The Old Pickens Presbyterian Church – Doors Open Sunday, October 28th!

Old Pickens Presbyterian Church interior

Sunday, October 28th marks the last day of 2018 that you can enjoy the doors being open to a local historic site. The Old Pickens Presbyterian Church will be closed until spring of 2019 after October 28th. The doors will be open between 2:30 and 5:00pm on that date.
This building is on the National Register of Historic Places. What makes it so special? Glad you asked! Built in 1850, this church and meeting house served the early immigrants that were of Scotch-Irish and English decent who had settled in the area. Located off Highway 183 just as you cross from Pickens County into Oconee County, this structure is an excellent example of a mid-19th century church that has remained intact. It is also the only building remaining from a town once known as “Pickens Courthouse”, established in 1828 by Andrew Pickens. “Pickens Courthouse” was to serve as the seat for the Pickens District, a new judicial district created from the Pendleton District. With only around one hundred residents by 1860, this town was never large, although it did contain a courthouse and jail, numerous stores and shops, hotel, school, and a newspaper.
Constructed of riverbank clay bricks from the nearby Keowee River (modern-day Lake Keowee) of that day, this structure was built to last. The original pine flooring, with boards 2 inches thick, is graced with the original (and unpainted) poplar and pine pews. Upon entering the church, you will notice a distinct crack above the left window of the back wall. This was caused by the 1886 Charleston earthquake as a fault line runs along the site.
The cemetery on the site contains over 200 marked graves and is also listed in the National Register. Here you can view the grave site of a Revolutionary War soldier! Yes, Lt. Joseph Reid (1756-1825) fought in the Revolutionary War and is buried next to his wife. Of the other grave sites, some are marked with elaborate marble and granite markers and some with a simple fieldstone.
If you do happen to miss October 28th, have no fear as the gate to the church and the cemetery off Highway 183 is open every day. We hope you are able to come and enjoy this historic building and site!

Grave site of Lt. Joseph Reid