City Directories and History: The Lockhart Canal is approaching 200 years of age and remains a remarkable testament to those who labored to construct in in circa 1823. It was built along with many canal projects in South Carolina during the administration of then, S.C. architect Robert Mills. The canal is approximately two and one-half miles in length and fifteen feet wide. In 1833, John Johnson and Thomas Hughes were appointed as lock keepers at the Lockhart Canal.
The canal project was constructed in hopes of bringing barge traffic from western North Carolina and the Piedmont region of South Carolina to Charleston, SC. These massive undertakings were not successful due to the flooding which regularly occurred along the Catawba and Broad rivers. One known bargeman, William Kelly of Union and Newberry counties however did successfully take cotton to market down the river from Chester, Union, Newberry, Fairfield and further into N.C. His return trip from Columbia and in some cases Charleston were loaded with finished goods for the planters of the area.
The historic Lockhart Mills were constructed across the river from the Osborne Mill site on the York County side of the Broad River. Amos W. Osborne had created a massive grist mill and sawmill operations on the west bank and operated the mills successfully well into the mid 19th century. The water power needed to operate the Lockhart Mill was provided via the dam which was constructed and displaced the old Osborne mill’s supply of water.
The Yorkville Enquirer of May 11, 1892 reported, “The stockholders of the Charleston Cotton Mill are considering moving their plant to the Lockhart Shoals on the Broad River in Union Co. because they are having a hard time procuring enough white labor in Charleston. The shoals are owned by Col. Charles Farr and are said to furnish the finest water power in the south. The area has been looked at by Col. Joseph Walker and D.E. Converse of Spartanburg.”
Explore history, houses, and stories across S.C. Your membership provides you with updates on regional topics, information on historic research, preservation, and monthly feature articles. But remember R&R wants to hear from you and assist in preserving your own family genealogy and memorabilia.
Visit the Southern Queries – Forum to receive assistance in answering questions, discuss genealogy, and enjoy exploring preservation topics with other members. Also listed are several history and genealogical researchers for hire.
User comments welcome — post at the bottom of this page.
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.
Do you have information to share and preserve? Family, school, church, or other older photos and stories are welcome. Send them digitally through the “Share Your Story” link, so they too might be posted on Roots and Recall.
User comments always welcome - please post at the bottom of this page.