A Walking Tour of Cheraw, South Carolina
a walking tour in the Look Up, America series from walkthetown.com
by Doug Gelbert
published by Cruden Bay Books at Smashwords
Copyright 2010 by Cruden Bay Books
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information storage and retrieval system without permission in writing from the Publisher.
Sitting at the head of navigation on the Pee Dee River, this has long been a place of desirable habitation. The first residents were the Cheraw and Pee Dee Indians whose numbers were greatly reduced by disease by the 1730s. European settlers - mostly English, Scots, French or Irish - were populating the region by that time and in 1750 Cheraw was one of six places in South Carolina that appeared on English maps.
Joseph and Eli Kershaw came to the area in the 1760s and obtained a land grant for much of present-day Cheraw. They formally laid out the street system with broad thoroughfares and a town green. They called the town “Chatham” after William Pitt, the Earl of Chatham, but the name never seemed to take and was just as often referred to as “Cheraw,” the dominant tribe along the upper Pee Dee River who maintained a well-fortified village here. When the town was officially incorporated in 1820, Cheraw became the official name.