The town of Pickens was founded in 1868 and named for the Revolutionary War hero General Andrew Pickens. Scottish-Irish settlers were the original inhabitants of the Pickens area, with a few traders who lived among the Cherokees. When the new Pickens was being created, Elihu Griffin offered 40 acres of his land for the courthouse; it was this land being offered for sale in the 1869 handbill. Much of the City’s past is present today, giving a glimpse of its rich and fascinating heritage. This mixture of past and present is one of the factors which makes Pickens a place of historical interest and significance.
In the early years of Pickens County’s existence, the railway came through and gave rise to many of the settlements that became the towns we have today. Easley was incorporated in 1874, Central in 1875, Liberty in 1876, Calhoun (now Clemson) in 1892, Norris in 1909, and Six Mile in 1910. It wasn’t just the railroad that made these communities bustling centers of commerce and trade. In 1895, D.K. Norris opened the first cotton mill, which was called Cateechee Mill, in Pickens County. From that point forward, cotton mills and manufacturing have been an important way of life for the people of Pickens County.