Bring Back Ben's Barn

Help us replace a missing piece of Black history in what will become a Heritage Park in Pendleton, South Carolina.  From 1910 through the 1960s, this park area was a thriving business center located in the heart of the African American community. It was a haven that provided social relief during the unfriendly and oppressive era of Jim Crow.  It also offered a training school that prepared the youth for college and trade school.

Benjamin Horace Keese was a black businessman of Pendleton, and he created the first eating establishment for African Americans in the South Carolina upcountry.  The barn served this purpose until Keese left the area in the 1920' s. When Keese returned to Pendleton in 1928, he added the antiques barn to the structure. While working in Philadelphia, he became knowledgeable in antiques and in time "Keese Antiques" became famous for its merchandise, and an important institution in the town of Pendleton.   Keese was also a collector of manuscripts, photographs, and material culture on Afro-American life.
The Keese Barn served as a community store, the first public eating place for African Americans and a highly regarded antique store in South Carolina. This location became known as “The Hundreds” because of the large gathering of people who enjoyed socializing while playing or watching a competitive game of checkers, cards, and horseshoes.

The Keese Barn unfortunately fell into disrepair and was razed.  The Town of Pendleton is developing a Heritage Park at the site, but it will be missing its landmark building. We need your help building a replica of the Keese Barn to commemorate this history. The Pendleton Foundation for Black History and Culture, a non-profit, wants to make this landmark a historic destination in Heritage Park in memory of The Keese Barn and its builder, Ben Keese.
This Black history attraction will add a missing piece to the history of Historic Pendleton and enhance the public's appetite for more. The Barn will attract visitors and enable our organization to promote more historical facts relevant to African American life in the Pendleton area.

Donations will be  used to design and construct a façade/replica of the structure. The first $35,000 will go to developing architectural building plans so that we can get total cost estimate for replacing this historic structure.  Future plans include ocating a bronze statue of Ben Keese on the grounds to commemorate this historical period in Pendleton History. Thank you for giving.


  • Destinee Simpson
    • $30 
    • 1 yr
  • Curtis & Eartha White
    • $50 
    • 1 yr
  • Deveraux Williams
    • $100 
    • 1 yr
  • Marie Artis
    • $150 
    • 1 yr
  • Marie Artis
    • $150 
    • 1 yr


Pendleton Foundation for Black History & Culture
Registered nonprofit
Donations are typically 100% tax deductible in the US.

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