Travel Log: Pendleton, South Carolina



On November 18, 2016, I woke earlier than usual. You see, I’m accustomed to working late hours as a custom WordPress theme designer and I find that I function better, as a coder, at those later hours of the day. I was up at 5:30 a.m. and on my way to rendezvous with Hutch.

I adopted Hutch as my photography mentor and he has provided professional advice too over time. Hutch hired me to create his latest photography website using, which you’ll find at Hutch.Photography.

We met at a midway location at 7 a.m. and were on our way. Drove down Interstate 85 South for almost two hours before reaching Pendleton. I need to thank Hank Myers Photography for suggesting the locations in this town. I had looked up urban exploration (UrbanX or UrbanEx) locations on Google Maps and after a while of searching, I found the town I wanted to visit and then I saw Hank’s photography on there and finally found them on Facebook. He kindly provided all the answers I needed. Pendleton is off I-85S at exit 19B. Wikipedia has this to say about the town:

Pendleton is a town in Anderson County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,964 at the 2010 census. It is a sister city of Stornoway in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland.

The Pendleton Historic District, consisting of the town and its immediate surroundings, was added to the National Register of Historical Places in 1970. Particularly notable historic buildings on the Pendleton town square include Farmer’s Hall and Hunter’s Store, which is currently the headquarters of the Pendleton District Historical, Recreational and Tourism Commission. Near Pendleton are the historic plantation homes Ashtabula and Woodburn.

For centuries, the land that is now Pendleton was the territory of the Cherokee nation. After England claimed South Carolina as a colony, the Cherokee traded with the British. After the Cherokee lost the war of 1759-60 against the British, the British dominated trade in the region and began to settle more of the land with large farms. Andrew Pickens, who was a general in the Revolutionary War moved to the area and commissioned the district of Pendleton in 1790. During the first half of the 1800s, wealthy families built homes in Pendleton. Charles Cotesworth Pinckney (1789–1865) built Woodburn Plantation in 1830. Later, the Adger family, a wealthy family from Charleston, expanded the plantation to over 1,000 acres (400 ha) and enlarged the house to over 18 rooms. The Ashtabula, Boone-Douthit House, Faith Cabin Library at Anderson County Training School, Pendleton Historic District, and Woodburn are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

I drove in first to Pendleton Cotton Mill and we both took a few pictures from outside the fence. It’s good to have a wide and telescoping lens for these shots. I wasn’t very impressed by this location because my experience of it was limited by the fence. After a few minutes we drove back into town to see a church with many people lined up outside waiting for turkey and I parked in the shade to transfer the photos I had taken to my phone. Then we drove back out to Pendleton Oil Mill and parked by the roadside. Hutch disappeared somewhere into the Mill’s surroundings while I had seen the brick side near the railroad tracks and wanted that view. Then I found other interesting angles, an old, rusted water tower and luckily I saw light shafts, at the right time, in one open room that were breathtaking.

Even though we had started early in the morning, and even on other trips, we still had a strong, harsh light coming down when we finally started taking pictures. I learned from Hutch to look for sharp angles and shadows that contrasted each other. I took a shot of that happening between three standing structures and haven’t posted it online.

We joined up again and walked across the road to see a building falling apart and the tracks passing it. The light was too harsh and we were both saying that it was boring. It was almost 11:30 a.m. by then and I had planned to head back to Charlotte, North Carolina at noon. We decided to drive out towards Seneca, South Carolina, as I wasn’t satisfied yet with the trip being well spent. To be continued…


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