The Boonesborough Historical Society

Jane Byrd Wilson
This site is dedicated to the memory of Jane Wilson.
After co-founding the Donalds Historical Society in 1991, Jane was the driving force behind the Society for almost a decade. Jane was deeply committed to the community and to the preservation of its history. High-spirited, fun, known to speak her mind, a lady with a huge heart, Jane was a dear friend to many. Jane was involved in a tragic automobile accident on March 17, 2000.

Current News

Grant Awarded!

The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor organization has confirmed that they will award BHS a $15,000 matching grant towards restoration of the Templeton-Drake Log Cabin, original to Boonesborough Township.

Boonesborough Township 1762-1775: Townships, Colonial Plats, Immigrants & Cherokee Trail by C. Newell Bowie, NOW AVAILABLE $15 ea + S&H

Table of Contents - Foreword, Dedication, Intent of This Book, Brief History Before Townships, Townships in Upper SC, Hardships in a Strange Land, Corners and Boundaries, Requirements for Land Grant, Building a House, Grain Mills, Boonesborough Marriages, Cherokee Trail, Following a Trail, Plat Comments, Plat Wording, Plotting and Joining Plats, Copy of Original Boonesborough Plat, Map of Boonesborough with Plats Installed, List of Plats and Location, Exhibit of Plats in Boonesborough, Exhibit of Plats of Interest, In Closing.

About The Boonesborough Historical Society

Originally the Donalds Historical Society, growth and expanded membership were behind the name change to the Boonesborough Historical Society. The Society is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and sharing of local history. The BHS serves the South Carolina towns of Donalds, Due West and Honea Path and covers parts of Abbeville and Anderson Counties.

A Brief History

The Donalds Historical Society was organized in 1991 by Jane Wilson, Nan Barmore, and Jane Stone. Meetings commenced in Riley Stone's former store and officers were elected. Lewis Johnson served as President of the newly formed Society. Later presidents were Riley Stone and Robert Drake. Ruth Stone served as secretary/treasurer for many years while Jane Wilson continuously published the newsletter.


The BHS disbanded in the late 2000s.

Current Projects

Restoration of the Templeton-Drake Log House -
This ca. 1760's log house was originally located on the Henry Templeton plat of Boonesborough Township. The house was later acquired by Drakes who lived in it and owned it at least from the early 1800's until the 1980's . In more recent years the house has been used as a storage shed. By the mid 1990's the house was dismantled and moved to north Georgia. In 1999 the owner of the house contacted Jane Wilson offering to donate the dismantled parts to the Historical Society. Shortly before her death, Jane rented a truck, talked a friend into driving, and rounded up four teenagers to load and unload the logs. The BHS has since committed to restoring the house. D. McDill has donated a plot of land on Highway 184, the Donalds-Due West highway, adjacent to the historic Donalds Grange Hall and the WPA-built Potato House. This section of Highway 184 is part of the South Carolina Heritage Corridor - Discovery Route.

Donations for the restoration of the Templeton-Drake house should be made out to the BHS - Log Cabin Fund.

Past Projects

In December 1992 the Donalds Historical Society sponsored the first Donalds Homecoming to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the town. Since then, the Society has been involved in several projects:

  • Map of Boonesborough Township - Mrs. B.H. Carlton, in an article written for the Abbeville Press & Banner, intrigued the Society's interest in Fort Boone and Boonesborough Township. Using a copy of the original township survey, Barry Dunn converted "chains" and "links" into feet and inches, and drew the Township plat to the same scale as a modern topographical map. Then Newell Bowie, after combining plats from Lewis Johnson, Dr. W.E. Baldwin, Dr. Lowry Ware, and the South Carolina Archives, began the tedious task of siting individual landholder plats on the Township map. Newell Bowie incorporated this map into his book Boonesborough Township: Plats, Trails and Towns, 1763 through 1775 which the Society published in 1993.

  • Dr. Wofford E. Baldwin's Research - Dr. Baldwin collected information on Boonesborough, its people, trails and towns, for more than twenty years. He graciously gave permission to the Society to publish a summary of his research in 1993.

  • Videotape - There Are No Secrets in Donalds features local residents telling stories about bygone days in Donalds. Storyteller Loralee Cooley, Erskine College and Anderson College helped bring this project to fruition.

  • Greenville Presbyterian Church Cemetery and Genealogical Data, 1769 through June 1996 - This project was initiated by Rex Bailey of Fountain Inn, and Howard Nickles gave considerable assistance. Published in 1996, copies of this book are still available. All proceeds go to the Greenville Church Cemetery Fund.

  • Dedication of Boonesborough Township Marker - Erected by the Society in 1996, the Dedication / Homecoming ceremony drew over 300 people and featured Billy Kennedy of Belfast as speaker. The marker is located on Highway 184 and reads:
    Boonesborough Marker
    Boonesborough Township (1763)
    Surveyed in 1762 by Patrick Calhoun and named for Governor Thomas Boone, this 20,500 acre township was laid out west of Ninety-Six as a buffer between white and Cherokee lands. In 1763 Scots-Irish families began to settle in the area near Long Cane, Park's and Chickasaw Creeks. The headwaters of Long Cane Creek are 500 feet south; the Cherokee Path crossed the township boundary one mile south.
    Erected DHS 1996


1993 - Boonesborough Township: Plats, Trails and Towns, 1763 through 1775 by C. Newell Bowie
1993 - The Settlement of Boonesborough Township, South Carolina by Wofford E. Baldwin, M.D. Due West, SC
1996 - Greenville Presbyterian Church Cemetary and Genealogical Data, 1769 through June 1996
2001 - Boonesborough Township 1762 - 1775: Townships, Colonial Plats, Immigrants & Cherokee Trail by C. Newell Bowie

Books Our Members Have Written

1993 - Remembrance: A Family Chronicle by Elizabeth Reid Austin
1997 - Mount Pleasant, the Victorian Village by Mary-Julia Royall
1993 - Jimmy: An Austin Chronicle by Elizabeth Reid Austin
2001 - Thru All These Years: A Memoir of a Southern Family by Mary Elizabeth Graham Lindley
2001 - Mount Pleasant, The Friendly Town by Mary-Julia Royall
2002 - A COLLECTION OF STONES and most of them...Gems by Ilona Hinrichs Stone

About Boonesborough Township

For immigrants who were expected as a result of bounty encouragement, three square-shaped townships were in laid out in 1762 west of Ninety-Six: Boonesborough; Hillsborough, 28,000 acres centering near where Long Canes enters Little River and containing the town of New Bordeaux; and Belfast (later often called Londonborough), comprising 22,000 acres and lying on both sides of Hardlabour Creek above its junction with Cuffeetown Creek.

The survey of Boonesborough Township was certified 20 December 1762 with the township covering 20,500 acres. The Boonesborough name was in honor of the new Royal Governor of South Carolina, Thomas Boone, who had taken office in 1761. Patrick Calhoun, a pious Scot who had lived for some time in Virginia, was heavily involved in settling this group of Presbyterian Scots who had moved to Ulster (Northern Ireland) from Scotland. The settlers wanted fertile land, watered by springs or fronting on creeks, land described as "lying well". They wanted convenient access to their land and routes to get their farm products and livestock to markets. The land selected for them was bountifully supplied with creeks, lying on the headwaters of Long Cane Creek, and included parts of the watersheds for Chickasaw, Park's and a bit of Turkey Creek.

Boonesborough Township never actually developed into a township as the name implies. The towns of Donalds and Due West eventually became established in the area. Donalds formed in 1842 and is located on what was the north corner of Boonesborough. Due West became a town in the western corner of Boonesborough.

Original Boonesborough Settlers


SCGenWeb Archives
South Carolina Department of History and Archives
South Carolina Genealogical Research and Records - Books Available From Brent H. Holcomb and SCMAR
West Carolina NewsLink - Abbeville County community information, includes a Calendar for local events
Long Cane Web Page - includes info on the Long Cane Mailing List
Long Cane - Abbeville List Archives Page
Abbeville Equity Records Index
Making of America Books - 8,500 nineteenth century books online, pages scanned in.
President Carter's Boonesborough family ties - article
South Carolina Records Upstate Wills & Land Plats Available through Mail Order
Cyndi's List - South Carolina - List of Historical/Genealogical Helps Online
American Studies at the University of Virginia
Early Backcountry Culture - based on selections from Albion's Seed by David Hackett Fischer
Beneath Theses Waters - Archeological and Historical Studies of 11,500 Years Along the Savannah River Kane/Keeton
SCIWay - SC Historical, Genealogical Organizations - "SC Information Highway"
SCIway - South Carolina Information Highway - South Carolina Information Highway
American Memory - Historical Collections from The Library of Congress
From The American Folklife Center, Library of Congress - Voices from the Days of Slavery: Former Slaves Tell Their Stories
Civil War Maps - Library of Congress - Archaeology, History, and Conservation of Heritage of Eastern North America

BHS is a member of the South Carolina Historical Society