Tigers may rule in Clemson, but this rural college town offers much more than a winning football team. Look beyond the orange paws to discover some truly unique sites and features. Here are a few to add to your itinerary:
Clemson Farmers Market – This popular foodie event is held in the Village Green at Patrick Square Town Center every Thursday afternoon from spring to fall. Shop between 3 and 6 p.m. for locally grown produce, beef, pork chicken, fresh-baked breads, goat milk products, jams, herbs, plants, specialty food items, farm products and handmade arts and crafts sold by 20-plus vendors. Enjoy cooking demonstrations, workshops and live entertainment the first Thursday of every month.
Clemson Blue Cheese – This artisanal cheese, renowned for its tangy, piquant flavor, has been produced on the Clemson campus since 1941 using milk from the university’s dairy herd. It was originally cured in Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel, where the cold air and humidity provided a favorable environment for curing Roquefort-style blue mold cheese. In 1958, all manufacturing and curing of the blue cheese was moved to the Agricultural Center in Newman Hall. Today, a 288-gallon vat makes about 240 pounds of cheese, which is then salted, waxed and aged for six months before it is packaged by hand. You can buy the famed cheese at the Clemson Farmers Market and ’55 Exchange. It also can be ordered online or by calling (800) 599-0181.
World War II Memorial – A statue depicting a student and soldier sitting back to back was dedicated to and by the Class of 1944 to honor those students who left school to fight in the war. The caption reads: And Then There Was War. “We were just boys, mere boys, and then there was war and half of us were dead or wounded.” You can find the statue in front of Mell Hall at 100 Beta Gamma Court.
Old Stone Church – Built in 1802 with stacked stones, this simple but beautiful building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The original log church was erected by a small group of Presbyterians near the Seneca/Keowee River. When the building was destroyed in a fire, the Hopewell congregation rebuilt the church with stones. Plots in the cemetery date back to 1794 and include soldiers and patriots of the Revolutionary War, War of 1812, Indian/Creek War, Civil War and nearly all American wars thereafter. Among the prominent figures buried in the cemetery are Revolutionary War General Andrew Pickens and Colonel Robert Anderson, who served under Pickens and went on to become lieutenant governor of the state.
Centennial Oak – This massive bur oak was just a seedling when Clemson was founded in 1889. Today, the record-setting tree stands 66 feet tall with branches that stretch 124 feet across, making it one of South Carolina’s “Champion Trees.” Enjoy the shade of this arboreal giant located between the Biosystems Research Complex and Newman Hall on the college campus.
Fort Rutledge – This is the site of the Battle of Esseneca Town, where Major Andrew Williamson’s South Carolina militia was ambushed by Loyalists and Cherokees August 1, 1776. He returned to the area a month later and built a log fort, leaving 300 of his troops encamped at the site during his three-month campaign against the Cherokee Nation. A concrete block replica of the fort was built in 1908 at the request of the Daughters of the American Revolution. The exact location of Fort Rutledge is unknown. The monument can be found at the end of Dyke Road, approximately 50 yards into the woods.