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“H” is for Honea Path

South Carolina from A to Z logo

  “H” is for Honea Path [Anderson County; population 3,504]. A water stop on the Greenville and Columbia Railroad in the 1850s developed into a town whose name origin is uncertain. It may be misnamed for William Honey, as early landowner and trader, or it may be double-named by Cherokee Indians, with “Honea” being an Indian name for “path”—according to folklore. When the town was chartered in 1855, it was referred to as Honey Path, but in 1917 was incorporated as Honea Path. Located on the Anderson-Abbeville county line, Honea Path became a cotton mill town. In 1934 it was the site of one of the most infamous events in American labor history—where six strikers were killed by armed guards at Chiquola Mill. In 1908 Honea Path became the smallest town in the nation with a Carnegie Library.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.