Berea (Sarah Dobey Jones) Branch

Hours closed

  • Mon-Thu • 9a-9p
  • Fri-Sat • 9a-6p
  • Sun • Closed
111 N Hwy 25 Bypass
Greenville, SC 29617

At This Branch

  • Ayuda en su idioma/Spanish speaker availability
  • Printing
  • Public computers
  • Scanning
  • Seed Library
  • Separate children’s computer area
  • WiFi access
  • Wireless printing

ADA Services

  • Full Page Magnifiers
  • Handheld Digital Magnifiers
  • Large Print Keyboard with High Contrast Keys

ADA Services Available Upon Request

  • MagnaLink Vision Video Magnifier
  • Talking Book Services
Seed Library

Seed Library

The Seed Library includes over fifty varieties of seed provided by generous donations from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, High Mowing Organic Seeds, Seed Savers Exchange, Slow Food Upstate, and Sow True Seeds. The seeds have been sorted, separated by type, packaged, and clearly labeled with information and instructions by Greater Greenville Master Gardeners and the Greenville County Soil and Water Conservation District.

Berea (Sarah Dobey Jones) Branch History

Somewhere northwest of Greenville - people disagree as to its boundaries - is the section known as Berea. The first settlers came after the Revolutionary War when the rich soil in the area between the Saluda River and Paris Mountain began attracting farmers. The region's name reveals the piety of these early Scots Irish immigrants. A Baptist church chose that name when it formed in 1843 in reference to the noble Bereans in the Bible (Acts 17). By the late 1800s people were calling the whole area "Berea."

Beginning in the 1870s, children in Berea attended a one-room log cabin. Berea School, which eventually became Berea High School, opened its doors in 1885. It has become a focal point of community pride, yielding state Teacher of the Year Jim Mattos and Miss South Carolina Kimilee Bryant, who went on to fame as a singer on Broadway and in opera. Never home to a textile mill or other major industry, today much of Berea's farmland sports subdivisions and neighborhood businesses. It has stoutly resisted incorporation into the Greenville City limits and so has its own tradition of independence and local pride.

The Greenville County Library established the Berea branch on November 1, 1971, in a store front on Cedar Lane Road. Open on weekday afternoons, it was soon circulating more books than any other branch. Twice it expanded to include more rooms, but demand on the branch's resources required still more space. Local resident Zed Jones came to the rescue by donating four acres on Highway 25 Bypass, and on April 26, 1998, a new building was opened. Of special interest at the branch are the Reading Train and a statue of a father reading to his child by Charlie Pate, a local artist.


  • Bainbridge, Judith. "Fast-Growing Berea Has Become a Place of Its Own," Greenville News, Feb. 7, 2007, City People, p. 2.
  • Voyles, Lloyd K. A History of Berea High School. Excerpted in Millennium History Project: The Stories of Our Schools. Comp. Debbie Willingham. Greenville, SC: School District of Greenville County, 2000. Pp. 16-19.
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