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Hagood Mill Historic Site

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A Brief History

A recent discovery indicates that the Hagood Mill historic site has been a gathering place for people for a thousand years or more. This past year’s archaeological investigations and excavations have revealed a significant find, not only for Pickens County, butfor South Carolina and the Eastern United States as well.
 
It was found that selected rock outcroppings on the site are covered with numerous significant pre-historic carvings, or petroglyphs.From Pre-history to the Native Cherokee up to the earliest pioneers of the Carolina Upcountry, this unique site has attracted human kind as a site to gather, to converse, to conduct business and now, due to the significant development of the site as a major Upcountry tourist destination, to be entertained an deducated.
 
The earliest suspected use of the site by non-Natives are reflected in that the property may have be enowned by William Jennings, with a smaller gristmill, around 1793. Benjamin Hagood purchased the property in 1823. The gristmill, as it stands today,was built by his son, James Hagood, around 1845. At that time, the town of Pickens was located 14 miles west of its present location, then on the banks of the Keowee River, about a mile from the current site of Duke Power’s Keowee Nuclear Station. In 1868,after the Pickens District was split into Pickens and Oconee Counties, the town of Pickens was relocated to its current sight, which is 3.2 miles south of the Hagood Mill.Following a list of owners we have found that the mill site was willed to John Hagood in 1865 and upon his death in 1879 it was willed to Ester Benson Hagood.
 
Upon her death it was willed to James Hagood in1891. Following a line of heirs it was eventually conveyed to J. Hagood Bruce in 1958. The mill continued to operate commercially until 1966. The Hagood Mill was added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1972 as it was, and is one of the oldest known surviving gristmills still producing grain products in South Carolina. The grist mill and surrounding property was donated to the Pickens County Museum Commission in 1973.The Mill is located on Hagood Creek, formerly known as Jennings Creek, a tributary of the Twelve Mile River.
 
The last dam site is 1,650 feet from the mill. There the water from the creek was diverted to the mill in an earthen headrace (ditch). Today water is pumped from the creek up to the headrace. The last 80feet of the race is made of wood. The wooden water wheel, 20 feet in diameter and 4 feet wide, produces 22 horsepower. The wheel and the mechanical components of the mill were rebuilt in the mid-1970’susing as many original parts as possible. Restoration work continued in the mid–1980’s and again in the mid–1990’s. The ring gear is 18 feet in diameter and the two granite millstones weigh approximately 1,600 pounds each.

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