Saluda Factory Historic District

Also known as: Riverbanks Zoo & Botanical Gardens
Along Saluda River in Both Lexington & Richland Counties


Bridge Abutment

South Carolina Department of Archives and History

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The sites of Saluda Factory, Camp Sorghum and old State Road are principal parts of a section that is linked together geographically and historically, its significance including industry, commerce, military and transportation. The Saluda Factory Ruins are part of the early history of textile manufacturing. Begun in 1834, this factory was among the first textile firms in the state and as such was opposed by a number of influential South Carolinians who preferred a wealthy agrarian society. The factory was burned in 1865 by General Howard’s column of Sherman’s army. After the Civil War a wooden factory three stories high was built on the original granite foundation. This building burned on August 2, 1884 and was never rebuilt. All that remains are the granite foundations which give a clear outline of the building’s dimensions and the granite sluices used for diverting water to power the mill. The site of Camp Sorghum was one of a handful of Confederate prison camps. 1300 Northern soldiers were confined there from the autumn of 1864 to February 1865, when news of Sherman’s approach prompted the Confederates to transfer the prisoners to an enclosed yard adjacent to the insane asylum in Columbia. When it became obvious that Columbia would be forced to surrender, the prisoners were moved north to Charlotte, NC. The old State Road which bounded Saluda Factory and Camp Sorghum on the east was originally the Cherokee path. In 1820 the Board of Public Works designated this road the State Road and thereby perpetuated one of the oldest and most traveled routes in the development of the South Carolina upcountry. Listed in the National Register May 25, 1973. - SCDAH

National Register information 

Posted to the National Register of Historic Places on May 25, 1973
Reference number
Areas of significance
Industry; Commerce; Military; Transportation
Level of significance
Evaluation criteria
A - Event
Property type
Historic function
Manufacturing facility
Current function
Period of significance
Number of properties
Contributing sites: 3

Update Log 

  • September 25, 2014: Updated by Michael Miller: Added "Description", Corrected "GPS Coordinates" and Imported Photo
  • September 25, 2014: Photo imported by Michael Miller