PNW Southern Connections – Part 2, Tar Heel Land

Jump Off Rock-003

There used to be a BBQ place near my office in Duncan, South Carolina that we would frequent for lunch. There were lots of exposed timbers and it had a logging/lumberjack theme. Old photographs hung on the walls of men with saws felling giant trees. On close inspection, I could see that all of these were labeled “Skagit Valley Lumber.” It caught me off guard…but it really shouldn’t have. There has long been a connection between Appalachia and the river valleys of Washington, much of it based on the timber industry. Continue reading “PNW Southern Connections – Part 2, Tar Heel Land”

PNW Southern Connections – Part 1, The Lost Cause

Skagit Valley Foggy Sunrise-004

The “small world syndrome” always catches me off-guard. At the Bellingham Folk Festival I met musicians that live in Asheville and frequently play in Greenville. Even just meeting someone who has visited South Carolina, much less my home town, makes me feel a connection. As I’ve found out, though, the Southern connections with the Pacific Northwest are even deeper than I had thought. Continue reading “PNW Southern Connections – Part 1, The Lost Cause”

The Tale of a Map

1822 Carey and Lea Map of South Carolina

I recently acquired a map from my Aunt Grace’s estate. While she was in Paris she found an old map of South Carolina in an antique store. The map had lots of interesting information, including the slave population for each county. The information and history intrigued her, and since it was from her home state, she bought it. Aunt Grace knew that I was a map geek and was especially interested in the history of the state. Before she died she expressed her desire that I get the map. I won’t go into the long and sordid details of how it did eventually end up in my possession, but rather delve into the history of the map itself and the cartographers that created this work of art. Continue reading “The Tale of a Map”

Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 4, Jordanville to Dalcho

Old Spring Branch School

I was out and about exploring the Pee Dee region of the state, searching for ghost towns. I’d already found a couple of potentials – Ella’s Grove, Centenary, and Eulonia – and I’d stopped by the Marion County Museum and had lunch on Main Street in Marion. Now it was on to a couple more remote locations, and eventually find my way back home. Continue reading “Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 4, Jordanville to Dalcho”

Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 3, Marion Museum

Marion County Museum-002

I had one day to explore the ghost towns of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. So far I’d visited several potential locations, including Ella’s Grove, Centenary, and Eulonia. On these trips I always like to stop in at the local museum or historical society to see what additional information they might have. With that goal in mind, I set off for the Marion County Museum in downtown Marion. Continue reading “Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 3, Marion Museum”

Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 1, Ella’s Grove and Palmer

Ella's Grove-001

Yes, I’m still working on my ghost towns list. However, I have some serious gaps in the places I’ve visited. The eastern part of the state toward Myrtle Beach is uncharted territory to me. I decided that before I move out west and seriously start on this book I needed to make at least one visit to this area. Continue reading “Ghost Towns of the Pee Dee – Part 1, Ella’s Grove and Palmer”

Photo ID at Henderson County Library

Hendersonville Picture ID Workshop

I was at the Henderson County Library doing some research on The Kingdom of Happy Land. As I was leaving I passed by the library’s auditorium and noticed folks gathering for some sort of presentation. Having just given a talk at a library myself, I was curious. As I glanced at one of the flyers a man at the door said that it was a meeting about photo identification. I decided to check it out. Continue reading “Photo ID at Henderson County Library”

Seeking the Kingdom of Happy Land

kingdomhappyland
Kingdom of the Happy Land by Gary Carden. Acrylic on canvas, 36”x24”. Source

A few weeks ago I gave my talk on the Hidden Towns Under South Carolina Lakes at the Taylors Branch of the Greenville County Library. After the talk someone came up to me and asked if I’d ever heard of the “Kingdom of Happy Land.” I had not. After chatting for a bit I decided I needed to see if I could find this kingdom. Last Thursday things had finally settled down from all our traveling and the Fourth holiday, so it was a perfect time for an expedition. I went to see if I could find the Kingdom of Happy Land. Continue reading “Seeking the Kingdom of Happy Land”