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”

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”