South Carolina Department of Archives and History
National Register Properties in South Carolina

St. Stephens Episcopal Church, Fairfield County (S.C. Sec. Rd. 106, Ridgeway)
Right Oblique

The oldest church in Ridgeway, and the oldest public building in the area, St. Stephen’s (ca. 1854) is a gem of modified Gothic Revival architecture. The church features a steep flared gabled roof with a rose window in the gable. The front entrance is on the west end with double doors. A steep gabled pavilion with double doors is on the south side. The exterior was originally of pine, painted maroon. Around 1920, the church was brick veneered. A wing, containing the parish house and church school, was added in the 1940s. The pine interior is given a finish, which is rare, described as a “lost art.” It was stained or painted in natural brown (pine-like) and while the pain or varnish was still wet, rubbed vertically with heavy burlap bagging, giving the wood a “natural finish” of wood grain appearance. The sanctuary furnishings are mahogany. Windows were originally of clear glass, papered with a stained-glass-like paper. In 1949 stained glass windows designed and made by the Payne Studios of Patterson, NJ were installed. The church has been in continuous use. The grounds include a well-kept cemetery with tombstones bearing the names of builders and early families. A handsome wrought-iron fence and gateway encloses the churchyard. Listed in the National Register May 6, 1971.

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