Webcam at Glendale Shoals

The Wofford College Department of Environmental Studies has installed a webcam at the Glendale Shoals of  Lawson's Fork Creek. The camera is positioned to look upstream at the dam and the old iron bridge. The view from the camera is available on the Internet at Glendale Shoals Webcam. The view of the camera can be manipulated on screen and also has sound.



The view of the creek, the dam and the rocks seen on the webcam looks peaceful and quiet. You might think that it had always looked this way but you would be very wrong. If you could have been here, looking at this beautiful view and the area surrounding it, you could have seen some astonishing sights. When this area was a howling wilderness and the South Carolina Upstate still had a sizeable Indian population, an Ironworks was built upstream not far from the dam. Native Americans had been using the resources of the Lawson’s Fork area for thousands of years before the white Europeans came to build their Ironworks. They were using the fish and other animals of the river. Closeby, there were soapstone deposits that the Indians used to make many useful objects such as bowls and water containers.

When the Europeans came to settle in the Upstate and build their Ironworks, they generally gave little regard to the fact that they were taking land that already was inhabited by the Indian tribes. Finally, just before the Revolutionary War, the Cherokees struck back at the settlers. Entire white families were killed within 25 miles of what is now Glendale. A secure house, called Wofford’s Fort, was established in the vicinity of the Ironworks. This allowed the settlers to group together and find refuge from the warring Cherokees. Some families had to stay there for several weeks. During this time, groups of South Carolina militia men passed through Wofford’s Fort on the way to and from fighting the Cherokees and burning their villages and crops. It is hard to imagine in today’s peaceful scene seeing a large group of rough, armed men passing by to kill Cherokees.

A little later, men shot and killed each other during the Revolutionary War around the Ironworks. Some of their graves still exist along the Creek. The British officer, Col. Patrick Ferguson, marched his Tory army back and forth across Lawson’s Fork Creek not too long before he and many of his army were killed at Kings Mountain. The Ironworks was an important place during the Revolution. Just before the Battle of Cowpens, you could have seen Col. William Washington and his cavalry come to the Ironworks to have new horseshoes put on their horses.

Some years after the end of the Ironworks, men came to this area to find and mine gold. Almost certainly men climbed over the rocks you are looking at trying to find gold dust in the cracks and crevices where the water had deposited it. There were actual gold mines in the vicinity. “Gold Mine Road” that runs closeby, near Bethesda, is a reminder of that time. This was many years before the California gold rush.

Not long after the gold mines, another wave of technical change came to the Shoals. Starting with Bivingsville, the textile industry came to stay for about 150 years. During some of that time, supplies were made at the shoals for the use of the Confederate army. People came from near and far to find jobs at what was to become Glendale Mills. Glendale Mills was a thriving and bustling industrial site for well over a century.

Almost two hundred years after the Iron Works and Wofford’s Fort, the Shoals was again visited by men passing through on the way to fight a war. This time it was men from nearby Camp Croft during World War II. Some men from there visited the Shoals for a brief period of relaxation before going overseas to fight in Europe. Some of these men never lived to return to the United States. One such man was Sgt. Robert P. Emerson. He had his photo taken on the rocks just below the dam in 1941. Sgt. Emerson was killed in France in August, 1944. If the Glendale Shoals webcam had existed when Sgt. Emerson posed for his photo he would have been clearly visible to its viewers.

Today, the sense of inactivity at the Shoals is misleading. There have been such periods before followed by episodes of development and the use of technology that earlier residents of the Shoals could not have dreamed of. The full story of the Shoals is yet to be written.


Return to Glendale Families
Return to Glendale Homepage


This web site has been started as a public service to share the story of Glendale. The web master and person to contact about putting information on the web site is Mary McKinney Teaster.  Contact her at:
marylee@glendalesc.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at Mary McKinney Teaster.