LAKE CITY, SC (WMBF) - The area kept many of the names of the men that served with him. Up Cockfield Road and left on McCutcheon Road, you’ll find the Graham Farm in Lake City.
It’s one of many farms in the area passed down by ancestors who let Francis Marion and his men hide out in their swamps.
“I’d find one little piece of information and three or four months later I’d find another piece of information,” Paul Graham told WMBF News. Graham inherited the farm from family.
Graham, who has owned the farm for about a decade, and his many ancestors who have owned the farm since the Revolutionary War days have found artifacts throughout the 350-acre property.
"After ten years, it’s painted a pretty broad picture of what happened.” He’s managed to piece together a large chunk of his family’s history through his finds, research and government records.
“I was in the attic of my great-uncle who farmed this until he passed in 1989 and he had collected artifacts, furniture, documents from the 1700s all the way to his death in 1989 – so I walked up into the attic and saw these things, and the one that stood out the most was a document sign my William Moultrie. From Fort Moultrie. And it was dated to – in 1785 to my fourth great-grandfather, Hugh Graham.”
He said also has an antique trunk re-furbished by him, a 150-year-old clock, a powder horn to keep the gun powder dry worn by his great-grandfather...shot and powder bags... 18th-century furniture and clothes and a 1776 coin.
“A lot of things happened, the Battle of Tearcoat. We have receipts that they brought 23 prisoners here after the Battle of Tearcoat. In passing, they stayed here for a few days…and were fed and moved on to Cheraw,” Graham explained. He said his Graham (some known as Grimes at the time) ancestors were pig farmers, with a lot of horses and cows.
Deep in South Carolina, history surrounds you. Graham holds treasured finds of the past, documenting how the Palmetto State came to be. He honors it annually by holding the American Heritage Festival the first weekend of February.
For the festival, he turns his farm into a place of the past, and the closest it will ever get again to the history it holds.