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”
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
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”
Saturday night was our annual Taylor Family Christmas gathering. Several were not able to make it this year, so we only had 3/4 of our family present. Even so there were still 28 of us present. This year Mom made a big pot of “grandma soup” and Dad bought some barbecue. Not exactly standard Christmas … Continue reading Family Gatherings and Family Bibles
Over the weekend I signed up for a free two-week trial of Ancestry.com. I guess I fell prey to their recent marketing campaign, which shows users discovering new things about their families as “leaves” appear on their family tree. I had already amassed quite a bit of data on our family, so I was curious to see if I could add to my list.
It has been several years since I’ve done any serious research on our family’s history. Even then I’ve been more of a collector than actual researcher, depending upon the prior research of several cousins and some nice folks that I’ve met online, such as Dan Ellenburg in Pittsburg, with his excellent website on the Ellenberg family. By using several sources I’ve found some conflicting data, and have had to do some verification before merging various data sets. I figured that would also be the case with Ancestry.com, and I was certainly right. Continue reading “A Question of Ancestry”
Google has partnered with Time/LIFE to make a massive collection of images available online through the Google Image Search funtcion. The announcement was made on the Official Google Blog today. This collection includes film, negatives, and even glass plates dating back as far as 1750, which have been digitized and are now hosted by Google. … Continue reading That’s LIFE
On Jordan’s stormy banks I stand and cast a wishful eye
to Caanan’s fair and happy land where my possessions lie.
I am bound for the promised land, I’m bound for the promised land.
Oh, who will come and go with me, I am bound for the promised land.
The trip was going to be a ghost-hunting expedition for Eric Rogers and me. Eric and I had finally met offline, and were planning a joint expedition to the haunted Rock House just south of Greenwood. Since we would be down in that area, we had also plotted out some other interesting locations. I had flagged one little town, Promised Land, SC, with the comment, “With a name like that, how could we NOT go there?”
Eric was not able to make the trip, but my brother Houston and sister Glynda were able to go. Houston took on the role of Aaron, the spokesperson, with Glynda as Miriam, and me as Moses, leading and documenting our trip. So early Sunday morning we found a suitable radio evangelist and headed for the Promised Land. We hoped we would make it all the way, further than our biblical counterparts. Continue reading “Bound for the Promised Land”
I’ve been re-reading Dr. A. V. Huff’s “Greenville: The History of the City and County in the South Carolina Piedmont.” I’ve just come to the portion about the “Redemption Campaign” of 1876, and was struck by the ironies and similarities with our current election. We may think the Obama-McCain contest has been ugly, but it … Continue reading Election Eve – 132 years ago
I’ve come across the term “old field” in place names several times recently. Our put-in on one of our Enoree trips was at Mas Old Field Landing. At the Owings History Museum last week there were references to the Ora Old Field Church (pictured above) and the Riddle Old Field School. This got me thinking … Continue reading Remembering the “Old Fields”
This morning I was feeling much, much better than I had the past couple of days, so I decided to head down to Owings for their Pioneer Days. I had gone last year and really enjoyed myself, and really didn’t want to miss this year’s event. It was enjoyable again this year, but this year I noticed something very distressing. More on that later.
I left Greenville early so that I could get there before the parade started. As I was driving down the Interstate it looked like a wall of clouds hovering over the Gray Court exit. Under this cloud the humidity skyrocketed. Unfortunately, hot and humid was the way it was going to be. Continue reading “Owings Pioneer Days 2008”