South Carolina Picture Project
 
South Carolina Picture Project

Barnwell County Courthouse — Barnwell, South Carolina


SC Picture Project  |  Barnwell County  |  Barnwell County Courthouse


18 Best South Carolina Gifts Ever
Barnwell County Courthouse

The original Barnwell County Courthouse was built in 1789 in neighboring Boiling Springs (not to be confused with the Spartanburg County town by the same name). A subsequent courthouse was built on this site in 1800 after Barnwell became the county seat.

Barnwell Courthouse

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2009 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Two more buildings followed in 1819 and 1848. The latter was burned by Federal troops during the Civil War in 1865, and afterwards court was held in Barnwell Presbyterian Church until 1869. At that time the county seat was moved to nearby Blackville. However, Barnwell regained the county seat in 1874, and the church again housed the courts until 1878, when construction began on the current courthouse.

Barnwell County Court House SC

Melissa Roberts of Barnwell, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This courthouse – the fourth and final to be built on this site – was completed in 1879. Additions were made to the building in 1901 and in 1921 to create two fireproof repositories for court records. The white plaster was added by the Works Progress Administration in the 1930s. Prior to this exterior renovation, the courthouse was red brick.

Barnwell Court House

Mike Stroud of Bluffton, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Barnwell County Courthouse – Sundial


The unusual “town clock” in Barnwell is actually a sundial and tells the time by the angle of the sun in the sky. Quite possibly the only one of its kind, it has displayed the accurate time – within two minutes of standard time – for over 150 years. The vertical sundial is located on Main Street in front of the Barnwell County Courthouse. It was a gift to the city in 1858 from state senator J.D. Allen.

Barnwell County Courthouse Sundial

Kathy Dickerson of Greenwood, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The plaque, seen below, stands near the sundial, detailing its history. The following inscription can be found on the plaque:

“The oldest known device for the measurement of time, a sundial indicates time by the position of the shadow of a gnomon cast by the sun on the face of a dial marked in hours. The gnomon is a flat piece of metal in the center of the dial with its back pointing towards the North Pole when in the northern hemisphere and facing due south and with the upper edge slanting at an angle equal to the altitude of the location of the sundial.

Obtained from Mr. D. B. Hasleton, Ironmonger, of Charleston, S. C., this sundial was presented to the citizens of Barnwell in September, 1858, by Joseph Duncan Allen (1812-1880), benefactor and philanthropist of Barnwell, who served in the Florida Seminole Indian War, Mexican War and Confederate Army, S. C. House of Representatives and S. C. Senate.

Atop the sundial, a cannonball rests which was used in the Confederate War.

Although the adjacent courthouse was destroyed by fire in 1865, the sundial survived and is in its original location. In 1918, a concrete curbing was added as a protection against traffic hazards. The sundial was repainted, additional concrete reinforcement was added at the base and after much research, this plaque was designed and installed on June 3, 1986.

Barnwell County Courthouse Sundial Marker

Kathy Dickerson of Greenwood, 2018 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Barnwell County Courthouse – Historical Marker


Barnwell Court House Marker

Melissa Roberts of Barnwell, 2012 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Barnwell Courthouse Marker

Melissa Roberts of Barnwell, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Barnwell County Courthouse Info


Address: 141 Main Street, Barnwell, SC 29812
GPS Coordinates: 33.243689,-81.364951

Barnwell County Courthouse Map

Please Share Your Thoughts!


Did you enjoy this page? Do you have any information we should add? Send us your comments below — we can't wait to hear from you!

One Comment about Barnwell County Courthouse

Robert Kellogg says:
June 10th, 2018 at 11:08 am

Hello, I am with the North American Sundial Society (NASS) as sundial registrar. I would like permission to add Ann Helms, Kathy Dickerson and Melisa Roberts photos of the Barnwell dial to our sundial registry. The Barnwell dial (#112) has only one photo. You can see the sparse entry at http://www.sundials.org/index.php/component/sundials/oneDial/112. Details from the article will be added as well.

Thank you
Bob

Robert L. Kellogg
NASS Sundial Registrar
nass_registrar@sundials.org




SC PICTURE PROJECT

Join Us on Facebook
Search for Landmarks

TOWNS & LANDMARKS

Abbeville ACE Basin Adams Run Aiken Allendale Anderson Awendaw Bamberg Banks Barns & Farms Barnwell Batesburg-Leesville Beaches Beaufort Beech Island Belton Bennettsville Bishopville Blackville Bluffton Bridges Bygone Landmarks Camden Carnegie Libraries Cayce Cemeteries Charleston Charleston Navy Base Cheraw Chester Chesterfield Churches Clemson Clinton Clio Colleges Columbia Conway Cordesville Courthouses Darlington Daufuskie Island Denmark Dillon Donalds Easley Edgefield Edisto Elloree Fairfax Florence Folly Beach Forests and Nature Preserves Fort Mill Fountain Inn Gaffney Garden City Beach Georgetown Glenn Springs Graniteville Greeleyville Greenville Greenwood Greer Hamburg Hampton Hardeeville Hartsville Hemingway Hilton Head Historical Photos Historic Houses Honea Path Hopkins Huger Hunting Island Isle of Palms Jails James Island Jamestown Johns Island Johnsonville Johnston Kiawah Island Kingstree Lake City Lake Marion Lakes Lancaster Landrum Latta Laurens Lexington Libraries Lighthouses Little River Manning Marion McClellanville McCormick Military Mills Moncks Corner Mountains Mount Carmel Mount Pleasant Mullins Murrells Inlet Myrtle Beach National Register Newberry Ninety Six North Augusta North Charleston North Myrtle Beach Orangeburg Pacolet Parks Pawleys Island Pendleton Pickens Piers Pinopolis Plantations Pomaria Port Royal Post Offices Ravenel Restaurants Ridge Spring Ridgeway Rivers Roadside Oddities Robert Mills Rock Hill Rockville Rosenwald Schools Salters Saluda Savannah River Site SC Artists SC Heroes of the Alamo Schools Seneca Shrimp Boats Society Hill Spartanburg Sports Springs St. George St. Helena Island St. Matthews Stateburg Stores Sullivan's Island Summerton Summerville Sumter Sunset Sunsets Synagogues Town Clocks Trains & Depots Trees Trenton Troy Turbeville Ulmer Union Wadmalaw Island Walhalla Walterboro Waterfalls Water Towers West Columbia Westminster Winnsboro Woodruff Yemassee York