Nation Ford Road

5 noncontiguous sections of roadbed in Fort Mill township, Fort Mill, South Carolina


Nation Ford Road, Historic Roadbed

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

View this photo at


Nation Ford Road is significant because it provides evidence of a prehistoric transportation route which has helped to shape the modern world. Several segments of Nation Ford Road are still visible today. One of the oldest documented travel routes in the southeast, it began at the James River, traversed southern Virginia, crossed the Piedmont of North Carolina, passed into South Carolina, and forked just south of Nation Ford. The presence of Nation Ford as one of the few reliable crossing places on the Catawba River led to its use by the Catawba Indians and other tribes. Gradually, a north-south path developed which led from Virginia to the Nation Ford. This path was being used by white traders as early as 1650. The trading path which crossed at the river here was known by many names, including the “Occaneechi Path,” the “Catawba Path,” and on Mouzon’s map of 1775 as the “Indian Road.” The presence of the road led many early European settlers to locate in the area. As the major transportation artery in the area, it influenced the course of events in everyday commerce and in the most important armed conflicts to be fought on American soil. The development of the railroad, which largely followed the earlier route of Nation Ford Road, helped to shape the modern development patterns of the area by determining the location of depots which would grow into Rock Hill and Fort Mill. Although superseded by more modern highways, Nation Ford Road established the basic route that they followed, from U. S. Highway 21 in the 1920s to I-77 in the 1970s. Although largely forgotten today, Nation Ford Road had a significant role in shaping the face of eastern York County. Listed in the National Register March 1, 2007. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on March 1, 2007
Reference number
Area of significance
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Current function
Periods of significance
1650-1699; 1700-1749; 1750-1799; 1800-1824; 1825-1849; 1850-1874; 1875-1899; 1900-1924
Number of properties
Contributing structures: 5

Update Log 

  • October 28, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" and Imported Photo
  • October 28, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller