Native Americans Along the Wateree
Native Americans inhabited South Carolina for thousands of years before the Spanish arrived along the Carolina coasts. While estimates of the indigenous population vary widely, what is known is that European disease and wars decimated Native American population centers.
In central South Carolina, the largest groups were the Catawba, Cherokee, Cusabo, Sewee, and the Wateree. After the devastation wrought by European colonization, many smaller groups either disappeared or were absorbed by the Catawba Nation.
These names of these vanished people live on in the names which dot our modern landscape. Think of them when you cross the Saluda, the Congaree, or the Pee Dee -- reflect on the past when you travel through the Waxhaws, Santee, or Winyah Bay.
Most of the artifacts in this display come from along the Wateree River or Lynch's Creek in Kershaw County.