Clemson in Pickens County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
The Old Stone Church
A Frontier House of Worship
The Old Stone Church, along with the visitor sites of Pendleton Village, Fort Hill Plantation and Oconee Station, reflect the area's transition from frontier to antebellum South Carolina society. The Church's early membership constituted a significant percentage of the frontier elite who dominated Pendleton County (now Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties). Present-day Anderson and Pickens Counties are named for individuals buried in the cemetery.
Constructed from 1797-1802 by John Rusk (whose descendants would be instrumental in the early years of Texas), the stone structure served the Hopewell Presbyterian congregation for a quarter of a century. Although the building effort commenced near the end of the frontier period (1784-1798) when the threat of Indian attacks was greatly diminished, it is probable that this substantial structure was designed with a defensive component in mine. In the mid-1820s, the congregation moved to Pendleton, which had developed into a gentrified village and was beginning its role in antebellum social life.
The Preservation of The Old Stone Church and Cemetery
By the late 1800s, the cemetery was in need of restoration. Descendants of those buried there, as well as other interested persons, formed an association. In 1902, the Pendleton Presbyterian Church created a Commission to care for the property. Major repairs were made to the building in the second half of the twentieth century.
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor marker series.
Location. 34° 39.85′ N, 82° 48.883′ W. Marker is in Clemson, South Carolina, in Pickens County. Marker is on Anderson Highway. Marker is located close to the church building. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Clemson SC 29631, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. A different marker also named The Old Stone Church (here, next to this marker); Old Stone Church Confederate Memorial (within shouting distance of this marker); Old Stone Church / Old Stone Church Graveyard (about 500 feet away, measured in a direct line); Thomas Green Clemson Parkway (approx. 0.6 miles away); Blue Key National Honor Fraternity Gateway (approx. 0.7 miles away); "Widowmaker’s” Drill (approx. ¾ mile away); Hanover House (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Hanover House (approx. ¾ mile away); a different marker also named Hanover House (approx. 0.8 miles away); Log House (approx. 0.8 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Clemson.
Also see . . .
1. Old Stone Church (Clemson). Old Stone Church is a church building built in 1802. When it was constructed, it was in the Pendleton District, South Carolina. (Submitted on December 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Old Stone Church and Cemetery. The Old Stone Church is significant architecturally as a masonry adaptation of meeting house architecture and as a representative of the early pioneer church in South Carolina. (Submitted on December 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Old Stone Church. Located off Highway 76 between Clemson and Pendleton, the Old Stone Church stands as one of the most interesting historical attractions in the Upstate. (Submitted on December 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. About the Old Stone Church
Construction of Old Stone Church began in 1797 to replace a log meeting house which was burned. The natural fieldstone rectangular structures with medium gable roof was completed in 1802. Six bays deep with high fenestration, the windows are the size of its doorways. Flat arches with slight radiation of voussoirs are over doors and windows. Exterior stairs lead to slave gallery at rear of church.
Interior is simple, unornamented befitting the period; the wooden benches, raised wooden pulpit, pine floor, hand-hewn exposed beans evident in roof.
Statement of Significance: October 13, 1789, the congregation of Hopewell-Keowee Church asked to be taken
The first building having been destroyed by fire, a new church was built 1797-1802 by John Rusk.
Important politically and militarily for men of prominence instrumental in church's organization and buried in cemetery. Among these are: Revolutionary War Generals Andrew Pickens and Robert Anderson - principle founders and elders; Colonel Andrew Pickens (War of 1812) - elder, Governor of South Carolina.
In the area social/humanitarian, it is noteworthy for the Old Stone Church and Cemetery Commission, organized in the 1890s, which realized the importance of the building itself and its association with distinguished men in South Carolina history. A wall was put around graveyard and repairs made to preserve the old building which had not been used since the 1830s. This Commission remains active in maintaining the church and cemetery.
Importance in religion/philosophy stems from its use as a religious center; the Reverend Thomas Reese, distinguished scholar, patriot, and first South Carolina minister to receive the degree of Doctor of Divinity, who served as pastor 1792-1796; church member "Printer" John Miller,
Significant architecturally as representative of the early pioneer church in South Carolina; masonry adaptation of meeting house architecture; built of local materials with outstanding exterior and interior masonry and woodwork craftsmanship. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
— Submitted July 4, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Categories. • African Americans • Cemeteries & Burial Sites • Churches & Religion • Forts, Castles • Settlements & Settlers •
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Credits. This page was last revised on December 14, 2019. This page originally submitted on December 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,224 times since then. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. submitted on December 15, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.