South Carolina

Lake Keowee – Salem, South Carolina

South Carolina  |  SC Picture Project  |  Oconee County Photos  |  Lake Keowee

Popular Lake Keowee is located primarily in Oconee County, but also extends into neighboring Pickens County. The lake was built in 1971 by Duke Power Company to generate hydroelectric power and to cool the reactors at the Oconee Nuclear Station near Seneca; it was created by damming the Keowee River and the Little River. Water flowing from below the dams joins the Seneca River and eventually make its way to the Savannah River. Lake Keowee measures 26 miles long, three miles wide, and includes 300 miles of shore line.

Sunset over Lake Keowee

Gary DuBose of Seneca, 2011 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The name Keowee is a Cherokee word meaning ‘Place of the Mulberries’. Lake Keowee covers the former Keowee Town, the capital of the Lower Cherokee Nation. The Cherokee were allied with the British during the American Revolution; following the defeat of the British at present-day Fort Moultrie in 1776, the Cherokee no longer had the support of the British.

Lake Keowee Oconee County

Malini Gupta of Kolkata, India, 2016 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

As a result, the Cherokee War between the Cherokees and the South Carolina militia soon erupted. Seeking a peaceful resolution, in 1777 the Cherokees relinquished their land in the Cheroeke Lower Nation, which included Keowee Town and nearly all Cherokee land in South Carolina, to the South Carolina settlers. The negotiation is known as the Treaty of Dewitt’s Corner. When Lake Keowee was being built, archaeologists excavated the former Keowee Town site and discovered thousands of Cherokee artifacts. Many such artifacts are on display in local museums.

With its 18,000 acres of water, Lake Keowee is usually dotted with people out enjoying the water. Fishing, boating, and even sailing are beloved activities that keep Lake Keowee a vibrant part of the South Carolina Foothills.

Lake Keowee Info

Address: Stamp Creek Road, Salem, SC 29676
GPS Coordinates: 34.799483,-82.912567

Lake Keowee Map

Lake Keowee – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Lake Keowee, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!


The South Carolina Picture Project is a volunteer project which earns no profit. We work hard to ensure its accuracy, but if you see a mistake, please know that it is not intentional and that we are more than happy to update our information if it is incorrect. That said, our goal is to create something positive for our state, so please make your comments constructive if you would like them to be published. Thank you!

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