Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville

Woodside Mill Cemetery Lomo

So far I’d found two old textile mill village cemeteries somewhat by accident. These reminded me of an article in the Greenville News by Judy Bainbridge from 2009. The article was entitled “Woodside, other mill villages need care.” Bainbridge had listed several mill village cemeteries in town, and at the time I’d thought about trying to find them. Then I kind of forgot about it. That is, until my recent discoveries. Now I was ready to seek out these other forgotten cemeteries. Continue reading “Hidden Mill Cemeteries of Greenville”

From Pickens to Oolenoy

Oolenoy Baptist Church and Cemetery-012

It was a spectacular Wednesday morning. I’d been doing yard work all week, and needed to escape. That seemed like the perfect time for a trip to the Pickens Flea Market. This time, rather than carry cameras, I had a backpack loaded with audio recording gear.

Apparently everyone in Pickens County had the same idea as me. I had planned to get there around 8:00, but Highway 183 from Greenville to Pickens was a zoo, and traffic was clogged headed through the town and out to the flea market. Eventually, though, I did get a nice, shaded parking space, and set out to explore. Continue reading “From Pickens to Oolenoy”

Tybee and Bonaventure

Bonaventure Cemetery-10
Bonaventure Cemetery

This weekend is our monthly outing with Lowcountry Unfiltered. Since our river was down below Savannah, I decided to head down on Friday and do some exploration ahead of time.

My plan was to leave as early as possible, check out the Savannah waterfront and some of the old homes, then check out Bonaventure Cemetery. In the evening I planned to have dinner at the Crab Shack on Tybee Island.

Unfortunately, traffic didn’t cooperate. It was Friday before Easter week, so it seemed like everyone was heading south. I didn’t get down to Savannah until afternoon. The city was a zoo, and I’d had enough traffic, no matter how historic and scenic. I decided to drive on out to Tybee, since I hadn’t been there in a long time. Continue reading “Tybee and Bonaventure”

Cokesbury Tour, Tabernacle, and Ninety-Six

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Old Cokesbury College Main Building

It finally happened. As many times as I’ve been here and photographed the exterior, I was finally able to get inside the old main building at the old Cokesbury College. This weekend is Greenwood’s Festival of Flowers, and as part of the event they were holding an open house at the historic location. While in Greenwood I hit a couple of other locations I had been wanting to photograph. I was joined by fellow explorers Mark Elbrecht, who alerted me to this year’s tour dates, and Alan Russell.

I had tried to do this last year. Mark was able to go down on a Saturday, but I had to delay until Sunday due to a paddling trip. Even though their website said the event would be Saturday and Sunday, when we got there Sunday morning everything was closed up tight. We never got into the building.

This year it would be different.  The Chamber of Commerce had even used one of my photos of the old building on their promotional website.  I was going to make sure that we were there on the correct day.  So, Mark, Alan, and I headed down and arrived at the site at about 10:30 am. Continue reading “Cokesbury Tour, Tabernacle, and Ninety-Six”

LCU vs Manchester, Part 3

Poinsett Park Millrace 2

So far our crew from Lowcountry Unfiltered had breakfast at Battens in Wedgefield, visited the cemetery of a deranged governor, hiked part of the Palmetto trail and discovered an old railroad junction, and we were just getting started.

Manchester and Melrose

We got back to our vehicles and headed to the location of the ghost town of Manchester. The town died out with the demise of the Wilmington and Manchester railroad. All that remains are a few rural houses. We paused briefly, and left in search of a more interesting section of Manchester.

Nearby is a marking indicating the location of Melrose Plantation. Built in the late 1700s, the plantation was owned by Matthew Singleton, whose cemetery we had visited earlier in the day. We stopped at the marker and took a look around. There were a few foundation stones, and the twisted remains of a metal bed. Unfortunately the bed appeared to be more of modern than pre-Civil War origin.

Melrose Plantation Marker
Melrose Plantation Remains
Continue reading “LCU vs Manchester, Part 3”

LCU vs Manchester, Part 2

LCU Swamp Stomp 2013-026

We had loaded up with breakfast at Battens in Wedgefield, and now it was time to go exploring. There were eleven us, divided over three vehicles. Luckily, I had three FRS radios so we could coordinate our travels. So, we set off.

We got off the main highway, and as we entered Manchester State Forest the pavement just kind of gave out. We road on a fairly fast clip, past forested areas and farmland, most of it with “Posted. No Tresspassing” signs.

LCU Swamp Stomp 2013-047
LCU Swamp Stomp 2013-026 Continue reading “LCU vs Manchester, Part 2”

Two Historic Cemeteries and a Mill

Ebenezer Methodist Church

A winter holiday, and I was itching to get out and do some exploring. I had a new camera to try out, and wanted to put it through its paces. Unfortunately, I couldn’t roam too far. Fellow explorer Alan came over, and we found a nice compromise. We headed over to the Pelham area to explore the old mill and Ebenezer Methodist Church.

Pelham Mill

Pelham Mill Park is one of my favorite photography destinations. There are lots of textures, water, and interesting structures for subject matter. I’ve visited in the past by myself and with fellow photographer Karen B. This was Alan’s first time visiting the park, as I was glad to have another newbie who might see something I had missed.

Pelham_hist_mill

This site on the Enoree River was the location of one of the first cotton mills in the area. It reached its peak production in the years following the Civil War, and by the turn of the century employed 250 people and ran 10,000 spindles. The mill was destroyed by fire in 1940, leaving only the dam across the river, some foundations, and part of the old brick power station. The old mill office was across Highway 14 from the main part of the mill, and also survived. Continue reading “Two Historic Cemeteries and a Mill”

A Stonecutter’s Tale

Headstone B&W with Texture

I first noticed this when we made our trek to the Promised Land with Glynda and Houston. At Cedar Springs ARP Church several of the more elaborate headstone slabs in the cemetery had the carver/artist’s name inscribed at the bottom.

Old Headstones at Cedar Springs

J Hall Signature

WT White

Then, when Dwight and his family traveled with me to Kingsville in Lower Richland County we stopped by the historic Congaree Baptist Church. There, on one of their headstones, was one of the names I had spotted at Cedar Springs – W. T. White.

W. T. White

Then, last Saturday on our way back from the Edisto River, Alan and I stopped by the old Pon Pon Chapel of Ease near Jacksonboro. There, at the bottom of one of the old slab stones, was the signature of J. White.

Signature Tombstone

I began to wonder if W. T. White and J. White were related, and also wondered how their work became so wide-spread across South Carolina’s historic churches. Turns out they were part of a dynasty of stone carvers that did much, much more than just carving headstones. Continue reading “A Stonecutter’s Tale”

Spirits of Springwood

Spirits of Springwood-31

This past Sunday Laura and went on the Spirits of Springwood Tour sponsored by the Upcountry History Museum. Springwood Cemetery features many historic graves and lots of interesting headstones and carvings. I’ve visited many times on photo walks, but thought it would be interesting to get an “official” tour.

There were two tours scheduled – one starting at 5:00 pm and one at 6:45 pm.  I initially wanted to do the 5:00 pm tour because the lighting would be so much better for photography.  However, Laura convinced me that the 6:45 tour with flashlights would be fun, and that this wasn’t really a photography tour.

Photography tour or not, I came prepared.  I had my DSLR with a 50mm f/1.8 lens, my trusty Nikon S70 sidearm, and the little infrared point-and-shoot I’d used on our Blue Ghost excursion.  I knew a tripod wouldn’t be appropriate for a tour, so I brought cameras that would work well (mostly) in low-light situations.

As usual, we arrived early. I took advantage of the waning afternoon light to take a few photos. Continue reading “Spirits of Springwood”