Old Shiloh School – Starr, South Carolina
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Please note that the old Shiloh School sits on private property and suffers from extensive termite damage. Its owner is contemplating tearing it down because trespassers routinely come on her property and enter the building, which is not safe. Please do not intrude without permission.
Known as the old Shiloh School, this beloved landmark is located in Anderson County just outside the community of Starr near the juncture of US 29 and SC 412 (also called Rainey Road). The area was once known as Holland’s Store.
There has been a Shiloh School in Starr since at least 1889, as a clipping from the Anderson Intelligencer, dated November 21st of that year, shows that the community “employed Mr. W. R. Earle to teach a ten months’ [sic] school for them at that place.”
The school was almost certainly associated with a nearby church of the same name (see map below). The age of the church is unknown, but newspaper accounts show that a Christmas tree was displayed there in 1884. Further, in an 1887 article, the Reverend B. M. Peck is listed as the pastor of Shiloh.
The three-room school building usually staffed two teachers, though there were years when it employed only one teacher and years when it hired up to three. Shiloh was ranked a “first class rural graded school” due to its adequate supply of properly-sized desks and chairs, as well as the sufficient quality of its blackboard, as noted by Furman University professor Lueco Gunter in his 1918 study of Anderson County’s schools.
Mrs. Hazel Cooper Griffin Glenn served as Shiloh School’s teacher and principal in 1942. In an interview with Ms. Glenn, we learn that the school was heated by fire and had no interior plumbing. We also learn that she taught about 20 students during her year and received $90 a month for being the teacher, $5 a month for being the principal, and “not anything for being the janitor!”
The school is the subject of an oft-repeated myth. Construction on nearby Lake Hartwell began in 1955 and lasted until 1963. Many claim that Shiloh School was moved from its original location to the pasture where it now rests to avoid flooding. However, this is untrue. As seen in the below excerpt from the South Carolina Department of Transportation’s 1937 survey of Anderson County, Shiloh School has been sitting in the same place – at the juncture of US 29 and SC 412 – since at least that time.
The community was originally named in honor of the Holland family, which operated a mercantile near the Savannah River named Holland’s Store. We are seeking information on when and why the community opted to change its name to Starr.
SCIWAY thanks contributors Courtney Jones and Cricket Jenkins, both of whom were instrumental in supplying us with information on this fascinating old school. We also thank Anderson County Museum curator Alison Hinman for information regarding Leuco Gunter’s study. Finally, we thank the owner, Mrs. Darlene Roach, as well as her late husband Wendell, for the time they spent sharing stories about their home.
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Old Shiloh School Info
Address: Intersection of US 29 and SC 412, Starr, SC 29684
GPS Coordinates: 34.389448,-82.807019
Old Shiloh School Map
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