Nation Ford Fish Weir

In Catawba R. approx. 1200 ft. upstream from Nation Ford RR trestle, Rock Hill, South Carolina


Nation Ford Fish Weir, Aerial View

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The Nation Ford Fish Weir has significance as physical evidence of Native Americans during the period prior to European settlement in South Carolina. One of the few relatively intact fish weirs remaining in South Carolina, the Nation Ford Fish Weir provides valuable evidence of the fishing practices of Native Americans. Because these weirs were of necessity located at shoals areas, many have been destroyed in the development of dams for hydroelectric production, bridges, and other development practices. The condition and location of the weir make it a significant resource in understanding Native American culture. The Nation Ford Fish Weir is a double V-shaped fish trap or weir, constructed of rock, located in the channel of the Catawba River upstream from the railroad trestle at Nation Ford. Shoals on the Catawba were ideally suited for the construction of weirs because they provide areas where shallow water flowed over bedrock. The weir was formed by the placement of long rows of rocks in two wide V shapes with the open mouths of the V facing upstream. A cane basket or brush trap was usually placed across a small opening at the end of the V. The current, flowing into the trap, would bring fish into the basket, from which they could not escape. The age of the weir and the identity of the builders is unknown. The Catawba Indians inhabited the area surrounding the weir for some time prior to the arrival of European settlers. The weir is in close proximity to Nation Ford, a favorite crossing point of the river for the Catawbas, and to several documented Catawba villages. 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
Ethnic Heritage - Native American
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Fishing facility or site
Periods of significance
1650-1699; 1700-1749; 1750-1799

Update Log 

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