Pee Dee River

From Academic Kids

Shad Fishing in FebruaryPee Dee River, Yauhanna, South Carolina
Shad Fishing in February
Pee Dee River, Yauhanna, South Carolina

The Pee Dee River, also known as the Great Pee Dee River, is a river in South Carolina. It originates in North Carolina in the Appalachian Mountains, where its upper reaches are called the Yadkin River, and it is extensively dammed for flood control and hydroelectric power. The lower part of the river is named Pee Dee (in colonial times written Pedee) after the Native American tribe of that name. The tribe or the river also give the name to the Pee Dee region of South Carolina, composed of the northeastern counties of the state.

The river is navigable up the fall line at Cheraw, South Carolina and was an important trade route from colonial time. The largest lumber company in the world existed at the turn of the 20th century near the river's mouth at Georgetown, South Carolina. The virgin pine forests of the Pee Dee region were cut over and the logs floated in rafts downriver to be sawn into lumber and exported to the northern USA and Europe.

The lower part of the river flood plain was extensively developed for rice culture in colonial time, rice being a major export of the area from the port at Georgetown. Rice culture declined with the loss of slave labor after the Civil War, and increased competition. Two hurricanes at the beginning of the 20th century destroyed much of the canal work and effectively ended the remnants of rice culture.

Today the river is not extensively used for navigation. It is an important source of electric power and public water supplies, as well as recreational use. Some commercial fishing is done during the winter shad run, and for shrimp in the lower reaches. The river is excellent for recreational fishing and boating. There are numerous boat landings, yet most of the river is wild, with forests of tupelo, oak and gum along its shores. Herons and alligators can be seen along the way, and a lucky sighting of a bald eagle is possible.

Some tributaries are, the Lumber River, the Little Pee Dee River, Lynches River, Black River and Waccamaw River. The river empties into Winyah Bay, and then into the Atlantic Ocean near Georgetown.

At the junction of the Pee Dee and Lynches River is a large island, Snows Island (subsequently identified as the center of an old meteor crater), that was headquarters for General Francis Marion during the American Revolution. It proved a safe haven for him and his ragtag militia troops, as the British were never able to find the camp.

The Pee Dee River was the original river for Stephen Foster's song Way down upon the Swanee River. Why he changed it in his final version is a subject of much speculation.

If you where looking for a Blues Band try Pee Dee River Blues


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