Submitted by FHMaster on Fri, 04/02/2021 - 09:54

Basic Information

  • Location  Saluda River, Pelzer, Anderson County
  • The Wilson family cemetery is located on SC Highway 20 at SC Highway 8
  • Origin of name - Named for the founding family
  • Other names - ?
  • Current status - the town of Pelzer was developed on the plantation's property


  • Early 1700s – Earliest known date of existence (2)

    John Wilson Sr immigrated from Ireland seeking a place he could own land and settled in the area (2).

  • Early 1700s – House built (2)

    John Wilson Sr built a small cabin for his family (2).

  • Late 1700s – The Wilsons operated a public ferry across the Saluda River. From this operation the area became known as Wilson's Ferry (1) (2).
  • Early 1800s – John Wilson Jr inherited the plantation from his father and more than doubled its size while continuing to operate the ferry. John Wilson Jr also served in the SC legislature and three terms as US Congressman (1) (2).
  • 1828 – John Wilson Jr passed away and is buried in the plantation's Wilson family cemetery (1) (2).
  • 1870 – Francis J Pelzer bought the Wilson Plantation. Pelzer began building a textile mill town which lead to the founding of the The Pelzer Manufacturing Company in 1880 (2).


  • Number of acres – 200 in 1700s; 535 in early 1800s (2)

    The Wilson family cemetery is still located on property that was once part of the plantation (2).

  • Primary crop – ?


  • Number of slaves – ?

    We are actively seeking information on the slaves who lived and worked at this plantation. If you find a resource that might help, please fill out this form. Thank you.

References & Resources

  1. Information contributed by Joy Cornwell from:
    John Wilson - Biographical Dictionary of the United States Congress

  2. David Meade, Cemetery Marker Brings Past, Present Together in Pelzer (Williamston, SC: The Journal, December 12, 2012)

  3. Pelzer Mill - SCIWAY's South Carolina Picture Project