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A collection of photography and exploration focusing on Upstate South Carolina and beyond.
Wednesday morning was a portentous day for my friend Ken. He was closing on his house, taking the dive into home ownership. I accompanied Ken to his closing, and helped celebrate with a toast at his abode.
Both of us had most of the day open, so we grabbed cameras, grabbed a quick lunch (at an excellent sandwich shop in Clemson, I might add), then headed out to explore.
While we did have quite a bit of time, we didn’t have all day. I always enjoy visiting some of the communities in Oconee County, and Ken hadn’t seen some of them, so we headed out to Townville to take a look at some of the interesting old buildings there.
Ken and I parked in the Baptist church parking lot and walked along the town sidewalk taking photos of the old buildings. First up was an old store.
There were a couple more interesting old commercial buildings.
One of the most interesting buildings is an old house located between the commercial buildings along the little strip. I first became aware of this house from a photo taken by my friend Lynn Jenkins. She had highlighted the “haint blue” coloring of the porch ceiling and window highlights. When I was there the blue had faded until the point of almost being unrecognizable. Even so, the old sofa on the porch and rustic wood made for some great photo matter.
From Townville we continued on toward Westminster. Along the way we stopped at the old Center Methodist Church. I had stopped by in the recent past with Stephen, so I didn’t linger to take many photos. Last time I was here I noticed that extensive renovations were being done to the interior. It looks like those renovations are still underway. I also noticed that the building is clad in very nontraditional vinyl siding. I’m sure it will protect the building, but it takes something way from the historic nature of the site.
Ken had not been through the Retreat area, so we headed out that way. When Stephen I came through here I somehow missed out on seeing the old Retreat Rosenwald School. I made a point of heading up that way. The school is now known as the Pleasant Hill Community Center, but there is a historical marker with the old name. The school is located next to Pleasant Hill Baptist Church, and, unfortunately, it looks like they have had problems with vandalism. There were signs dissuading people from even parking in their lot, much less trespassing.
We continued on around to the old Retreat Presbyterian Church. We got out and took a few photos. One thing I had not noticed on our last trip was that there is a USGS benchmark right at the steps of the church.
We drove on through Westminster and Walhalla and made another futile attempt to visit the Oconee Museum. Turns out they are only open Thursday through the weekend. We took Highway 11 back eastward, then came back toward Clemson. We didn’t really stop anywhere else, but we got some good shots were we did stop. It was a great day out and about in Oconee County.