Part of our in-depth series exploring Southern Early American Forts
The Ninety Six National Historic Site is an area of unique historical significance. The unusual name was given by early traders in the 1700s because they mistakenly believed it was the estimated number of miles to the Cherokee village of Keowee in the upper South Carolina foothills.
By the mid-1700s, European colonists found it a favorable place to settle. During Ninety Six's early days, troubles with local Indians increased. In 1760, Cherokees twice attacked Fort Ninety Six, built for the settlers' protection. By the early 1700s, Ninety Six village reached its peak with a growing population, 12 houses and a newly- constructed courthouse and jail.
Ninety Six also figured prominently in the Southern Campaign of the American Revolution. The first land battle south of New England was fought here in 1775 and in 1780, the British fortified the strategically important frontier town. From May 22 - June 18, 1781; Major General Nathanael Greene with 1,000 patriot troops staged the longest (yet unsuccessful) siege of the Revolutionary War against 550 loyalists who were defending Ninety Six. The park site covers 989.14 acres.
Operating Hours & Seasons
Ninety Six National Historic Site is open daily from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The park is closed on Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day and New Year's Day. Gate closes promptly at 5 p.m., but if visitors park outside the gate they are allowed to stay until sunset.
A self guided 1 mile interpretative walking trail winds its way through the battlefields and town site of 96. The trail begins and ends at the parking lot. Horses, bikes, skateboards, etc are not allowed on the trail. An historic cabin is located near the parking lot. Trail is handicap accessible.