The city of Easley, South Carolina, is home to about 18,000 residents including those who commute to the nearby towns of Greenville to the East and Clemson to the West.Nestled near lakes and mountains, the town has natural beauty and industrial opportunity.
The history of Easley, includes thousands of years of Native American inhabitation.At various times, the Mississippian, Catawba, Creek and Cherokee tribes have all occupied the area to varying degrees, especially the area that is now covered by Lake Keowee. Archaeologists have found evidence of human activities early as 11,000 years ago in the state.
The area now known as South Carolina was part of the Cherokee Nation in 1755, when the Eastern section of the state was ceded to the State of South Carolina.The British built Fort Prince George to serve the population of European traders that were operating in the area and was the site of several battles during the Cherokee War of 1756.Twenty years later, the Cherokee people were driven off their remaining lands in South Carolina to migrate north and west.
Shortly the area, now in Pickens County, was opened up to settlement.Many grants were issued to veterans of the War of American Independence when the state couldnt meet the payroll.Issued as early as 1786, benefactors included the Revolutionary War hero, Andrew Pickens, who settled nearby.The county was named for him in 1826, after his death.
The Golden Creek Mill was built in 1825 and was part of the boom in textile production that encouraged settlement in the town.Textiles continued to play a big role in the town until production began to lag after over 150 years, in the 1990s.The fledgling industry was given a boost when rail transport made it easier to bring cotton to the town for processing.
The railroad through the area began construction in 1870, with the original route planned to go to Pickensville, just a mile to the south.The Civil War veteran, General William King Easley, former Adjutant Governor of the Confederate State of South Carolina, has the influential distinction of changing the rail route.By an act of the state legislature, which he was a part of at this point in his career, he created the Easley station in 1874 on a half-mile square piece of deeded property, though he died during the proceedings.Easley absorbed Pickensville just a few years later.
Just prior to the completion of the railroad, lots were sold near the site of the soon-to-be station in 1873.Less than 30 years later, the village was formally incorporated as the town of Easley, South Carolina.
In 1890 a police force was established with a single Chief of Police who also served as the town lamplighter, trash-hauler, fire fighter and horticulturalist.In 1893, the son-in-law of the Revolutionary war veteran for whom the county is named founded the Clemson Agricultural College just a few miles west on Highway 123, today providing high wage jobs for some Easley residents.
In the 1960s, recreational opportunities were created in the area when the US Army Crops of Engineers formed three large, artificial lakes with dams.Nearby Lake Hartwell was created when the Savannah River was dammed.In the early 1970s, Duke Power built a nuclear fission reactor in the northern part of the county that has been providing power for the Easley area since 1973.
More than 100,000 vehicles pass through Easley streets on any given day carrying traffic from nearby Greenville, SC, to Clemson and the county seat of Pickens via US Highway 123.The main street of town is off the main drag away, keeping its country charm as regional traffic increases.
The nearest airport is located just east in nearby Greenville County.With its proximity just west of this fast growing large city, the Easley real estate market is still very affordable, with new housing prices starting around $135,000.Property in Easley, SC, is steadily growing with other 1,000 new buildings being erected in the last decade.The average existing home is valued under $100,000.
The largest economic sector in the area is manufacturing, which includes over 150 factories in the small county.A world-famous kayak manufacturer calls Easley home.The city is perhaps most famous today for being the home of the Big League World Series.
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