Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville

Woodside Mill Cemetery Lomo

So far I’d found two old textile mill village cemeteries somewhat by accident. These reminded me of an article in the Greenville News by Judy Bainbridge from 2009. The article was entitled “Woodside, other mill villages need care.” Bainbridge had listed several mill village cemeteries in town, and at the time I’d thought about trying to find them. Then I kind of forgot about it. That is, until my recent discoveries. Now I was ready to seek out these other forgotten cemeteries. Continue reading “Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville”

American Spinning Cemetery

American Spinng Cemetery B&W

It’s strange how these discoveries start out, sometimes. I had popped out to run some errands – purchasing bulbs for a finicky light fixture in a bathroom, which required specialized bulbs from Home Depot. As always, I have at least one camera (besides my iPhone) with me in the car. I liked the way the afternoon light was falling on the buildings, so I decided to ride around Greenville a bit and take some photos.

My aimless wandering led me through the mill villages between Poinsett Highway and Old Buncombe Road. I soon found myself at the old American Spinning textile mill, exploring some of the shadier streets. That’s when I stumbled upon the old cemetery associated with the mill village. I had to get out and explore. Continue reading “American Spinning Cemetery”

The REAL Children’s Cemetery

Monaghan Cemetery-007

Duncan Chapel Cemetery near Furman University is often called “The Children’s Cemetery.” It’s rumored to be haunted, and paranormal investigators have left toys on the headstones to engage the spirits of the children. Dubious science aside, this whole notion and nickname are based on a false premise. While I was out and about exploring Greenville I made some discoveries that cast doubt on the idea of this being a “children’s” cemetery. Continue reading “The REAL Children’s Cemetery”

Exploring Southern Fairfield County – Part 2, Rion, Wallaceville, and Blythwood

Greenbrier School

So far I’d already had a productive morning. I had visited the ruins and cemetery of the Old Lebanon Presbyterian Church. I would have been satisfied with just that, but I still had time on this beautiful Thursday, and there was much more to see. I would spend a good bit of time chasing GPS waypoints, and zig-zagging across the lower part of Fairfield County. Continue reading “Exploring Southern Fairfield County – Part 2, Rion, Wallaceville, and Blythwood”

Exploring Southern Fairfield County – Part 1, Old Lebanon Church

Old Lebanon Presbyterian Cemetery

It seems that I’ve made several trips down to Fairfield County lately. On each of those trips I spotted places I wanted to explore, but just didn’t have time, or the weather wasn’t right, or some other circumstance prevented me from paying a visit. Last Thursday the weather was perfect, so I decided to get out and find some of those locations. Continue reading “Exploring Southern Fairfield County – Part 1, Old Lebanon Church”

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”

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”

Journey to Mount Zion – Part 3

Old Brick Church

Earlier this morning we had been granted access to the Mount Zion Institute, a historic school in Winnsboro now threatened with demolition. Sabi Cathcart and Pelham Lyles had been gracious enough to let Bennie Brawley, my sister Glynda, and I into the historic building. Our tour of the school had ended, but it was still early. We had time for more exploration. Continue reading “Journey to Mount Zion – Part 3”

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