Corbitt's National Parks
     Ninety Six
               National Historic Site


1976: National Historic Site

Size: 1,022 acres

2008 visitors: 57,304

Stamp: ?

Rating (1-5): Unrated

About the Site

Traders in the early 1700's established this site in South Carolina. It got its quirky name because they believed it was about 96 miles to the Cherokee village of Keowee in the Carolina foothills. Turned out they were wrong. Nevertheless, by the mid-1700's Europeans found Ninety Six a good place to settle, and soon it was growing nicely. There were problems with the local Cherokee indians, and twice in 1760 they attacked Fort Ninety Six. The fort was wisely built for the settlers' protection.

The first land battle of the Revolutionary War south of New England was fought here at Ninety Six in 1775. It couldn't have been too important, because I couldn't find any information on it. Then in 1780 the British fortified the town's defenses, and it was a good thing, for in 1781 General Nathaniel Greene laid siege to the town. From May 22 to June 18, Greene's 1,000 patriot troops surrounded the 550 loyalists inside; ultimately, the patriots left without taking the town.

What You're Going to See

There is a visitors center, historic roads and paths, the earthen British-built Star Fort (circa 1781), and the partially reconstructed Stockade Fort. There are plenty of archaelogoical complexes, including the below-ground remains of two fillages, forts, houses, and plantations. There's a Junior Ranger program for the kids. Visitors can fish, hike the interpretive trail, picnic, and view the museum exhibits and video.

Ninety Six is generally regarded as the best-preserved Revolutionary War site in the country. I guess this is due to it's out-of-the-way location. The only remaining military mine from the American Revolution is still intact at Ninety Six NHS. Colonel Thaddeus Kosciuszko of Poland directed the digging of the tunnel. It was to be used to blast open the British Star Fort's massive earthen walls. However, the siege was abandoned before it was used. Today, volunteers and Park personnel hope to stabilize it enough to open it to the public.

Personal Observations

I was in Florida once. Close, but not close enough.

Getting There

From Columbia, take I-26 northwest for about 42 miles to milepost 72. Exit there and take Highway 121 south, around Newberry, about ten miles to the junction of Highway 34. Take Highway 34 west for about 20 miles, through Silverstreet and Chappells and Godsey, to the town of Ninety Six. Take Highway 248 south for 2 miles to the Site.

Nearby Attractions

Congaree Swamp National Monument is about 75 miles east southeast. Kings Mountain National Military Park is about 80 miles to the northeast. Cowpens National Battlefield is about 70 miles to the north. Just across the border in North Carolina, 90 miles north, is Carl Sandburg Home National Historic Site.