Our History - The Rock
This property is located near the intersection of Scenic Highway 11 and US Highway 178. It is joined on almost all sides by 180,000 acres of Game Management Area. Nestled at the base of South Carolina’s third highest peak, Pinnacle Mountain (3350’), the resort is laced with trout streams and several waterfalls, one being Gauley Falls-South Carolina’s famous “Sliding Rock”.
Once a great Cherokee Indian Village stood in this majestic valley along Emory Creek. The Cherokee had lived here for centuries, which is why it is not uncommon to find ancient Indian artifacts throughout the property. In South Carolina, the Cherokee sided with the British Loyalists during the American Revolution. Through several battles, their villages were burned and the Cherokee were removed in 1776.
Captain William Lynch, for services in the American Revolution, was granted this land around 1780. Lynch, a former member of the House of Delegates in Virginia, introduced legislation to “whip Tories at the post” for stealing horses. Thus, the term “Lynch’s Law” was born. Captain Lynch and his wife, Anne Moon built their home at Gauley and at his death, Captain Lynch was buried here. A one person cemetery is located between lots 51 and 50 on Falcon Crest Way. The Lynch Family cemetery is across Highway 11, just north of Sliding Rock Road.
After the Lynch’s death, the property changed owners several times. The property was bought by Bailey Barton, who sold it to Jacob Lewis and his wife, Elizabeth. Around the time of Elizabeth’s death, Thomas R. Price bought 1000 acres of the tract on October 5, 1852 for the sum of $1900.00.
An enterprising pioneer, Thomas R. Price built a home place, which later burned, a small store near the church to meet the immediate needs of the people, and next he built a mill at the falls on the creek at the entrance to the Indian Path and the Toll road up the mountain to the North Carolina line. At the mill, he ground the people’s corn, rye, barley and malts for their distilleries, in which they converted their grains and fruits into products which could be easily transported in wagons many miles to the centers of trade and marketing.
Price was also chosen group captain for a monumental construction project; the first road across the mountains to Folly Gap following the Cherokee Indian trail to North Carolina. This was the beginning of the old Toll Gate Road. The Toll Gate itself adjoined Price’s Mill and remained in use until 1926. It was traveled by Presidents Andrew Jackson and William Taft during its operation.
The next owner was W. R. (Pete) Price, son of Thomas. He continued operation of the mill, toll road and store and gave land and money for a new church and cemetery. At age 14, Pete served as a courier during the Civil War, carrying messages to the various encampments.
In the early 1920’s Wade H. Chastain purchased the tract of land from Pete W. R. Price after marrying his daughter. By 1921 a spacious home (the present clubhouse), a smoke house and several outbuildings were in use. Mr. Chastain was General Manager of Carolina Timber Company, the former Singer property, and also operated the mill and general store. He died at age 58 and so many people attended the home funeral that the large front porch gave way and had to be repaired.
The property was held by the Chastain children until Haskett and Townsend bought the property from the estate in 1977. Haskett/Townsend formed the Gauley Falls Real Estate Development Corporation and developed what is now called Gauley Falls Subdivision, Sections One through Six. The Haskett/Townsend Partnership was dissolved in 1982 when Haskett became the sole owner of the property known as Gauley Falls Country Club. Gauley Falls Country Club Condominiums, a Time Share Resort was formed in 1984.
Table Rock Holding Company purchased the golf course, condominiums and undeveloped property in April 1986 and renamed it to Table Rock Resort. In 1987 Table Rock Holding Company filed a Declaration of Covenants, Conditions and Restrictions for Table Rock Resort describing how the property was to be used. Supplemental Declarations were filed for Whispering Falls in 1989.
Waterhead LLC purchased the property in 1997, (about 492 acres) and changed the name of the golf course and undeveloped land to The Rock at Jocassee. Supplemental Declarations of Covenants Conditions and Restrictions were subsequently filed and subdivisions created for Fairway Woods, Woodmere Phase One and Woodmere Phase Two. The Rock at Jocassee Property Owners Association was filed and By Laws created for its operation.
In 2009 the golf course was purchased by a group of investors, The Rock LLC, and a number of improvements have already been made.
This is only a brief summary of the historical background of this most intriguing and fascinating community.