The upper part of South Carolina was opened to settlement during the mid-1700s. Traveling down the Great Wagon Road from Virginia, Pennsylvania and North Carolina, settlers brought with them vast knowledge needed for life in the wilderness - how to fell trees and build a house, hunt and grow crops. Most were Scotch-Irish, but with English, German, French, Swiss, Irish, and Africans among them. Many early settlers received land by a grant from Great Britain in the name of King George II. In order to secure ownership of the granted land, the new owners were required to build a permanent shelter on the land.
This Backwoods Cabin represents the first home on the Carolina frontier - simple and unrefined, sturdy and easily built. Often the cabin was not meant to be permanent. Instead it was intended as a first step toward their goal of becoming self-reliant members of a stable agricultural community.
Farming was the key to this stability. Clearing the forests for crops was the first fundamental environmental change in the region and the first significant mark of settlement.