Nicknamed the "Birthplace & Deathbed of the Confederacy," Abbeville County is overflowing with Civil War history and is also known for the picture-perfect town square of the city of Abbeville complete with an opera house. Lesser known experiences in the area include charming rural towns, a state park situated along Lake Russell, Sumter National Forest adventures, and more!
While in the charming town of Abbeville, your eye will be immediately drawn to the 125 foot steeple that belongs to the "pink" Trinity Episcopal Church. Abbeville was named after Abbeville, France which was why this church was built in the French Gothic Revival style. It was built and consecrated by 1860, almost 3 weeks before South Carolina's succession from the Union was decided during a meeting in this very town.
Along the railroad, Abbeville was a convenient stop for performing groups travelling from New York, NY to Richmond, VA and then to Atlanta, GA. The Abbeville Opera House was constructed in 1908 to accommodate these performers, and many famous faces have graced the elegant stage.
Named after a city of the same name in France, Abbeville today is known for its picturesque downtown square and it's history. The Welcome Center is the perfect starting point for experiencing everything Abbeville from the Opera House to the family-owned restaurants and historic buildings and through the birthplace and the deathbed of the Confederacy.
Located on the historic campus of Erskine College in Due West, the Bowie Art Center is an architecturally unique building that contains permanent collections of antiques, musical instruments and period room decor. "The North American Indian" exhibit is also on display, which presents American Indian culture and the early American West.
Calhoun Falls State Park sits astride several pine-covered points jutting into Lake Russell, one of the least-developed large reservoirs in South Carolina. Besides providing access to the Savannah River lake, the park offers camping, picnicking, a tennis court, playground, seasonal swimming and hiking. Area anglers know that Lake Russell holds large numbers of bass, bream, catfish and crappie.
This recreation area houses a 28-acre man-made lake that offers swimming, boating, picnic shelters, camp sites, fishing and is handicap accessible during daylight hours. Surrounding the lake is a marked trail that interprets the activities of early settlers in the upstate. Another trail climbs from the lake to the top of the mountain, passing the historic gold mines and ending at the fire tower.
The Donalds Grange was constructed in 1935 and originally served as the Town Hall, the local grange (meaning a public building with many uses) and the public library. The fieldstone construction and locally produced lumber make this building an important example of Depression Era public buildings. Since its construction, the well-preserved building has been the meeting hall for the agricultural and community-service organization known as the Donalds Grange.