Pumpkintown Area Schools

Oolenoy School

Oolenoy Community House

I had just finished up with the Nature Conservancy Hawk Watch up on Caesers Head, but I still had some time to explore. I had several locations marked from the Greenville Survey, as well as some others I wanted to check out. I found more than schools. I found a story of destruction, determination, and rebuilding.

My first, and most productive stop was Oolenoy Community House, located in the old Oolenoy School. This school is the classic early 20th century design with a central bell tower. At first glance the design looks just like the old Wolf Creek School just outside of Pickens.

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Tigerville Revisited


Tigerville School-001

After our excursion last week, Mark Elbrecht sent me an excellent resource with information about some of the sites we visited. The State Historic Preservation Office has released a new archeology survey of Greenville County (PDF).

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September Edisto with Lowcountry Unfiltered


LCU Edisto Messervy to Long Creek-9

Second Saturday of the month means a paddling trip with Lowcountry Unfiltered…except that this was a third Saturday, and the group was more Midlands and Upcountry than Lowcountry. Even so, our band of adventurers once again headed down to the Edisto River. This trip we added another yet-unpaddled stretch of the river to our resume’s. We would be doing the stretch from Messervy Landing to Long Creek Landing.

Messervy to Long Creek Edisto

I swung through Simpsonville and picked up Alan, and we headed on our way. Our first stop was breakfast at Bill and Fran’s in Newberry, then continued on down to Messervy Landing. Soon we were joined by Jerry, Marc, and Matt, bringing our number to five.

LCU Edisto Messervy to Long Creek-92 (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…)

Labor Day Week Rambles


Highway 9 Country Store-006

Labor Day snuck up on me. First, it’s been so dad-blasted crazy around here, that it was upon me before I knew it. Secondly, I don’t seem to pay much attention to holidays anymore. However, a holiday means that my friends are more available for exploration, so there are more opportunities for joint exploration.

I had a couple such opportunities this week, so I’ll combine them into one post. On Labor Day proper, Keith and I headed up to Hendersonville for German food. After a nice lunch of sauerkraut and weisswurst, we took a circuitous route back home. One of our stops was Double Springs Baptist Church, located in a little hollow off of old US 25 (now NC 225.)

Double Springs Baptist Church (more…)

Time Lapse at the Farmer’s Market


I’m slowly collecting my little snippits of time lapse video from around Greenville. So far I’ve been limited to 10-15 second bits. That might be enough if I string a bunch of them together.

Regardless, Saturday morning I decided to do a time lapse at the downtown Greenville Farmer’s Market. I headed down early before the crowds arrived so that I could get set up. I was armed with my larger tripod, and my newly acquired selfie stick, which has a tripod mount in the bottom of it. Extended, it would put my GoPro nearly twelve feet in the air. Not to shabby.

I set up toward the upper end of the farmer’s market so that I would have a view back down the hill toward the Poinsett Hotel. I found a great place right across from Port City Java, so I got a large cup of coffee, then set up the tripod, on the street where I thought it would be out of the way.

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Paddling Boyd’s Mill Pond

Boyds Mill Pond-17

Paddling on Boyd’s Mill Pond

I’ve known about Boyd’s Mill Pond for most of my life. It was on the way from Gray Court to Greenwood (via short cut.) Visits to my dentist in Greenwood would take us on the road that curved by the pond, giving me glimpses of the small lake. Even back then, I long to stop and explore.

Fast forward several decades and I finally have a chance to explore the area. In 2012 The Karl H. Dixon Park opened, and now provides the only public access to the lake with a playground and boat ramp. I had dropped by here to scout several weeks ago, and this morning I decided to haul my boat down and check it.

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Springwood Time Lapse

Springwood Time Lapse Set Up

Springwood Time Lapse Set Up

The clouds were perfect for time lapse. There was a slight breeze and they were moving nicely. I wanted to get some iconic Greenville buildings in the video, so I headed downtown to Springwood Cemetery.

I park out on main street and entered through the main decorative gate. I was looking for a spot where I could get a few of the monuments, along with several of Greenville’s buildings. Unfortunately, the department of corrections was doing grounds maintenance, so I had to find a spot where they weren’t trimming, etc.

I found what I thought was a suitable spot and set up the camera, settling in for a long haul with my little folding chair.

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LCU Does Lake Jocassee


LCU at Lake Jocassee-010

We just got back from our grand west coast tour last Sunday, but we weren’t settling down. Stephen and I had made another mid-week trek to the Pickens Flea Market, and Friday morning I had taken Laura to the airport for a quick trip down to Florida so that she could drive back to our place with her sister and mother. That left me as the sole occupant of the house. So, what was I to do but throw a party?

The guys from Lowcountry Unfiltered had been wanting to paddle Lake Jocassee. Last Saturday was the second Saturday, the traditional LCU paddling day, but it was postponed a week so that we could get back from the west and organize the trip. Several of the guys were camping or staying other locations overnight. Matt, James, and Scott came up early and stayed at our house. We had chili, various imbibements, and Star Wars movies with an MST3K treatment.


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