Perhaps last night’s comments about local photography should be a New Year’s resolution. I’m not much at making resolutions, since I’m so miserable at keeping them. However, here are two. First, I’m going to try to take a picture of SOMETHING every day. The disclaimer is the word “try.” Also, the word “something” is key. There are several Flickr groups dedicated to things like “365 days of me“, where people post a self-portrait a day. I’m just not that narcissistic. Secondly, while I may not stop complaining about over-development in Greenville County, at least I will start looking for those hidden, interesting places. I know they’ve got to be out there.
In keeping with these two resolutions, on this cold morning I headed toward Greenville’s “Dark Corner,” which is vaguely somewhere northeast of Traveler’s Rest. Inspired by Flickr photographer patleeo, my first stop was the Little Texas Grocery on State Park Road (map). At first I wasn’t sure if it was a store that was actually open or not. A large truck was idling out front, and there were a couple of cars parked next to the place. However, it could just as easily been someone’s private property. I put my misgivings aside and went in. There were four people huddled around an ancient wooden stove. The store itself was sparsely supplied, with one cold drink unit, cigarettes, and a few snacks. Everything was haphazardly arranged on old wooden shelves. It was truly a step back in time.
As I entered, the oldest of the four rose to wait on me. I knew from patleeo’s photos that this was Ruth Cheatwood, age 84, who has operated this store since 1958. I hadn’t brought my camera into the store. I would have felt awkward with all these folks, and Pat had already done such a nice job documenting the store and photographing Ruth. I took in the ambiance, bought a sweet roll, and headed on my way.
From Little Texas, I drove up Tubb’s Mountain Road, then on old White Horse back to Highway 25. A light overnight dusting of snow made even single-wide trailers look scenic. I really didn’t want to stay on a big highway, so I turned onto the first road that looked small and interesting – Bailey Mill Road. I figure that any road with the word “mill” in its name has to be interesting. This time I was not disappointed.
I came across an old structure that must be the eponymous mill (map). There was no roof, and most of the building had collapsed. There was the remnants of a water wheel next to the little stream that ran through the property. There were Posted signs everywhere, so I took a few shots from the road right-of-way, then continued on my journey.
I wandered along several roads that run between highways 11 and 414. Some of these ran along the ridges just north of Travelers Rest. There were a couple more “mill” roads, but none that had any structures I could see. I could make out clearings along streams where I would expect to find a mill, but there was nothing to shoot.
My wanderings took me to Tigerville, and to two more of the places that Pat had photographed. There was the Tigerville Variety Store, and the TP Country Store. Both of these are closed, but I did get a couple of shots of the outside.
From mills to stores, and now bridges. I thought I might get some shots of Poinsett Bridge, since I was this close (map). I snapped a few shots, but it was so cold that my hands couldn’t operate the camera. I decided to give up on it and retreat to a warm car.
My second bridge was Campbell Covered Bridge. When I arrived I was dismayed to see huge orange traffic barriers that really ruined most photographic angles. I wish they could find some way more subtle to keep traffic off the bridge. I wandered around the site for a bit, then decided it was time to head home.