Researching Ninety Six
The Ninety Six area was established around 1752 by an Indian trader named Robert Goudy from the Tennessee area, who began trading with the Keowee Indians. He established his trading post near two crossroads- the Charleston Road and Island Ford Road. The Keowee and Cherokee Indians utilized a path nearby. The original site is now a part of the National Park Historic Ninety Six Battlefield Site. www.nps.gov/nisi
The British utilized Ninety Six as a central location for the upstate of South Carolina and a court was established. This court was now held in the District of Ninety Six. This area encompassed the upper region of the state while Charleston held court for the lower region of the state. Eventually a courthouse and a jail where built in the small village. The area became the hub of activity in the upper region.
Two American Revolution battles would be held at this site. The first being on November 19, 1775 making Ninety Six the site of the first land battle site, south of New England. The second battle would take place on May 22-June 18th, 1781. Continental Army Major General Nathanial Greene would lead 1,000 troops against Loyalist Militia under the command of John Cruger, and would not be a considered a victory for the Patriots. Greene and his troops fled upon learning British Lord Rawdon was enroute from Charleston with 2000 re-enforcement troops. However the British also fled the area, thereby completing the mission of ousting the British. Upon leaving the area, the British burnt the village. The court records were taken to Charleston. Today the remaining records can be researched at www.scdah.sc.gov or through the Charleston Historical Society.
The village of Ninety Six rebuilt and in 1785 the SC Legislature established the College of Cambridge there. The village now contained approximately 15 homesteads, a few stores and a tavern and renamed itself to Cambridge to reflect the building of the college. The original area of the Ninety Six battle site and village was divided between Edgefield and Abbeville District (later Counties). In 1828 a post office was established and run by postmaster James Y. Livingston. The post office was known as Lodi, located in the Abbeville District. The division of the original Ninety six area makes research difficult for genealogy, as some records are housed in Edgefield County and some in Abbeville County.
In 1852 the Columbia/Greenville Railroad came through the area approximately two miles north of Cambridge. Most of the residents of Cambridge moved closer to the railway. The rail stop was registered as Lodi, to reflect the post office, as mail was now transported via the railroad. The town grew around the railroad and adopted the original name of Ninety Six. Today the current Town of Ninety Six is located at the new location. In 1897 a part of Abbeville County and a part of Edgefield County were both divided to make the current Greenwood County, which included the town of Ninety Six. The village of Cambridge disbanded and in1904 the post office was moved into town with the post mark of Ninety Six.
Today the Town of Ninety Six is located approximately two miles from the National Park. The town is home to approximately 2,034 (2014 census) and is a beautiful historic town that embraces the history it played in American history. See www.ninetysixsc.gov.
Bills pertaining to, providing for the establishment of Old Ninety Six Star Fort Battlefield :
House of Reps. 9549, 1975 Sponsor Rep. Butler C. Derrick
House of Reps. 11203, 1975 Sponsor Rep. Butler C. Derrick
Senate 2642, 1975 Sponsor Senator Strom Thurmond
House of Reps. 12434, 1976 Sponsor Rep. James G. O'Hara