Pacolet Lights

Pacolet Christmas Lights-004
Pacolet Christmas Lights

A couple of weeks ago I visited the small Spartanburg County town of Pacolet, and noticed that they were wrapping everything in Christmas lights. I decided that we really needed to come back after dark and see what was going on. So, the other evening Laura and I headed out to see the end result.

Really, there is no good way to get to Pacolet from Greenville. It’s completely out of the way, and this could turn out to be a bust. To make the most of it, our plan was to drive straight there, then slowly make our way back through various other neighborhoods looking for lights. So, we headed up I-85 toward Spartanburg.

As we reached downtown Spartanburg it looked like their Christmas parade was just breaking up. Somehow we managed to skirt the worst of the traffic areas. As we headed south out of Spartanburg things seemed a bit…dim. In fairness, this passes through an industrial area and there aren’t that many lights, but even as we approached Pacolet it still seemed very dark. Laura was skeptical. Continue reading “Pacolet Lights”

The Laurens County History Museum

Laurens County Museum

It started with a trivia contest on Facebook. The Laurens County Museum had posted the following:


Waterloo’s Harris Springs was a popular mineral water resort in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, but there was another spring near Clinton that was known for its bottled water. Can you name it?

Good Luck!

Having recently visited the area, I knew the answer – Stomp Springs. I submitted my answer, and was pleased to learn I had won. I was told to stop by any Sunday to claim my prize. This Sunday was the perfect opportunity, before the madness of the Christmas season starts in full swing. It was raining and cold, but I decided to head down anyway.

I had wanted to visit the museum, regardless of any trivia answer. Elaine Martin from the Laurens Library had also been active with the museum, and suggested that I visit. The trivia prize was the perfect excuse for a gloomy Sunday get-away.

The museum is located in a colorful string of buildings on Laurens Street, just off of the main square. I entered to find Julius Bolton and Ernie Seagars sitting behind a reception table. I introduced myself, and told them I was there to claim my prize. Mr. Bolt wanted to know if I was from Laurens, so I gave a brief background and my history with the town. At that point, Mr. Seagars asked if I had a brother named Houston. I replied that I did. Turns out he and Houston were classmates at Laurens High School. Continue reading “The Laurens County History Museum”

The Allure of Old Masonry

Victor Hill Hotel Ruins
Victor Hill Hotel Ruins
Pacolet, South Carolina

I’ve written about this before (In Search of Phantom Stairs, August 24, 2008.) There is something intriguing about old masonry.  This is especially true of recognizable structures such as stairs, columns, and walls.  While it’s cool to find a pile of rubble or old road bed or foundation in a field, a standing remnant goes beyond that.  You can tell that something was here – something with intent and purpose.  It’s the discovery of those ruins, as well as the exploration of what had been there that keeps me going on these photo treks For this particular photo trek I headed out across Spartanburg County, and found a wealth of such masonic hints of the past.

I was partly inspired by fellow explorer Mark Elbrecht’s recent trek to the Whitestone community and his explorations of the old Whitestone Springs Resort (Part 1, Part 2.) Mark had done an excellent job covering that area, so I didn’t want to repeat his trip (although I may check those spots out later.) My trek would take me across Spartanburg with a dip into Union and Cherokee Counties. Truth be told, I only had a vague idea where I was headed, and that was a problem. By omitting some additional preliminary research I just missed out on some very cool spots. More on that later, but for now, here’s what I found… Continue reading “The Allure of Old Masonry”