Pendleton in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
This area was a hub of African-American life from the late-19th to mid-20th centuries. Anderson County Training School, built ca. 1922 as a Rosenwald school, closed in 1954 under the equalization program for black and white schools. It burned in the 1960s. The agricultural building is now a community center. The Faith Cabin Library, built ca. 1935 by a program to give black schools their own libraries, is one of only two such libraries still standing in S.C.
A frame store built nearby by Benjamin Horace Keese (1881-1975) and long known as the “Keese Barn” was a favorite gathering place for many years. Built ca. 1900 as a grocery store, it was later expanded and served as a cafe and antiques store/auction house. In 2003 Clemson University architecture students dismantled the Keese Barn and reused its historic materials to build the Memorial Block, to honor the store and its significance in Pendleton.
Erected 2012 by Pendleton Pride in Motion. (Marker Number 4-38.)
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: African AmericansEducation. In addition, it is included in the Rosenwald Schools 🎓 series list. A significant historical year for this entry is 1922.
Location. 34° 39.15′ N, 82° 47.217′ W. Marker is in Pendleton, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on West Queen Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 305 West Queen Street, Pendleton SC 29670, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Pendleton (approx. 0.2 miles away); Hunter's Store (approx. 0.2 miles away); Farmers Hall (approx. 0.2 miles away); Health & Heritage Walking Trail (approx. 0.2 miles away); Old Mill Stone (approx. ¼ mile away); African American School Site (approx. 0.3 miles away); Printer John Miller (approx. 0.3 miles away); Thomas Green Clemson (approx. 0.6 miles away); Clement Hoffman Stevens (approx. 0.6 miles away); a different marker also named Thomas Green Clemson (approx. 0.6 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Pendleton.
Also see . . .
1. Rosenwald School. A Rosenwald School was the name informally applied to over five thousand schools, shops, and teachers' homes in the United States which were built primarily for the education of African-Americans in the early 20th century. (Submitted on April 25, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
2. Faith Cabin Library. The Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School is significant for its role in African-American education and social history in South Carolina from ca. 1936, when it was built, to 1954, when Anderson County Training School closed with the construction of a new African-American “equalization school” nearby. (Submitted on January 31, 2013, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
3. Faith Cabin Libraries. Voluntary groups formed to provide Blacks with access to reading materials in response to the near total neglect by officials in county and state government. (Submitted on April 25, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
4. The Keese Barn Project. (Submitted on April 24, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.)
1. Faith Cabin Library - National Register Nomination Form
The Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School is located off Town Street in Pendleton, Anderson County, South Carolina, near its intersection with West Queen Street. It is situated on a southern-facing hill. The building is a linear building oriented to the east. This one-story log building on a stone foundation is covered by a
The facade features two larger rectangular windows located on either side of the wooden plank door. The windows are covered with wooden plank shutters which are barred by planks of wood on the top and bottom of the shutter. Along the southern elevation of the building is an irregularly-coursed field stone chimney made from the same material as the foundation. The exposed gable reveals vertical log planking. Parallel to the chimney is a wooden fence originating from the front corner of the building and extending to the foundation. Along the western elevation of the building are two rectangular windows covered with wooden screens. The remnant of the stone foundation is exposed. The northern elevation is a solid exterior wall with vertical planking on the gable.
Faith Cabin Libraries in South Carolina, built from 1932 to 1943, fall into two subtypes based on physical and associative characteristics. The Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School falls under Subtype 1, Free-Standing Log Cabin. Construction materials were supplied by the local community. This Faith Cabin Library is a one-room building with a field stone chimney.
Statement of Significance Summary
The Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School, located off Town Street, in Pendleton, Anderson County, South Carolina, is significant under Criterion A for its role in African-American education and social history in South Carolina circa 1936.(1) This unit is important on a local level for its impact on the African American community in Anderson County, and on the state level as one of only two remaining free-standing Faith Cabin Libraries extant of the thirty built in South Carolina between 1932 and 1943.
According to a 1940 report compiled by Willie Lee Buffington, founder of the Faith Cabin Library program, this school then contained 5,197 books.(2) During the school year, the library was open from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.(3) A teacher with library experience staffed the library. In the summer months, the library remained open from
Narrative Statement of Significance
Criterion A – Education / Ethnic Heritage – African American
The Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School was a part of the larger Faith Cabin Library
program that offered library services to African Americans in South Carolina. The segregation laws of the late nineteenth and early twentieth century, known as "Jim Crow" laws, barred African Americans from using other library facilities beyond what was offered in Columbia and Charleston. Willie Lee Buffington created this program between 1932 and 1943, helping to build thirty Faith Cabin Libraries in South Carolina, offering many African Americans their only means of access to library services and library books.(5)
The black community of Pendleton and nearby rural communities of Anderson County were among the thirty communities fortunate to participate in the Faith Cabin Library program. With donated money and timber from the community, this library, a free-standing log cabin, was built on the campus of the Anderson County Training School circa 1936. It continued to serve that school until it was closed in 1954 with the construction of a new African-American school in Seneca. That school was built under the “equalization program” of Governor James F. Byrnes’ administration (funded by
1. There are conflicting dates of construction for this library. Research by Tamara Powell, in the Willie Lee Buffington Papers at the South Caroliniana Library, gives the construction date as 1936. The Pendleton District Commission website, as http://www.pendletondistrict.org/historyculture, claims 1937, as does a recent undated newspaper article by Kelly Davis, “Faith Cabin Library on endangered list,” in the Independent-Mail (Anderson, S.C.). The 1993 brochure by the Pendleton Foundation for Black
History and Culture, A Legacy of Black History: Pendleton, S.C. (Pendleton: Pendleton District Commission, 1993) claims 1939. The library was in use before 1940, according to Buffington’s report “A General Survey of Faith Cabin Library with its 26 Separate Units (South Carolina),” (June and July 1940), Willie Lee Buffington Papers, South Caroliniana Library, University of South Carolina,Columbia, S.C. (hereafter cited as Buffington
2. “A General Survey,” Buffington Papers.
5. Tamara Powell, “Willie Lee Buffington and Faith Cabin Libraries: Doing Practical Good in a Disordered World.” In Susan Schramm-Pate and Rhonda B. Jefferies, eds., Grappling with Diversity: Readings on Civil Rights Pedagogy and Critical Multiculturalism (Albany: State University Press of New York, 2008), p. 85.
— Submitted January 31, 2013, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 15, 2020. It was originally submitted on April 24, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 893 times since then and 24 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. submitted on April 24, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 9, 10, 11. submitted on April 25, 2012, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.