Old Ninety Six
Few locations in South Carolina have figured as prominently in the early history of the state as the old town of Ninety Six. As a witness to two Revolutionary War battles, two Cherokee War battles, a trading post, three forts and two towns, the site is perhaps one of the richest archaeological sites in the South. In recognition of its rich history the Ninety Six National Historic Site became part of the National Park Service in 1976.The unusual name that was given to the site is believed to have taken root in the early 1700s. English traders estimated the distance to the Cherokee village of Keowee in the upper South Carolina foothills to be ninety-six miles. By the 1770s, Fort Ninety Six and the adjoining village--located at the crossroads of twelve roads--reached its peak as an important backcountry outpost, boasting a growing population, a newly constructed courthouse and jail. However, the onset of the American Revolutionary War would end this progress and the first land battle south of New England was fought at Ninety Six in 1775. The fort and town would change hands many times between those fighting for independence and those still loyal to England, leaving the town in shambles by the close of the war. Old Ninety Six: A History and Guide, by Robert Dunkerly and Eric Williams, is a well-researched and highly accessible work, which underscores the important contribution of Ninety Six to the early history of South Carolina and guides the reader through the well-preserved fort that stills stands at the site today.
- 2006 Eric K. Williams, Robert M. Dunkerly
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