City Directories and History: From a hill near the end of Scenic View Road and near the tiny community of Hopewell, one may view the grandeur of the Broad River basin as it breaks forth at their feet. This place is known as “Beauty Spot.” While most of the local people know where Beauty Spot is, no none knew when or how the name originated. Some though it may have been the name of an old plantation that had faded into time and others though it referred to one tiny spot where one could stand to view the countryside.
The fact is, this name originates to 1751, when this area of South Carolina was still a wilderness and when it was about to become the frontier. Deed involving land transactions during that period often reveal names given by the surveyor who had been struck by some geographical feature. Long forgotten names like Golden Grove, Pleasant Plain, Mount Pleasant, The Round About, Hickory Level, Goose Ponds and Verdant Meadow call up visions of some Camelot of another time visited by Bunyan’s Pilgrim.
The earliest reference to this plantation is found among the land grants of Anson County, North Carolina. On September 14, 1751, Geyan (or Guyon) Moore was granted 600 acres “on the north side of Broad River on the North side of Beaverdam Creek at the mount known by the name of “The Butespoote”. This unusual spelling suggests that the recorder spelled it just as a Scotsman might have pronounced it. A creek in the area was given the name Guyon Moore Creek, for its owner.
Guyon Moore was born about 1690, probably in Chester County, Pennsylvania and had been active as a lieutenant in the Associate Provincial Regiments of that county. Sometime around 1721, he married a widow, Ellender _____. As a land speculator, Moore purchased numerous tracts of land in the area; but we have no poof that he every came to South Carolina. Guyon Moore willed the Beauty Spot to his son, John, who had moved to South Carolina. When John died with children, the plantation went to his elder brother, James. At the death of James Moore, it passed to his son, Thomas.
Evidently surrounding land was purchased by members of the family, and these became part of the Beauty Spot parcel. The 1779 will of James Moore, who lived in Chester County on Brushy Fork of the Sandy River, states he left his son, Robert, 325 acres “. . .of land on Broad River the North Side, it being part of a tract called The Beauty Spot.” An additional six hundred acres of the same tract was will to his son, John. By this, we see that the name Beauty Spot had been given to more than the original 600 acres.
In 1787, Thomas Moore of Chester County sold a tract of land consisting of 600 acres, called Beauty Spot, to Jacob Brownof Winnsboro for the sum of $500.00. In 1805, Ralph Rogers sold, for $2,200, two hundred and eleven acres to Will Thompson which had been deeded to Rogers by G. Moore, called Beauty Spot. Another 311 acres was called the lower end of the tract, Beauty Spot. The following year, Matthew Rogers, a Tanner from Chester County and his wife Eleanor, with his brother, Clayton Rogers of the Pinckney District, and his wife, Betrick, sold 150 acres to William Thomson of Spartanburg County. The deed states this parcel was “. . .originally granted to Guyan Moore, then to Thomas Fletcher and part of land originally granted to John Nichols, Sen.” I
William H. Thomson and his wife, Margaret, of Spartanburg County sold 992 acres in 1826 to Richard Thomson, “. . .it being the lower end of the Beauty Spot” which had been willed to him by his grandfather, William Thomson. The following year, Henry H. Thomson of Spartanburg County sold 575 acres to Richard Thomason, “. . .it being the lower end of Beauty Spot. . .”, which had been willed to him by his grandfather, William Thomson. This parcel consisted of “meaders” and mill shoals where a mill had been operated by Rogers. At this point, Beauty Spot, counting the upper and lower end, consisted of 1,567 acres! William Thomson’s obituary read, in part, “. . .Died on the 14 inst., at his residence on the Beauty Spot, in the District, Mr. William Thomson in the 73d year of his age. . . He was among the first who resisted the arbitrary measures of Great Britain under the celebrated Patrick Henry, he assisted in expelling Lord Dunmore from Virginia. . .”
The land continued to pass from one hand to another. A parcel was sold in 1827 for $300 by Lazarus and Thomas Moore to Ralph Rogers, a Planter of the Pinckney District. This parcel was known as Beauty Spot. Rogers later moved to Jackson County, Tennessee. Some part of Beauty Spot was in the hands of one Glenn D. Peake and was being managed by Thomas L. Berry in 1889. At this point, weary of the land as it changes from hands to hands.
Legend has it that Beauty Spot was once inhabited by a Dutch (German) princess who lived there many years ago. When the family decided to more northward, it is said that as the wagon was loaded and ready to go, she told her family to “Wait!”, for she had to take another look at her Beauty Spot. Running to her favorite spot, she stood soaking in the beauty and marking her mind indelibly with the majestic view. Returning to the wagon, she climbed aboard and rode away from Beauty Spot.
R&R Notes: It’s so interesting to hear, that there’s a Bullocks Creek in York County, near Thomson Quarters Road. William Thomson’s daughter Ann married John Nuckolls, son of the John Nuckolls killed by Loyalists at Whig Hill in what’s now Cherokee County — and that older John was married to Agatha Bullock. John and Ann Thomson Nuckolls had a son William Thompson Nuckolls, who married his cousin Susan B. Dawkins, daughter of Elijah Dawkins and Ann Nuckolls — Ann being a sister to the John Nuckolls who married Ann Thomson. (Contributed by Wm. Lindsey – 2017)
Donna Potruch shared the following information on the Beauty Spot – 10.16.14 “What an enormous surprise to see an article about the Beauty Spot. I never thought to put that term in my searches! My ancestor, William Thomson, owned that land at one point. He and his wife are buried there. I had no idea where in all that land the spot existed. I have driven around the area by Rt 29 and Green River Rd, up on the NE corner but west of Thicketty Creek. Never thought it would be on the Broad River! When William’s son, Richard, divided up the land my direct ancestor, H. H. Thomson, got part of William’s holdings across the Broad River on the York side. He also got shared parts of many other acreages. Richard and many of his family were buried in a family graveyard in Garrett Springs, where they had a home (near White’s Mill, Heywood Rd now). The graves were all moved to Oakwood about 1905 when Mr. Harris bought the land for Rock Cliff Park. I believe it had had several owners in between.
“The fellow in Arkansas is most probably a Thomson relative. In the early 1850’s a number of families from Spartanburg, Union area had a wagon train to Arkansas.
William Thomson, owner of the Beauty Spot, had one son, Richard, whose oldest son, William H. Thomson, moved to Texas about 1851. A few of his older children came along, but some went to Arkansas, and one who went to Texas later moved to Arkansas. I have also had contact with a researcher who descends from William Thomson’s sister, Mourning Thomson. This man may live in Arkansas, I don’t quite remember.
I have a 1958 plat survey of my grandmother’s last land from the Beauty Spot. All the surrounding land had been bought by the Lockhart Power Company, her land was sold to a wood pulp company, perhaps one and the same.
Thanks again for all your research, and not using my full name. You can use my first name only. I am uncomfortable with web searches.” Submitted by Donna …….on 4.23.15
THOMPSONS IN 1856 WAGON TRAIN TO ARKANSAS
Arkansas Gazette March 9, 1916 Warren, Mar. 8 – Mrs. Mary Thompson Phillips, 78 years old, one of the oldest residents of Bradley county, died at her home near Hermitage on Monday night. She had been in ill health for several months and Saturday morning suffered from a sudden attack of paralysis, which hastened her death. Mrs. Phillips was born in York county, South Carolina, June 20, 1838. She came to Arkansas with her parents in 1856. The trip from South Carolina was made in covered wagons and 101 days were required to make the journey of 2,000 miles. Mrs. Phillips is survived by three sons and one daughter; W. R. Thompson of Enid, Okla.; R. B. Thompson of Texas; J. C. Thompson of Hermitage, and Mrs. Garland Caplinger of this county. (Courtesy of the YCGHS, June 2002)
Additional comment: I believe that William H. Thomson lived in the Lawson’s Fork/Pacolet River area. That would be based on land he acquired from his grandfather, or father. William’s father was Richard Thomson, the surveyor for Mills Atlas in the early 1800’s. His grandfather was William Thomson, associated with Thicketty Creek and the “Beauty Spot” over on the York side of the Broad River.
John N. Norris probably lived with his father, William, in the Jonesville, Union County area. He headed to Texas when he was fairly young, with his wife and 2 small children. (Donna – 8/8/17)
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