Rambling

A Tour through Mid-Georgia – Part One

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Philomath Church

Philomath Presbyterian Church

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Houston had stayed overnight after our Ghost Tour of Woodburn Plantation the night before. He had Monday off, and since Laura was out of town, Glynda and I decided to head down to Athens with him for a road trip. Of course, this would be one of our typical rambling road trips, full of history and interesting sights.

…and, of course, we couldn’t really take interstates. We headed down Augusta Road, then cut through Belton, Antreville, and the town of Iva. Just out from Iva we spotted a sign for one of my ghost towns.

Moffetsville (more…)

The Schools of Edgefield and Saluda Counties

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Fruit Hill School HDR Texture

Fruit Hill School in Edgefield County

I had finally found a practical way of uploading my list of extant schools into my GPS. Rather than upload them as favorites, I was uploading them as custom POIs. The only drawback was that they didn’t show up on the map unless I specifically selected one. Oh well. It was a start.

My maps and several online sources indicated that Edgefield and Saluda counties were full of cool old schools that were still standing. Armed with this tool I set in search of a few.

My primary goal for the day had been a stop by the Pottersville Excavation Site just north of Edgefield. I had described that stop in the last post, so in this one I’ll focus on the schools. (more…)

Old Homes Tour of Laurens

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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

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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…)

October Weekday Rambles – Part Two

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Whitmire Bras-002

So far on my rambles I had visited a few locations in Greenville County, and the next day had ventured to the community of Cross Anchor. I still had lots of daylight left, and lots more to see and do.

Leaving the Cross Anchor/Cross Keys area I continued on Highway 49 toward Union. It had been a VERY long time since I had approached the town from this direction. Just before reaching town on Fairforest Creek there is an incredible mansion. I vaguely remembered seeing the house off in the distance when I was younger, and wondering what it was like. I tried to get a better view this time, but I only got a glimpse – no photos. (more…)

October Weekday Rambles – Part One

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Little Texas Grocery

Little Texas Grocery near Travelers Rest

I was able to get out for a couple of photographic rambles this week. I saw some cool things, and took some interesting photos. Apart from what I’ve already written about those trips, for whatever reason I haven’t felt inspired to blog about those trips. I don’t want to neglect them, though, so I’ll just do a brief summary.

(UPDATE: OK, I got carried away and found I had seen more than would fit into a single blog post. I’m breaking it into multiple parts.)

On Tuesday I headed east. I got a little ways down I-85, roughly on my way to the Clifton area, when my plans changed. I wound up joining my sister, Susan, for lunch. In route to her house I passed by the District Five offices. It was the first time I’d been by there since my retirement, and it felt…weird. I noticed lots of cars in the parking lot, and remembered that Tuesdays were principal meeting days. I kept going. (more…)

Mystery Cemetery

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O'Neal Cemetery

I was out and about on a beautiful Tuesday afternoon trying to hunt down the perfect photo. I also had a box or so of old electronic gear in the back of my Subaru. I figured in my ramblings I’d probably pass one of the county’s many “convenience centers,” and would be able to recycle it.

My rambles took me to the community of O’Neal, north of Lake Cunningham on Highway 101. Just off of O’Neal Road, I saw a sign for a convenience center on Camp Road, just around the corner. As I pulled into the center I spotted a chain link fence and a row of strange headstones.

O'Neal Cemetery

The way these were lined up, and since they were right at a disposal center, I wondered if it might be a K9 cemetery. I dropped off my electronics and drove back around. (more…)

Pumpkintown Area Schools

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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.

Oolenoy School-011 (more…)

Tigerville Revisited

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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).

Screen Shot 2014-09-23 at 10.48.52 AM.png (more…)

Tigerville Ramble

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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…)

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