Park at Taylors Mill

Taylors Mill and Park-6
Taylors Mill

Monday was National Coffee Day, a day, I’m sure was created by coffee marketers who think that not quite enough of their product is consumed. Even so, I celebrated by heading to Due South Coffee in Taylors Mill.

Pour over coffee

I spent a bit of time sipping java and sponging off of their free wifi. Apparently the pseudo-holiday was a popular one, because others had the same idea.

Due South Coffee Continue reading “Park at Taylors Mill”

Classical Revival Schools

Gray Court-Owings School
Gray Court-Owings School
Photo by Panoramio User Bearden82

The photo above is of Gray Court-Owings School. In the 1970s my father was principal of the school. I attended there as a student from second through eighth grade. In the 1980s I got my first teaching job there, teaching music and a gifted and talented program, as well as getting the school started on its nascent technology program. From my classroom where I was teaching I could see the house I grew up in, which was the house I was living in at the time. Needless-to-say, the school and I go back a LONG way.

One of the things I liked best about this old school was the architecture. The school sits high on a hill, and the imposing entrance calls out for attention. As I was reviewing the State Archives School Insurance Photos I saw that lots of other schools from around the state have similar features. Continue reading “Classical Revival Schools”

Pumpkintown Area Schools

Oolenoy School
Oolenoy Community House

I had just finished up with the Nature Conservancy Hawk Watch up on Caesers Head, but I still had some time to explore. I had several locations marked from the Greenville Survey, as well as some others I wanted to check out. I found more than schools. I found a story of destruction, determination, and rebuilding.

My first, and most productive stop was Oolenoy Community House, located in the old Oolenoy School. This school is the classic early 20th century design with a central bell tower. At first glance the design looks just like the old Wolf Creek School just outside of Pickens.

Oolenoy School-011 Continue reading “Pumpkintown Area Schools”

Hawk Watch on Caesars Head

Hawk Watch-008

Hawk migrations take place from early September through November each year. This past Wednesday the Nature Conservancy along with Caesers Head State Park were sponsoring a lunch and learn, followed by a hawk watch at the overlook. Being a loyal Nature Conservancy supporter, I decided to attend.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was also brisk – temperatures had dropped to their lowest levels yet. I put the roof back on the Subaru (or as far back as it would go on a sun roof as opposed to a convertible) and headed up the mountain. Continue reading “Hawk Watch on Caesars Head”

September Edisto with Lowcountry Unfiltered

LCU Edisto Messervy to Long Creek-9

Second Saturday of the month means a paddling trip with Lowcountry Unfiltered…except that this was a third Saturday, and the group was more Midlands and Upcountry than Lowcountry. Even so, our band of adventurers once again headed down to the Edisto River. This trip we added another yet-unpaddled stretch of the river to our resume’s. We would be doing the stretch from Messervy Landing to Long Creek Landing.

Messervy to Long Creek Edisto

I swung through Simpsonville and picked up Alan, and we headed on our way. Our first stop was breakfast at Bill and Fran’s in Newberry, then continued on down to Messervy Landing. Soon we were joined by Jerry, Marc, and Matt, bringing our number to five.

LCU Edisto Messervy to Long Creek-92 Continue reading “September Edisto with Lowcountry Unfiltered”

Scotch Irish Ingenuity and Creepy Doll Heads

Creepy Baby Doll Head at ShinolaI’ve been trying to diet.  Really, I have.  I managed to eat a light lunch on Monday, but then Tuesday Glynda called and wanted me to meet her at Bacon Brothers.  Wednesday Mark and I had lunch at The Junction, a buffet in Gowansville.  I planned to go light for lunch on Thursday.  That is, until I got a call from my brother, Stephen.

Stephen had made two reservations to attend a lunch and learn meeting at the Upcountry History Museum, and wanted to know if I could join him.  Of course!  The program was supposed to be about the “Scotch Irish” [sic] in the Upstate, and since that’s our genealogical background, Stephen thought it would be interesting.

We arrived at the appointed time and made our way up to the meeting room.  The place was already packed, so we grabbed our box lunches of Chick-Fil-A and managed to find two seats toward the back.

Right away we noticed something amiss.  The place was filled with young kids who should have been in school.  They looked like they were either second or third grade.  From my many years as an elementary teacher I’m pretty good about placing them.  The question was, what were they doing here?  Were they part of a homeschool coop?  Given the number of them, we began to worry a bit.

Upstate Museum Lecture Continue reading “Scotch Irish Ingenuity and Creepy Doll Heads”

Tigerville Ramble

Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church

Fellow explorer Mark said he was up for another adventure. He had a list of places marked along Highway 414 up toward Tigerville, some old houses, historic churches, and even a couple of old schools. He also wanted to check out the old T. P. Wood store in Tigerville to see how renovations were going. So, on Wednesday we set out and knocked quite a few of those places off the list.

Our first stop was Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church. Just the name makes it sound intriguing. The church is located on Cool Springs Road just north of Highway 414. There is a modern(ish) building that was built in 1956…

Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church

…but more interesting is the original church. This weather-board structure sits perched above the road, and dates back to 1840.

Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church-001

The old church is not on the National Register of Historic Places, but has been deemed eligible by a recent archeology survey of the county (PDF). The structure is now just used for storage. We could see bicycles and lawn mowers through the windows. I didn’t attempt to get an interior shot. Continue reading “Tigerville Ramble”

The Mystery of the School Car

Pleasant Grove

As I was browsing through the collection of photographs of old schools from the South Carolina School Insurance Collection, I noticed something odd. The same car started showing up in photo after photo.

Car Collage

You don’t notice it while viewing the images one by one on the archives website, but when you look at them en masse, it’s one of the things that jumps out.

Obviously I assumed that it belonged to the agent who was responsible for inspecting and photographing the schools. Stands to reason. I can see it going something like this…He (and I’m most definitely sure it was a “he” given the time period) would park the car in front of the school, do his inspection, then step out front for a photo. Including the car in the photo also proved that he was there, and that he had been the one to take the photo. Continue reading “The Mystery of the School Car”