Downer Institute & SchoolDowner Institute, founded in 1843, was originally located 1.5 mi. NE of this site and operated until 1865. It was named for benefactor Alexander Downer (1752-1820), whose will established an orphanage and school at Beech Island. By 1898 the General Assembly, at the request of Aiken County citizens, reestablished Downer School for the community at large; the school reopened in 1899.
Downer School, 1924-1986Downer Elementary School, successor to the Downer Institute, stood here 1924-1950 and 1952-1986. A one-story school built here in 1924 replaced a two-story school constructed ? mi. SW in 1899, which burned in 1923-24. It burned in 1950 and was replaced by a second one-story school built in 1952, which served the Beech Island community until Downer Elementary School closed in 1986.