Upstate Treasures: historic Pendleton and Belton’s SC Tennis Hall of Fame and the Blue Ridge Depot (free family attractions near Greenville)

Tennis has a proud history in South Carolina, and much can be found in the South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame dowtown Belton, just 30 miles southwest of Greenville. The Tennis Hall of Fame is housed in the Belton’s Ruth Drake Museum on the historic 1910 Southern and Blue Ridge Railway Depot.

SC Tennis Hall of Fame

It features portraits of the inductees painted by Belton native and one of country’s best known artists Wayland Moore. Moore paints the portraits during the winter months, and they are unveiled during the Wachovia Palmetto Championships, played in Belton each year first week in June. Though 2007 the SC Hall of Fame has 45 inductees.

SC Tennis Hall of Fame portraits

You can also enjoy memorabilia donated by the inductees: old trophies, tennis racquets, pictures and an umpire’s chair used in Wimbledon. The Hall of Fame is FREE to attend and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 AM to 4 PM. Address: 50 North Main Street, Belton, SC, (864) 338-7751.

The Ruth Drake Museum focuses on the agricultural, railroad and industrial history of Belton and the Upstate. The newly renovated award winning museum features permanent and monthly changing exhibits as well as a coffee house and a gift shop.

Bowler

Belton 1910 Southern and Blue Ridge Railway Depot
A train whistle was heard once again as the Historic Belton Train Depot celebrated the grand re-opening of the facility on March 25, 2007. This event celebrated the two-year long reconstruction project for the historic Southern-Blue Ridge Combined Railway Train Depot in Belton, SC.

Belton Depot

Upcoming Events at Belton Depot

1. August 16 – October 4: Key Ingredients: America by Food, A Smithsonian Institute Traveling Exhibit and a world record attempt for the World’s Largest Cake Walk! All festival attendees and vendors are encouraged to register before 11:00 AM to participate. This event will be included in the Alternative Book of World Records, contact Alison Darby (864) 958-5264 for details.

2. October 2 through 4: The 4th Annual Heritage Days
15 traditional skills artisans will share their folk art and talents at the historic Belton Train Depot. This year’s artisans include a split oak basket weaver, a Cherokee beader, a wool felter, a gunsmith, a camp cook, a leather crafter, a country dance master, and a redware potter.

3. Live concerts are held each 2nd and 4th Saturday night at 6:00 PM.

Pendleton Walking Tour, Old Stone Church, Ashtabula and Woodburn Houses

While in the area make sure to drive up to Pendleton the “old Charleston of the Upstate“, that luckily escaped being burned during Civil War and now delights visitors with over 30 historic houses, churches and many exquisite antique shops. Here are lots details, driving directions, open hours and admission fees.

Farmer's Hall Pendleton photo

The entire town is on the National Register of Historic Places. Among the highlights: Farmer’s Hall (oldest in the nation that’s in continuous use), Hunter’s Store (most popular mercantile store in the region), Old Stone Church (where Andrew Pickens, Gen. Anderson and John Miller are burried), Ashtabula (the 1st licensed tavern in the Upcountry) and Woodburn (birthplace of African-American activitist Jane Edna Hunter).

Journey back in time along the SC National Heritage Corridor!

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