- South Carolina Railroad Museum: This museum is the largest attraction in Fairfield County, and with good reason. Since 1973, it’s been collecting various types of freight and passenger cars, as well as a steam locomotive, which once belonged to the Hampton and Branchville Railroad. You’ll see cabooses, freight cars, and diesel engines from CSX and Norfolk Southern, and you’ll learn about the rich local ties to the railroad industry.
- Fairfield County Museum: Restored and converted into the Fairfield County Museum in 1976, this three-story townhouse in Winnsboro is now listed on the National Historic Registry as a late example of Federal-style architecture. The ornate wood and plaster work of the interior were beautifully restored in the 1970s through the efforts of local preservationists. The museum features artifacts and furnishings that represent Fairfield County’s history, and a genealogy research room on the second floor is staffed by volunteers.
*Image credit: Fairfield County Historical Museum
- Town Clock (Longest Continually-Running Clock in the U.S.!): With a history dating back to 1785, the Town Clock in Winnsboro is the longest continuously running clock in the U.S. The works for the clock were imported to Charleston by sailboat and hauled to Winnsboro in wagons. Some reports indicate that the journey required up to 50 wagons in total! Today, you can visit the site to admire the stunning architecture and hear the signature chime. The first floor is now used as meeting space for the town’s various organizations and as a voting location. The second floor of the Town Clock is home to the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce.
- Fairfield County Courthouse: The County Courthouse, located across from the Town Clock, has observed Winnsboro’s daily activities since 1823. Designed by South Carolina architect Robert Mills, the courthouse is home to records dating as far back as the mid-1700s.
Bed and Breakfasts
- Whispering Willows Bed and Breakfast: In Ridgeway, enjoy some time for reflection and relaxation when you’re a guest at Whispering Willows, tucked away in the woods and designed for restoration.
- Songbird Manor Bed and Breakfast: Built in 1912, this bed and breakfast provides a big helping of southern charm. Awaken each morning to the melodies of local songbirds and enjoy the surrounding neighborhood filled with homes built as early as the 1800s.
*Image credit: Whispering Willows Bed & Breakfast
Unique Dining and Shopping
- Laura’s Tea Room: Spend a portion of your day in the relaxing confines of Laura’s Tea Room in Ridgeway. Enjoy the distinguished beauty of tea room offerings, the downstairs deli, and the adjoining gift shop.
- Ruff and Co. Mercantile: Still heated with a wood stove, this 1840s hardware store will take you back in time. Browse the aisles filled with antiques or enjoy conversation with locals, who now utilize the space to swap stories and pass the time.
*Image credit: Laura’s Tea Room