GREENVILLE — Dennis Chastain, local historian and writer for South Carolina Wildlife Magazine, was the guest speaker recently for the Nathanael Greene DAR Chapter meeting held at the Poinsett Club in Greenville, South Carolina.
The program he presented was about the Cherokee of the Carolinas.
Chastain was awarded a DAR Good Citizens Medal in 1968 when he was a junior in high school. Then, in 2013, he was awarded the NSDAR Historic Preservation Recognition Award, documented and sponsored by the Behethland Butler DAR Chapter of Greenville.
Both awards, presented 45 years apart, were awarded to Chastain in the same room of the Greenville Woman’s Club in downtown Greenville.
Chastain is an outdoor writer, historian, tour guide and interpretive naturalist. Over the past 30 years, he has made a number of important discoveries in the mountains of South Carolina. Beginning in 1998, he and an archaeologist discovered more than one thousand petroglyphs, ancient Native American rock carvings.
He has also recorded several wildflowers that had never been recorded in the mountains of South Carolina.
Several years ago, he and his wife, Jane, who reside in Pickens County, researched and documented the old colonial-era Cherokee Path, the historic Indian trading path that ran all the way from the Chattooga River on the South Carolina border to downtown Charleston.
His article, “Key to Carolina,” in the South Carolina Wildlife Magazine details the story of their discovery of the route of the old Indian trading path.