Once dense forest, this area was gradually cleared by people. Fire, storms, and the introduction of non-native plants and animal species also contributed to changing the landscape. If you lived here in the 1700s, you would have seen these woods give way to farmland.
By the time Patriot troops arrived to camp nearby in 1781, there were open fields dotted only by tree stumps. Loyalists in the town, hoping to keep the approaching enemy in view and deny them cover in the woods, had cut down trees for up to a mile in each direction.
This region is home to many American Indian groups, including the Saludas, Waterees, and Congarees, who hunt nearby.
Plants: Dense forests of oak, hickory, elm, locust, and poplar.
Animals: White-tailed deer, turkey, squirrel, rabbit, fox, raccoon, beaver, muskrat, bison, quail, wolves, and panthers.
The Cherokee predominate, but white traders, hunters, and trappers come into the area from Charleston. Early settlers include English, Irish, Scotch-Irish, French Huguenots, and Germans. Hostilities erupt between the Cherokee and white settlers.
Plants: Less dense, area burned and cleared for farming wheat, corn, indigo, and flax. Fields are used for grazing.
Animals: Ample wildlife, including deer, rabbit, squirrel, fox. Small farms support cattle, hogs, and sheep.
Ninety Six is occupied by Loyalist troops. All land in and around the town is cleared. The town is burned and abandoned in 1781.
Plants: Indian corn, oats, hemp, cotton, flax, and indigo are planted in fields outside the town. Clusters of hickory, oak, and black walnut trees grow beyond the settlement.
Animals: Farm animals graze in pastures. Hunting grounds are sparse and more remote.
The land around Ninety Six is used for agriculture until the 1960s, when Greenwood County creates a historic site at Ninety Six.
Plants: Cotton is the dominant crop.
Animals: Farm animals graze in pastures and wooded areas are occupied by deer, raccoon, rabbit, and squirrel.
Extensive archaeological excavations of the battlefields are undertaken in the 1970s. The site becomes a national park in 1976. Native plants and animals are protected. There is a second growth of forest where land had been cleared in 1780.
Plants: Winged elm, black walnut, pine, red maple, redbud, poison ivy, and Virginia creeper.
Animals: Deer, raccoon, rabbit, and squirrel.