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.)
Keith knew that there was a cemetery associated with the church, but we couldn’t find it. We walked around the grounds, and I spotted an old set of steps behind the church that was almost overgrown.
A few yards beyond that I found another set of steps leading down to what must be the eponymous springs.
It almost looks like the springs may have been used for baptisms, although there wasn’t a large open pool like the one we found at Siloam Baptist.
We found the cemetery. It was down the road a bit and across from the church. Keith had seen this cemetery many times, but hadn’t associated it with the church.
We didn’t stop for photos, but continued exploring. We took a couple of back roads that took us up and over US 25, then back into Bob’s Creek Road. From there we made it to Green River Road, then headed back down 25 toward Greenville. We took one more detour at Gap Creek Road., headed down into the River Falls/Jones Gap Area. We drove around a bit, but didn’t stop for photos. River Falls Road dropped us out at US 276 at the F-Mart, where we decided to stop for cold drinks.
Inside there was the usual country store paraphernalia, including a collection of Case knives. The old gentleman behind the counter started a hard sell of the knives and of a pocket watch. Turns out Keith knew Mr. P. D. Forrest, the “F” in “F-Mart”, and Mr. Forrest fondly remembered Keith’s family.
Fast forward a couple of days until Wednesday. Glynda wanted to get out and do some exploring. She came over Tuesday evening and stayed with us so that we could get an early start the next morning. As we were starting out, a call from our other sister, Susan, changed our plans. We headed over to her house so that she could join us for the day.
This time we had no idea where we were heading. Just up Highway 9, on the other side of Lake Bowen from Susan’s house, we spotted an interesting old country store and paused for a few photos.
Susan directed us onto Highway 11, then we turned onto another road the descended to the Pacolet River. Just upstream was an old steel girder bridge. I recognized the area as one I had explored before.
We turned down a dirt road leading to another church. The road ended at the church, which wasn’t as scenic as we might have hoped. The farmland surrounding it, though, was spectacular.
Back out on the main road we came to the historic Jackson Grove Methodist Church. This is one of those classic “meeting house” style churches. There were two front doors, one for men and one for women. A small bell was on a pole at the front of the church.
I mounted my GoPro on an extension pole and held it up to the window for an interior shot. Everything looked neat and orderly, and it almost looks like the church is still in regular use.
We paused to explore the cemetery a bit. There were some very old stones, dating back to the early 1800’s. I didn’t see any signature stones while out there. There was a collection of stones, though, that had lots of odd objects – angels, which weren’t so out of place, but also dancing raisins, Easter bunnies, clowns, and miniature versions of da Vinci’s Last Supper.
It was a bit…weird.
At the back of the cemetery we thought we saw some older graves marked by flat stones. These were, in fact, old unmarked graves. However, the church had marked the location with a nice stone bearing a single cross, and no other marking.
We continued, driving through some beautiful horse farm country. Eventually we made it to Landrum, and spent some time walking through the antique shops there. We had lunch up the road at Drake House.
This is a buffet-styled restaurant with fried chicken, macaroni, green beans, and all those wonderful things to wreck a diet.
We drove on up to Tryon, then spent the rest of the afternoon driving through mile after mile of beautiful farm country. We didn’t really stop for any more pictures, but just enjoyed the scenery. It was a pleasant way to pass an afternoon.