Thursday, November 27, 2008

Plenty of History at Oconee Station

The oldest structure in Oconee County, and one of the oldest remaining in South Carolina, Oconee Station was built in 1792 along the Cherokee trading path as a defensive refuge for settlers in the event of Indian attack. The construction was initiated by General Robert Anderson, who wrote: "I have ordered the people to build blockhouses, where they are exposed and intimidated, to fly to with their families in case of alarm." The small fortification was manned by militia from 1792 to 1799, and I haven't been able to find any documentation of actual Indian attacks that had to be defensed.

In 1805 William Richards, a settler from Ireland, purchased the property from General Andrew Pickens and established a trading post. He built a 2 story house adjacent to the blockhouse that remains on the property today. The trading post operated until 1809 and inventory records recall large quantities of deer skins, bear skins, ginseng and dry goods.

Today, both the blockhouse and the Richards house are part of the Oconee Station State Historic Site operated by the state of South Carolina. The 210 acre site also includes hiking trails, a pond, and access to Station Cove Falls just inside the Sumter National Forest. The two historical structures can be toured, by appointment, on Saturdays and Sundays from 1-5 pm.

Oconee County is very convenient to the north Georgia mountains thru Rabun County (which it borders, separated by the Chattooga River) and Habersham County. From the Atlanta area you would travel north on I-85 and exit at the very 1st South Carolina exit and take Hwy. 11 to Wahalla. For more concise directions and some more information, here is a link to the South Carolina State Parks website page for Oconee Station State Historic Site-

South Carolina State Parks-Oconee Stationn

And a map of the park-


Anonymous said...

Interesting blog.

Fred Holder wrote a brief history of Oconee Station and the Richards house. According to Mr. Holder Richard Farrar, his brother, and one of his sons was killed in 1792. Between 1782-1796 twenty five to thirty people were killed by Indians.

Anonymous said...

I agree with the previous poster.
Iinteresting blog, thanks for the picture. I would love to see a flesh out story of Dist Ninety Six.

Richard Farrar was my ancestor...I think,unless there were two Richard Farrar's living in Dist 96 in 1792.

Anonymous said...

Here is a link to Fred Holders history of Oconee station