In the nineteenth century, livery stables or barns boarded horses for hire. Visitors to a town could rent a horse for the duration of their stay. Few South Carolina liveries remain, and this one, located on Trinity Street in historic downtown Abbeville, is an especially fine example. (Another great example is the Gaston Livery Stable in Aiken.)
Abbeville’s original livery was built in the 1840s. Constructed of wood, it was consumed by the 1872 fire that swept through Abbeville. The current stable was built in the late 1870s on the site of the original stable.
After the Civil War, Abbeville’s Livery Stable was operated by former planters A. M. Hill and Sons, whose livery business also let carriages. Hills Livery Stable operated year-round with the sell of livestock supplementing its winter income. According to the June 13, 1894 edition of The Abbeville Press and Banner, following the war, the Hills were “broke and penniless, yet by application to business, and taking care of their own, they have amassed a fortune, and are today among the richest men in town.” According to the same story, “No stable in South Carolina can give a man a better outfit than A.M. Hill and Sons.”
Above, an ad from 1893 announces that Dr. T.J. Kinard, a large animal veterinarian from Ninety-Six, would be arriving to the livery stable to treat area animals. According to the advertisement, the veterinarian services were available to the public on the third Saturday of the month.
When automobiles replaced horses, the building was repurposed as a warehouse. The structure was donated to the city in 2002 by Mrs. Margaret Flynn Bowie, and the Trinity Street Enhancement Project restored the building in 2010. The project included exterior work and new flooring. Today, the stable is home to the Abbeville County Farmers Market and can also be rented for special events. It is located within walking distance of several other Abbeville landmarks, including the Abbeville Trinity Church, the Abbeville Opera House, and the Abbeville County Courthouse.
More Pictures of the Livery Stable
Abbeville Livery Stable Info
Address: 118 Trinity Street, Abbeville, SC 29620
GPS Coordinates: 34.176044,-82.381007
Abbeville Livery Stable Map
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