A Look at the Oldest Building on Campus
In 1891 the first building on Clemson’s campus finished being constructed. The new Chemistry Building that would eventually be named after Col. Mark B. Hardin in 1954. Col. Hardin served as the first chemistry professor. From there he would serve president of the college from 1899-1902.
Hardin Hall was made from bricks that were supposed to come from the Poole Company from Newberry. After their first delivery of bricks was discovered to be poorly made, Clemson bought Poole’s brick making machine so that they could make the bricks themselves. Then with the use of African American convicts they began the construction on what would later be called Hardin Hall. The stones in the basement of Hardin Hall came from old slave houses from when the campus used to be a plantation. From there the rest of the building was constructed using the brick making machine and the brick making site at Hunnicutt Creek. In 1900 a second wing was added to the building. Then in 1946 the roof burned down and when it was replaced in 1947 it was done so without the pitched roof that it used to have. Finally in 2002 and 2003 another wing was added to the building and the pitched roof was restored.
True to its original name the Chemistry Building, later Hardin Hall, was used as a chemistry laboratory. Once construction was finished it would be used as a lab for producing fertilizer that the College could sell for extra money to build and expand on campus. Col. Hardin was hired to quality check and test fertilizer to make sure it was up to snuff. Since it is the oldest building on campus it has been used for a variety of departments. From education to industrial management, and now for history, geography, religion, and philosophy. Inside the building are eight classrooms, one auditorium for lecture classes, and offices for faculty who are part of the departments of history, geography, religion, or philosophy.