Author Archives: Jackie Bartley

Risher Cabin And Upper Pond

Map Location – #13 (See map below)

Owned by The Silver Bluff Audubon Center

Kathwood Road, Jackson, SC 29831

Located on 50 acres of pine forests and two ponds, this old clubhouse’s main part was at least 50 years old when Ellenton-Jackson resident Eldon Risher bought it in 1957. The property included the old clubhouse and an upper pond from the Christopher Hammond estate. Risher later built a two-acre pond in front of the old wooden clubhouse. The canal which runs behind the clubhouse was dug to run water from Hollow Creek, which was diverted in the early 1900s at the upper pond, through Kathwood Lake to a spillway that powered a cotton gin, cotton seed oil mill, grist mill and flour mill. After Risher died in 1991, the Silver Bluff Audubon Center purchased the property in 1992 and uses the cabin for meetings and interns.

Silver Bluff Audubon Center & Sanctuary

Map Location – #12 (See map below)

4542 Silver Bluff Road, Jackson, SC 29831

This 3,200-acre wildlife sanctuary and environmental education center, located on the Savannah River at historic Silver Bluff, has a long history of use, including Native American encampments, exploration by Spanish conquistadors, Irishman George Galphin’s 18th Century trading post where an important Revolutionary War skirmish was fought in 1781 and ownership by S.C. Gov. James Henry Hammond in the 1800s.

Zubly Cemetery

Map Location – #11 (See map below)

Forrest Drive, Jackson, SC 29831

The oldest established cemetery in Beech Island, Zubly Cemetery is the final resting place of David Zubly, Jr. (1738-1790) and his wife, Ann Meyer (1744-1795), the daughter of Ulrich Meyer. Their newly marked graves are located in the vacant space in the middle of the cemetery. All but one of the Zublys’ five daughters are buried in Zubly Cemetery. On May 21, 1855, Mary Ann Mills, who is buried at Zubly, deeded the cemetery to the descendants of Samuel, Ulrich and John Clarke, and Capt. John Miller. In 2001, the Zubly Cemetery Association, Inc. was organized to oversee the preservation of the cemetery, and in 2007 and 2009, the association added 4.10 more acres to the cemetery property to protect the cemetery from future development.

Meyer Brothers’ Swiss Settlers’ Farm & Home Site

Map Location – #10 (See map below)

(New Windsor Excavation)

Forrest Drive, Jackson, SC 29831

This land was granted in 1736 to Leonard, Ulrich and Michael Meyer, settlers who came to live in New Windsor Township (Beech Island) with a group of Swiss Protestants from Canton Appenzell in 1737. The Meyer family occupied this site until 1790. From 1993-1995, archaeologists with the Savannah River Archaeological Research Program excavated the site and uncovered the remains of a house and several outbuildings along with thousands of artifacts from several trash pits.

Silver Bluff Missionary Baptist Church & Schoolhouse

Map Location – #9 (See map below)

360 Old Jackson Highway, Jackson, SC 29831

silverbluffchurchThis church, one of the oldest black Baptist churches in America, grew out of regular worship services held as early as the 1750s at Silver Bluff, the plantation of Indian trader George Galphin. At first a non-denominational congregation with white, black and Native American members, it was formally organized as Silver Bluff Baptist Church in 1775 with the Rev. Watt Palmer as its first preacher. The church moved from its original site in 1815, again in the 1840s and to the present site in 1866 with a large frame sanctuary built in 1873. This sanctuary was covered in brick in 1920, later demolished and the present church built in 1948.

Beech Island Historical Society Visitors Center & Barn

Map Location – #8 (See map below)

144 Old Jackson Highway, Beech Island, SC 29842

BIHS-visitorcenterHeadquarters of the Beech Island Historical Society, this brick country store building and the recently renovated brick warehouse/barn was built in the 1880s by Beech Island businessman Luther Hankinson. Constructed of bricks made at his own brick factory in Hamburg, SC, the original store structure consisted of one large room with a restaurant added to the right side and a restroom to the left. After Hankinson died in 1933, his heirs sold the property and the two buildings to George McElmurray, and McElmurray added a kitchen, bedroom and porch and lived there and operated a cotton gin nearby. McElmurray raised the height of the warehouse and used it for the storage of cotton seed. In 1991, McElmurray’s heirs donated the buildings and the acre of land to the Beech Island Historical Society. Renovations to the old store/home began soon after and were completed in 1996. In May 2008, renovations were completed on the barn which is now open as the Beech Island Agricultural Museum and Gift Shop.



Redcliffe Plantation State Historic Site

Map Location – #3 (See map below)

181 Redcliffe Road, Beech Island, SC 29842

RedcliffePlantationThis four-story Greek-Revival plantation home was constructed in 1859 by Augusta, Ga., contractor William Goodrich for SC Gov. James Henry Hammond. The mansion is the centerpiece of a 400-acre country estate that was originally supported by at least three working plantations in the area totaling 14,000 acres. Hammond and three generations of his descendants used the estate for relaxation, entertaining and agricultural experimentation. John Shaw Billings, Hammond’s great-grandson, was the last owner of Redcliffe, and he donated the house and its collections to the State of South Carolina in 1973. Redcliffe contains approximately 4,000 pieces of artwork, books, furnishings and textiles that belonged to four generations of Hammonds.
TOUR TIMES: 11 a.m. & 1 & 3 p.m. ONLY!

First Baptist Church of Beech Island

Map Location – #2 (See map below)

170 Church Road, Beech Island, SC 29842

firstbaptistchurchOrganized Jan. 21, 1832, and dedicated September 1832 as the Beech Island Baptist Church, this two-story, Greek-Revival structure predates the Civil War. This church was constructed with an upstairs slave gallery that wrapped around three sides of the sanctuary and could accommodate from 40 to 50 slaves who accompanied their plantation owners to church services. The land, lumber, carpenters and labor to build the church were donated by several of the church’s 22 original members. In 1962, the name was changed to First Baptist Church of Beech Island.

All Saints Episcopal Church

Map Location – #1 (See map below)

1595 Williston Highway (SC Hwy 278), Beech Island, SC 29842

allsaintsepiscopalOrganized in 1827 by evangelist N.H. Hoyt of Vermont as the Beech Island Presbyterian Church, this Greek-Revival antebellum church was built in 1831 with the help of slave labor borrowed from neighboring plantations. Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, accompanied his father, Dr. Joseph Wilson, to this church as a young boy. Dr. Joseph Wilson served as the minister of the First Presbyterian Church in Augusta, Ga., and as an Elder in the Beech Island church. It was here that Woodrow Wilson met his future wife, Ellen Axson, whose father, the Rev. Hoyt Axson, served as the pastor. An Episcopal Mission bought the church in 1955 and changed the name to All Saints Episcopal Church.