City Directories and History: “We rediscovered this old roadbed leading down to the Broad River where Lyles Ford was. It is a segment of the wagon trail that led Revolutionary troops across between Newberry and Fairfield and was a main wing of the wagon road that took so
many second sons of the early settlers across to go westward to new lands. The stone wall is a remnant of a canal in the river bottom where my ancestor ran a mill and experimented with ways to get flat boats around the shoals at Lyles Ford. Arromanus Lyles (Lisles) was appointed to a commission in 1787 by the young state of SC to effect ways to get around the rocky shoals on the Broad River. Remnants of the old mill foundation and the fieldstone cemetery where his father Ephraim Liles who was scalped in 1761 is buried along with Arromanus and about 100 other settlers living at the Ford.” Written and contributed to R&R by Pelham Lyles, 4.24.15
“Lyles Ford, a ford in the Broad River, was probably the earliest established point along that river. Located below Henderson’s Island and above the mouth of Beaver Creek, it is clearly identified as a location on a 1773 plat of the island. The land on the eastern side of the river, in Fairfield County (then Craven County), was purchased by Ephraim Liles during the 1750’s. The land on the western side of the ford, in Newberry County (also Craven County), was granted by the Crown to John Liles a few years later. Ephraim Liles and John Liles, along with their brother, Williamson Liles, of the Newberry side of the Broad River, had removed to the area from North Carolina and selected the ford as a good location for settlement. A small community eventually sprang up around Lyles Ford. It appears on several early maps of South Carolina and by the 1850’s sported both a post office and a railroad station. In 1883 there were three separate stores doing business there.
Liles Ferry was the second ferry location in Fairfield along the Broad River. William Liles applied to the legislature for a charter in 1796 stating that he had been operating a ferry authorized by the Fairfield County Court for some time. Liles Ferry, located near the present site of the Highway 34 bridge connecting Fairfield and Newberry counties, was sold in 1807 by his heirs to James Ashford who operated the ferry as Ashford’s Ferry until his death in 1833. His wife, Mary Ashford, continued to operate the ferry for a number of years. Mitchell’s 1849 South Carolina map denotes Ashford’s Ferry as the site of a post office. Shortly thereafter, a new community Strother developed near Ashford’s Ferry P.O.”
Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC
In 1813, by Act No. 2040, a ferry was established and vested in Ephraim Lyies, at his residence in Chester District, across Broad River, during the term of seven years.
An Act passed in 1815, authorized that John Watts, Thomas Davis, William Wilkes, Asa Darby, and Newman M’Collum were appointed commissioners to lay off a road from Chester Courthouse to Lyie’s Ferry on Broad river. Chester County Heritage Book, Vol. I, Edt. by Collins – Knox, Published by the Chester Co Hist. Society – Jostens Printing, 1982, p. 17
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