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On Memorial Day weekend (2012), we started the physical search for Granby just a few hundred feet away from the recently found remains of what most Historians think was Friday's Ferry (1750-1810) in what should have been the town of Granby. Our goal... to be the first to provide scientific proof of this. Along the way, we have also built a nice set of archival evidence that pin points the location of Granby. We have also begun to build a picture of what Granby looked like and who lived there. With over 3000 archaeological artifacts found (most of which are Granby period) we may have already proven the case. Our goal has now extended to providing a museum presentation so all can experience this important, yet forgotten, South Carolina village. So, the digging (dirt and paper) continues. Check out the links in the right column for some of the archival research we have done. Pull down the above Artifacts menu to view pictures of what we have found in the ground or select this link to see what was found in one of our better pits.
For over 12,000 years this area was occupied by Indians. In 1716, the area's first European inland trading post was started at "the Congarees". In 1718, to deal with outside trade and Indian insurrection, Fort Congaree was built on Congaree Creek near the Congaree River. The first S.C. backcountry settlement started near the Fort in 1730 at Saxe Gotha. Many of the first residents were kidnapped and murdered by the Indians. Because of this, Fort Congaree II was built in 1748 just above Saxe Gotha. In 1761 this area entered the World's first global war; The Seven Years War which was better know to Americans as the French-Indian War. In the flat area that now makes up Cayce's Riverland Park, many Historians believe the town of Granby begin taking shape in the early 1750's. Around that time, about 3000 British Regulars and S.C. Provincials (including the young Francis Marion, John and William Moultrie, Isaac Huger, and Andrew Pickens) camped for several months before launching their attack against the Cherokee in 1761. Saxe Gotha resident Martin Friday had opened a very important ferry at this site around 1750 and Granby pretty much replaced the town of Saxe Gotha by 1760.
During the Revolutionary War, the Granby Store (just North of Friday\'s Ferry) was taken over by the British and converted to a Fort. On May 2, 1781, with about 400 to 500 men, General Thomas Sumter (the Gamecock) laid siege to Fort Granby. On May 14, 1781, Lt. Col. Henry Lee (Father of Robert E. Lee), with 400 to 500 infantry, arrived at Granby on the evening of May 14th, 1781. Already there besieging the post was a small detachment of Sumter's under Col. Thomas Taylor. After a show of force, the British surrendered. In 1791, Wade Hampton (grandfather of the Civil War General and Governor) built the first of three bridges over the Congaree. His first bridge was not yet finished when President George Washington came through so Washington took Friday's Ferry. All three of Hampton's massive bridges were lost in floods between 1792 and 1799.
Due to frequent flooding and the development of Columbia on the east bank, Granby slowly disappeared over the next 25 years. The area was mostly unoccupied until earthworks were built by the Confederates in 1864. This would be the last battle ground for South Carolina in the Civil War in the Skirmish at Congaree Creek in February of 1865. During WWI, Guignard Bricks created the nearby clay pits which are now a unique natural preserve. During WWII, the Cayce Quarry owners destroyed Fort Granby (then know as the Cayce House). In 1960, against much opposition, the Riverland Park neighborhood was built in the flood plain on top of the old Granby site.
Columbia Telescope, May 14, 1816:
Granby, like London, is divided by a river, over which there was formally a bridge connecting the two towns, which are distinguished by the names of East and West Granby, situate two miles S. W. from Columbia, the latter of which will only employ the attention of the reader, the other merely serving as a landing place for Columbia. This town once bid fair to rival Columbia in trade, but is at present in its wane. The people hereabouts are chiefly Germans or their descendants. It has a Church, but it appears now only though the tops of the corn, being situated in the middle of a field near the river; the building is low, having no spire, except a pine pole 4 feet long, on way of which the inhabitants have placed, by way of ornament, a small house for the peregrinating swallows, emblematical of their hospitality to strangers - in beholding this church we may with Isaiah "there shall the great Owl, make her nest, and lay and hatch, and gather under her shadow; there shall the Vultures be gathered every one with her mate." The Granbyans are great smokers, and have a fondness for their town, few ever leaving it but for another world; they are great observers of Easter Sunday. There is a Crout Factory, established by that enterprising citizen Snyder Scoffle, an inspector of which commodity, is employed, and according to the usage of the people, ex-officio mayor of the town.
The Granby dig is looking for donations to help with the building of a Granby Dig museum artifact exhibit as well as carbon dating on a large piece of charcoal that was found below the plow zone in pit 37. We greatly appreciate any donations toward this work. Thank You.