Webcam at Glendale Shoals
( This webcam has been down for
awhile but is now back in full operation - April 30,
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
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
One example of a new technology that would be amazing
to earlier Glendale residents
is the use of small drones to take aerial videos. See
some of these videos showing unusual views of Lawson's Fork Creek and
the area around the old mill site at Videos.
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
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. See
more information about Mary and her Glendale connection at
Mary McKinney Teaster.