Honea Path, which dates from 1794, is located primarily in Anderson County but partially in Abbeville County. Residents of the town pronounce the word honey-uh.
The origin of this unusual name is unclear. Old documents and maps sometimes identify the area as Honea Path and sometimes as Honey Path. One legend says a Cherokee chief by the name of Honea spent time here; another says it was the name of an early postmaster or depot agent. Still another story states the name was Honey Path because it was the site of a path which wound its way among a great number of trees, all swarming with bees. In 1955, when the town celebrated its Centennial, Honea Path was filed in state records as the official name of the town.
On a more serious note, in 1934 Honea Path was the site of one of the most violent suppressions of a labor movement in the history of the United States. Known today as the Chiquola Incident, seven textile workers were killed by special deputies when 45,000 of the state’s 80,000 textile workers went on strike.