Ghost Towns of Calhoun County

Lone Star, SC

This past week was the first of our four-day weeks on our summer schedule. That meant that I had Friday off, so I decided to take advantage of it. This was also a Lowcountry Unfiltered paddling weekend, so I decided to head down early and check out a couple of places. My trek led me to some true ghost towns in a very remote part of the state.

Since I hit so many places on this trip I’m abandoning my format for ghost town posts, but may go back and revisit those locations. We’ll have to see how closely I stick to this.

The first part of the trip was the non-descript I-26 trek down to Columbia. As soon as I got past the city, though, I was ready to leave the interstate. I took the Highway 176 exit, which parallels the interstate to the east. This led me to the little community of Sandy Run. I paused to take a few shots of the old red general store building on the side of the highway, now long abandoned. Continue reading “Ghost Towns of Calhoun County”

Renno and Stomp Springs

Renno Store

Last weekend Glynda and I headed down to Prosperity to visit our parents, and on the way back we stopped by a couple of remote places in Laurens County. These spots are places our family has visited long, long ago. Back then they were already abandoned, but there was still lots to see. Today, however, the communities of Stomp Springs and Renno are almost completely gone.

Both Renno and Stomp Springs are part of the Jacks Township. This area was one of the first settled in Laurens County, sometime in the mid 1700’s. Nearby Duncan Creek Presbyterian Church is the oldest in the county.

Our first stop was Stomp Springs. This was one of the old mineral springs resorts popular in the early 1900’s. Folks would come to these springs for the purported healing properties of the water from the springs. The water was even bottled and sold around the state. Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find much on the history of the springs, other than a random reference to acknowledge that it once existed.  There is one brief reference in the 1909 Newberry Observer that a teacher from Bush River had just “returned from vacationing at Stomp Springs.” I also came across a couple of references from bottle collectors seeking the rare bottles from the springs. Continue reading “Renno and Stomp Springs”

The Sad Fate of Chappells

Chappells Ruins

After our Saluda River kayaking trip and post-paddling excursion to Chappells, I became somewhat obsessed with the ghost town and its history. Several left comments on that last post also expressing interest in what happened to the town.

Ghost towns fascinate me. At one time this street was bustling with traffic and activity, and now it’s completely overgrown and deserted. The how and why towns die out are varied, but in this case there are some straightforward reasons why Chappells didn’t survive. It appears that weather and bad luck dealt the worst blows. Continue reading “The Sad Fate of Chappells”

Exploring Chappells

One my posts that seems to get the most hits and generates the most discussion is the one on the Ghost Towns of South Carolina. In that post I mentioned that probably weren’t many true ghost towns, but only near-ghost towns — towns with a dying city center, but a thriving community around it. Monday … Continue reading Exploring Chappells

Ghost Towns of South Carolina

Bodie Ghost Town When one hears the words "Ghost town", one usually conjures up images of an abandoned prospectors’ town somewhere out west, similar to the picture of Bodie, California seen above. However, South Carolina has its fair share of ghost towns. While tumbleweeds and swinging saloon doors may not provide the scenery for the … Continue reading Ghost Towns of South Carolina