If you’re visiting Pendleton, you owe it to yourself to explore its rich, fascinating heritage. And you won’t have to go far to discover its many historic treasures. With the entire town on the National Register of Historic Places, notable homes, businesses and buildings can be found around every corner.
This mountain town also offers an art gallery featuring works by local artists, a woodwork shop and a funky venue for bluegrass music.
Here are some of the arts and historic offerings you won’t want to miss:
Historic Pendleton Walking Tour – The second Friday and Saturday of each month, the Pendleton District Commission offers walking tours of the 1790 town. The docent-led tour offers a glimpse of life in Pendleton in the 18th and 19th centuries and the wealthy Charleston residents who built summer homes in the area to escape the Lowcountry’s “bad air.” Customized tours also are available by appointment. Call (843) 646-3782 for more information.
Ashtabula – Prominent Charlestonians Lewis Ladson Gibbes and wife Maria Drayton Gibbes built this charming clapboard farmhouse in 1825 on the property where a traveler’s inn and tavern had operated for some 30 years. To arrange a tour of the home, call the Pendleton Historic Foundation at (864) 646-7249.
Woodburn – Built on a hilltop to offer views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, this Caribbean plantation-style home served as a summer getaway for Charles Cotesworth Pinckney of Charleston. A replica of a double slave cabin, a one-room pioneer cabin and a gothic revival carriage house also are located on the property.
Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina – This kid-friendly museum showcases the history of agriculture in the state with hands-on exhibits, educational displays, workshops, classes and demonstrations on agriculture-related skills.
Faith Cabin Library – Pendleton is home to one of the last remaining examples of libraries built for African Americans as part of a movement started by Willie Lee Buffington, a poor white mill worker from Saluda who went on to graduate from Furman and become a Methodist minister. The rustic log cabin is one of more than 100 Faith Cabin Libraries built from the 1930s to the 1950s. The library is located on West Queen Street.
Art Gallery on Pendleton Square – Check out the artistic talents of 25 local artists in this ever-changing gallery featuring a wide array of original works, including pottery, ceramics, woodturning, handcrafted furniture, jewelry, stained glass mosaics, fiber art, paintings, sculptures and photography.
McClellan Woodwork – Located on N. Mechanic Street in the downtown historic district, this woodwork shop specializes in hand-crafted signature guitars made from a variety of woods, including spruce, Honduran mahogany, Indian rosewood, ebony and maple. These beautiful guitars are as much art as instruments.
Breazeale’s Grocery Bluegrass – Whatever your taste in music, you can’t help but tap your toes when local pickers get together for their bluegrass jam sessions Saturday evenings in this old clapboard grocery store-turned-music venue on Liberty Highway. Along with the free weekly concerts, Breazeale’s occasionally brings in regional, national and even international artists to perform.