Local items of interest from Greenville and Upstate SC.

A Haunted Tour of Woodburn House

Woodburn House Ghost Tour-013

Woodburn House

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Last weekend the Pendleton Historic Foundation offered “ghost tours” of its historic properties – Ashtabula Plantation and Woodburn House. Tours would be conducted for Ashtabula on Friday, and for Woodburn on Saturday. My brother Houston was going to be in town, so I got tickets for Houston and Glynda for the Woodburn tour.

We drove on over to the Pendleton/Clemson area warily – not because of ghosts but because of traffic from the Clemson. Turned out to be a valid concern. The game had just ended when we arrived, and we had to turn left across three lanes of game traffic on Highway 76. It took awhile. Finally we did make the turn, and arrived in time for our tour. (more…)

Pumpkintown Pumpkin Festival


Pumpkin Festival at Pumpkintown-003

NOTE: I know this is out of date, but I’m about a week behind on blogging. It’s been a busy week, with lots of activities.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

I had gotten up very early to take Laura to the airport to visit her family in Florida. Since I had the convertible and some time, I decided to head over to the Pumpkin Festival in Pumpkintown. Since I had visited Oolenoy School twice in the last month or so and had seen the banners for the festival, I though I needed to check it out.

I read somewhere that if you don’t get to the festival early, the crowds can be unmanageable. The festival was supposed to start at 9:00, but I planned to get there by 8:30 am. I had a quick breakfast at Stax and headed on up. (more…)

Archeology at Pottersville

Pottersville Kiln Excavation-013

Potsherds at Pottersville

October is Archeology Month. As such, the Archeological Society of South Carolina has been promoting several opportunities for the public to get involved on its Facebook page. The one that caught my eye was an excavation at the Pottersville site north of Edgefield. last Friday I contacted the dig supervisor, archeologist Nicole Isenbarger, and made arrangements to visit.

November of last year Tommy Thompson and I tried to locate Pottersville. I had the coordinates, but the location didn’t look right. The directions we got from the guy at Edgefield Pottery sent us on a wild goose chase. As it turns out, my original coordinates were correct. So, early Friday morning I headed out to rendezvous at the dig site for an 8:00 am start. (more…)

Old Homes Tour of Laurens


Kudzu TV

A couple of weeks ago Mary Ellen Lives from the Laurens County Museum contacted me about several old houses in Laurens that were scheduled for demolition. This list also included the Old Laurens Hospital, and Mary Ellen wanted to know if I was interested in photographing any of these before they were torn down. Of course, I said yes. We set up a time and made a plan for our visit.

In the meantime, I think I had finally sorted out my GPS POI problem. I was finally able to upload my list of possible schools as waypoints. Since we were meeting at the Museum at 2:00, I could head out earlier and see if, in fact, my points were working. (more…)

Oolenoy Schools Follow-Up


Abandoned House

This past Saturday was Fall for Furman, a weekend for perspective students to check out the school. There was an evening home game, but Laura had duties early in the afternoon, meeting these high school seniors and their parents. I dropped her off, then headed out to follow up on a couple of items from last week.

When I visited Oolenoy School, one of the men I met mentioned that Rock School was nearby, and was in use as a private residence. I decided to find it. Plus, it was a good excuse to ride in the convertible on such a fine, fine day.

I drove up to Marietta and took 288 west. I reached Pumpkintown and continued west on 288. Since I was in Laura’s car I didn’t have my GPS. I made one wrong turn, but spotted a cool old house at the intersection of Carrick Creek Road and 288 that I’d not seen before. (more…)

Park at Taylors Mill

Taylors Mill and Park-6

Taylors Mill

Monday was National Coffee Day, a day, I’m sure was created by coffee marketers who think that not quite enough of their product is consumed. Even so, I celebrated by heading to Due South Coffee in Taylors Mill.

Pour over coffee

I spent a bit of time sipping java and sponging off of their free wifi. Apparently the pseudo-holiday was a popular one, because others had the same idea.

Due South Coffee (more…)

Hawk Watch on Caesars Head


Hawk Watch-008

Hawk migrations take place from early September through November each year. This past Wednesday the Nature Conservancy along with Caesers Head State Park were sponsoring a lunch and learn, followed by a hawk watch at the overlook. Being a loyal Nature Conservancy supporter, I decided to attend.

It was an absolutely beautiful day. It was also brisk – temperatures had dropped to their lowest levels yet. I put the roof back on the Subaru (or as far back as it would go on a sun roof as opposed to a convertible) and headed up the mountain. (more…)

Scotch Irish Ingenuity and Creepy Doll Heads


Creepy Baby Doll Head at ShinolaI’ve been trying to diet.  Really, I have.  I managed to eat a light lunch on Monday, but then Tuesday Glynda called and wanted me to meet her at Bacon Brothers.  Wednesday Mark and I had lunch at The Junction, a buffet in Gowansville.  I planned to go light for lunch on Thursday.  That is, until I got a call from my brother, Stephen.

Stephen had made two reservations to attend a lunch and learn meeting at the Upcountry History Museum, and wanted to know if I could join him.  Of course!  The program was supposed to be about the “Scotch Irish” [sic] in the Upstate, and since that’s our genealogical background, Stephen thought it would be interesting.

We arrived at the appointed time and made our way up to the meeting room.  The place was already packed, so we grabbed our box lunches of Chick-Fil-A and managed to find two seats toward the back.

Right away we noticed something amiss.  The place was filled with young kids who should have been in school.  They looked like they were either second or third grade.  From my many years as an elementary teacher I’m pretty good about placing them.  The question was, what were they doing here?  Were they part of a homeschool coop?  Given the number of them, we began to worry a bit.

Upstate Museum Lecture (more…)

Tigerville Ramble


Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church

Fellow explorer Mark said he was up for another adventure. He had a list of places marked along Highway 414 up toward Tigerville, some old houses, historic churches, and even a couple of old schools. He also wanted to check out the old T. P. Wood store in Tigerville to see how renovations were going. So, on Wednesday we set out and knocked quite a few of those places off the list.

Our first stop was Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church. Just the name makes it sound intriguing. The church is located on Cool Springs Road just north of Highway 414. There is a modern(ish) building that was built in 1956…

Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church

…but more interesting is the original church. This weather-board structure sits perched above the road, and dates back to 1840.

Cool Springs Primitive Baptist Church-001

The old church is not on the National Register of Historic Places, but has been deemed eligible by a recent archeology survey of the county (PDF). The structure is now just used for storage. We could see bicycles and lawn mowers through the windows. I didn’t attempt to get an interior shot. (more…)

School Multiplicity

Algary Mount Olive 2

Top – Algary School in Shoals Junction, Bottom – Mount Olive School in Laurens County

Glynda and I were on our way back from Prosperity on Wednesday and decided to take the scenic route through the country. Our route retraced part of my trek when I paddled Boyds Mill Pond last week (the dry part, not the pond.) As we were driving on Indian Mound Road I spotted a building, and made a U-turn to check it out. The Mount Olive Community Center has exactly the same design as Algary School in Shoals Junction. It had to be an old school now repurposed as a community center.

Mount Olive School

…and here’s the Algary School for comparison.

Algary School

I love it when I find another matching old school. It’s kind of like historical Concentration (without the turning over cards bit.) It makes, sense, though. Using a consistent floor plan and design saves money We do it today – I helped with the construction of three schools in Spartanburg Five that use the same floor plan, and I know of many in Greenville. The question I had was whether or not this particular design had any historical significance. (more…)

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