Historical Markers in
Oconee County, South Carolina

A Building with a Past Andrew Pickens Andrew Pickens Ranger District / Oconee County Bethel Presbyterian Church Building a Tradition Capt. Samuel Earle Center Methodist Church Chattooga Town Cherokee Boundary (1777) Civilian Conservation Corps Monument Colonel Benjamin Cleveland Monument Colonel R.T. Jaynes Combat Infantrymen Monument Duty, Honor, Country Fairplay Community Veterans Memorial First Soil Conservation District Plan Gen. John A. Wagener Henry Craig Issaqueena Falls Issaqueena Falls Jocassee Town John A. Wagener Monument Keowee Town Memorial Gateway Newberry College Newry Soup Kitchen Newry World War II Memorial Oconee County Confederate Monument Oconee County Training School Oconee County Veterans Memorial Oconee County World War Veterans Oconee Heritage Center Oconee State Park Oconee Station / Oconee County Oconee Town Old Pickens Church Old Pickens Presbyterian Church Patriot's Hall: Oconee Veterans Museum Retreat Rosenwald School Russell House Salem Confederate Monument Seneca Seneca Firsts Seneca Institute / Seneca Junior College South Carolina National Heritage Corridor St. John’s Lutheran Church Stumphouse Mountain Tunnel Stumphouse Tunnel Tamassee DAR School Tamassee Town The Cherokee Path The Church Bell The Civilian Conservation Corps The English School The Oconee Waterwheel The Silver Rose Vandiver Bridge Walhalla Walhalla State Fish Hatchery Wall of Honor War Between the States West Union Grammar School / West Union Grammar School West Union Veterans Memorial Westminster Confederate Monument Westminster Depot Westminster First Baptist Church World War I Monument Westminster World War I Monument William R. Geddings Fish Culture House Wm. Jennings Bryan Dorn Bridge
The state dance of South Carolina is the shag, a style of swing dancing that originated in the beach towns along the Grand Strand in the 1940s.
Oconee County, located in the northwestern corner of South Carolina, has a rich and diverse history dating back thousands of years. Before European settlers arrived, the area was home to indigenous Native American tribes, including the Cherokee. The foothills and mountains of Oconee County provided these tribes with a bountiful environment for hunting, fishing, and gathering.

In the late 1700s, European settlers began to establish themselves in the region. The area was initially part of the Pendleton District, and pioneers began to build settlements and farms. The county was officially established in 1868 during the Reconstruction Era following the Civil War. Oconee County was named after the Oconee River, which runs through the area.

One significant event in Oconee County's history was the construction of the Blue Ridge Railroad in the mid-1800s. This rail line connected the county with the growing textile industry in the upstate region, sparking economic growth and development. The arrival of the railroad brought increased trade, tourism, and opportunities for the local economy.

Throughout the 20th century, Oconee County experienced both prosperity and challenges. The county's natural beauty and outdoor recreational opportunities attracted visitors, while industries such as textiles, agriculture, and manufacturing contributed to the local economy. However, like many areas in the southern United States, Oconee County also faced difficulties during the Great Depression and civil rights movement.

Today, Oconee County continues to be a diverse and vibrant community. Its natural beauty, including lakes, mountains, and forests, attracts outdoor enthusiasts and tourists. The county's economy has diversified, with industries such as healthcare, education, tourism, and technology playing significant roles. Oconee County remains proud of its heritage and works to preserve its history while embracing progress and growth.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Oconee County, South Carolina.

  • 1791: Oconee County was originally part of the Pendleton District.
  • 1826: The county was officially formed as a result of the creation of new political boundaries.
  • 1868: Oconee County saw significant changes due to the Reconstruction era following the Civil War.
  • 1872: The town of Walhalla was incorporated as the first municipality in the county.
  • 1964: The Keowee-Toxaway State Park was established, providing outdoor recreational opportunities.
  • 1973: The Oconee Nuclear Station began operating, contributing to the county's energy production.
  • 1999: The Oconee County Veterans Museum opened to honor local veterans and their service.