South Carolina Historical Sites

Information on various historical sites and attractions for tourists in the state of South Carolina.

Are you planning a visit to South Carolina? It's a beautiful state to travel through and an excellent choice for a vacation.

If you have an interest in American History, South Carolina offers several sites and attractions you won't want to miss on your next trip.

One such site is the South Carolina Confederate Relic Room and Museum. The museum is dedicated to the preservation of South Carolina's Military history and is open to the public weekdays from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Exhibits include a special emphasis on the state's Confederate era, with works of art, artifacts and military memorabilia on display.

One of the museums most interesting permanent exhibits is the Baruch Silver Collection displayed in the Baruch Silver Gallery. The University of South Carolina received this fantastic collection of 18th and early 19th century British silver from the estate of Bernard Mannes Baruchin, in 1965. This collection of 450 pieces, was the pride of Baruch's wife, Annie Griffen Baruch.

The Laurence L. Smith Mineral Library is another collection on display at the museum. Museum visitors can travel the world through the hundreds of mineral specimens in this exhibit. Amethyst from Brazil, fluorite from England, Gold from South Carolina, and skutterudite from Morocco are just a few of the minerals on display.

Other exhibits include art collections, sculptures, woodwork and drawings by various artists, most who are natives of South Carolina.

Tourists also receive a dose of American History at the South Carolina State Museum. This museum is known for the hands-on, first-class learning experiences that it has to offer. This historic building beside the Congaree River in Columbia, South Carolina contains four stories of art, history, natural history and science/technology interactive exhibits.

Renovated in 1893 this Columbia Mill is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and was the world's first totally electric textile mill.

Seekers of American History flock to Pendleton, South Carolina to discover a variety of interesting sites of the past. Pendleton has a fine reputation for its Southern hospitality making it one of the most-visited places in America. This 16- block Downtown Historic District comprises over six thousand acres and features more than 40 points of historic interest for tourists to appreciate. The Farmers' Society Hall is considered to be Pendeltons landmark and is located on the Town Square. The hall was built in 1828 and it is the oldest farmers' hall in the nation that has been in continual use.



The District is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. One unique item on display is a brass cannon from the Revolutionary War and the War of 1812. The Old Anderson County Courthouse and the Blue Ridge Railway Passenger Station are the most famous buildings in the district. The Ashtabula Plantation in Pendleton, is a restored home built in the 1920's. It is furnished with beautiful antiques of that era.

The Woodburn Plantation of Pendelton was built in 1828 by the once lieutenant governor of South Carolina, Charles Cotesworth Pinckney. The home is a beautiful four-story building and may be visited by appointment from early spring to late autumn.

The Pendleton District Agricultural Museum has several exhibits including Cherokee Indian artifacts, the first boll weevil discovered in South Carolina, pre-1925 farm equipment and tools, and a surrey with a fringed top.

On a more inspirational note, Saint Paul's Episcopal Church built in 1822 contains several historic factors. This white-clapboard church contains a Jardine pipe organ, which has filled the church with music since 1848. The churchyard includes burial sites for several historical figures including, a Polish Countess and soldiers who died during the Civil War.

Visitors delight in a tour through the Hunter's Store located on East Queen Street in Pendleton. The store was built in 1850 and is currently the home of the Pendleton District Historical, Recreational and Tourism Commission. The commission offers an exhibit area, a research library, bookstore and an arts and crafts shop.

There are many other unique antique, art and gift shops to explore and Pendeltons' fine restaurants and homey bed and breakfast inns are more than charming.

Another point of interest in South Carolina is the South Carolina Criminal Justice Hall of Fame. This site was dedicated in 1980 as a memorial to all South Carolina law enforcement officers who have given their lives in the line of duty. Its' very presence pays tribute to the dedication of all officers in the field of criminal justice.

Exhibits include various aspects of law enforcement. One most interesting exhibit is related to Public Enemy #1 John Dillenger. Dillenger was America's most notorious criminals from his prison release in May of 1933 until he was shot dead on July 22, 1934. Born in South Carolina, Melvin Purvis was the FBI Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago office the day Dillenger was gunned down. Special Agent Purvis was responsible for a number of gangster related arrests in the 1930's. An extensive gun collection that was owned by Purvis is on display at the Criminal Justice Hall of Fame.

Other exhibits at this historical site include an exhibit honoring J.P. Strom, who was the chief of the State Law Enforcement Division from 1956-1987. There are also numerous gun displays from, the FBI, the Secret Service, numerous South Carolina jails, and the State Highway Patrol. Also on exhibit area moonshine still, and a Cellblock One steel prison cell from the Central Correctional Institution.

South Carolina has much more to offer for the historical sightseer. For more information on various exhibits, sites and attractions contact the South Carolina Chamber of Commerce.

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