National and global events all happened some­where, and historical markers mark the place where many occurred. But the richness of history is in its local details, details that can be insignificant on the global stage: the home of an in­di­vi­dual who made a dif­fe­rence; a natural feature, building, byway; or just some­thing in­te­res­ting that happened nearby. History is not just about the high and mighty.


A town laid out at this site in 1791 called Rockville was officially named Pickensville the next year in honor of Gen. Andrew Pickens. It served as the court house town of Washington District (today’s Pickens, Greenville, Anderson, and Oconee Counties) from 1791 to 1800 when the district was divided into Greenville and Pickens.

Fort Hill

Home of
John C. Calhoun
—– • —–
United States Congressman 1811-1817
Secretary of War 1817-1825
Vice President of the United States 1825-1832
United States Senator 1832-1843
Secretary of State 1844-1845
United States Senator 1845-1850

Home of
Thomas G. Clemson 1872-1888
Son-in-Law of
John C. Calhoun

Old Stone Church / Old Stone Church Graveyard

Old Stone Church
This church was built in 1797 for Hopewell (Keowee) Presbyterian congregation by John Rusk on land given by John Miller. Andrew Pickens and Robert Anderson of Revolutionary War fame were elders at its organization. The Reverend Thomas Reese, D.D., eminent Presbyterian clergymen, was the first minister. He died in 1796 and was buried here.

Old Stone Church Graveyard
Among the graves here are those of John Miller, London printer and publisher of the Pendleton Messenger, Andrew Pickens and Robert Anderson, Revolutionary War heroes, and other veterans of the Revolutionary War, Creek War, War of 1812, Mexican War, Civil War and World Wars I and II. Gen. Anderson’s remains were moved here in 1958 from his plantation.

Hopewell / Hopewell Indian Treaties

Hopewell was the family home of General Andrew Pickens, Revolutionary War hero and Indian Commissioner, and his wife, Rebecca Calhoun Pickens. Their son, Andrew Pickens, S.C. Governor, 1816-1818, later owned Hopewell, and it was the childhood home of his son, Francis Wilkinson Pickens, S.C. Governor, 1860-1862.

Hopewell Indian Treaties
300 yds. NW on November 28, 1785, U.S. Treaty Commissioners, Benjamin Hawkins, Andrew Pickens, Joseph Martin & Lachlan McIntosh, met with 918 Cherokees and signed the first treaty between the United States of America and the Cherokee Nation. Similar treaties were signed here with the Choctaws and Chickasaws on January 3 and 10, 1786.

Keowee / John Ewing Colhoun

2¼ miles west is the site of Keowee built by John Ewing Colhoun as his upcountry seat in 1792. His sister, Mrs. Andrew Pickens, lived nearby at Hopewell. His daughter, Floride, married her cousin, John C. Calhoun, and lived at Fort Hill, 2½ miles south. This estate was inherited by his son, John Ewing, who lived here and made lavish improvements.

John Ewing Colhoun
Lawyer, Planter, Privy Councillor,
State Legislator and U.S. Senator.
Born in 1751 in Virginia, he moved to the Long Canes in 1756. He studied and practiced law in Charleston. He served in the militia during the Revolution and was appointed in 1782 as a Commissioner of Forfeited Estates. He died on October 26, 1802 at Keowee and was buried there.

Asbury F. Lever

Asbury Francis Lever served in Congress, 1901–1919. On May 8, 1914, the Smith-Lever Act, introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives by Lever, was signed into law, providing for cooperative agricultural extension services to be administered by land-grant colleges. Clemson, a land-grant institution founded in 1889, has such a service. Rep. Lever is buried here on Cemetery Hill.

Oolenoy Baptist Church

This church, named for the Cherokee chief, Woolenoy – the spelling was changed to Oolenoy in 1827 – was organized in 1795 by Rev. John Chastain, who became its first minister. By 1797, with 50 members, it was admitted to the Bethel Baptist Association; it has since been a member of the Saluda, Twelve Mile River, Pickens, and Pickens-Twelve Mile Baptist Associations.

Rev. Tyre L. Roper, the longest-serving minister here, preached at Oolenoy from 1840 until his death in 1876. The first sanctuary, a log building, was replaced about 1830 by a frame church, later enlarged in 1876 and 1899. The present brick sanctuary was built in 1952. The cemetery includes the graves of many veterans of American wars from the Revolution through World War II.


This community, settled before 1800, was named “Pumpkin Town” by an anonymous early traveler awed by the sight of the Oolenoy Valley covered with huge yellow pumpkins. It and Pickens Court House (Old Pickens) were the only two towns in present-day Pickens County in 1791. The same tourists who visited nearby Table Rock Mtn. often stayed at William Sutherland’s inn at Pumpkintown.

Clemson University

Clemson University was founded in 1889 as the Clemson Agricultural College of S.C., with its origins in the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 creating public land-grant colleges. It was established by a bequest from Thomas Green Clemson (1807-1888), noted scientist, agriculturist, and son-in-law of John C. Calhoun, whose plantation at Fort Hill formed the core of the new college campus.

Clemson University

Clemson University was founded in 1889 as the Clemson Agricultural College of S.C., with its origins in the Morrill Land Grant Act of 1862 creating public land-grant colleges. It was established by a bequest from Thomas Green Clemson (1807-1888), noted scientist, agriculturist, and son-in-law of John C. Calhoun, whose plantation at Fort Hill formed the core of the new college campus.

Clemson, intended to be “a high seminary of learning” to advance scientific agriculture and the mechanical arts, opened in 1893 as a military school and was sometimes improperly known as Clemson A&M College. It became a civilian co-educational institution in 1955, then became Clemson University, reflecting its modern and expanded mission, in 1964.

Bowen's Mill

This mill was built about 1860 by Col. Robert E. Bowen (1830-1909) Confederate officer, state representative, state senator, and Pickens County businessman. Bowen, a prominent advocate for progressive farming, was also active in the railroad and timber industries. In addition to this mill, the complex here included a store, blacksmith’s shop, saw mill, and cotton gin.

The mill passed through several owners in the first quarter of the twentieth century, from Bowen’s son James O. Bowen to Albert Kay and Kay’s widow Tallulah, and then successively to N.T. Waddell, Ida S. Johnson, and a Mrs. Shembosky, who sold it to Hovey A. Lark (1890-1968) during the Depression. Lark ground corn here from the early 1930s until about 1965.

Hanover House

Hanover House, built 1714-16 in what is now Berkeley County and moved to the Clemson College campus in 1941, is a fine example of Dutch Colonial architecture. It was built for French Huguenot planter Paul de St. Julien (d. 1741). St. Julien’s grandfather Pierre Julien de St. Julien had been granted 3,000 acres on the Cooper River in 1688 by the Lords Proprietors.

When the Public Works Administration (PWA) built the Santee-Cooper Dam, Lake Marion, and Lake Moultrie in 1938-1942 Hanover Plantation was in the area inundated by Lake Moultrie. The house was disassembled, moved to Clemson, and reassembled in 1941, then restored 1954-62. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, the house was moved to the S.C. Botanical Garden in 1994.

The Battle Of Seneca Town / Fort Rutledge

Seneca Town, on the Seneca River E of present-day Seneca, was one of several Cherokee “Lower Towns.” On August 1, 1776, Maj. Andrew Williamson’s S.C. militia, on a raid against these towns, was ambushed by Loyalists and Cherokees nearby. The eventual Patriot victory was also notable for the death of Francis Salvador, the first Jewish Patriot killed during the Revolution.


The town of Central, chartered in 1875, grew up along what is now Gaines Street. The post office was called Five Mile from 1851 to 1871. In the 1870s the Atlanta & Richmond Airline Railway built its depot, hotel, offices, and railroad shops at Central. The railroad, later the Atlanta & Charlotte, was acquired by the Southern Railway in 1894. Also called “Centre” and “Central Station,” the town was halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, 133 miles each way.

Hagood-Mauldin House

This house, built ca. 1856, originally sat 14 mi. W in the town of Pickens Court House, then the seat of Pickens District. It was the home of James Earle Hagood (1826-1904), Pickens District clerk of court, state representative during Reconstruction, and U.S. District clerk of court. In 1868, when the district was divided to create Pickens and Oconee Counties, he helped select the site for the “new” town of Pickens.

Hagood Mill / Prehistoric Rock Carvings

Hagood Mill This grist mill was rebuilt in 1845 by James Earle Hagood (1826-1904), son of Benjamin Hagood (1788-1865), who had bought it in 1825. James E. Hagood, a planter and merchant, served in the S.C. House and was longtime Pickens District and U.S. district clerk of court. Hagood Mill, commercially operated until 1966, features a 20-ft. waterwheel, one of the largest in S.C.

Prehistoric Rock Carvings Hagood Mill was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1972. In 2003 prehistoric Native American rock carvings, called petroglyphs and long buried under a 19th century road, were discovered here and preserved in place. They feature 17 human figures and other carvings, and are among the most significant of their kind in S.C.

Fort Prince George

Fort Prince George, covered by Lake Keowee since 1968, was built nearby in 1753, near the unofficial boundary between Cherokee lands and white settlements. Across the Keowee River from the Cherokee Lower Town of Keowee, it was built to protect whites and Cherokees from the Creeks or other enemies and had been promised to the Cherokee “headmen” by Gov. James Glen since 1748.

Woodland Cemetery Clemson University / Fort Hill Slave and Convict Cemetery

Woodland Cemetery Clemson University. Clemson University’s Woodland Cemetery began as statesman John C. Calhoun’s Fort Hill Plantation graveyard. Early maps show the hillside had been an orchard. The first known burial was a child, also named John C. Calhoun, who died in 1837. Clemson College laid out the present cemetery in 1924 as a graveyard for faculty and staff. Many prominent Clemson University leaders are buried here.

Fort Hill Slave and Convict Cemetery. African Americans enslaved at Fort Hill were buried along the hillside below the Calhoun family plot in graves marked only by field stones. The exact number of burials is unknown. Beginning in 1890, Clemson College leased prisoners, primarily African Americans, from the state to construct campus buildings. Until 1915, those who died during their incarceration were buried adjacent to the slave cemetery.

Fort Hill Slave Quarters / Clemson College Convict Stockade

Fort Hill Slave Quarters Located one-eighth mile from the main house, the Fort Hill slave quarters were described in 1849 as being “built of stone and joined together like barracks, with gardens attached.” Some 70-80 enslaved African-Americans then lived at Fort Hill. In 1854, Andrew P. Calhoun moved to Fort Hill from Alabama with his property, including slaves. At his death in 1865, the estate included 139 enslaved African Americans.

Clemson College Convict Stockade In 1890, convicted laborers, mostly African Americans with sentences ranging from two months to life, were jailed in a prison stockade nearby. They cleared land, and made and laid bricks. They also dismantled the stone slave quarters to use as foundations for Clemson College’s earliest buildings, including the Chemistry Building, Main Administration Building, and faculty residences.

Cherokee Town of Esseneca

Native Americans inhabited this site prior to the American Revolution. In 1775 naturalist William Bartram described the Cherokee village of Esseneca as “situated on the east bank of Keowee,” later the Seneca River, with a council-house and chief’s house on the west shore. The Cherokee presence ended when Maj. Andrew Williamson ordered the town and food stores burned during the Cherokee War of 1776.

Old Pickens Gaol

Designed by H.D. Breeding. B.E. Grandy built Pickens County gaol (jail) in 1902. For years it housed not only prisoners but also local sheriffs and their families. In the first year three members of Sheriff J.H.G. McDaniel’s family died here of typhoid fever. In 1976 the building became home of the Pickens County Museum of Art & History. It was expanded to include a cultural center in 2006. Listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1979.

Sponsored by the Pickens County Museum, 2016

Pickens Railroad

The Easley-Pickens line was chartered in 1890 by the S.C. General Assembly. Construction of the line, which ran from Pickens to Easley, was completed in 1898. At Easley the Pickens Railroad joined the Southern Railway. Ex-governor John Gary Evans was a prominent booster for the Pickens Railroad and also one of its first passengers. The line was known as the “Pickens Doodle” because there was no turning track and the train would run backward to Easley and forward to Pickens.

Passenger service was discontinued in 1928 and the primary users of the Pickens Railroad became Singer Manufacturing and Poinsett Lumber and Manufacturing Co. Singer built a sewing machine cabinet plant next to the line in the 1920s and in 1939 acquired both the Pickens Railroad and Poinsett Lumber, which they used to supply wood veneer. After more than a century of service, the last run from Pickens to Easley took place in April 2013.

Cherokee Path

The main Cherokee Path, which extended from the overhill towns of the Cherokee Indians in present Tennessee to Charleston, passed near here. In existence before 1730, this early trade and transportation route played a significant role in the expansion of the North American frontier.

Eastatoee Valley

Human settlement in this valley dates to the Clovis people, present as early as 13,000 years ago. By the early 1700s, the valley was part of a cluster of Cherokee Lower Towns. Near here was the town of Eastatoee, which had more than 200 houses c. 1760. Valley residents included Cherokee leader Seroweh and European trader James Beamer, who interpreted and mediated with the Cherokee.

Conflicts with Europeans and other tribes weakened Eastatoee, which was destroyed in 1760 and rebuilt. The Cherokee abandoned the town in 1776, when it was burned by Patriot forces. Sustained white settlement in the valley began in 1784, when the state first issued land grants in former Cherokee territory. Descendants of some of those 18th c. settlers still live in the valley.

Seconee Town

Seconee was the easternmost of the documented Cherokee Lower Towns in Upcountry S.C. Situated 1 mi. W in the broad floodplain at the confluence of Twelve Mile River and Town Creek, Seconee’s location offered fertile ground and access to several trails. It is one of the only Lower Town sites in Pickens Co. that was not later submerged under Lakes Hartwell, Jocassee, and Keowee.

During the American Revolution, the Cherokees allied with the British. Patriot forces burned Seconee and several other nearby Lower Towns in 1776 during Col. Andrew Williamson’s campaign. Seconee had the ability to field 26 warriors, comparable to many other Cherokee towns. Nearby Secona Baptist Church and Town Creek were both named for their association with Seconee Town.