Located in Winnsboro, the Fairfield County Museum was founded in the 1970s by the Fairfield County Historical Society. It is housed in the Ketchin Building, which, interestingly enough, is nearly an exact replica of the Heyward-Washington House in Charleston.
Constructed in the early 1800s as a private home, the Ketchin Building later served as a girls’ school. Since then, it has undergone numerous transitions but retains many of its original architectural details.
Director Pelham Lyles (who drew the picture below) and her small team of staff and volunteers are extremely helpful with their knowledge of the area, and they will gladly point out the most significant sites on a map. The museum itself houses numerous artifacts related to the history of the town and its surroundings, which date to the Revolutionary War.
The Ketchin Building is listed in the National Register:
The Ketchin Building was built about 1830 by Richard Cathcart and is a highly unusual example of Federal architecture in central South Carolina. The house was sold to George Williamson Livermore Ladd in 1852 and was used as a school for girls until closed by the Civil War. In 1862, the property was sold to Philip E. Porcher, and was again sold in 1874 to Priscilla Ketchin.
This Federal style three-story brick building is five bays wide and exhibits a hipped roof, a double front door crowned by a transom, string courses, sash windows, and hand-hammered hardware. The front foundation wall is cut granite; the others are rubbed granite, veneered with brick. The walls are eighteen inches thick to the third floor and fourteen inches thick from that point to the roof. The brick on the front wall is Flemish bond, the side and rear walls are of common bond. The flat arches over the window openings are made of wedge shaped bricks with rubbed surfaces.
All floors have central halls that extend through the house with two rooms on either side. A fireplace for each room is provided through one of the four chimneys. The plastered hallways and high-ceilinged rooms are decorated with wainscoting, cornices, and mantels with sunburst designs.
Fred M Robertson says
I am a direct decendant of William Ross Robertson “The Judge” and have visited the Robertson-Doty House at Rural Point south of town. While there I also visited the Benoni Robertson house, which then was occupied by a veternairy clinic. Do you have the address of this house?
Thanks for your help….Fred Robertson
Hi, Fred! We are not actually connected with the museum but simply document South Carolina landmarks. Go to the website for the museum above the map, and hopefully someone there will be able to help you. Best of luck!
Bobby Britts says
On Saturday afternoon, June 14th, my friend Van and I rode the Rockton, Rion, and Western Railroad train. Later at 3:30 PM we found the new office of Southeast RCAP at 104 S. Congress St. Then I thought I could find the Fairfield County Museum but I was looking at the wood frame house at 225 S. Congress St. There were 2 bulldog mastiff dogs on the front porch listening to the radio and enjoying the cooling fan, but no humans were there. After walking around the building I realized this was the wrong address. I tried next door at about 229 S. Congress St. and nobody was there. So the Winnsboro adventure ended for that day. Bobby Britts, Lexington SC