I stumbled upon this haunting echo of the Old South while driving the back roads near Starr, S.C. The Shiloh Schoolhouse was built in 1882 (according to one online source, though I can’t verify that date is accurate). Whatever the date, it’s surely been at least a lifetime since the chatter of school children were last heard and the final clangs rang out from the school’s bell tower.
The schoolhouse sits in the middle of a pasture, near the juncture of US 29 and SC 412, sadly decaying into ruin — a condition undoubtedly hastened over the years due to the fact the structure also doubles as a shelter for cattle. Why no preservation efforts have ever intervened to save the building from crumbling into disrepair is a troubling testament to a community’s lack of respect for its heritage.
I did a little digging online but wasn’t able to find out much about Shiloh’s history. One source said the school closed in 1901, but that doesn’t jive with a story I read about a retired school teacher (now in her 90s) who claims to have worked as the school’s teacher in 1942. The schoolhouse was moved from its original site when Lake Hartwell was flooded, sometime in the early 1960s.
We at RSM would love to know more about the Shiloh school and its past. Here’s hoping some of our readers can share additional information about its history, especially since the crumbling structure’s days appear numbered. Judging from the looks of things, Shiloh may soon give up the ghost, collapsing with one final gasp — one last echo … to go along with the bawls from the bovines.