Lawson's Fork Creek

(Photo from Wikipedia)
For several thousand years, there was little human activity along the little waterway that was to eventually be known as Lawson's Fork Creek. Hunting parties of Native American Indians passed over and around the area. There was an abundance of wildlife. The Indians lived lightly on the land. They left little to mark their thousands of years living in the Piedmont except an occasional stone arrowhead.

The area along the creek was part of a vast wilderness that changed little over the centuries until the coming of the Europeans. The first time that the creek was seen by one of the white Europeans was about the year, 1567,  when a  party of Spanish explorers under the command of Captain Juan Pardo passed nearby. In 1934, a stone marked with the date "1567" and direction markings was plowed up on a farm near Inman, close to Lawson's Fork Creek. This stone is thought to be left by Pardo's expedition and is now in the Spartanburg Museum.

This was the first contact with the Europeans but it was only the beginning. It started slowly at first. It was almost another 200 years before the white men came to the area of the creek in any numbers. In all this time, the area near what would eventually be called Lawson's Fork Creek and the Pacolet River remained a perfect wilderness. Around 1750, more white men came to the area. These men brought their families and started to make settlements. For the most part, they came down from the north, particularly the state of Pennsylvania. They first settled on the branches of the Tyger River, on Fairforest Creek and along the Pacolet River. They came in increasing numbers and changed the Piedmont forever.

The settlers worked hard to make a living and raise their crops, particularly corn. They used the corn for food for themselves and their animals. They needed to have the corn ground into meal. Some of the settlers built small water powered mills using the creeks that provided a ready source of water power. It was during this time that Lawson's Fork Creek got its name. The origin of who and where Lawson was has been lost to time but evidently, the "Fork" name was given because it flowed into and was a fork of the Pacolet River.

For about the next 20 years or so, after 1750, only an occasional family settled along Lawson's Fork and there was probably a small corn grinding mill or two using the water power of the creek. But the year, 1773,  was the beginning of using the water power of Lawson's Fork that eventually led to what we know today as Glendale.

Over the years, Lawson's Fork has flooded many times. Click on Flooding for more details. Also click on  Glendale Dams, Ponds and Bridges and The Other Bridge for more information.

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This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale.  See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.