Honea Path in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Pathways of a Southern Town
Native American Trade and the "Honey Path"
Town historians long debated the origin of the unusual name "Honea Path." Some attribute it to settler William Honey, who purchased 200 acres northeast of town in 1788. Others say it refers to a Cherokee trading path that ran between the Saluda and Savannah Rivers. Before the arrival of Europeans, Native American groups traded goods throughout the region. Cherokee and Creek Indians later used the waterways and pathways to trade with Europeans. Former Honea Path residents recalled Cherokee Indians returning to the area to care for ancestral burial sites as late as 1855. The town's earliest name was "Honey Path."
A walk or drive in and around the town of Honea Path today reveals the town's history. Its historic houses, commercial and public buildings, and surrounding fields of crops and livestock tell the story of the community's growth.
Chiquola Mill and Village
Most prominent on the town's landscape is the Chiquola Mill and nearby mill village. Chiquola is distinctive among the region's textile mills, because it has remained in operation since its doors opened, and because of a tragic conflict between mill employees and owners in 1934. Chiquola was also famous for its highly competitive baseball teams, who fiercely battled
Early European-American Settlement
When the earliest settlers from Europe and within the United States came to the area, it was a true frontier. Honea Path's earliest European settler, David Greer, came from Ireland in 1794. Other early arrivals were Obediah and Jennie Shirley, who built a simple log plantation house around 1830. In 1848, M.E. Erwin established a farm, and built a mill for grinding corn and flour. This mill still stands, although its water wheels are now in front of the Jennie Ervin Carnegie Library, named to honor M.E. Erwin's daughter.
The Rail Lines
Honea Path's early success in the testile and agricultural industries relied on access to the railroad. Two different rail lines ran through town. In 1855, train tracks were laid directly behind where you are standing, and a second line arrived in 1911. train service allowed farmers of the area to specialize in cotton cultivation. Before the railroads came, residents were largely subsistence farmers and grew crops for their own consumption and produced many goods at home. The benefits of the railroad to the people of Honea Path were tremendous -- including not only shipment of crops, but regular mail delivery, new types of merchandise, and frequent visitors.
Small Town Life
Memorable events and
Obediah and Jennie Shirley House
Completed around 1830, the Obediah & Jennie Shirley home encloses a circa 1790 log cabin. It is one of the oldest buildings in Anderson County. The Shirley family made many contributions to the success of the town. The house is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Preserving the Past
Many in Honea Path strive to remember their ancestors and to preserve the places that are part of the town's history. Descendants of many of the earliest town settlers still live in the area.
The Jennie Erwin Carnegie Library was built in 1908. Endowed by philanthropist Andrew Carnegie, it was the smallest library in the state built with Carnegie
Erected by South Carolina Heritage Corridor.
Marker series. This marker is included in the South Carolina Heritage Corridor marker series.
Location. 34° 26.847′ N, 82° 23.542′ W. Marker is in Honea Path, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on North Shirley Ave west of Chiquola Avenue, on the left when traveling east. Click for map. Marker is located on the grounds of the Carnegie Library, next to its historical marker. Marker is in this post office area: Honea Path SC 29654, United States of America.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Carnegie Library (here, next to this marker); Honea Path Veterans Memorial (about 400 feet away, measured in a direct line); They Died for the Rights of the Working Man (approx. 0.2 miles away); David Greer, Sr. (approx. ľ mile away); Chiquola Baptist Church Bell (approx. 0.3 miles away); The Story (approx. 0.3 miles away); Chiquola Mill Monument (approx. 0.3 miles away); Southside Baptist Church (approx. 1.5 miles away); Broadmouth Baptist Church (approx. 2.5 miles away); Barkers Creek Baptist Church (approx. 3.1 miles away). Click for a list of all markers in Honea Path.
Also see . . .
1. Honea Path: The Little Town with the Big Heart. Honea Path is fast becoming one of the most sought after bedroom communities in South Carolina.
2. Town of Honea Path. Honea Path, "The Little Town with the Big Heart, "is full of exciting and beautiful scenery, historically significant sites, and friendly people.
3. Honea Path. Honea Path is a town in Abbeville and Anderson counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina.
4. South Carolina Heritage Corridor. The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor is being developed by private citizens, governmental agencies, conservation groups, businesses,
5. Chiquola Mill Shootings: The 75th Anniversary. Seventy-five years ago—on September 6, 1934—seven workers were shot and killed and 30 others wounded at the Chiquola Mill in my hometown of Honea Path, South Carolina.
6. Seventy-five Years Later, the Chiquola Incident in Honea Path Still Significant. The Chiquola Mill in Honea Path, now abandoned, is a shell whose prized hardwood floors and wooden roof beams are gone, leaving the place open to the rain, the sun and the years.
7. Exploring the old Chiquola Mill. Photos taken during March 2010 of the mill site.
8. Chiquola Millís Slow Death. After the town of Honea Path, S.C. refused to take ownership of the mill, a demolition company is destroying one of the last great textile mill towns in the South.
9. Future Still Uncertain for Chiquola Mill Site. Work is progressing toward a decision about the sale of the Chiquola Mill in Honea Path, officials said this week.
10. Labor Landmark Turns into an Eyesore. All that remains of the abandoned South Carolina textile mill that
11. Obediah Shirley House. The Obediah Shirley House sits on a one-acre site located outside Honea Path and is an excellent example of a simple plantation farmhouse, or I-House.
12. Obediah Shirley House Work Week. Includes photos of restoration completed in 1988.
13. John Shirley Descendants.
1. Honea Path
The curiously double name of Honea (Ind., path) Path, 67.6 m. (810 alt., 2,740 pop.), was adopted when as many whites as Indians frequented this section. Another version is that Honea was the name of a family who lived there. At Honea Path in the late summer of 1934 occurred a mill riot that grew out of a Nation-wide textile strike. All South Carolina mills did not close on the zero hour, and "flying squadrons" of strikers and union sympathizers paid quick visits to mills that continued to operate. As a rule the squadrons were orderly, engaging in demonstrations to persuade the mill hands to strike;
2. Obediah Shirley House
The Obediah Shirley House property sits on a one-acre site located just outside
Additional Descriptive Information
The Obediah Shirley House was built in several phases, to accommodate the changing needs of the households who occupied it until the late 1880s. The original core of the building, on the left (south) side of the house, was a one-story log structure built ca. 1826. The log framing has inverted re-notched corners, visible to the ceiling at the left corner of the house where the clapboards have pulled away. Log construction was also used in the house's first addition, a small
The last major addition was at the rear of the house on the south end. This one story ell was used as a kitchen. a porch on the north side of the ell, added after 1900, was removed in the late 1980s because of deterioration. The location of the porch is indicated on the 1988 property survey, which has an outline of the house.
The exterior end chimneys are of ashlar stone. The south chimney has a new brick stack. The north chimney has a stack of older brick, which has been stuccoed. The foundation is fieldstone piers with no infilling. The house has clapboard siding, attached to the framing with wire nails. On the southern end of the house the clapboards have square nail holes., although no nails are visible and wire nails have been used to hold the clapboards to the building. The second level shows a change in framing, to studs, and the nailing pattern for the siding also changes from the first level to the second.
The porch roof framing, of 2 x 4s, dates to the late 1980s when a stabilization effort was launched by the family
The asphalt roof replaced a deteriorated roof in 1988.
On the front facade, there are two entrance doors, symmetrically placed, leading to the rooms at each end of the house. The window between the two doors provides the only opening in the middle room. The doors were apparently used to provide easier access to the functions of the house, as it was never divided for two-family use. The room at the north end was used as a parlor, the middle room as a dining room, and the south room as a living room.
The stairwell to the second floor, which is enclosed, is to the left of the north entrance door. It leads to the northern of the two rooms on the second story. A doorway connects the two rooms. The ceiling joists, some of which are rough hewn logs with adze marks that are clearly visible, can be seen in both rooms. Framing members in the northwest corner of the north room are new.
Few modifications have been made on the interior, and the detailing is simple. The house has electricity and according to James Austin, a descendant of Obediah Shirley who inherited
There are three fireplaces, two on the first floor. Each of the first-floor fireplaces has a wood mantel of simple design. At the time of the initial stabilization effort in 1988 and 1989, stoves were removed from the fireplaces. The fire place at the southern end is lined with brick; the fireplace on the northern end is not lined and the fieldstone is visible. The third fireplace, which has no mantel, is on the second floor in the north room. Constructed of fieldstone, it is of three parts; one large piece of fieldstone serves as a lintel, which is supported by two equally large stones at the sides.
The fieldstone used for the chimneys and foundation came from the quarry on the other side of Bagwell Road, part of the
Statement of Significance
The Obediah Shirley House, in the Honea Path vicinity of Anderson County, S.C., is eligible for inclusion in the National Register of Historic Places under Criterion C as an excellent example of a simple plantation farmhouse. It is associated with the Shirley family of Honea Path who occupied the house for approximately sixty years and farmed the property for more than 150 years.
Obediah Hugh Shirley was born in Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1802. He married Jane (Jennie) Armstrong in 1824. Shirley and his family settled on the property in 1826 and built the house shortly thereafter. Obediah Shirley became the owner of (possibly through his father-in-law James Armstrong) significant portions of the land that later became the developed portion of Honea Path as well as acreage in the surrounding area. He was a successful farmer and as part of his operations, hauled cotton to Hamburg (now North Augusta), South Carolina, the nearest market.
Over a 26-year period, ten children were born to Jane and Obediah Shirley. On those ten, eight survived to adulthood. Several of the five sons and three daughters built homes in the town of Honea Path. Obediah Shirley died in 1889, the year that marks the end of the latest period of family occupancy. The house and substantial acreage in the vicinity were left to the
After the end of the Shirley family occupancy in the 1880s, the house continued to be used as a residence under tenant occupancy until the early 1980s. The Shirley House Foundation intends to restore and interpret the property as a house museum. (Source: National Register nomination form.)
Categories. • Native Americans • Notable Places • Settlements & Settlers •
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