This Fascinating Historical Site Is Free to Visit in Pickens, SC

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Hagood Mill Historic Site and Folklife Center was built as a grist mill in 1825 by Benjamin Hagood. Today the site is managed by Pickens County Museum and features a grist mill, a working water wheel, historic buildings, and nature trails. It is a beautiful and interesting place to visit, especially if you enjoy stepping back in time and learning what life was like for the people who lived here years ago. Local mom, Kristen Alcock, brings us all the details and helpful hints to make your visit to Hagood Mill a wonderful spring adventure!

Folklife Center

Walking around Hagood Mill, you will see two restored log cabins, a moonshine distillery, blacksmith shop and a cotton gin. Inside the cabins are a giant loom, spinning wheel and other historical items. My son loved watching the cotton gin demonstration and touching the raw cotton. “Our favorite part was seeing the grist mill!” said Christel Price, a KAG reader. “The kids loved seeing it in action and learning how the whole process works.”

Hagood Mill historical site

Nature Trail

The walking trail, through the woods and around historical buildings, is great for hikers of all ages. The trail is unpaved and a little bumpy. It’s short enough for little walkers to manage, and is usually very shady. My family did not walk the entire trail, but Elizabeth Lamb from Hike it Baby Greenville said, “It’s a beautiful 3/4 mile trail with a fun bridge. It’s perfect for young walkers.”

Petroglyph Site

This fascinating archeological site highlights 32 distinct petroglyphs, mostly human forms, and is one of the best petroglyph sites open to the public. Discovered in 1993, it is estimated that the drawings were left by a prehistoric culture 1,500 to 2,000 years ago. The drawings are pretty eroded but the exhibit has a great audio presentation, photographs and explanation of the historical significance of the drawing and the people who left them.

Special Events

My family was lucky enough to visit Hagood Mill during one of their monthly festivals which included banjo and fiddle music, local pottery as well as moonshine, cotton gin and gristmill demonstrations. The once a month events are noted on their calendar. Hagood Mill holds a kid’s fest in the spring, military celebrations and various music festivals.

This video was originally published on The Stinehart’s YouTube channel and showcases the Storytelling Festival.

Other upcoming events include the annual Fiddling Championship and Storytelling Festival. Look for a Native American Celebration in November and a Celtic Christmas in December.

Hagood Mill also occasionally offers some really interesting classes. Past classes include Hearth Cooking, fermenting wild foods, a Sketchbook workshop and a learning how 19th century southerners survived winters on the homestead.

Hagood Mill homeschool lesson

Gift Shop

Shop local at the Hagood Mill gift shop. You can buy products such as jams, honey, and jewelry, pottery and soaps made by local artists. They also have books about local history, t-shirts and CDs. The gift shop also sells cornmeal and stone ground grits made right there at the grist mill!

Planning Your Visit

138 Hagood Mill Road
Pickens, SC 29671
864.898.2936

Hagood Mill, the trails and the petroglyph site are open every week; Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am to 4 pm. Admission is free, however on Saturdays with a festival there is a $5 parking fee.

Festivals are the third Saturday of each month. For a complete list and calendar of events visit their website.

Hagood Mill

We read a book that mentioned mills and what they do before our visit and it helped my son understand what he was seeing. Here are a few books that mention gristmills and petroglyphs:

Books that mention or explain mills, grain, flour, etc:
Pancakes, Pancakes by Eric Carle
Any version of the Little Red Hen
The Grist Mill Secret by Lillie V. Albrecht

Books that describe or mention petroglyphs:
There Was an Old Man Who Painted the Sky by Teri Sloat
Early Humans (DK Eyewitness Book)
Magic Treehouse #7: Sunset of the Sabertooth by Mary Pope Osbourne

Would your kids enjoy visiting Hagood Mill?

About the Author
Kristen Alcock lives in Travelers Rest with her husband, three kids and two dogs. A former teacher turned homeschooler, she spends her days reading, writing, doing art projects and science experiments, hiking and having adventures with her family.

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Bailey Bear
1 year ago

I know this article is old, but FYI that your links to the mill website are wrong/broken. Here is the correct site: https://www.hagoodmillhistoricsite.com/upcoming-events
Also there is no longer a parking fee for their 3rd Saturday events, it’s now a per person fee and varies by event … sometimes $5 per person and some events are $15/person (where a concert is included). Their event page has all the info.

Last edited 1 year ago by Bailey Bear