City Directories and History: R&R has divided the 1939 SCDOT map of Pickens County into (22) sectional maps. Many of the individually listed schools and churches shown on this section are pictured. However, in many cases, the individual site also has its own post on R&R, which often provides added information and image. Be wise and use the search function to locate all of the entries for this and other homeplace listings.
Rocky Bottom – After the expulsion of the Cherokees in 1838 Harris Powell, a Scotchman, secured title to 800 acres of land in the wild mountainous area of Pickens District on waters of Big Eastatoee River. He cleared a rich mountain valley on both sides of a clear trout creek. In past geological ages the shaking of the adjacent mountains had dumped multitudes of great boulders promiscuously over the valley, but the Scotchman and his family worked around the great stones, producing an abundance of com, rye, pumpkins, and other crops adapted to the soil and altitude.
And, when anyone asked Mr. Powell about the location of his residence, he would always reply: “I live in the Rocky Bottom.” The name became fixed, and everybody has called the valley by that name for more than a century and a quarter.
Sassafras Gap – Just prior to the Civil War Thomas R. Price, who lived on Oolenoy River just south of the mountain, in conjunction with citizens of the French Broad River Valley on the opposite side of the mountains formed a company to build a turnpike road through the mountains, thus joining the two states. Men finally dug and blasted a narrow road from Oolenoy Valley to the headwaters of East Fork of the French Broad River. When they reached the top XI: 31 of the mountain the road passed through a broad, nearly level field, watered by a bold, clear spring. Here a tribe of the Cherokees had lived and farmed the land. But when they were forcibly carried away in 1838 the land produced vines, briers, and thousands of sassafras bushes and trees. From the abundance of the aromatic trees, the local people named the famous gap the Sassafras Cap and the mountain the Sassafras Mountain.
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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Then in 1925 our popular County Farm Agent, Thomas A. Bowen, established the first permanent 4-H Club Camp for Boys and Girls in the nation; and numbers of summer encampments are held there each season. Also, scattered throughout the valley are numbers of summer homes, and many tourists visit here and Sassafras Mountain nearby, the highest point in South Carolina.
Please enjoy this structure and all those listed in Roots and Recall. But remember each is private property. So view them from a distance or from a public area such as the sidewalk or public road.
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