The Old Stone Church

The Old Stone Church (HM9E0)

Location: Clemson, SC 29631 Pickens County
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Country: United States of America
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N 34° 39.85', W 82° 48.883'

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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.

The Church
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 Cemetery
The oldest part of the burial area slightly predates the church. Charles Miller, who died in the fall of 1795, was one of the early burials in the cemetery. Charles was the younger son of John Miller, who was the first newspaper publisher in the Carolina upcountry and a noted London newspaper publisher during the years of the American Revolution. Located on a corner of John Miller's land grant, the property would be deeded after 1800 to the congregation. Presbyterians associated with the Pendleton area, or with early families entombed there, dominate the oldest parts of the cemetery. During much of the twentieth century, the cemetery served the broader needs of a diverse community often connected with Clemson University.Although numbers of African-American slaves were members of the congregation, none are buried within the graveyard. Those individuals dying prior to 1865 (and sometime later) were interred in the slave cemeteries on the various nearby plantations.

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.
HM NumberHM9E0
Series This marker is part of the South Carolina: South Carolina Heritage Corridor series
Placed BySouth Carolina Heritage Corridor
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Thursday, October 16th, 2014 at 8:03am PDT -07:00
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Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)17S E 333720 N 3837299
Decimal Degrees34.66416667, -82.81471667
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 34° 39.85', W 82° 48.883'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds34° 39' 51.00" N, 82° 48' 52.98" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)864
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 101 Stone Cir, Clemson SC 29631, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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