A History of Allendale, South Carolina


Allendale County Court House - Allendale, SC (2008)

The original site of the town of Allendale was not the present town center. There is an historical marker at the original location, which is southwest of Allendale at the intersection of roads 107 and 47. The historical marker is in the southwest corner of the intersection. It reads: "Original site of Allendale, named for its first postmaster, Paul Allen, in 1849. Sherman's troops under Gen. Kilpatrick camped here. Town moved to present site by 1873." The marker was erected by the Allendale County Museum.

For the history deprived, General William Tecumseh Sherman's Union troops burned the buildings at the old location of Allendale to the ground, and probably attempted to burn the very ground itself. In Georgia they burned Atlanta, and in South Carolina, they attempted to burn the very dirt. War may be hell, but Sherman, his associates, allies, and their ilk, have been wished "they were there" ever since by all who were in his path. He forever changed the face of everything in his path.

There is also an historical maker in the center of Allendale, in front of the county administration building on U.S. Highway 301. It reads:

"Town of Allendale. In 1810, pursuant to an Act of the South Carolina General Assembly, the state conveyed a 1,000 acre land grant signed by Governor John Drayton to Benjamin and G. Washington Allen. The acreage included the present town of Allendale, which is presumed to have derived its name from the Allen family. (Reverse) Allendale post office was established here July 11, 1849; Paul H. Allen was the first postmaster. By 1873 the Port Royal Railroad had completed a line through Allendale, and that same year the town was incorporated by the South Carolina General Assembly. The town limits extended in a three-quarter mile radius from the depot. Erected by Allendale Civic League-1980."



Gravel Hill House - Benjamin Lawton Willingham - 1856

The first large community in this section was about six miles from the present town and was called "Old Allendale" or "Buddenville." This community had four stores, one academy (established in 1870 - which was the pride of the countryside), and a Baptist Church with a Parsonage. During those days the mail was brought to Buddenville by horseback from Barnwell.

As the neighborhood became more thickly settled, they applied for a post office. After securing the post office, it was necessary to secure a name for their village. Many names were discussed and finally the name "Allendale" was chosen. An Act to charter the town of Allendale was passed by the state legislature on December 20, 1873. The first town hall was located on the same lot where the present town hall stands. This was a small one-room frame structure with a piazza across the front. In 1901, the present town hall was built, and a town government was set up.

In the middle 1940s, the much traveled north-south Federal Highway 301 brought a tourist trade that has always been of considerable value to the town's economics. Also, being on the fringe of the Savannah River Plant in recent years has brought many people from all over the country to live in Allendale. This influx has added to the community and has brought additional enrollment to our schools, churches, and business community.


Established in Barnwell District (county), Allendale was granted a U.S. Post Office on July 11, 1849, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Paul H. Allen. It has been in continuous operation ever since inception.


© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved