South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

Ninety Six National Historic Site — Greenwood County, South Carolina

SC Picture Project  |  Greenwood County  |  Ninety Six National Historic Site

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Ninety Six National Historic Site

In our country’s earliest days, colonists established a fortified settlement in Ninety Six, and it was a political and legal center for the entire northwest corner of the state. The name Ninety Six was in use as early as 1730 and probably referred to the mileage from the fort to the Cherokee nation’s capital of Keowee.

Ninety Six NHS

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ninety Six, located in Greenwood County, is famous for its Revolutionary War history. The first land battle of the war was fought here during November of 1775. American forces quickly constructed a fort of wood and straw and dug in for a long fight. The British army was unable to oust the Patriot fighters from their post, and the battle eventually ended in a truce.

96 Stockade

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The British eventually fortified Ninety Six, and built a wall around the village in the shape of a star and named it Star Fort. Constructed in 1780, this Revolutionary War earthen fort was the strongest of the British’s defenses in Ninety Six, and even withstood a 28-day attack by American soldiers. Star Fort is one of the best preserved British forts from the Revolutionary War.

Star Fort Encampment

Mark Elbrecht of Greenville, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

This log cabin, built in 1767, was the home of Andrew Logan and was the first home to be built in nearby Greenwood. The cabin was found enclosed within what was thought to be a modern home with multiple additions that was being demolished. To prevent demolition, the Greenwood Historical Society preserved the cabin and moved it to Lander University in 1967. In 1971, the cabin was moved to its current site and placed it under the protection of the Star Fort Commission, and later, The National Park Service.

Ninety Six, Black Swan Tavern

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

First used as a visitor center, the log cabin eventually was transformed into the Black Swan Tavern for interpretive purposes. Only open to visitors during special events, the historic site’s living history program is focused here. Visitors can experience what it was like for early settlers with period furnishings rounding out the cabin’s interior.

Ninety Six Black Swan Tavern Interior

Pete Lawrence of Sumter, 2019 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Ninety Six Historical Site is listed in the National Register:

(Old Ninety Six & Star Fort) The historic district of Ninety Six National Historic Site contains numerous historical features associated with the economic and social development of the colonial South Carolina back country. Native Americans, colonial frontiersmen, and loyalists to the British crown have used this landmark site throughout state history. The area encompassed by the district also figured prominently during the American Revolutionary War, first as the focal point of regional political dissension and later as the scene of a lengthy siege that epitomized the strategy and determination of Major General Nathaniel Greene during the Southern Campaign of the War. As such, the district is of national historic significance. The historic sites included in this district’s documentation are those which relate to the site’s significance, for its association with the settlement and development of the English colonies in North America and with the southern campaign of the American Revolutionary War.

More Pictures of the Ninety Six National Historic Site

Ninety Six National Historic Site

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Logan Log Cabin at Ninety Six NHS

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

96 Stockade Fort

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

96 Fort

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Ninety Six Battlefield

Larry Gleason of Aiken, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

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3 Comments about Ninety Six National Historic Site

Bruce Johnsn says:
February 5th, 2017 at 3:49 pm

If our records prove correct, my 5th great-grandfather died in battle defending the Star Fort in 1781. His name was Mark Lively. He had 3 sons fighting around the same time. John, Reuben, and Thomas. I often wonder if there were any grave markers for the fallen defenders.

SCIWAY says:
October 30th, 2013 at 8:36 am

Thank you! We are always so happy to receive feedback from our visitors!

Caroline Curran says:
October 29th, 2013 at 9:01 am

I lived in the SC lowcountry almost 60 years, and I never heard of the Star Fort, even though I had family in both Ninety-Six and Greenwood. This history is fascinating. I am so grateful to the SC Picture Project for all I’m able to learn so easily. Wonderful!


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