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”

Pickens County Ramble

Cateechee School 2

I’ve been going a bit stir crazy. The weather has been perfect for hiking or kayaking, but with this lingering cough I just haven’t wanted to risk getting sick again. Laura was busy writing an exam, so sister Glynda and I decided to head out and find something to photograph.

For this ramble we repeated a trek that I had made with Duckhunter back last year. Our route took us north of Clemson and into some of the old communities of Pickens County.

From Greenville we drove to Easley, then followed 93 to Liberty, then on to Norris. From Norris we headed north to our first stop at the mill village of Cateechee. Glynda had never visited this part of the state, so it was new territory for her. We circled through the mill village and looked at the ruins of the mill, then drove around to the old Cateechee School. Continue reading “Pickens County Ramble”

Pickens Flea Market

Pickens Flea Market

Many years ago, when I was still in school, my father took me to the Pickens Flea Market. I don’t remember much about that trip, but I do remember the location in a prime piece of bottom land next to the Twelve Mile River. At the time it seemed like just a lot of junk to me.

As an adult, my flea market aficionado friend, Paul W., has been saying that we need to get over to the Pickens Flea Market. Unfortunately, it’s only open on Wednesdays, which is very inconvenient for those of us that have to work during the week. Since this is my spring break, my sister Glynda and I decided to head up that way and see what it was like.

There was dense fog in Greenville as we headed out. However, the sun broke through and the fog began to lift just as we pulled into the market parking lot. The place opens at 7:00 and we were arriving at 8:30. Crowds were already gathering.

Pickens Flea Market

As with most flea markets in the area, there are covered areas where the more permanent vendors set up and there are rows and rows of open air tables. Unlike the Anderson Jockey Lot, none of the covered areas are enclosed. Typical flea market ware can be found as soon as you enter the vendor areas.

Pickens Flea Market VendorTable Decorations

The market has a completely different vibe than the Jockey Lot. Even though it’s still a cool place to visit, the Jockey Lot seems to have a layer of tourist trap country junk polish. Strip away that polish and you get the Pickens Flea Market. The place seems more authentic. Mountain folk come down from the hills to buy, sell and trade their wares. For some, the mountain persona is an affectation. For some, it is truly the way they are. Either way, it’s a fascinating venue for seeing all sorts of people. Continue reading “Pickens Flea Market”

A Trip to Madison

New Madison Post Office

Saturday morning we wanted to get out of the house for a bit. So, we had a big breakfast, loaded everyone into the car, and headed west.

Laura’s mother had never seen Clemson, so that was going to be one of our stops. I also had a potential ghost town I wanted to check out. Laura’s desires were simple – she wanted a hamburger somewhere. The only problem was that we had a time limit. Laura and I had to be back for a dinner party that evening.

We pretty much stuck to our plan. We drove straight to Clemson and drove around the campus. We also drove through the state botanical garden. There didn’t appear to be much in bloom, so we didn’t stop and get out.

After touring Clemson, we headed south on Highway 76 until we got to the Old Stone Church. Last time I was here there was a maintenance man on duty and he let me into the church. No such luck this time. The place was locked up and I could only take photos from the outside.

Old Stone Church

Old Stone Church Continue reading “A Trip to Madison”