About Us

Fall_Ash“Banking the Fire Thus to Guard The Flame”
From the poem “Pendleton: Profit and Loss” by Robert Adger Bowen. Bowden refers to the historical nightly practice of covering coals in the fireplace with ashes to preserve them until the next morning. We believe this line crystallizes the meaning and purpose of the Pendleton Historic Foundation.

The Pendleton Historic Foundation was founded in 1960’s to ensure the preservation of the historic house at Woodburn. While the funds were being raised to restore the Woodburn house, the Mead Paper Company donated Ashtabula and an additional 10 acres of land to the Foundation, similarly ensuring its preservation for future generations.

As a result of these efforts, the Pendleton Historic Foundation now owns and operates two of the largest Upcountry plantation homes as historical museums for the enjoyment and educational purposes of visitors of all ages.

Preservation & Exhibition:

Both houses were placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. Ashtabula and Woodburn have been operated as house museums since the mid-1970’s and are located on the South Carolina National Heritage Corridor.

Mission Statement: The Pendleton Historic Foundation is an IRS 501 (c)(3) not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to the restoration and preservation of historic properties in Pendleton and the interpretation of the diverse history and cultural heritage of the area.


  • Restoration, preservation, and exhibition of Woodburn (c. 1830) and Ashtabula (c. 1825) historic houses
  • Educational programs in American and SC History for visitors of all ages: A major focus is providing insightful programs for school groups along with hands-on demonstrations. Each year, the Foundation sponsors a number of educational programs at each house including seasonal events and living history tours. The Foundation hosts dozens of home school, public, and private school tours throughout the year as well.
  • Historic preservation education and assistance to the community: This is a subsidiary made up of local homeowners of houses over 50 years. This organization provides preservation education and support through a historic house registry, guest speakers, programs and quarterly meetings.