Posted on Thursday, September 17th, 2015 at 2:49 pm.
As the Pinner Clinic prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary on Sunday, Sept. 27, at 2 p.m. in the Peak, SC, Town Square, Chapin News takes a look back. In particular, we call attention to two bridges linked to the doctors Pinner and to the community.
Pinner Clinic, a family practice, opened in 1915, has since grown into an integral part of the Newberry County community, and serves a wide area of Newberry, Lexington, Fairfield and Richland counties.
The late John A. Bigham, who was renowned for his articles and stories about the “small people” and relatively unknown places and communities in central South Carolina, wrote in June of 1959 in the Columbia Record an article entitled, “Peak – A Riverside Village”.
In that article he wrote:
“It is seriously doubted that any village in the state depends more on a single bridge than Peak, a Newberry County hamlet which literally sits on the west bank of the Broad River 26 miles north of Columbia. To make the situation quite singular, the vital span across the river at this point is not used for vehicular traffic, but carries the Southern Railway’s trains between Columbia and Greenville.
“Regardless of the fact that it is a railroad crossing, the long trestle has for years proved a priceless boon to the people of the Peak community. Its greatest contribution is not that it brings trains back and forth across the muddy waters of the Broad, but that it provides a means for people on either side of the river to cross on foot to the other.
“This is somewhat significant since there is not another bridge of any kind between Columbia and the point where Highway 34 crosses the stream at Strothers. Little wonder that this single means of getting across the river within a distance of 35 miles or more is of prime importance to the people of Peak and its environs.
“But they are now to get a new highway bridge. When it is completed, they will no longer have to walk the railroad trestle and will no longer suffer the frustration of driving 20 or 25 miles to reach Jenkinsville or Monticello, when these two points are almost opposite them across the river. The new bridge will take care of it all.”
Bigham went on to write: “A citizen of Peak whom we should mention is Dr. Carroll Pinner (Jr.). In the same manner as his father before him, this medical man ministers to the health of a wide area. There is no telling from how far some of his patients come, but one thing is certain. They come to his office in Peak in abundance.
“The good doctor uses the railroad trestle in a unique way. If he is called from the other side of the river, instructions are given to the caller to have him met at the far end of the bridge. Dr. Pinner then walks across, is picked up and carried by car to the home where help is needed, and later returned to the trestle for his walk back to Peak.”
The new bridge, which Bigham mentioned, was completed in 1961 and named the Dr. Carroll A. Pinner, Sr. Bridge “in recognition of his faithful services to the people of this community.”
Carolina Highways, a publication of the South Carolina Highway Department, reported, “One of the most enthusiastic bridge dedications held in recent years took place August 23 when about 300 persons attended the official opening and dedication of the Dr. Carroll A. Pinner, Sr., bridge over Broad River between Jenkinsville and Peak.”
Chief Highway Commissioner Silas N. Pearman presided over the ceremony. Dr. James Kinard, former president of Newberry College spoke of Dr. Pinner’s great work in healing the sick during 40 years and read the resolution passed by the South Carolina General Assembly. A ribbon officially opening the road to traffic was cut by Senator J. Frank Hawkins of Newberry and Senator Ben F. Hornsby of Fairfield.
The senior Dr. Pinner’s grandson, Carroll A. Pinner III (who is currently one of three practicing physicians at the Pinner Clinic) unveiled a bronze bridge marker on the Newberry end of the structure.
Carolina Highways reported, “Dr. Pinner sat beneath an awning and smiled at the many persons who stopped to shake his hand and pay their respects. One man in a group nearby said, “This is a big bridge—but it would never hold all of the people he brought into the world.”
Actually, the Pinner Bridge is really two bridges. One, a 608 foot structure, links Newberry County to Hampton Island in the middle of the Broad River. The other picks up at the island and extends 912 feet to the Fairfield County side. Inland Bridge Company of Chester constructed the bridges under a $414,080 contract.
Current practicing doctors at Pinner Clinic are Carroll A. Pinner, III, M.D.; John H. Ferguson, M.D.; and Benjamin C. Pinner, M.D. (son of Dr. Carroll Pinner III).