History abounds at every step near Walhalla and the entire Upstate region. Here are some suggestions and the custom Google Map on what to do with kids while vacationing at Oconee State Park. As you can see is not just about incredibly beautiful waterfalls or gem mines hunting!
Oconee Historic Station
Fear of Indian attacks resulted in several small forts being erected from 1770s to 1792 in what’s now known as Oconee and Pickens counties.
The Historic Oconee Station was built in 1792 on the Cherokee trading path near the abandoned Oconee village (in 1868 Oconee County will be named after it). It will serve as a military outpost from 1792 to 1799, defended by 30 militia men recruited from the “hardiest and best hunters”.
From 1795 to 1809 the station acted as a significant Indian Trading post, owned and operated by Irish immigrant William Richards who bought the property from General Andrew Pickens. He built a two story brick house in 1805 where he lived until his death. An 1809 inventory of the estate revealed 30,000 deer skins, 329 bear skins, 82 pounds of ginseng and many other sundry items!
St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church, Oconee Heritage Center, Walhalla and Seneca Libraries
One of Walhalla’s most cherished attractions is the St. John Evangelical Lutheran Church.The church was organized in 1853 by German immigrants who also founded Walhalla in 1850. It is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. The original building still stands today. To tour the church call for an appointment (864) 638-6363. St. John church is located on 301 Main Street in Walhalla.
Housed in a 1892 tobacco warehouse, the Oconee Heritage Center is another must see Walhalla museum features an 18th century dugout canoe, early maps and artifacts, a Depression era farmer’s house and a Stump House tunnel replica. The center is located at 123 Brown Square behind the Court House and is open Tue, Thu and Fri from 12 to 5 PM and Sat 10 AM – 3 PM. Free admission.
Kids will enjoy reading at the Walhalla Library.The library has an extensive collection of early Cherokee maps, like “The Cherokee Village Map” by Margaret Seaborn that is available for purchase there.
Speaking of library please drive to Seneca (where most of shopping is done anyway) and spend some quality time at its historic library. The site used to house the first 3 Seneca schools.
Fort Prince George and Tamassee School (near Lake Keowee)
In 1753 the British built a stockade style fort across the river from Keowee Town to protect against the Cherokees. It was the scene of a brutal massacre after the British lured in a group of Cherokees leaders, imprisoned and killed them. Currently Fort George is covered by Lake Keowee as is the Keowee Town.
On August 12, 1776 Andrew Pickens fought the mighty Cherokees in what is now called The Ring Fight. The battle was part of a military campaign to destroy all Indian villages in the area.The 1777 treaty was signed and the Cherokees ceded most of the land that now comprises Oconee, Pickens, Greenville and Anderson counties. Andrew Pickens’s last home was built on a hill overlooking the Tamassee Village.
In 1919 The Daughters of the American Revolution Society founded the Tamassee DAR School. Currently it serves as home and family services for South Carolina and Georgia children in crisis. The school is open daily 8 AM – 5 PM; appointments preferred, call (864) 944-1390.
Other fun and mostly free things to do with kids around Walhalla
• Go to Lake Jocassee the finest fishing place in the Southeast where you have plenty of recreational activities.
• At Oconee State Park where you can swim, canoe, kayak, fish, paddle-boat, play putt-golf or hike around the lake. Those more adventurous can access the start of the famous Foothills Trail.
• Visit Duke’s World of Energy to learn how electricity is generated from water, coal and uranium. There are many interactive exhibits, a real-size nuclear reactor replica and fun games to test your scientific knowledge.
• Drive to Pickens to see Andrew Pickens’s duel pistols, the old jail with its famous Winchester Axe, and the legendary Hagood Mill, one of the oldest and still operating gristmills in South Carolina.
Filed under: Free Things to Do, Greenville, Historic Carolina Sites, Museums, Oconee State Park, Uncategorized | Tagged: Cherokee art and history, Cherokee Indian trading post, Fort George, Oconee Heritage Center, Oconee Historic Station, Oconee State Park attractions, Oconee weekend fun things to do, St. John Lutheran Church, Tamassee DAR School, Walhalla and Seneca Library, Walhalla art, Walhalla free things to do |