History & Heritage

Willowbrook Cemetery is the second most historic cemetery in South Carolina, and is overflowing with “residents” who carved their place in local, state, and national history. The oldest marked grave in Willowbrook belongs to Pierre LaBorde who was a native...

In the late 1800s, the Savannah Valley Railroad connected travelers and goods to Anderson and Charleston. Today, the old railroad connects recreational enthusiasts with the beauty of the Little River & Savannah River areas. Barksdale Ferry Rd. to Cemetery Rd. (2.2...

Oakley Park was built in 1835 by Daniel Bird, a Virginian who came to Edgefield and became a very successful cotton planter. After the War Between the States, it was purchased by General Martin Witherspoon Gary, a former Major-General of...

This state park protects a portion of the Musgrove Mill battlefield and scenic Horseshoe Falls on the Enoree River. The park’s interpretive center provides a history of the Revolutionary War battle and furthers the understanding of South Carolina’s pivotal role...

Built ca. 1830, it was the home of South Carolina Lieutenant Governor James H. Tillman. It now serves as the headquarters for the Edgefield County Historical Society. The house features a Strom Thurmond Memorabilia Room containing historical and personal artifacts...

Built CA. 1898, this steam-powered mill employed a milling process pioneered earlier by inventor Oliver Evans which virtually eliminated manual labor. First known as the McCormick Enterprise Ginnery, the mill became Dorn-Finley Co. in 1917, its purpose “to operate and...

At the Diamond Hill Mine you have the rare opportunity to collect your own crystals. Its “unsalted”, meaning everything you will find came from this actual mine. Over millions of years, erosion has occurred to the southern part of the...

This area includes a Confederate monument and a granite marker listing the 10 governors and 5 lieutenant governors of South Carolina from Edgefield County. A life_sized bronze statue of Edgefield County’s native son, Senator J. Strom Thurmond, can also be...

Cokesbury College was established in 1854. The college and the surrounding Cokesbury community– represent an extraordinary glimpse at an early planned utopian community committed to innovative education for young men, young women and for emancipated slaves. At its peak, it...

Built in the 1830s, this Greek Revival historic home was the site of the final meeting of the Confederate War Council with President Jefferson Davis on May 2, 1865. Open Friday and Saturday 1:00pm-5pm February-May and September-December. Open Tuesday-Saturday...

Bettis Academy and Junior College, established in 1881 and closed in 1952, is significant for its role in the primary, secondary, and higher education of African Americans in what is now Edgefield, Aiken, Greenwood, and Saluda Counties from the late...

The story of Black History Month began in 1915, half a century after the Thirteenth Amendment abolished slavery in the United States. That September, the Harvard-trained historian Carter G. Woodson and the prominent minister, Jesse E. Moorland, founded the Association...

What is it about trains that brings out the kid in all of us? The train cars at the Railroad Historical Center in Greenwood, SC and Caboose No. 5759 at The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House will certainly do the trick. Railroad Historical Center With seven...

Looking for a fun, safe and educational activity for the kids to do this summer? Look no further than Musgrove Mill State Historic Site in Clinton, SC, where we will be hosting a Musgrove Mill Kid’s Day on July 16,...

Teresa Kemp is passionate about preserving the history and traditions of the African-American population in McCormick County. The South Carolina Wild’s Heritage Center is now open in the former train depot in downtown McCormick. Interactive exhibits and activities, a Children’s Corner...

Jars and Faces. Pottery and Places. Over 4,500 years ago, Native Americans along the Savannah River discovered how to create pottery, using Spanish moss, palmetto fibers and the rich clay deposits in the Edgefield, South Carolina area. Edgefield pottery was alkaline...

The US is a relatively young nation, and much of the architecture you’ll find around the country is too. It’s rare to find an intact building more than about 150 years old. Early settlers built farms, with the intention of...

The development of railroads was one of the most important phenomena of the Industrial Revolution. With their formation, construction and operation, they brought profound social, economic and political change to our country. Like many small communities across America, the Old...

Not Just Any Old House Gray Court, South Carolina has a historic attraction that is not just another antebellum mansion. The US is a relatively young nation, and much of the architecture you’ll find around the country is too. It’s rare to...

Take Exit 18 off Interstate 20 off the beaten path and discover Edgefield County, an area covered in history. Over 4,500 years ago, Native Americans along the Savannah River discovered how to create pottery, using Spanish moss, palmetto fibers and...

The McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House is an architectual delight. Known as “The Generals’ House”, the McGowan-Barksdale-Bundy House in Abbeville, SC is an excellent example of the Queen Anne style, characterized by towers, turrets, multi-faceted roofs and windows and various textures of exterior material....

Musgrove Mill’s peaceful setting in the Piedmont woods in Clinton, SC, stands in sharp contrast to the bloody Battle of Musgrove Mill that took place there on Aug.19, 1780. The Revolutionary War historic sites at Musgrove Mill interpret and protect...

Historic Willowbrook Cemetery in Edgefield is Final Resting Place for Historical Figures Willowbrook Cemetery is the second most historic cemetery in South Carolina, and is overflowing with “residents” who carved their place in local, state, and national history. The oldest marked...

The Ninety Six National Historic Site is the home of the first Southern land battle of the Revolutionary War in 1775. The original earthen Star Fort constructed in 1781 by British Loyalists was the site of a bloody 28-day battle,...

Equal Rights: two men + two visions = Freedom for All The Story of Dr. Benjamin Mays & Dr. Martin Luther King Benjamin Elijah Mays was born the youngest of eight children in the community of Epworth in Greenwood County, South Carolina on August 1, 1894....

Willington on the Way in McCormick County, South Carolina is a spot in the road along SC Highway 81 that draws you to the past era of the French Huguenots settling in this region. Stop for a while and visit...

Whether you have a special affinity for churches because of your religious or spiritual background, or you simply appreciate and embrace the stunning designs of church architects from days gone by, you’ll enjoy visiting (or even attending services) at the...

Bettis Academy and Junior College, established in 1881 and closed in 1952, is significant for its role in the primary, secondary, and higher education of African Americans in what is now parts of Edgefield and Greenwood Counties from the late...

Over 4,500 years ago, Native Americans along the Savannah River discovered how to create pottery, using Spanish moss, palmetto fibers and the rich clay deposits around the grounds of the Edgefield, South Carolina area. One of the most famous potters...