Willington and Post-Paddling Explorations
I had some grand plans for checking out old cemeteries and other locations along the east bank of the Savannah. That didn’t quite happen. My kayaking trip took a bit longer than I expected. I was hungry, my car was thirsty, and I had to get back to Greenville in time to pick up Laura from the airport. Even so, I was able to see some new things.
From Hester Landing I drove on down to the Mount Carmel Campground. Even though it was closed I wanted to visit for future reference. I found that while the campground was closed, the boat ramp was still open. I could have saved myself a couple of miles.
As I left the park I took note of the street names on my car’s GPS.
I made my way back out to Mount Carmel and stopped at the old Presbyterian Church. I’ve photographed this church many times. Here’s a photo from 2015.
This time, though, something was different. Several of the windows were boarded up and there was a No Trespassing sign on the front of the building. It made me sad. It also made me quite angry at the idiots that want to ruin special places like this for the rest of us.
I continued south until I reached Willington. There was a sign for Willington Books. It was open, so I checked it out. The book store is actually three separate stores. Mysteries are in one building, general books in another, and religious texts are in a third. I browsed, but escaped without buying anything.
The Willington Historical Center is located in another storefront. One wall is set up as an old store.
I was shocked to see a Changeable Charlie on their shelf. It’s a unique toy and I have one. I got mine when I was three years old and had to go to the hospital. The toy was first published in 1948 and produced through the early 1960s.
The rest of the space has historical displays and research materials. One of the more fascinating displays was of the Cowan Family Musical Group. Their actual instruments were also on display.
There were several dioramas of historic sites in the region including Fort Charlotte…
…and Willington Academy.
There were also lots of other items on display, more than I could really take in on a single impromptu visit.
I wanted to try to find the site of Willington Academy. The historic marker for it is just on across the street from the stores and a road heads west toward the river. Since that was in the general direction of Vienna I decided to go that way. I found the Old Willington Academy Road, but not the site marker. Of course, it’s only right that the trip involved at least one dirt road, or it wouldn’t be a true ramble.
The Willington Academy Road took me further out of my way than I had planned. By this time I was really tired, thirsty, and quite hungry. I abandoned my other exploration ideas and headed on into McCormick for a very late lunch and to get gas for the car, then headed on home. I’d met my primary objectives for the trip and found that even though I’ve visited this area several times, there’s still lots to see.