ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Elijah Clarke tate Park, Georgia
ExploreSouthernHistory.com - Elijah Clark State Park, Georgia
|Elijah Clark State Park
The log house of Revolutionary War hero Elijah
Clarke has been reconstructed at the park and offers
a unique insight to the life of an American hero.
Elijah Clark State Park
A sword once carried by Elijah
Clarke is among the artifacts
displayed at his reconstructed
Grave of Elijah Clarke
The graves of Gen. Clarke
and his wife Hannah were
relocated prior to the flooding
of Clarks Hill Lake in the
Elijah Clark State Park - Lincolnton, Georgia
Honoring an American Hero
|Copyright 2012 by Dale Cox
All rights reserved.
Last Update: July 28, 2012
Interior of the Clarke House
The interior of the log house
in the park recreates living
conditions at the time of the
Water bubbles up from Dooly
Spring. Revolutionary War
hero Col. John Dooly was
killed here by Tories.
Recreation on the Lake
In addition to historic features,
the park features a variety of
recreational opportunities on
the shores of Clarks Hill Lake.
Elijah Clark State Park is a beautiful 447 acre
historical and recreational park on the
shores of Clarks Hill Lake near Lincolnton,
Named for Revolutionary War hero Elijah
Clarke, who is buried on the grounds, the
park features a reconstruction of the famed
general's log house, as well as a wide array
of amenities and recreational opportunities.
Born in North Carolina in 1742, Clarke
married Hannah Harrington in 1763 and ten
years later moved with his growing family to
the Georgia frontier. Open land was available
there and the couple hoped to expand their
opportunities through determination and
Using hand tools and manual labor, Clarke
built a "single pen" log house on a site that is
now under Clarks Hill Lake, a 77,000 acre
reservoir created by the damming of the
Savannah River. Over the years that followed,
the future general expanded his log home
until it took the "dogtrot" style represented by
the reconstructed structure at Elijah Clark
Built of thick, squared timbers, the original
house was sometimes called Clarke's Fort.
The windows were closed by heavy wooden
shutters and loopholes allowed inhabitants
to fire out at attackers. Neighbors often came
and "forted in" with the Clarkes during times
When the Clarke family settled in Georgia,
the primary danger came from Cherokee and
Creek warriors who resented the constant
westward movement of the frontier. After the
American Revolution erupted in 1775,
however, Clarke and many of his neighbors
added the British and their Loyalist or Tory
allies to their list of enemies.
It was in the service of his new country, the
fledgling United States, that Elijah Clarke first
rose to prominence.
The captain of a local militia company, he
was wounded fighting the Cherokee in 1776
after that nation allied itself with the British. In
1778 he took part in the Patriot invasion of
Florida, which had been surrendered by
Spain to Great Britain at the end of the French
& Indian War. Wounded at the Battle of
Alligator Bridge, the frontier fighter returned
home to recover.
In 1779, as a lieutenant colonel, Elijah Clarke
joined with other back country militia officers
in a move to intercept a large force of South
Carolina Tories who were trying to join the
main British force then holding Augusta. The
Patriots caught the Loyalists at War Hill on
Kettle Creek (south of Washington, Georgia)
on February 14, 1779.
The Battle of Kettle Creek was a major victory
for the American cause. Under the overall
command of General Andrew Pickens, the
Patriots demolished Colonel James Boyd's
Tories, killing Boyd and completely routing
his force. Clarke commanded the left of the
American attack while his friend John Dooly
commanded the right.
Kettle Creek made Elijah Clarke a hero of the
frontier. After most of Georgia fell to British
forces the following year, he led a caravan of
civilians across the Blue Ridge Mountains to
safety and then drove into the Carolinas at
the head of a small but hard-fighting force.
He went on to fight at such battles as
Blackstock's, Musgrove's Mill, Fishdam Ford
and at the Siege of Augusta. He survived
small pox and other sicknesses that ravaged
the American camps and at the end of the
war was rewarded for his support of the
Patriot cause with lands in the new State of
Georgia State Parks
Elijah Clarke served in Georgia's legislature
after the war and once again led men in
battle in 1787 when he defeated the Creeks
at the Battle of Jack's Creek. He also played
a role in the much debated Yazoo Land
Controversy (also called the Yazoo Land
In the final dramatic episode of a dramatic
life, Elijah Clarke led a movement to create
an independent nation west of the Oconee
River in Georgia. Called the Trans-Oconee
Republic, the new country was on lands
guaranteed to the Creek Nation by the terms
of the Treaty of New York.
The episode came to an end when President
George Washington pressured Georgia to
take action against the scheme. Governor
George Mathews ordered 1,200 militiamen to
the frontier. After a war of words, Clarke and
his followers surrendered without bloodshed
and the Trans-Oconee Republic fell to the
State of Georgia.
A remarkable man of his times, Elijah Clarke
died at Augusta on December 5, 1799. His
son, John, was elected Governor of Georgia
20 years later in 1819.
Elijah Clark State Park today pays tribute to
General Clarke. The reconstruction of his
home serves as a museum that interprets
the lives of Georgia's early frontiersmen. The
interior displays artifacts of Revolutionary era,
including a sword that once belonged to the
Within walking distance of the house, an
ornamental fence encloses a small cemetery
where respects can be paid at the graves of
Elijah and Hannah Clarke.
The park is also a noted spot for outdoor
recreation. Bordering Clarks Hill Lake, it
offers a beach, boat ramps, picnic areas,
campgrounds, cottages, hiking trail, fishing
pier and more.
The park is located seven miles northeast of
Lincolnton on US Highway 378. The address
is 3959 McCormick Highway, Lincolngton, GA.
Elijah Clark State Park is open daily from 7
a.m. to 10 p.m. The restored log house is
open on weekends from April to November.
Please click here to learn more.