Legends and Lore

The first Settlers to the area called the Lumber River Drowning Creek. The River got its name for its dark swift moving waters. In 1809, the North Carolina state legislature changed the name of Drowning Creek to the Lumber River. The Headwaters are still referred to as Drowning Creek. The Lumber River runs through four counties Scotland, Hoke, Robeson, and Columbus. The Lumber River flows into South Carolina’s Pee Dee River, the Great Pee Dee River, Winyah Bay and then the Atlantic Ocean.

Native Americans
American Indians used the river as a way of life. Many American Indian settlements were made along the banks of the Lumber River. American Indians hunted, fished, and navigated the waters of the Lumber River.

Revolutionary War
Drowning Creek as the Lumber River was called in its day was used as a safe haven for troops to camp and rest after skirmishes between the (Swamp Fox) Francis Marion and Tory’s.

The Town of Princess Ann
The town of Princess Ann was established on the banks of drowning creek in 1796. It died out in the mid 1800’s. The park headquarters now sits on the site at Princess Ann.

Civil War
The Lumber River was used as a hideout for deserters during the Civil War. Sherman’s famous march passed through the area leaving a path of destruction. Sherman crossed the Lumber River at several places. The Gilchrist bridge was a major crossing point which is now located at Chalk Banks. The stone bridge that is currently there was built in 1922.

Henry Berry Lowry and the Lowry Gang were very active along the Lumber River. The Lowry Gang used the river and swamps as a hideout. Henry Lowry has been sort of a Robin Hood figure to the locals.

The 19th Century
In the late 18th and the early 19th centuries the lumber industry was flourishing along the Lumber River. The Lumber River became a vital route for transporting 100-foot logs downriver.

Mid 19th Century
Fishing and Swimming were popular along the Lumber River. Moonshine Stills were very active on the Lumber River. The moonshine stills were, typically hidden just off the river in streams and swamps.

Lumber River State Park was first established in 1989 to help preserve the river for future generations to come. The State Park also offers many recreational opportunities for visitors to enjoy. Hiking, Camping, Picnicking, Nature programs, Fishing, Wildlife viewing, and Canoeing are just a few of the activities offered at Lumber River State Park. The newest addition to Lumber River State Park is Chalk Banks Access Area near Wagram.