This fall I’ve not been able to get out and explore like I normally do. However, I’ve continued to do research on potential ghost towns in South Carolina until I am able to get back out. I have several targets, some of which involve kayaking to get to them. Here’s a quick run-down of what I’m doing so far…
Several of these town are along the Savannah River. In the days before railroads many towns sprung up along its banks, only to die out as transportation routes changed and the river became less important. The list includes Purrysburg and Hamburg, and these, that I’ve recently researched:
Andersonville was located at the confluence of the Seneca and Tugaloo Rivers, right where the Savannah forms. By all reports it was a sizable town with stores and industry. By the late 1800’s it was already almost gone, having missed out on getting a railroad routed through it. By all reports it was a beautiful location, and became a picnic spot for residents from both South Carolina and Georgia.
When Lake Hartwell was formed in 1959, most of Andersonville was flooded. All that remains is a two-mile island.
Research on the town was a bit tricky. Andersonville was also the name of an infamous Confederate prison in Georgia. Proximity and having the same name caused some confusion, but I was able to narrow search terms and get some good information on the town.
The next town is part of a collection of “European” sounding names.
Vienna is similarly situated to Andersonville on the Savannah River, but in this case at the confluence of Broad River (Georgia) and Savannah. Vienna is on the east bank in South Carolina. Located just across the river are the towns of Lisbon south of the Broad, and St. Petersburg, north of the Broad.
Vienna was a lumber town, but was also the site of an exclusive academy founded by Dr. Moses Waddell. The academy eventually moved to nearby Willington. Lisbon, St. Petersburg, and Vienna suffered the same ultimate fate – transportation routes changed, and eventually the towns were inundated, this time by Clarks Hill Reservoir.
Pulaski Township was located upstream on the Tugaloo River. It was also a lumber town that relied on river traffic. Pulaski was near the old town of Madison, which is also on my list. On Robert Mills 1825 list it is shown as “Polaskie”.
I’ve just gotten starting finding information on Pulaski. I haven’t even had a chance to pinpoint its location, but will be comparing the 1825 map to Google Earth and GNIS data soon.
The next town was also inundated, but on a totally different waterway.
Ferguson was another lumber town, but existed much later than the previous towns. It was active in the early 1900s, founded by B. F. Ferguson and Francis Beidler to process cypress trees from the Santee River area. Since it was a late arrival, it wouldn’t be on the Robert Mills maps.
When Lake Marion was flooded, it covered most of Ferguson. Some of the lumber mill is still visible on Ferguson Island at low water.
…and this brings us the last town on my list, which is a true enigma…
Mayucha is on just about every list I’ve seen of Ghost Towns in South Carolina. However, that’s about all I can find out about it. I don’t even know it’s exact location. The name doesn’t even show up in GNIS data.
All I know is that the town was about seven miles north of Tamassee in the Cheohee Valley. There is also a Maiuka Falls nearby, so there is a name variant. The name Mayucha shows up on a couple of lists of post offices until about 1910. Supposedly when the post office was closed the building was moved to the campus of the Tamassee DAR school.
I’ve been able to find the town on a couple of old maps…
Apart from that, I can’t find anything. Even my graduate advisor, a long-time resident of that area, had never heard of Mayucha. There are old gold prospects in the area and a Davidian compound, which might be why the location is so guarded.
So that’s the list. Here’s a Google Map with those locations…
View Ghost Towns Update in a larger map
I’m hoping to get to some of these in the near future. Until then, I’ll keep doing research. If anyone has any other information about these towns, I’d love to hear about it. Just remember that I’ve probably hit most of the obvious Google-able resources.