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Saluda Library Speaker Series – Historical Findings of Cherokee Living in the Carolinas

March 12 @ 2:00 pm - 3:30 pm

Date: March 12, 2024

Time: 2:00 p.m.

Location: Polk County Public Libraries, Saluda Branch

Speaker: Dennis Chastain, naturalist, historian and outdoor writer


Based on thirty years of research, naturalist, outdoor writer, and historian, Dennis Chastain will present his findings of the history and culture of the Cherokee people. The Cherokee people have lived in this area for thousands of years and are the aboriginal inhabitants and keepers of a vast geographic landscape covering parts of eight southeastern states.

Chastain says the slideshow will describe what he has discovered about the culture: the construction of houses and ceremonial buildings; foods and agricultural practices, including the story of corn and how it changed the lifestyles of all southeastern Native Americans.

Also included is a description of some of the games played and how “ball play” was essential to everyday life. Chastain will also talk about hunting practices and the importance of the deer skin trade; why annual trips were made to the coast of South Carolina and what goods were brought back to the mountains and foothills from the coast.

And finally, Chastain will tell the story of how the arrival of Europeans at Charles Town in 1670, and the interactions between early colonists and the Cherokee altered the culture of the Cherokee forever.

Dennis is an award-winning outdoor writer, interpretive naturalist, and modern-day explorer.  He has been writing feature articles for South Carolina Wildlife magazine and other outdoor publications for more than twenty years. As you’ll soon discover, by using his skills as a naturalist and his love of cultural history, Dennis has a unique way of interpreting what can be seen when exploring the local mountains.

We acknowledge that though we are the current stewards, the land where we live and work is stolen land. Homeland of the Cherokee, the Yuchi, and the Catawba people, acquired through genocide and forced removal. Chastain is not a part of the Cherokee community but will share his knowledge on Cherokee history from his years of research and findings. 

The Saluda Library Speaker Series programs are made possible thanks to our partnership with the Polk County Public Libraries Systems and a grant from the Polk County Community Foundation.

Contact Pam Torlina, [email protected], with questions or for more information.


March 12
2:00 pm - 3:30 pm
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Polk County Library, Saluda Branch
44 W Main Street
Saluda, NC 28773 United States
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(828) 722-5218
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