The WPA’s 1941 “Guide to the Palmetto State” informs us that Due West was often called “The Holy City” as the Sabbath quiet was so cherished here. Today this is still a peaceful town twelve miles north of Abbeville, with beautiful 19th century homes and the leafy, manicured campus of Erskine College. It offers residents and visitors a high quality of life in a community that grew up around a church and college.
Prior to the Revolution, Due West was another trading post on the Cherokee path but its history is closely interwoven with the Associate Reformed Presbyterian (ARP) Church. In 1835 the ARP Synod of the South voted to establish a classical school there. Then, in 1839 the curriculum was expanded into a four-year college and, as the college was born, so was the modern town. The first intendant (Mayor), Squire James Lindsay, being the chief builder of both the college and the town, forged the links that still exist today.
Due West and Erskine College continued to thrive early in the twentieth century. From 1908 until 1939, Robert Galloway’s Due West Railroad, though only four miles long, connected the town and college with the main railroad in Donalds. Despite some setbacks since then, the town and college have managed to flourish. In 1983 the Due West Retirement Center, now Covenant Way opened adding a new economic dimension to the area. The Retirement Center has been so successful that it has expanded to include a brand new full care nursing facility, the Carlisle Nursing Center.
Erskine, too, has continued to go from strength to strength and its beautiful 85-acre campus blends the old with the new. The Bowie Arts Center, opened in 1995, is an impressive two-story exhibition hall and makes the college an arts center of the region through its permanent and monthly exhibits, including a world class collection of antique music boxes and instruments. The latest building on campus is the Daniel Moultrie Science Center dedicated in 1999, one of the finest science teaching facilities in the region continuing Erskine’s tradition of outstanding academic excellence.