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Heritage: Cherokee & Beyond


This area was identified as "the Upcountry" to distinguish it from South Carolina's "Low Country". Its rich heritage and culture continues today.

Heritage: Cherokee & Beyond

Heritage: Cherokee & Beyond

Native nations have occupied Appalachia for at least 10 thousand years, leaving an indelible imprint on its history and its culture. While today's travelers may hear echoes of the area's Cherokee heritage in place and river names such as Seneca, Keowee, Jocassee, Tamassee, Tokeena, Toxaway, and Eastatoe, the first strains of the Cherokee recessional were truly heard in 1776. As the new American nation was forming, one of the region's first white settlers, Richard Pearis, married a Cherokee woman and built the area's first business -- a trading station and gristmill -- on the falls of the Reedy River in what is now downtown Greenville. Following the Revolutionary War, treaties with the Native Americans opened up what was called the Pendleton District (now Anderson, Pickens, and Oconee counties) and settlers flowed in.

Oconee Station state parkVisit the oldest structure in Oconee County, the old stone "station" building in Oconee Station is the main feature of this park. Once used as a fortified blockhouse and a Native American trading post, this site is listed on the National Historic Register.

Get a glimpse of life on the western frontier (circa 1765) by taking in Walnut Grove Plantation in Roebuck, SC. This historic site portrays living conditions in Spartanburg County prior to 1805 and was started by a land grant from King George III.

The museums of the Upcountry cover our rich heritage from native peoples to textiles. You’ll also discover exhibits focused on the broad military history of the region from the fight for American Independence to the training camps located here during World Wars I & II.

This area was identified as “the Upcountry” to distinguish it from South Carolina’s “Low Country.” Its rich heritage and culture, which began as an Indian frontier, continues today as a political and economic hub identified as “the Upstate.”