Newberry County was one of six counties created from Ninety Six District in 1785. In 1789 John Coate donated two acres here for a courthouse and public square. When additional land was surveyed the town was laid out in 25 one-acre squares of four lots each. Originally called Newberry Village and later Newberry Court House, the town was first incorporated in 1832. Its population grew dramatically after the Greenville & Columbia RR reached here in 1851.
Newberry County, founded in 1856, opened in 1859. The population almost doubled between 1860 and 1890 after the arrival of the Newberry & Chester and Newberry & Augusta RR. It grew still more during the boom generated by three textile mills, Newberry (1885), Mollohon (1901), and Oakland (1912). The Newberry Opera House, built in 1881-82 and restored in 1995-98, is a vibrant community theater hosting a wide range of concerts and other events.