Loop 2: Station 2
Seventy years ago (1943), the land that you are now standing on was once surrounded by water. The upper portions of Lake Conestee have long since filled with sediment making this island feature less conspicuous. The sandy loam surface soils are ideal for sparkleberry, native azaleas, and upland hardwoods.
This high ground once provided a secure campsite for early Native American hunting parties (1,000 to 3,000 years before present). Large game hunted in this area included white-tailed deer still common in the Upstate. American bison, elk, black bear, and cougar were also native here, but were hunted out soon after European settlement.
Little is known about the Conestee area before the Revolutionary War. Cherokee Indians controlled this territory until the colonial period. Although these pre-Cherokee natives did not reside permanently in the vicinity of Conestee, archaeological investigations indicate that they regularly used the Reedy River corridor for travel and this island as a rest area.
Am I really standing on an island?
This knoll is a remnant of residual Piedmont rock and soil, 20 feet above the Reedy River and surrounded on all sides by river floodplain and wetlands. After the Lake Conestee Dam was constructed in 1892, the area on all sides of this five-acre island were under water. Over the last 70 years sediment deposits have created a land bridge to the island.
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