Tamassee, South Carolina
The Tamassee area is located in and very near the Blue Ridge Mountains. A large part of the community occupies the scenic Cheohee Valley, “a beautiful rolling meadow framed by mountains and a wide triangle of sky.”
The valley, in fact, is surrounded by a portion of the southern Blue Ridge Mountains called the “Chattooga Escarpment” in reference to a Federally Designated Wild and Scenic River, the Chattooga, which flows just beyond these mountain ridges.
Tamassee is bordered on the west and north by the Pickens Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest. This area of national forest is characterized by a portion of the Blue Ridge Escarpment, rivers, waterfalls and hiking trails. The area is noted for its extremely rich biological diversity; which is said to owe to unique soil characteristics and elevated annual precipitation levels.
History: Cherokee origins
The name "Tamassee" means "Place of the Sunlight of God", according to an interpretation of the Cherokee word which gave the area its original title. Tamassee was the name given by the Cherokee to originally describe a Cherokee village in the area, which legend tells, was home to a magical and powerful Cherokee prophet. The Cherokee town of Tamassee was likely destroyed or abandoned after 1775 when Andrew Pickens fought in the famed "ring fight", which drove the Cherokee from the otherwise peaceful village. There is currently a South Carolina state historical marker denoting the Cherokee Village of “Tamassee Town” in the Cheohee Valley of Tamassee.
Today, the Tamassee area maintains a rural and agricultural foundation, and provides a pleasant setting for day hikes, country drives and historical investigation.