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S.C. naturalist will speak on the history of King’s Highway

April 2, 2014

Dennis Chastain, an award-winning outdoor writer and naturalist, will give a talk on the “History of the King’s Highway from Little River to Charleston, S.C.” Thursday, April 10, at 5 p.m. in the James J. Johnson Auditorium at Coastal Carolina University. The event, sponsored by CCU’s Horry County Archives Center, is free and open to the public.

Chastain, who describes himself as a modern-day explorer, has been writing feature articles for South Carolina Wildlife magazine and other outdoor publications for more than 20 years. For the past three years, he and his wife Jane Chastain have been exploring and documenting the route of the old colonial road, known as the King’s Highway or the Georgetown Road. Originally, the primitive path traversed 123 miles from Little River to Charles Town.

“Finding those sections of the King’s Highway that still exist was pretty exciting,” Chastain says, “ but it’s really the stories that we encountered along the way that intrigue me.” His feature article will appear in the May/June 2014 issue of South Carolina Wildlife magazine.

Chastain, who lives on family land near Table Rock, S.C., has been a tour guide and interpretive naturalist for more than a decade, leading nature walks and driving tours of the Jocassee Gorges area in northern Pickens County. He has discovered many species of mountain wildflowers and co-discovered several hundred prehistoric petropglyphs (ancient rock carvings) in the mountains near Table Rock State Park. These were some of the first petroglyphs discovered anywhere in South Carolina.

Recently, Chastain has been working with Pickens County officials and others to help secure funding for the S.C. Rock Art Center at Hagood Mill, where nearly 20 prehistoric human stick figure petroglyphs have been discovered.

The James J. Johnson Auditorium is located in the E. Craig Wall Sr. College of Business at 119 Chanticleer Drive E. on the CCU campus in Conway. For more information, contact Ben Burroughs, director of the Horry County Archives Center, at 843-349-4056.
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