Paddling downstream from Camden, several miles before reaching Garner's Ferry and just below where Spears Creek enters the Wateree River on your right, Cook's Mountain rises above the river and surrounding land. The first European to comment on the remarkable mountain was John Lawson, exploring for the King of England in 1700. The abundance of Native American artifacts found here attest to its prominence in Wateree Indian society as well. In the mid 1700's, surveyor James Cook purchased this property and lived here while he oversaw the survey and mapping of the colony's navigable waters for England and the South Carolina Commons. Half of the very large, linen cloth original James Cook map, saved during a fire, presently hangs in the South Carolina Historical Society in Charleston. After the map was completed, James Cook returned to England, selling his property, including the mountain, to such famous South Carolinians as Henry Middleton, Arthur Middleton and Joseph Kershaw. Cook's map, presented to the South Carolina Assembly in 1773, shows his house on the top of the mountain. There is presently one residence on Cook's Mountain. The property is used for education, recreation and managed intensively for wildlife habitats. Cook's Mountain is a uniquely diverse property, composed of heavy red clay with sandstone outcroppings, and many different ecosystems from the mountain itself to the tupelo-cypress swamp below. Several unusual plant communities are found here, along with an abundance of animals including deer, wild turkeys, waterfowl, wild hogs and occasionally bear and cougars.
Yancey A. McLeod, Jr.
Yancey McLeod, former President of the South Carolina Association of Conservation Districts, started a business, Yancey Environmental Solutions, LLC, in 1989 working with landowners, developers, engineers and homeowners associations as a natural resource and land use planning consultant. Mr. McLeod spends most of his professional time today assisting clients in designing plans for blending conservation with development. He received his B.A. from Wofford College and his J.D. from the University of South Carolina Law School. He has extensive experience in the natural resource arena, including 30 years in natural resource based education. In 1999, South Carolina Governor Jim Hodges awarded Mr. McLeod the South Carolina Environmental Awareness Award, 'as a result of his dedication to South Carolina's environment and his extraordinary educational accomplishments.' He currently serves Clemson University on the Forestry and Natural Resources Board and previously served Clemson University on the Sandhill Research & Education Center Board, the Public Service & Agriculture Advisory Board, and the Aquaculture, Fisheries & Wildlife Board. Mr. McLeod also served on the University of South Carolina Prince George Advisory Board and currently serves on the board of the South Carolina Conservation Foundation, the Gills Creek Watershed Association and Carolina Wildlife Care.
Several of Mr. McLeod's Recent Speaking Engagements:
Join Us on Cook's Mountain on Sunday, July 18, 2010 - 4:30-8:30pm for the Wine For Water fundraiser!