school on the square attended by twenty German children.”

Prof. G.H.D. Cramer was the first teacher at this elementary school for younger German children. In late 1853, St. John´s Evangelical Lutheran Church was formally organized with Rev. Carl F. Bansemer as its first pastor and as professor at the English school. Bansemer was also professor of a classical academy founded in 1857. When he left Walhalla in 1860, Prof. Cramer resumed teaching at the English school and remained until his death in 1874.

Erected by the Oconee County Arts and Historical Commission, 2007