The American Revolution was won in the Backcountry of South Carolina. In fact, more Revolutionary War battles & skirmishes took place in South Carolina than any other colony during the American Revolution. That was the big take away from our visit to the Old Ninety-Six SC Historic Site and here is why you might want to visit.
Ninety-Six SC: Where American Revolution Battles were Won
You don’t hear much about the Revolution in the South. It’s more the Civil War, the War Between the States, or as they like to call it down here, the War of Northern Aggression. But that’s why I was excited to visit South Carolina’s Ninety-Six Historic Site, to learn a little bit more about the birth of our Country.
Getting to Old Ninety-Six Historic Site
It’s still a bit like traveling the backcountry to get to Ninety-Six, which is about three hours from Downtown Atlanta. We traveled single lane country roads to this literal roadside attraction. There’s a well done movie in the visitor’s center, as well as a small museum. It’s a great start to prime you for what you’ll be seeing.
Special Events at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site
We got lucky on our visit and happened upon an encampment. We chatted with costumed soldiers and took a look at their campsite. It’s always fun to have folks in period costumes to provide a bit of living history. We left before the musket firing, but heard them while we explored the Star Fort about half a mile away. There seems to be a special event at Ninety-Six each month, so check the website and plan your trip during one of these living history programs.
The Grounds at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site
This site is unlike most I’ve seen. Along the various paths, they have silhouettes of soldiers, townspeople, or even the Indians that roamed the area. One even carried a toy musket. Kids can use the muskets and pose with the figures. One of the figures showed the height of an average man in the 1700’s, which was less than 5 feet 6′. My kids would be giants next to these folks.
The Star Fort at Old Ninety-Six Historic Site
My boys really liked to Star Fort and seeing the battle lines, which are now paved pathways. It’s amazing how close they had to be in order to fight. It was literally several hundred yards. You could yell back and forth to each other in between battles. It was close enough to throw a baseball back and forth. The original fort walls were 40 ft. high, but are only 10 now. It was easy to imagine the battle after watching the movie at the visitors center, but still hard to comprehend the close quarters of the soldiers.
My favorite part was seeing the remains of old roads. This was a main travel artery between towns and the years of horses and wagons have left a dip in the land and a canopy of trees that is visible today.
Ninety-Six Junior Ranger Program
If you go with kids, don’t forget to pick up a Junior Ranger booklet at the Visitors Center. It’s a great guide as you walk through the historic district, as well as a fun keepsake of your trip. Once you’ve completed the requirements, get a badge and certificate from the Ranger on duty.
More Things to do in the Old 96 District
Sometimes it’s hard to take a long vacation. As kids get older, it gets even harder to find time to get away. Between sporting events, birthday parties and friends, I have to pack in as much as I can, when I can. We managed to pack in quite a bit on a recent day and half trip to the Old 96 District of South Carolina. Plus, at 2-3 hours from Downtown Atlanta, it’s far enough away to be a vacation, yet close enough to get us back for afternoon sports.
Hickory Knob State Park
This South Carolina State Park is close to the border of Georgia. It’s an outdoor lovers paradise with fishing, canoeing, and mountain biking. They also have an 18 hole golf course with kid-friendly rates. My favorite activity was the skeet shooting. There aren’t too many state parks where you can do that! My youngest loved archery lessons.
Abbeyville Opera House, Abbeyville, SC
Abbeyville has a quintessential American downtown complete with town square surrounded by shops and restaurants. It also has the Abbeyville Opera House, a beautiful turn of the century theatre that hosts big city quality community theatre shows. After a long day outdoors, we caught an 8 pm showing of Peter Pan. My boys were glued to the stage and commented, without prompting, that they really enjoyed the show.
My boys and I were given complimentary tickets and lodging in the Old 96 District. However, all opinions are my own and I only recommend places I would visit.