Ninety Six, South Carolina is rich with history. Originally founded as a trading post between early settlers and the Keowee Indians. The Indians named the area 96 for the miles from the Indian village to the trading post of Robert Goudy. The site became the first American Revolution land battle south of New England during November 1779. The British forces arrived and built the earthen Star Fort, now a National Historic Site, in 1780 (see Links). British Lt. General Lord Cornwallis believed Ninety Six would be crucial to the control of South Carolina as well as Georgia. A stop to Ninety Six site is a crucial part of the historic Southern Campaign tour. The town of Ninety Six was burnt by the fleeing British in 1781. The remaining settlement renamed the village to Cambridge. Cambridge remained until the installation of the railroad in 1852. Most residents moved two miles north near the railroad line and the post office of Cambridge closed in 1860. Today the Town of Ninety Six is located approximately two miles north of the National Park site.
The small town has produced a large number of historical and notable figures. Home of the 1960's Beach Music band the Swinging Medallions, famous for their song Double Shot of My Baby's Love; Baseballs pitcher Bill Voiselle who had his uniform number changed to 96 to honor his hometown and the only professional player to wear a number that high until 2003; Baseball player Robert Rosel (Bobby) Williams player on the Birmingham Black Barons; Home to Secession Hill Secretary and CSA Lt. Col George McDuffie Miller; US House Represenative Preston Brooks who committed the only act of violence on the Senate floor by caning US Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts in 1856; SC Senator John W. Drummond; Green Bay Packers Larry G. Craig; Civil Rights Movement players John Waller and Gordan Blaine Hancock; as well as home of Dr. Benjamin Elijah Mays- mentor to Martin Luther King Jr and orator at his funeral as well as adviser to four US Presidents. (see Historical Figures), Jazz player Odean Pope; and singer Ann Williams, who has sung for both President Jimmy Carter and Ronald Reagan.
We are a collective group of citizens who meet monthly and are interested in preserving the history and genealogy of the Ninety Six area. We research buildings, land, and family history as well as preserving artifacts. Members collect information from local cemeteries, libraries, title searches, and conduct interviews with the locals. If you are interested in becoming a member, doing research, or submitting materials we welcome you to join us. Membership is only Ten Dollars a year and we are a non-profit group. We will assist you in your own research, when possible. Please see the contact page for further information to join.
Our materials are free to the public. This allows relatives to freely research family members and links without the costs of some genealogy websites. If you have information that pertains to residents, a homestead, local business, or burials, please contact us and submit your family tree for your relatives.
Also, please visit our Facebook page, at www.facebook.com/ninetysixhistoricalsociety which contains up to the minute information as well as a large collection of photos.