If you’re searching for ghost towns in South Carolina, we’ve got you covered! Below are 8 different ghost towns you can explore across South Carolina along with their status and exact GPS coordinates.
We rate ghost towns in South Carolina based on their status. Here’s how our system works:
- Abandoned: Is abandoned with ruins and structures in a decayed state. Great for urban explorers.
- Historic: Preservation efforts have been made and sometimes plaques installed. Great for everyone.
- Barren: Almost nothing remains of the town. Ideal for metal detectorists.
- Commercial: Is commercially owned with amenities, restaurants, and stores. Great for families.
- Semi-Abandoned: Abandoned areas with a small population in the area.
- Privately Owned: Tours might be available but not open to the general public.
The history of Mountville is quite interesting. The town was founded in 1696 by a man from Dorchester, Massachusetts. He named it after his hometown, but it was abandoned in 1751 after the town’s founder moved to a new location. Eventually, the town lost its population, as the inhabitants were forced to find jobs in other locations.
In 2010, Mountville was home to about 80 residents, down from its peak population of 130 in 2000. The town is home to an old cemetery, a former train station, and two churches. The town is home to the oldest known church in South Carolina, the First Baptist Church.
Ashwood was first settled in the 1900s as part of President FDR’s New Deal project. Ashwood was one of many ghost towns in South Carolina that were part of this project in an effort to revitalize farmlands and bring areas of the south out of poverty.
Today a few old homes are left, but most notably the old Ashwood School Gymnasium from 1938 still stands and is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Ferguson is one of the few ghost towns in South Carolina located on an island. Founded in 1881, the town was formed to support the local lumber company which was booming at the time. However, when operations ceased in 1917, the town was practically abandoned overnight.
Today, this ghost town is partially submerged beneath Lake Marion.
Not much is known about Hillsville, with it being easily one of the most obscure ghost towns in South Carolina. This small community thrived in the early 1900s, but eventually fell to the wayside for some reason or another.
Today, three structures remain. Explorers can check out the ruins of the old pharmacy, bank, and warehouse all buried in bramble along the old railroad.
Ellenton was founded in the mid-19th century as a railroad town when the railroad superintendent fell in love with a local 20-something. However, Ellenton has one of the darkest histories of all the ghost towns in South Carolina. The town suffered a race riot in 1876, during which one white man and 100 African Americans were killed.
The land was purchased by the Atomic Energy Commission, forcing all residents to move to New Ellenton.
Today, the land is barren, with only the outlines of streets and old driveways left behind. The property is currently used by the local energy company.
During the early 1950s, Dunbarton, South Carolina was an agricultural, trading, and sawmill town. There were about 300 people in the town at that time. The town had about 35 homes, 15 commercial buildings, and two schools.
The town grew in popularity after a railroad station was built on a new rail line. In 1951, the town was purchased by the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission and used as part of the Savannah River Plant. The town was eventually abandoned, but its history remains a fascinating one.
Almost nothing remains of this ghost town other than the old road which is blocked off, and some overgrown railroad tracks nearby.
The first population census was taken in 1723 and shows that the area was divided into two. There was a sparsely populated upper part and a thriving lower portion. In 1748, there were 37,068 people in the county, of which 88 percent were black. The population declined before the Revolutionary War, with many people moving to Summerville.
Today the area is one of the best-preserved ghost towns in South Carolina. Visitors can check out the old cemetery, as well as the historic homes and various ruins that date back to the 1800s.
Before Andersonville became a ghost town, it was once an active town. A school was planned in Andersonville. In the early 1900s, the town was home to a Catholic church, as a way to educate the local population. When Lake Hartwell was constructed the entire town was flooded.
Nearly all of the community is now underwater, with the exception of Andersonville Island which hosts a few hints of the town’s existence.
Go out and explore!
That concludes our list of ghost towns in South Carolina but that doesn’t mean that’s all there is to find. Take the back roads, follow train tracks, and find some places for yourself. There are plenty of places I kept off this list so get out there and explore.