Paddling to Ghost Island

Paddling to Ghost Island in Lake Hartwell-100

Bennie and I have been trying to keep to our paddling schedule, but the fates have been against us. On this last day of summer we had a nice trip to Jocassee planned, but then illness struck, and Bennie was unable to go. I had my boat loaded up, so I decided I’d head on out anyway, with a slightly altered itinerary. I have been wanting to check out the old Harrisburg Plantation Cemetery on “Ghost Island” in Lake Hartwell, so that’s where I set my sights. Continue reading “Paddling to Ghost Island”

Lost and Forgotten Towns under South Carolina’s Lakes

Submerged Towns in SC Lite.001

Several months ago I received and e-mail from Kes Crumpler. Kes is with the Lake Murray Power Squadron, and asked if I’d be willing to give a talk to their group about ghost towns under South Carolina’s lakes. Since I’m no stranger to public speaking, I said, “Sure!” Although I was completely unsure as to what a “power squadron” was. Continue reading “Lost and Forgotten Towns under South Carolina’s Lakes”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 5, Paddling to Goat Island

Goat Island in the Broad River-164

Several weeks ago I spent some time searching for remnants of the Swamp Rabbit Railroad. This isn’t the famous one in Greenville that later became a popular trail. Instead, it’s a line constructed by the Ohio River and Charleston Railroad to serve textile communities in the Upstate. Despite ambitious plans, it was only completed from Blacksburg down through Cherokee Falls, then over to Gaffney. The railroad was short-lived, but in the early 1970s the section from Blacksburg to Cherokee Falls found new life as a scenic railroad for a bit. That, too failed, and now the railroad is abandoned.

I had explored as much as I could by land. Google Earth indicated the existence of a couple of supports for the old railroad trestle in the Broad River, but I couldn’t get close enough to see them. The trestle crossed Goat Island, which also figures prominently in the story of the Swamp Rabbit. This past week Alan Russell and I were able to get out on the water, and visit these locations. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 5, Paddling to Goat Island”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 4 Coopersville to Gaffney

Gaffney RR vintage

I had been tracking down the Swamp Rabbit Railroad, the third to bear that name in South Carolina. This one ran from Blacksburg to Gaffney through Cherokee Falls. Now I was out trying to find physical evidence of the old railroad. I had explored from Blacksburg to Cherokee Falls along a route that briefly ran as a scenic railroad in the 1970s. Now it was time to cross the Broad River and see what I could find on the section from Coopersville to Gaffney. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 4 Coopersville to Gaffney”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 3 Blacksburg to Cherokee Falls

Railroad at Blacksburg, SC

I had been tracking down the history of the Swamp Rabbit Railroad that ran from Blacksburg to Gaffney by way of Cherokee Falls. So far I’d discovered the history of the railroad and its relatively short commercial life, and I had discovered how the railroad briefly found new life as a scenic railroad in the 1970s. It was time to get out into the field and do some ground-truthing. I wanted to see if there were any remnants of the old line. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 3 Blacksburg to Cherokee Falls”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 2, J. V. Cannon and the Scenic Railway

Cherokee County Swamp Rabbit Railroad-5

As it turns out the Swamp Rabbit that ran on the Greenville and Northern track, and the Swamp Rabbit that ran through Cherokee County have histories that have become entwined. I actually found this link right under my own nose on this very website. William Cannon left a comment on my post about “What Happened to the Swamp Rabbit?” in which he mentioned his father, J. V. Cannon. Jean Vaughan Cannon turned out to be a fascinating individual with what can only be described as an obsession with trains. His obsession gave new life to both the Greenville Swamp Rabbit and the Cherokee Swamp Rabbit. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 2, J. V. Cannon and the Scenic Railway”

Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 1, the History

Swamp Rabbit Railroad Switch 2

That’s right, there’s not one, not two, but three railroads in South Carolina that bore the name “The Swamp Rabbit.” There’s the one that follows former Greenville and Northern Railroad, now the very popular Swamp Rabbit Trail. There’s the one in the lower part of the state that crosses Barnwell, Aiken, and Lexington Counties. I explored and wrote about that one last week. Then, there is the Swamp Rabbit that crosses part of Cherokee County from Blacksburg through Cherokee Falls and then on to Gaffney. I explored this third Swamp Rabbit today, and discovered that it has some unexpected ties to our own Swamp Rabbit Railroad here in Greenville. Continue reading “Chasing a THIRD Swamp Rabbit – Part 1, the History”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 4, Lost in Lexington

Samaria Store

I was on a quest to find traces of the old Swamp Rabbit Railroad. This isn’t the one that runs through Northern Greenville with which most are familiar, but was a train that ran across Barnwell, Aiken, and Lexington Counties. So far I already traveled the original route from Blackville to Sievern. Now I was going to deeper into the swamps of the Edisto, and losing my way in the process. Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 4, Lost in Lexington”

Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 3, Sievern and Edisto Academy

Swamp Rabbit RR

I was on a quest to find traces of the “other” Swamp Rabbit Railroad, a passenger service on the Blackville, Alston & Newberry (BA&N) line that ran from Blackville in Barnwell County to Seivern in Lexington County. So far the task had been easy. There were clear tracks and right-of-ways between and through the towns of Blackville, Springfield, Salley, Perry, and Wagener. The last four towns came into existence because of the BA&N, and these towns celebrated their railroad heritage. The Swamp Rabbit was about to get more elusive, though, as its route traversed the environment for which it was named – the swamps of the Edisto River. Continue reading “Chasing the Swamp Rabbit – Part 3, Sievern and Edisto Academy”

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