It started with a mystery. Fellow photographer Hank Myers and my friend Tara Bailey down at SCIWAY.net had a question about Shiloh School, and whether or not it was a Rosenwald School. The extant school is a brick building, but the Fisk Rosenwald database show a classic two teacher Nashville design. I decided that a trip to the school was in order, to see if there were any stone markers that might indicate when the school was built. It would also give me an excuse to check out some fall colors.
Since I would be passing right past his place, I swung by and picked up Ken Cothran in Clemson. We got coffee, then took a quick tour through the heart of Clemson. However, our first target was the school. I plugged it into the GPS and we headed that way.
We found the school easily enough on Shiloh Road. We pulled in and began wandering around.
I couldn’t find any markers or anything else to indicate when the school was built. The doors were open, so I went inside to explore. Looked like there were three, possibly four classrooms. There was some vandalism, but you could see where the boards on the walls had been.
From Shiloh we drove on into the town of Seneca. This was an approach I’d not taken before, so I saw lots of photographic potential. I may have to come back to explore this section sometime. Ken and I wanted to get up to where we could see more color, so we decided to head up toward Walhalla. On the other side of the town I had a couple more school locations I wanted to check out.
Next up, I plugged in the coordinates for Zion School, just SW of the town. It was just a bit off of Highway 28 headed out of town. At first we drove right past it, but then I spotted the traditional architecture buried under some serious modifications. Apparently the last incarnation of this building was as a rib restaurant.
Out front was a brick column that was probably left from its days as a school house.
The next one is one I’ve visited before, but hadn’t really taken time to photograph. I didn’t get many shots this time, but I like the ones I got. This is the Neville School, located right on Highway 28.
According to information provided by Mark Elbrecht, it’s now own by the Neville School Community Center. Seemed a bit rundown for an active community center, though. As with many of these schools, the large windows designed to let light into classrooms has been replaced with smaller, energy-efficient (for the time) windows.
Ken and I continued on up Highway 28 until we got to the turnoff for Stumphouse Tunnel. We weren’t as interested in the tunnel, but more interested how Issaqueena Falls were looking with the autumn color. The colors indeed were quite nice.
The problem with Issaqueena Falls is that the view is very cluttered. About the only way to see it is during winter when the leaves are down. I guess I could have climbed to the bottom of the falls, but I wasn’t up for that. Yes, there is a waterfall somewhere in these shots.
We drove around to the picnic area between the falls and tunnel. There was a small pond there that I’d never spotted, as many times as I’ve been to this location.
We continued on up Highway 28 to Mountain Rest, where we turned onto Highway 107 toward Cashiers. There was a brief detour into Oconee State Park – not much color there, though.
After that we drove pretty much straight on up, pausing briefly at one overlook.
Lunch was in Cashiers. As we drove into the area we noticed that the trees we well past prime in this area. After lunch we backtracked down Highway 107, stopping at Silver Run Falls. The trees really were past prime here.
Back out on 107 we took the Wiggington cut-through over toward Whitewater Falls. On that route is another overlook with spectacular views out across Lake Jocassee. Ken said that it was one of his favorite overlooks.
We continued on to Whitewater Falls. By the time we got there it was late afternoon, and lighting wasn’t great. A deep shadow was by the west wall of the gorge around the falls.
I decided to climb down to the observation deck – 150 stair steps down. Ken opted to stay up top. To me, the views were worth the climb down and back up. At least I wouldn’t miss going to the gym today.
I made it back up to the top, huffing and puffing a bit. It was getting late, and Ken and I had a Chorale rehearsal to get to. however, we decided to make one more stop. We pulled into the Bad Creek Project and drove down to the overlook. The views were spectacular, but the colors weren’t quite there. Maybe in a couple of days…
It was a great trip out and about, and I think I’ve satisfied my autumnal color craving. Some spots weren’t quite there, some were past peak, but some were quite nice. We even got to check out a couple of old schools. It was a good day.