The Athens of Greenville

TR Sign

Usually, when someone utters the phrase, “The Athens of ….” whatever region, they mean that the region is a center of enlightenment and learning. While this particular saga does end with a school, the story begins with civic jealousy.

Greenville County did, in fact, have its own town named Athens for a short while. I first heard about the town from Dot Bishop at the Travelers Rest History Museum. I made a note to add it to my list of ghost towns until I could do a bit more research on it, and see if I could find any remnants of the old town. That time has finally come, and here’s what I found… Continue reading “The Athens of Greenville”

The Lost Counties of South Carolina

1895 Map of South Carolina
1895 Map of South Carolina

I grew up in the southwestern part of Enoree County, South Carolina…

At least, that’s how my biography might have started, if the people of Woodruff had their way back in 1913. Enoree County would have been created from parts of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Laurens Counties, with the county seat in the town of Woodruff. I came across a reference to this mythical county while doing research on another topic on the Library of Congress’s Chronicling America site.

Woodruff Wants to Be County Seat

I haven’t been able to relocate the original article (should have bookmarked it right then and there) but it gave more specific boundaries for the new county. At first I thought it might be cool to find these boundaries in Google Earth and see which areas would be encompassed by the new county. As I dug deeper, I found that this wasn’t an isolated proposal, and was part of a much larger story, leading me to the discovery of “new county fever” that broke out around the turn of the 20th Century. Continue reading “The Lost Counties of South Carolina”

Hanging with Frank in Greenville

Frank Underwood Campaign-7

NOTE: I’ve had a very bad cough and head cold this week, so I’m a week behind with this story. Trying to write while not feeling well is almost impossible for me. Anyway, this should have been posted last Sunday…

Saturday night was a big night in Greenville. CBS was holding a debate for all of the GOP candidates at the Peace Center, so there was lots of hoopla in town. The biggest hoopla was fictional (kind of like most of the candidates’ debate points.) Frank Underwood had set up his campaign headquarters in town. Continue reading “Hanging with Frank in Greenville”

Exploring Barnwell County – Part 3, Speedwell to Spann

Speedwell Style B&W

OK, so technically this ISN’T Barnwell County, but I had already posted parts 1 & 2, and this was on that some trip. We were on our way out of the county, so actually cover Allendale and the counties we crossed on our way home.

Alan and I had finished our lunch at Hogg Heaven, and the light sleet and snow had ended. Now it was just cloudy. We decided to check off a couple more items on our exploration list. Continue reading “Exploring Barnwell County – Part 3, Speedwell to Spann”

Exploring Barnwell County – Part 1, Blackville

Sacred Heart Retro effect #5

Alan wanted to go exploring again. It had only been a couple of weeks since our exploration of LA (Lower Anderson), but we wanted to take advantage of the winter exploration season, when leaves are off the trees so we can see stuff tucked back off the road. Our trek would not only take us through Barnwell County, but down through Allendale and up through the Savannah River Plant. Of course there would be old churches, cemeteries, ghost towns, and a few surprises along the way. Continue reading “Exploring Barnwell County – Part 1, Blackville”

Journey to Mount Zion – Part 2

Vintage B&W photo

Yesterday I had made a trek down to Winnsboro to donate a crate of Shivar Springs bottles to the Fairfield County Museum. I had a great visit and made some new friends. Sadly, I hadn’t been able to get inside the old Mount Zion Institute. My fellow photographers were not able to join us yesterday, so it was rescheduled for today. I decided that this is a one-shot chance, so I decided to make a second trip down to Fairfield County. Continue reading “Journey to Mount Zion – Part 2”