Fishdam Ford

SW of Chester off SC 72, Chester, South Carolina


Fishdam Ford, Fish Weir

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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Fish weirs have been reported on many of the major streams along the eastern seaboard from Georgia to New York. The size and irregularity of the boulder alignment of the trap at Fishdam Ford would suggest that it is of Native American origin. This location is known as Fishdam Ford deriving its name from the adjacent Native American fish trap. The shallow water, created when the river flows are more resistant bed rock, was ideally suited for the construction of fish traps. The traps were constructed by aligning sloping rows of stone to form a wide V with the mouth facing upstream. A long tapering cane basket was usually placed across a small opening in the apex of the V. The current, flowing into the mouth of the trap, would channel fish into a position from which they could not escape. Fishdam Ford is not only representative of an aboriginal method of fishing that existed in this country long before the coming of the Europeans but the ford also played an important role in the Colonial history of the Carolina back country. Listed in the National Register August 14, 1973. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on August 14, 1973
Reference number
Areas of significance
Archeology - Prehistoric; Archeology - Aboriginal
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
D - Information Potential
Property type
Historic function
Fishing facility or site
Periods of significance
1499-1000 AD; 1000 AD-999 BC; 1700-1749; 1750-1799

Update Log 

  • August 19, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller
  • July 30, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description" & "Street View"
  • July 30, 2014: New Street View added by Michael Miller