Welcome to a Source on the 1781 Roads in the Orangeburgh District of South Carolina

Or, An Effort to Restore the Past with help from GIS

The Ninety-Six Road of Orangeburgh District

Apparently the need to improve communication with the interior induced the General Assembly to authorize a direct "public road" from Orangeburgh to the trading post at NinetySix. The actual town there was called Cambridge but was colloquially better known as NinetySix or "96". Whether there was a "trading path" prior to the establishment of the public road has not yet been established, but is likely. In any event an established road was ordered in April 1770:






Old Nienety-Six road from Orangeburg to near historic location.Several terminus roads were authorized by the Assemly, one of which lead to Ninety-Six. Green dotted path is a likely final section in Greenwood County.











Much of this road is easily identified, owing to the choice of high ground leading from Orangeburgh to the Columbia (Fridig's Ferry), Augusta road. Mapping of this road leads nearby to Cambridge (modern Ninety-Six.) The Tanner-Wilson map from 1822 shows the Old British Fort referred to by the British in the Revolution as "Ninety-Six Fort", etc. The path shown via GPS overlay shows two likely tracks after leaving Orangeburgh District and is the subject of further research. The path shown, aligned with the 1822 road, may be a later straightening of the original road. However, this is outside the current mapping area. The maps show the complete track from Orangeburg to the Ninety-Six Area, as well as blow-ups near Orangeburg where the old track across the North Fork of the Edisto River begins the Ninety-Six road, the terminus area for this mapping with the two likely continuations. The georeferencing of the Tanner-Wilson 1822 map goes a bit awry, but the end appears consistent with the Newberry County Line which itself happens to coincide with the path from Ninety Six to the upper part of the state identified with Lt. Allaire's Diary and the actions in and around Charlotte, Cowpens, King's Mountain, etc.







Road detail (left) near modern Ninety-Six and British Star Fort. Old Nient-Six was destroyed during British withdrawl in 1781. Cambridge is also gone.











Blow-up (right) of Ninety-Six Road at Orangeburg showing crossing of Edisto River aligned with modern roads and sreets. Broughton is old Charleston highway of 1737.