McCormick – McCormick, South Carolina
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McCormick is rightly known as “A Sportsman’s Paradise.” Located in the heart of the Sumter National Forest with the Savannah River just an easy drive west on US 378, this small town offers something for everyone. Visitors and McCormick residents also enjoy strolling through the recently renovated downtown, where antique shops and restaurants are plentiful.
Many historic communities make up present-day McCormick. Places such as nearby Long Cane, site of the Long Cane Massacre, a brutal attack where early inhabitants of the area were slaughtered by Cherokee Indians, and Bordeaux, or New Bordeaux, an area settled by early French Huguenots. This granite cross (seen below) marks the old Huguenot worship site of the French Protestant Congregation of New Bordeaux. Led by the Reverend Jean Louis Gilbert, this colony was established in 1764 along the banks of the Little River, near the site of today’s Savannah Lakes Village neighborhood.
Cyrus H. McCormick – known as the “father of farm mechanization” – owned stock in the Augusta and Knoxville Railroad and the Savannah Valley Railroad. He used his influence to build train tracks that intersected in McCormick, resulting in the McCormick Railroad. Remnants of McCormick’s rich railroad history are still visible in the town; the original depot can be seen below.
In 1852, the second-richest vein of gold ever found in South Carolina was discovered below McCormick. The mill (seen below) was initially operated by William Dorn, who was able to successfully excavate $1,000,000 in gold during his ownership. In 1869, Cyrus H. McCormick bought the land and gold mine from William Dorn for just $20,000. Cyrus McCormick tried to find success with the mine but gave up his search in 1882. The mine operated into the 1930s and is located on private property.
After 1882, Cyrus McCormick auctioned off some of his land for residential use and donated some for churches, schools, and cemeteries. Even though he never visited this area, his wife, Nettie, invested much of her time and resources into developing the community. Many historic sites are available to visit in the area today such as Badwell Cemetery, the final resting place of the Petrigu family associated with the worship site at New Bordeaux. Another Dorn Mill, originally a cottonseed mill turned flour and grist mill, and, the The McCormick County Courthouse, are just a few of the offerings.
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