Family Haunts

Road to the Home Place

I have always enjoyed looking at the photos of Scott West (South Carolina’s Northern Kingdom). Scott and I seem to cover some of the same territory in Laurens County, and I’ve always admired his gutsy trespassing to get great shots of the interiors of old abandoned houses and interesting places.

Recently, Scott posted a couple of pictures of the old Poole Homestead in the Long Branch Community of Laurens County. I immediately recognized the place as being in one of the old photos my Dad has. After a couple of message exchanges it turns out that we do have some distant family connections (don’t ALL Southerners?) and that some of his family had attended Long Branch Pentecostal Holiness, where my father had pastored years ago.

That brings us to this Tuesday. My mother had taken a trip to visit her sisters in North Carolina, so my Dad was on his own for the week. Since I was on spring break, I decided to head down and hang out with him, and see if I could find this photo of the Poole Homestead. I did find it, and we decided to take a tour of some of the old family haunts throughout Newberry and Laurens Counties.

Continue reading “Family Haunts”

Very Superstitious

I was reading my friend Duckhunter’s blog about his discovery of a house with “Haint Blue” paint on the porch. Duck does a great job of describing this practice, but it got me thinking about other, similar superstitions. In particular, I wondered if there were other superstitions like this, perhaps some even specific to the … Continue reading Very Superstitious

Mayfield Road Bridge Update

Well, it looks like my exuberance was premature. I was able to find some additional information on the Internet which lists this bridge as being of fairly modern construction.

Dale. J. Travis operates a website devoted to round barns and covered bridges, both fascinating structures. He has a comprehensive listing from across the US, not just of historic structures but of modern construction as well. Travis lists thirteen bridges for South Carolina, including Campbell’s and this one on Mayfield Road. Most of these are decorative, and are found on golf courses and gardens.

According to Travis’ information, the Mayfield Bridge was built in 1991 and is about 25 feet in length. I’m guessing that it hasn’t been kept up since that time, so the tin roof has rusted, making it look older than it is.

Which brings me to the statement the man on the side of the road gave me. The only thing I can think is that he was referring to the actual roadway bridge. Who knows? Then again, maybe Mr. Travis has incorrect information. However, with every reputable reference saying that Campbell’s is “the last”, it’s hard to refute the evidence that this isn’t an authentic structure. Continue reading “Mayfield Road Bridge Update”

The Bridges of Spartanburg County

According to South Carolina: A Day at a Time, Campbell’s Covered Bridge is “the only covered bridge still standing in South Carolina.” My friend Duckhunter pointed me toward DiscoverSouthCarolina.com which says that Campbell’s “is South Carolina’s only remaining covered bridge.” Several other websites repeat this sentiment. So, imagine my surprise when I found this just … Continue reading The Bridges of Spartanburg County

All Along the Watchtower

Duncan Lookout Tower Cab

This is going to be one of those multi-part posts. I’ve got tons of information on this subject, and it won’t be possible to put it all in one story.

I’ve always been fascinated by lookout towers. Near where I grew up in Laurens County there were two small monadnocks called the Little Knob and Big Knob. The Big Knob had a fire tower on it, and I longed to scale its steps and enjoy the view from the top. Some miles to the north is another prominent, larger monadnock with a fire tower – Paris Mountain. When I was around eight years old I did get to climb up the steps, but never made it into the cab at the top. I distinctly remember the trap door being padlocked when we got to the top.

I had forgotten all about the towers until just this past week. I had been looking for locations to do long-exposure photographs of I-85 for traffic trails when I spotted the Duncan lookout tower on the way home from work on Friday. At the intersection of Danzler and Victor Hill Roads it had a perfect view of the Interstate, so I went to explore. I found the tower in the front yard of a house on Victor Hill Road. The fence around its base now had a dog house within, and it was clear that the tower had not been used in years. I gave up on using this location as a photography platform, but now I wanted to learn more about the towers themselves, so a new quest was born. Continue reading “All Along the Watchtower”

Historical Marker Database

When I’m out on one of my photo explorations there are three books thatI usually have with me – South Carolina: One Day at a Time by Caroline Todd and Sydney Wait, the Delorme Atlas and Gazetteer for South Carolina, and the South Carolina Highway Historical Marker Guide by Judith Andrews.   The latter title has … Continue reading Historical Marker Database

From Lake Fairfield to Fairfield County

Monticello Store

My last Saturday before heading back to work after Winter Break, and I decided to do some geocaching and photography in Fairfield County.  I had new GPS units to test drive, I had specific locations I wanted to photograph, and I wanted to take some time to swing by my parent’s house.  I had ambitious goals for what I wanted to see and do, perhaps too ambitious.   It turned out to be a day of mixed results – delight and frustration, discovery and missed opportunities. Continue reading “From Lake Fairfield to Fairfield County”