The history of Walhalla
On March 8,1850, the Town was named, "Walhalla." The word is borrowed from Scandinavian mythology and signifies "Paradise of the Gods," or "Happy Home."
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Walhalla Middle School
Walhalla, South Carolina
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On December 24, 1849 Christopher F. Seeba, John A. Wagner, Claus Bullwinkel, John C. Henckel and Jacob Schroder, trustees of the German Colonization Society of Charleston, bought 17,859 acres of land for $27,000.00 from Reverend Joseph Grisham, of West Union, one of the largest landed proprietors of the upcountry.
It was not long until the arrival of other pioneer settlers. Walhalla soon became a well-known German colony. The houses were built with primitive design and built mainly along Main Street. In the course of time more substantial houses were built. The town began to develop along the ridge from east to west. Main Street grew to an unusual length. Walhalla become know as the "Shoe-String Town." This is not true because it has steadily grown in width as well and length. On April 13, 1948, the Midway section was added. Main street is recognized as one of the most beautiful streets that any town or city can boast of.
Sister City Project
Walhalla is planning to adopt a sister city in Germany. We are in the first stages of sending information about us to cities in Germany. We want a small town like Walhalla. It will be a long and hard process to achieve. Some towns are already replying to the information. It will be a few years before we actually choose a town to be our sister city.
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How Walhalla Looks Today
Walhalla is restoring the old auditorium. It is inside of the current School District of Oconee County.
It will be rented out to people for plays, concerts, etc.
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First Black Methodist Church
The First Black Methodist Church was built for free slaves by frees slaves.
Currently it is not used as a church but as a historical site.
Oconee County Cage
The Oconee County Cage was constructed in the 1900's. It was called the "Jail on Wheels." It was an actual prison on wheels pulled by a team of horses. During the early twentieth century it wasn't possible to return prisoner who had been working in the most dist parts of Oconee County, to the jail at Walhalla every night. The cage was fourteen feet long, eight feet wide, and seven feet high, there were four metal bunk beds of three tiers each inside (a total of twelve beds.) There was a small metal barrel in the center of the floor that was used for a fire on cold nights. There was also canvas on the sides of the cage to protect the men from cold winds.
Walhalla's Phone Connecter
Walhalla's phone connecter still stands behind our police station. When you wanted to make a phone call you would call the operator who was stationed here. She/he would connect you through to the person that you wanted to talk to.
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In the 1970's, the Oconee Station property, including the Richards House, was purchased by the State of South Carolina for future development as a state historic park. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1971. Of all the historic sites in Oconee County, Oconee Station is perhaps the best-known because of its role in the history of northwestern South Carolina.
Oconee Station was built in 1792. The threat of a major Indian attack all along the South Carolina frontier led Brig. General Andrew Pickens to order Robert Anderson to begin construction of blockhouses along the border. By September of 1792, five of there small stations (or forts) were begin constructed and the building of another was being planned. Oconee Station, which may assume included wooden structures besides area during the 1790's.
Oconee Station was apparently the only station in operation as a military outpost after 1796, and by 1799 the threat of a major Indian attack was so unlikely that it, too, ceased to be a frontier station.
There is more to the history of Oconee Station than being a military outpost. It also served as an Indian trading post. William Richards bought the property from Brig. General Andrew Pickens in 1793 and continued to live there until his death. He operated the trading post and brickyard, and also loaned money to live there until his death. He operated the trading post and brickyard, and also loaned money to area residents. Around 1805, Richards built a two story brick house near the stone building on the property.
The Richards House
The Richards House was built in 1805. One account by a member of the Todd family, who lived in the house in the nineteenth century, claims that Oconee County was named for Oconee Station. This statement is probably correct, since the station is the most often noted landmark on area maps from the early nineteenth century to the present.
Other families lived in the Richards House throughout the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, including a sheriff of Pickens District (present-day Pickens and Oconee Counties). A post office was operated either at the house or in the stone building during the mid-nineteenth century.
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