Trekking across Chester and Fairfield Counties


I couldn’t leave well enough alone. I’d had a great day exploring Fairfield County with Houston and Alan, but I had missed some of the locations I’d wanted to hit. It just wasn’t feasible on that trip, since all of us had evening engagements. So, on Wednesday after MLK Day I headed out again, this time to explore a more northerly route than the one the three of us had taken two days prior.

It was the classic dilemma – how do I get to the places I want to go without being distracted along the way? I’ve just about decided that I need to get a VERY early start, possibly before the sun even rises. I need to be arriving at my target destination as the best light hits, rather than driving through it on so-so scenery. Continue reading “Trekking across Chester and Fairfield Counties”

Darby Road Discoveries

Double Springs School
Double Springs School, Greer, SC

I got a message from one of my compatriots on the Abandoned, Old, and Interesting in South Carolina group on Facebook. She was telling me about a couple of old schools in the area that I might have missed. One of the schools in question was Double Springs School, just around the corner from Double Springs Baptist Church on Highway 290 north of Greer. My FB friend said that her father had attended school there, so I figured the claim was legit. I checked out one of the locations in Streetview, and, sure enough, there was a school I had completely overlooked.

Since was it was fairly close, last Tuesday afternoon I decided to check it out. I had to run up to Furman, so I was cutting across country, across the back side of Paris Mountain, to get to the location. Along the way, I made a few other discoveries. Continue reading “Darby Road Discoveries”

MLK Weekend Ramble 2015 – Part 3, Winnsboro

Winnsboro Clock Tower

Houston, Alan, and I were on our annual MLK Weekend photo trek. So far we had visited churches, old schools, and cemeteries across Newberry and Faifield Counties. We had just wrapped up at Ebenezer ARP Church and were about to head into Winnsboro proper.

Along the way we turned onto the road that leads to the Anderson Quarry. We didn’t linger or stop for photos, but I pointed out the mine and all of the houses and other structures built from Winnsboro Blue Granite. Most impressive was the granite serpentine wall that encloses the Kincaid-Anderson Plantation on Landis Road. The Georgian house is made of brick, which seems out of character with the rest of the houses in the community. Apparently, this house was build first, and a ten-acre rock consisting of the blue granite was discovered, leading to development of the quarry. So, the house predates the quarry. Later out buildings are made of the granite. Continue reading “MLK Weekend Ramble 2015 – Part 3, Winnsboro”

MLK Weekend Ramble 2015 – Part 2, Jenkinsville School Ruins

Jenkinsville School and Teacherage-012
Jenkinsville School Ruins

Houston, Alan, and I were on our annual MLK Weekend photo trek. So far we had stopped at several historic churches in Newberry and Fairfield County. One of the places we spent the most time was the ruins of the old Jenkinsville High School.

I had visited this site once before with Glynda back in 2010. We did more extensive exploration this time, but the site was very much as we found it back then.

Jenkinsville School and Teacherage-015

Continue reading “MLK Weekend Ramble 2015 – Part 2, Jenkinsville School Ruins”

MLK Weekend Ramble 2015, Part 1

Jenkinsville School and Teacherage-012
Jenkinsville School Ruins

The Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday weekend seems to be the perfect time for exploration. Leaves are gone from the trees so you can see hidden buildings better. In our area, usually the weather is cool, but mild. More importantly, some of my fellow explorers are off work and able to join me. Even before I retired, this became one of our weekends to ramble. Often it was with my brother, Houston, or fellow explorer Alan. This time, for 2015, it was both.

Alan has been trying to track down family history through his great-great-grandfather’s diary. David Wyatt Aiken was a Confederate veteran, and later served as a US Congressman. Aiken was born in Winnsboro, so we decided that would be one of our stops on this ramble. We also found several old churches and schools along the way through Newberry and Fairfield Counties – plenty to keep us and our cameras busy. Continue reading “MLK Weekend Ramble 2015, Part 1”

Laurens Cemetery Ramble

Little Earle Martin
Little Earle Martin

A few weeks ago Facebook user Tim Bray posted an intriguing photo on the Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places in South Carolina group.  The photo was of a statue on the grave of “Little Earle” Martin, located in the Laurens City Cemetery. As I read Tim’s descriptions of his visit, I realized that even though I’d grown up in Laurens County, I had never visited that cemetery. It was high time to check it out, and that opportunity finally came on Friday of this week.

All week the sky was a hazy shade of winter. Friday was the first clear day to lighten our moods in quite awhile. Makes sense that we’d go on a cemetery ramble. That wasn’t our first intent, though. Sister Glynda had just returned from Florida visiting grandkids. She had stayed at our house the night before, and I drove her home that morning. The heat had been off while she was gone, so we decided to go for a drive while the house warmed up. Laurens is only ten miles from Gray Court, so it looked like this would be the perfect time to visit. In addition to the Laurens Cemetery, we explored some family history, and even found another old school. Continue reading “Laurens Cemetery Ramble”

9 Bits of Advice for the Casual Adventurer
“What’s in Your Haversack?” from the Adventure Archives Blog.

Over the past year I’ve joined several Facebook groups focusing on local history. I’m most active on the “Abandoned, Old, and Interesting Places in South Carolina” group, but there are similar groups for North Carolina, Georgia, and the south in general. I’ve seen some fantastic photography and learned about some new locations to explore from participation in these groups. However, to be honest, I was starting to suffer from a bit of “decay fatigue.” I was starting to see the same photos of old falling down farm houses and barns over and over, often with no explanation as to their history or significance.

Those minor sins aside, what most of the participants share is a sense of adventure. I decided to put together my own thoughts on advice for casual adventurers. Continue reading “9 Bits of Advice for the Casual Adventurer”

The Selfie Stick

Selfie Stick

Behold, the Selfie Stick!

The very name conjures up the worst in narcissistic tendencies. Selfies are bad enough, but to have gear specific for the purpose is even worse. However, I’m here to defend the Selfie Stick, not as a narcissist’s assistant (I wanted to see how many S’s I could get in this sentence), but as an essential tool in my photo bag. Continue reading “The Selfie Stick”

A Mid-Winter Table Rock Hike

Old color photo

I should have known better. I thought I’d be ready for the challenge of Table Rock. After all, I’d hiked it many times before. I’d even run it once, hiking to the top quickly, then coming down in a flat-out run. However, that was 30 years and 80 pounds ago. This would be almost more of a challenge than I could handle.

This was a Second Saturday, which meant a Lowcountry Unfiltered outing. Lately our group has been ranging much further than traditional Lowcountry locations. Last fall they came up for Jocassee, and for our 2015 adventures we’ve decided to take some longer trips. Continue reading “A Mid-Winter Table Rock Hike”

A Panoply of Cameras

Panoply of Cameras
A Panoply of Cameras

Sometime before Christmas I was doing some straightening around the house and I kept stumbling on cameras that were out of place. Some are ones I’m currently using, and some are vintage cameras we keep for nostalgia. I began to wonder exactly how many imaging devices I have in the house. In addition to the obvious cameras, there are webcams, tablets, computers, and just about any phone we’ve purchased in the last decade. That’s a heck of a lot of cameras. I decided to gather as many as I could an create a panoply of cameras for one grand photograph.

This post tells two stories. The first is the story of the an image. The second is an idea for series of future blog posts that the image engendered. Continue reading “A Panoply of Cameras”