Hagood Mill set to host South Carolina Fiddling Championship

Robert Burns, the 2012 South Carolina Fiddling Champion, performs during a past competition at the Hagood Mill near Pickens. The South Carolina Fiddling Championship will return to Hagood Mill on Sept. 20. For more, turn to page

PICKENS — As autumn approaches and the leaves turn their brilliant colors, it signals the time for fiddle music in the mountains.

On Sept. 20, vintage fiddle music will fill the hills and hollers around Hagood Mill as it becomes the host for the annual South Carolina Fiddling Championship.

Some of the best fiddlers in the southeast will gather to compete for the title of South Carolina champion.

This traditional contest goes back to the 1920s, when Clemson University opened the doors of rustic Tillman Hall to the local musicians of the nearby South Carolina mountains for their music competition.

There will be monetary  prizes for competition in senior and junior fiddle categories, as well as olde time string band,  olde time banjo, guitar, and junior open.

Bring a lawn chair and set yourself to enjoy lively music and good food on the grounds of the historic old grist mill that is the central destination for traditional music in the South Carolina upcountry.

Development of an on-line registration form has been delayed. Contestants can register by calling (864) 898-2936 or at the Hagood Mill on the day of the event. For more information about the rules and regulations for the event, visit

There will be lots to see on Sept. 20 as Hagood Mill hosts a variety of folk life and traditional arts demonstrations.

There will be blacksmithing, bowl-digging, flint knapping, chair-caning, moonshining, broom-making, basket-making, pottery, quilting, spinning, knitting, weaving, woodcarving, metal-smithing, leather-working and more. Visitors can ask questions of the artists and make a purchase of their traditional arts to take home.

The centerpiece of the Hagood Mill historic site is the water-powered 1845 gristmill. It is one of the finest examples of 19th century technology in the Upcountry and operates just as it has for the last century-and-a-half. The mill will be running throughout the day. In the old mill, fresh stone-ground corn meal, grits and wheat flour will be available.

In addition rye flour, Basmati rice flour, oat flour, oatmeal, popping corn meal, and grits, organic yellow corn meal and grits, and buckwheat flour are produced and may be available. 

Hagood Mill cookbooks and a variety of other mill-related items are also available.