Pendleton Historic Walking Tour

A brief history with photos of key historic buildings and sites in Pendleton, SC provided on a phone app.

Pendleton Historic Walking Tour

Pendleton, South Carolina 29670, United States

Created By: Lake Hartwell Country - Leadership Pendleton on the Map

Tour Information

Welcome to Historic Pendleton, South Carolina!

It wasn’t enough that South Carolina and other colonists were at war with formal, splendidly uniformed soldiers of England. Upcountry settlers, still showing the scars from the Cherokee Indian war which ended in 1762, found the summer of 1776 about to take on the blood-red hue of another Cherokee uprising at the start of the American Revolution.

This time the frontier people had no British troops to call on for assistance, as they did in the earlier war. This time, for the most part, the Cherokees were pro-British, and along with Loyalists who did not want to separate from English rule, began attacks on settlements in the Long Canes (now Abbeville, SC) and the Spartan Region (now present day Spartanburg, SC).

South Carolina militia forces marched into the Cherokee country and from August through September of 1776 virtually destroyed all the Cherokee towns and crops. The defeat was so bad, the Indians “sued for peace” and gave their land to South Carolina. Little could be done with the new territory with the Revolution in progress, and it was placed in the Ninety Six District with little settlement. By war’s end, however, veterans of the conflict were attracted to the fertile land and by 1789, Pendleton County came into being. A few years later, the name was changed to Pendleton District. Today, that district is Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties.

Counties must have a courthouse, and on April 8, 1790, land was bought to establish the town of Pendleton. For over 200 years now, it has been a distinguished community which has played important roles in the development of the state and nation. The entire Anderson County town, along with an area extending into Pickens County, is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Early settlement was by the Scotch-Irish (farmers for the most part) and they soon were joined by wealthy, well-educated Lowcountry families who built summer homes here. R.W. Simpson, writing in a later period, said “. . . the very name of Pendleton became a synonym for refined and beautiful women, and for elegant high-toned and chivalrous gentlemen.”

Pendleton remained as a courthouse town until the end of 1826, when the growing district was divided into Anderson and Pickens Districts. In 1868, districts became counties and Pickens was divided into Pickens and Oconee.

Historic sites are still numerous, and new shops and restaurants add to the flavor of the town. On its outskirts are such sites as an early home of the Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens, the site of the first treaty with Southern Indian tribes, and the Old Stone Church, begun in 1789 as Hopewell-on-the-Keowee Presbyterian Church and later in the 1797-1802 structure first called the Stone Meeting House.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Farmer's Society Hall ...
Guard House The Guard House, which also served as a market place, was built circa 1860 on the site of the former town jail.  The 1911 one story addition later served as the town library.  Presently the upper level is the magistrate's off... Read more
  Hunter's Store This was one of the best known mercantiles in the Upstate.  Built in 1850, it has served as the headquarters for the Pendleton District Historical, Recreational, and Tourism Commission since 1968. In 2016, the Commission ... Read more
SITE #4:  Hunter's Store Warehouse This structure, the only survivor of several outbuildings used by the Hunter's Store, was erected in 1880.  A notable feature is "the captain's walk" which captures the panoramic views of the Blue Ridg... Read more
SITE #5:  Lowther Hall The home, built in 1793, for Dr. William Hunter, was purchased in 1815 for the Right Honorable William Lord Viscount Lowther, a Lord of the Treasury of Great Britain.  It was expanded to its present size in 1895 b... Read more
SITE #6:  Edam Sharpe House This 1818 "Upcountry" town house is one of the few still in existence.  The plan of this home is based on the central hallway flanked by single rooms. ...
SITE #7:  Boxwood This circa 1811 residence had additions to the original house in 1825, 1836, and 1959.  It earned its name because of the many boxwoods on the property, many of them believed to be over 160 years old.  Outbuildings a... Read more
SITE #8 - Gaillard House W. H. D. Gaillard, one of the town’s leaders, built this home in the mid-1800s for his family.  He was known for his involvement with the Blue Ridge Railroad and the Pendleton Cotton Mill.  He also served as a... Read more
SITE # 9:  St. Paul’s Episcopal Church Erected by 1822, it served as the church for the Calhoun and Clemson families who are buried in the churchyard.  Other notables buried here include Charles Cotesworth Pinckney and two Confederate ... Read more
SITE #10:   Simpson House This home belonged to Richard Wright Simpson, a legislator and an attorney, who wrote Thomas G. Clemson’s will.  This will led to the establishment of Clemson University, of which Simpson was the first chairma... Read more
Site #11:  Poe House Mrs. Ellen Taylor Poe, a widow, built this residence in 1860 upon returning to Pendleton with her small children. ...
Site #12:  Pickens House Dr. Thomas Pickens built this charming house in 1860 as a wedding present for his bride. She refused to live in this house, preferring the one her parents owned.  The Green and Sitton families instead occupied it... Read more
Site #13:  Vine Hill Vine Hill, built in 1830, received its name from an owner who found fourteen types of unrestrained vines in the garden.  The house was Elizabeth Carolina Ball’s wedding gift upon her marriage to Lt. Edmund Templar ... Read more
Site #14:  Pendleton Oil Mill Although construction time is unknown, an 1897 map labels it as the Pendleton Gin.  The original function of the mill was to extract valuable oil from cotton seeds.   ...
SITE #15:  Dorolon J. Norton Hunter built this home in 1880.  He welcomed his mother-in-law, an exiled Polish countess, into the home where she taught piano and voice lessons. ...
Site #16: Bee House Col. Barnard Bee erected this residence around 1833.  Bee and his son Hamilton were instrumental in the establishment of Texas.  Another son, Barnard E. Bee, became legendary in the first year of the Civil War.   ...
SITE #17:  East Main Street On the streets around the Village Green are numerous shops and restaurants.  One section on East Main Street is the altered but original structure of Steele’s Store built in 1791.  Most other buildings are... Read more
Site #18:  Sitton House Built in 1859, this was the first brick residence in Pendleton.  Generations of the Sitton family have been its sole occupants.  The Post Office was located in one of its rooms for several years.  The original a... Read more
Site #19:  James Hunter House (a) This wood frame house, constructed in 1860, is identical in plan and elevation to the Sitton House directly across the street. (b) Existing to the right of the house is a small brick building which may ha... Read more
Site #20:  Keese Barn On this site, Pendleton resident Ben Keese built a café known as The Hundreds for the many African-Americans who congregated there.  Later it expanded to two stories and included Ben Keese’s Antiques, for which h... Read more
Site #21:  Marshalsea This structure was built in the early 1820s as the district jail.  It later housed the Pendleton Female Academy.  The name “Marshalsea” is taken from a London jail mentioned in a Charles Dickens’ novel. ...
Site #22: The First Farmer's Hall This structure was the first hall for the Pendleton Farmer's Society.   Joseph Van Shanklin donated land for the hall and members of the Society donated materials and labor to complete the building in 18... Read more
SITE #23:  Silver Spring Baptist Church In 1874, African-American Pendleton residents began this church (23A), named for the spring on the property.  Many youth received their early education here, including Jane Hunter, who went on to ... Read more
Site #24:  Winston House Elijah Winston, a slave and later blacksmith, built this home around 1830 on land he obtained after he was freed.  Winston divided his land and gave portions to his fourteen children, and descendants still reside... Read more
Site #25:  Benson House Benson House was built circa 1800. This house was once owned by E. B. Benson, who bought it in 1815.  He was a storeowner and also the sheriff of Pendleton District from 1800-1815. ...
Site #26:  King’s Chapel AME Church This church was organized in 1889 and met in an earlier building under various names until the present structure was built in 1957. A nearby historical marker commemorates the first African-American p... Read more
SITE #27:  Gallows Hill Named because of an alleged hanging on the property in the past, this 1840 house was begun by Col. Joseph Taylor and in the 1860s was a home of the Rev. Dr. John B. Adger. The house was restored and expanded in 198... Read more
SITE #28:  Carver Randal House This house was standing when Carver Randal came to Pendleton in 1846 to practice law. It is located on Medlock Circle, off SC Highway 88. ...
SITE 29:  Jenkins House Dr. William Seabrook Jenkins was a regimental surgeon in the Confederate Army.  He began his Pendleton practice in 1837 with this structure serving as his office. ...
SITE: #30:  Pendleton United Methodist Church This Methodist church was organized in 1835 on the corner of Broad and Cherry Streets.  The original frame church burned and was replaced with a brick structure in 1948.  The stained glass ... Read more
SITE #31:  The First Baptist Church This church, organized in 1842, is in a 1951 building erected on the site of the original. ...
Site #32:  Presbyterian Church At the intersection of Broad and S. Mechanic Streets is the 1897 Presbyterian Church.  The congregation, organized in 1789, built and occupied the Old Stone Church near Clemson for some time.   ...
SITE #33: The Glen  Built around 1835 by Dr. Arthur S. Gibbes, it later was owned by the Samuel Maxwells.  This home was the “wedding present” in which Mrs. Thomas Pickens preferred to reside (as referred to in the Pickens House inf... Read more
SITE #34:  Mi Casa Friendville, Dunean, Mi Casa, and Belvedere are among the many names that have been given to this house on the hill, built circa 1830 by Dr. James Stuart of Beaufort. When the widowed Mrs. John C. Calhoun purchased it,... Read more
SITE #35:  Liberty Hall Built in the 1840’s and once known as Harris Hall, this beautiful structure is now known as  Liberty Hall, which has often served as an inn welcoming visitors to the area.   ...


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