Laurens is the county seat of Laurens County in the Old 96 District.
Laurens is named after the somewhat misguided early American luminary Henry Laurens who rather indulged in owning slaves for his personal wealth. Laurens was close to the Patriot-won Battle of Musgrove Mill during the Revolutionary War, and then proceeded to become a place of pro-secessionist sentiment in advent of the Civil War from all of the cotton plantation inhabitants later on. It has been the home of a number of other well-known people like Andrew Johnson, for instance, who briefly worked as a tailor there. Moreover, it has nearly a treasure trove of historic homes and churches.
Laurens is just off of I-385 south of Greenville.
- 1 Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, 398 State Park Rd, Clinton, ☏ . Daily 9AM-6PM for park, 10AM-4PM for visitor center. This is a highlight of a trip to the area, as it was an important Revolutionary War battle in 1780 where 200 or so Patriots managed to defend their line against 500 or so Loyalists and their allies, a needed victory after the 13 colonies had just gotten skunked at the Battle of Camden a few days earlier. Hiking trails, visitor center, reenactments, Horseshoe Falls. $3 adult; $1.50 or so for senior/child.
- 2 Laurens County Museum, 205 W Laurens St, ☏ . Th, Su 2PM-5PM. Here you can come to get grounded on the local scene if you are a history buff, both here and at the Witherspoon Building, at 116 E Main St.
Laurens has a number of historical buildings. This website provides a comprehensive list. Here are just a few examples:
- 3 James Dunklin House, 544 W Main St, ☏ . 1812 farmhouse.
- 4 William Dunlap Simpson House, 726 W Main St, ☏ . Greek Revival specimen from
- 5 John Calvin Owings House, 787 W Main St. Queen Anne-style from 1896 with grandiose turrets, etc.
- 6 Octagon House, 619 East Main Street. Built in 1859, supposedly only one of two in South Carolina.
- Cotton Mill Ruins on Mill St.
- 1 Magnolia Inn Laurens, 621 N Harper St, ☏ . Nothing too fancy but will probably get the job done. Outdoor pool. $60.
- 2 Comfort Suites, 12865 Hwy 56 North, Clinton, ☏ . Probably a little nicer, with an indoor pool and breakfast. $88.