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Western & Eastern Treasures

Ghost Town USA Column Index for South Carolina

South Carolina was one of the original 13 colonies, but the history of North and South Carolina is intertwined as both were part of the Carolina Colony until 1710, at which time the two colonies separated.


South Carolina is one of the first areas to be explored by the early European explorers, with some claims as early as 1514.  Despite the brief Spanish colonization attempt at Winyah Bay, not much transpired until 1670 with the British colony at Charlestowne (Charleston).

A number of the early settlers started plantations where they grew indigo and rice.  Slaves were brought in from Africa to help work the plantations.  Charleston and the rest of the colony grew in importance, and by the time of the American Revolution was one of the richest colonies.  During the Revolutionary War, a number of battles were fought on the soil of this colony.  Then on May 23, 1788, South Carolina ratified the Constitution, becoming the eighth state of the new country.

Cotton became an important crop, and again, the state prospered.  Many settlers spread west from the coast, and soon the entire state was filled with small towns and communities.  However, the South Carolina government was not totally pleased with the Federal government over any number of policies, and on Dec 20, 1860 was the first state to secede from the United States, ushering in the American Civil War.


Once the war ended, the state began its long, slow recovery.  Today folks can explore the backcountry searching for many of the state’s former towns.


If you know of any ghost towns in the Palmetto State that are not listed here, or know the current status of towns listed with little information, please contact us…



Where photos are indicated thusly (PHOTO!), please use your browser’s “BACK” button to return to this page.  More photos will be added over time. 





York Co.

This restored rural community is located on Brattonsville Road, off SH 322, five miles east of McConnells.  It is now considered a “living history village.”  There are 29 buildings in the park.  Four are originals that have been restored to late 1700s and 1800s specifications.  The other have been relocated to the site, or reconstructed on the original foundations.


Edgefield Co.

In July 2000, I rec’d an E-mail from Judy Campbell with some information on this old community that was “...a thriving town in the middle 1700's. It was located on the Savannah River and the population was one of the largest in Old 96 District, Edgefield County SC.


Charleston Co.

The site of this old colony is located on the west side of the Ashley River, northwest of downtown Charleston, and part of that city.  The history dates to April 1670, when a ship of English colonists landed on Albemarle Point, establishing a colony.  The colony prospered, and in 1680 they crossed over the river, and founded what is now Charleston.  The old site faded away until 1970, when the state obtained the site and restored it.  An admission fee is charged. 


Dorchester Co.

This old colony is located on SH 642, six miles south of Summerville.  On east bank of the Ashley River.  It was founded in 1696 by settlers from Dorchester, Massachusetts. By the 1750s, most of the citizens had moved to Georgia, and in 1781, the fort and what remained of the town were destroyed by British troops.  Foundations have been excavated.


Barnwell Co.

One of several communities whose citizens were evicted so the United States Government could use 300 square miles of the Savannah River area for development of nuclear weapons.  It was originally established around 1899 as an agricultural town, sawmill and trading center on the railroad.  In November 1950, it was announced that it was one of several communities in the area being shut down.  At the time the people were “evicted” there were 300 people, a church, two schools and 15 commercial buildings.



Aiken Co.

Ellenton is a true ghost town, as it was physically relocated from its original location to a new spot, and renamed New Ellenton (1980 pop 2628).  The old town site is completely off limits for any kind of exploration.

See our ELLENTON page for additional details.


Laurens Co.

During the Revolutionary War, Hammonds Store was located northeast of Mountville. In 1780, American soldiers stumbled upon a Tory and British soldiers encampment at the store. The British were defeated and the store was burned.  Exact location not determined.


Greenville Co.

Located on US 25, 20 miles north of Greenville, this is a privately owned c1790 two-story, wooden tavern/inn.  In 1840 it was remodeled and in the late 1800s a single-story store was added.


Abbeville Co.

Along the Little River, five miles from the town of Due West.  Exact location and any history of the site is not determined.


York Co.

The Landsford Canal is one of four canals built along the Catawba-Wateree River watershed in the early 1800s.  The tollhouse is part of the Landsford Canal State Park that celebrates the history of this historic canal system.  The park has a number of canal facilities ranging from the restored Tollhouse through ruins.  It is located several miles south of Catawba.


Sumter Co.

Located on SH 261, five miles south of Wedgefield in Manchester State Forest, Manchester was a 1790s era stage stop and way station. Later it grew into an important cotton-shipping center for steamers heading to and from Charleston.  When the railroad arrived in 1852 it became a busy railroad center, even though the station was a half-mile from the town proper.  During the Civil War it was destroyed by Union troops, but rebuilt after the war.  In 1872, nearby Wedgefield became the railroad’s main shipping center, and Manchester quickly died.  The site is marked by an historical marker.


Aiken Co.

One of several communities whose citizens were evicted so the United States Government could use 300 square miles of Savannah River area for development of nuclear weapons.


Beaufort Co.

The exact location of this late 1500s Spanish settlement is not determined.  It was located on what is now Parris Island, but didn’t last very long.


Oconee Co.

This large construction camp was established for workers building the Stumphouse Tunnel, a 1½ mile-long railroad tunnel on the Blue Ridge Railroad.  The camp was established in 1853, and quickly grew to a population of 1500.  It had a post office from 1853-1887, even though the boom times ended in 1859 when the project was abandoned.  In 1853-1859, 17 saloons were in business!  Actual construction of the tunnel only was during 1856-1859.  It is located in the far western tip of the county and state southeast of Mountain Rest, northwest of Walhalla and west of SH 28.


Georgetown Co.

This short-lived c.1526-1527 era Spanish Colony was established at Waccamaw Neck on Winyah Bay.  It is said to have been the oldest European settlement in North America.





Historians estimate that there may be as many as 50,000 ghost towns scattered across the United States of America.

Gary B. Speck Publications is currently in process of publishing unique state, regional, and county guides called

The Ghost Town Guru's Guide to the Ghost Towns of ***

These original guides are designed for anybody interested in ghost towns. Whether you are a casual tourist looking for a new and different place to visit, or a hard-core ghost town researcher, these guides will be just right for you. With over 30 years of research behind them, they will be a welcome addition to any ghost towner's library.


Thank you, and we'll see you out on the Ghost Town Trail!


For more information on the ghost towns of SOUTH CAROLINA, contact us at Ghost Town USA.


E-mailers, PLEASE NOTE:

Due to the tremendous amount of viruses, worms and “spam,” out there, I no longer open or respond to any e-mails with unsolicited attachments, OR messages on the subject lines with “Hey”, “Hi”, “Need help”, “Help Please”, “???”, or blank subject lines, etc.  If you do send E-mail asking for information, or sharing information, PLEASE indicate the appropriate location AND state name, or other topic on the “subject” line. 




These listings and historical vignettes of ghost towns, near-ghost towns and other historical sites in SOUTH CAROLINA above are for informational purposes only, and should NOT be construed to grant permission to trespass, metal detect, relic or treasure hunt at any of the listed sites.


If the reader of this guide is a metal detector user and plans to use this guide to locate sites for metal detecting or relic hunting, it is the READER'S responsibility to obtain written permission from the legal property owners. Please be advised, that any state or nationally owned sites will probably be off-limits to metal detector use. Also be aware of any federal, state or local laws restricting the same.


When you are exploring the ghost towns of SOUTH CAROLINA, please abide by the

Ghost Towner's Code of Ethics.





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FIRST POSTED:  February 15, 2004

LAST UPDATED: August 07, 2010




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