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Stephens County Historical Markers

Old Tugaloo Town

  • Source: Byron Hooks
  • Marker: Old Tugaloo Town
  • Location: US 123 at Tugaloo River at the South Carolina border


North of this marker, in the center of the lake, once stood an important Indian town. The area now marked by a small island was settled around 500 A.D. and occupied by Cherokee Indians around 1450. Traders were coming to the town by 1690.

In 1716, while Col. Maurice Moore treated with Charity Hague, Cherokee Conjuror, a group of Creek ambassadors arrived. The Creek Indians, supported Spain and France, wished to drive the British from the Carolinas in the Yamassee War. The Cherokees killed the Creek ambassadors and joined the British. By 1717, Col. Theophilus Hastings operated a trading center at Tugaloo where gunsmith, John Milbourne cared for Cherokee firearms. Indian agent, George Chicken visited Tugaloo in 1725 and described it as “…the most ancient town in these parts.”

Tugaloo remained a principal Cherokee town until destroyed by American patriots fighting these allies of the British in 1776.