History and Genealogy

Pottersville Follow-up

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Pottersville Excavation-027

October 20, 2014

When I visited the Pottersville archeology dig last week, they were just getting started. I wanted to see how they were progressing, so I headed back down there. Plus, I wanted to get back to some of the school locations I’d missed.

I headed down early, but not as early as I had last time. I wanted to make sure they were underway when I arrived. I drove straight down without distraction, and made it there by about 10:00. Once again, only Nicole and Carrie were at the site. (more…)

Topiary, Camden, and More Schools

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Kershaw House

Thursday, October 16, 2014

It had been a busy week. I had been to Georgia, Laura had been to Florida and returned just in time for her birthday, and now it was time for another ramble through South Carolina. Several weeks ago, before all the craziness began, Dwight and I had agreed to try a phototrek down his way. Dwight said he had never been to Camden, so we decided to head that way. We would also throw in a trip out to Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden.

I picked up Dwight in Columbia, and we headed east out of town in I-20. We passed the exits for Lugoff and Camden, then took an exit we thought might be the correct one. Turns out we still had a few miles to go. No matter, we took two lane roads on into the town of Bishopville. Along the way we spotted a couple of interesting sites, such as an antique hearse and a Hogwarts wannabe. We even crossed the Scape Ore Swamp, home of the legendary Lizard Man.

Antique Hearse
Little Wizards

We entered Bishopville and turned south onto Highway 15. At Broad Acres Road we saw the sign for Pearl Fryar’s Topiary Garden, so we turned that way. (more…)

A Tour through Mid-Georgia – Part One

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Philomath Church

Philomath Presbyterian Church

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Houston had stayed overnight after our Ghost Tour of Woodburn Plantation the night before. He had Monday off, and since Laura was out of town, Glynda and I decided to head down to Athens with him for a road trip. Of course, this would be one of our typical rambling road trips, full of history and interesting sights.

…and, of course, we couldn’t really take interstates. We headed down Augusta Road, then cut through Belton, Antreville, and the town of Iva. Just out from Iva we spotted a sign for one of my ghost towns.

Moffetsville (more…)

A Tour through Mid-Georgia – Part Two

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Central School

Central School

Monday, October 12, 2014

On Sunday we toured several historic Georgia communities, including one with family ties. After spending some family time with Glynda and Houston at his house in Athens, we decided to head out for more exploring.

After a big breakfast we headed south on Highway 441. Just southwest of Watkinsville we came to the area’s Heritage Park. The first building you see was the old Central School, which used to be on Colham Ferry Road.

Central School (more…)

A Haunted Tour of Woodburn House

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Woodburn House Ghost Tour-013

Woodburn House

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last weekend the Pendleton Historic Foundation offered “ghost tours” of its historic properties – Ashtabula Plantation and Woodburn House. Tours would be conducted for Ashtabula on Friday, and for Woodburn on Saturday. My brother Houston was going to be in town, so I got tickets for Houston and Glynda for the Woodburn tour.

We drove on over to the Pendleton/Clemson area warily – not because of ghosts but because of traffic from the Clemson. Turned out to be a valid concern. The game had just ended when we arrived, and we had to turn left across three lanes of game traffic on Highway 76. It took awhile. Finally we did make the turn, and arrived in time for our tour. (more…)

The Schools of Edgefield and Saluda Counties

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Fruit Hill School HDR Texture

Fruit Hill School in Edgefield County

I had finally found a practical way of uploading my list of extant schools into my GPS. Rather than upload them as favorites, I was uploading them as custom POIs. The only drawback was that they didn’t show up on the map unless I specifically selected one. Oh well. It was a start.

My maps and several online sources indicated that Edgefield and Saluda counties were full of cool old schools that were still standing. Armed with this tool I set in search of a few.

My primary goal for the day had been a stop by the Pottersville Excavation Site just north of Edgefield. I had described that stop in the last post, so in this one I’ll focus on the schools. (more…)

Archeology at Pottersville

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Pottersville Kiln Excavation-013

Potsherds at Pottersville

October is Archeology Month. As such, the Archeological Society of South Carolina has been promoting several opportunities for the public to get involved on its Facebook page. The one that caught my eye was an excavation at the Pottersville site north of Edgefield. last Friday I contacted the dig supervisor, archeologist Nicole Isenbarger, and made arrangements to visit.

November of last year Tommy Thompson and I tried to locate Pottersville. I had the coordinates, but the location didn’t look right. The directions we got from the guy at Edgefield Pottery sent us on a wild goose chase. As it turns out, my original coordinates were correct. So, early Friday morning I headed out to rendezvous at the dig site for an 8:00 am start. (more…)

Old Homes Tour of Laurens

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Kudzu TV

A couple of weeks ago Mary Ellen Lives from the Laurens County Museum contacted me about several old houses in Laurens that were scheduled for demolition. This list also included the Old Laurens Hospital, and Mary Ellen wanted to know if I was interested in photographing any of these before they were torn down. Of course, I said yes. We set up a time and made a plan for our visit.

In the meantime, I think I had finally sorted out my GPS POI problem. I was finally able to upload my list of possible schools as waypoints. Since we were meeting at the Museum at 2:00, I could head out earlier and see if, in fact, my points were working. (more…)

Mystery Cemetery

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O'Neal Cemetery

I was out and about on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon trying to hunt down the perfect photo. I also had a box or so of old electronic gear in the back of my Subaru. I figured in my ramblings I’d probably pass one of the county’s many “convenience centers,” and would be able to recycle it.

My rambles took me to the community of O’Neal, north of Lake Cunningham on Highway 101. Just off of O’Neal Road, I saw a sign for a convenience center on Camp Road, just around the corner. As I pulled into the center I spotted a chain link fence and a row of strange headstones.

O'Neal Cemetery

The way these were lined up, and since they were right at a disposal center, I wondered if it might be a K9 cemetery. I dropped off my electronics and drove back around. (more…)

Classical Revival Schools

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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. (more…)

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