Cotton grows prolifically in Williamsburg County; in fact, the county seat, Kingstree, boasts one of the largest cotton markets in the country. With the cash crop thriving in this part of the Pee Dee, cotton gins such as this one in Salters can be seen throughout the county.
Though cotton remains a viable cash crop in Salters and other nearby communities, this cotton gin closed in the 1970s. The abandoned building rests behind the vacant silos of the former W.S. McCollough and Sons Store and Grain.
UPDATE: Linda Brown says that plans to tear down the cotton gin are scheduled for March 24, 2015. In response to the impending demolition, Brown captured what will likely be the last photographs of the building, seen below. She tells us, “The owners say it was a hard decision to make but one that they felt they had to make at this time.”
Of the above photo, Brown says, “This shot shows its proximity to the railroad.”
She goes on to note of the picture above, “A different angle on the old gin which shows that it is more or less just a shell.”
She captured the image above to give readers “a view of the interior of the gin.”
Finally, Brown took the above photo in March of 2015 to compare the state of the building to its appearance two years earlier (seen at the top of this page). She says, “This shot is similar to the one I took in July 2013. I think this shows how much deterioration has taken place over the past two years.”
Reflections on the Salters Cotton Gin
Contributor Linda Brown shares, “Friends who grew up in Salters fondly remember that a popular pastime in the fall was to jump the bales of cotton waiting to be ginned. I’ve also been told that the three stores that were then operating in Salters would stay open late at night during the ginning season for the convenience of the gin workers.”
Johnnie Nelson says
I remember this place in Salters, my grandfather and great grandfather, Van Nelson, Sr., used to live not to far from the cotton gin! I hate to see historic places like these be destroyed. These are the places to remind you of where you ancestors and relatives lived and once worked.
Bill Segars says
Thanks to all of those that save and send images to SCIWAY of cotton gins, tobacco barns, country stores and mill villages; these places are disappearing from South Carolina’s landscape at an alarming rate. Our ancestors lost Southern features and lifestyles that they held dear and we are surviving, I can only hope that our decedents will survive also. They will as long as we remind them through photos and conversations of what they have lost. It’s hard to appreciate what one has until they understand what they missed out on.
Bill, thank you for your beautiful words and for recognizing the value in these buildings, farms, and other landmarks that tell the story of our state and its hard-working people.