South Carolina (Northwest Upcountry) Third Week

Monday of our third week was a bright, cold, but sunny day, so off to the waterfalls….
10) Brasstown Falls on Brasstown Creek included three falls 20-40 feet in height for a total of about 100 feet. Brasstown Cascades, Veil,

and Sluice.

This was a short walk, but to see the top falls, you needed to cross the creek. There was a log that Paul tried walking across, but got about half way and realized it had ice and was getting slippery. He then tried to come back and…. you guessed it…. he fell in! It was icy and cold! I was so shocked and worried, I did not even think about taking a picture. Since he was on the other side, he went ahead up to the top falls. But I had the camera, so no picture of the top “cascade”! However, when he came back, he realized he had to cross again! So he just walked in and crossed!! So we got a blanket wrapped around him and put his pants and socks by the jeep heater to get dry, or at least warm!!!
11) Bull Sluice Falls on the Chattooga River, was more of a view of whitewater rather than an actual waterfall. We headed on a trail on the wrong side of the river first, so the 1/4 mile hike really turned out to be closer to a mile by the time we back tracked and found the right trail!!

It was still early enough to visit Foxfire, since we were in the northern part of the county, so we crossed over to Georgia. Foxfire Magazine was started in 1966 as an attempt to increase student interest in learning and English. Students interviewed “old timer” about the basic culture of the Southern Appalachian Mountains. In 1972 an anthology of the student written articles was gathered and published. Over 30 years, 11 more Foxfire Books have been published. The royalties from this series led to the purchase of land and funded the acquisition and construction of the 20+ log structures of the center.
The Savannah House is a 21X21 ft. 1820s house is the oldest authentic structure at the museum. It was relocated to Foxfire in 1975. Noteworthy were Wooden pegs and dovetailed poplar logs and locust sills. It was inhabited by four generations, three of which each had 10 children!

The church was the social center of the community.

The Moore House, a “dog-trot” house for the open passageway between the two rooms, keeping it cool in the summer.

Many artifacts displayed were given to the students as they interviewed and interacted with these community members. This is a Hog scalder.
The grist mill.

Housed in one of the buildings is the only documented wagon remaining known to have traveled to Oklahoma in the Trail of Tears.

Another wagon was commissioned from Judd Nelson, one of the last blacksmiths who really knew how to build wagons from beginning to end. It took three months to complete as students documented the entire process. The article remains the longest single article ever published by Foxfire! It was the last on Mr. Nelson ever built.
In addition to the buildings, split rail fencing, root cellar, and smokehouse were on display.

On Tuesday we headed north again to get another waterfall in.
12) Whitewater Falls on the Whitewater River begins in North Carolina and ending in South Carolina. These are the highest in eastern America.
A sign by the falls warned about not climbing on the slippery rocks, and indicated 95 people had died at the falls.

We had been listening to a radio station from the Highlands in North Carolina, so we decided to visit. Along the way, we were treated to a drive through a beautiful forest. The rhododendruns were again, breathtaking, along with the icicles.

A lot of the stores were closed for the winter, but a few that were open were high end and expensive. Colonel Mustard’s was a unigue food store, where they had hundreds of samples of salsas, jams, jellies and crackers. Above the town, Sunset Rock provided a fabulous view over the whole area.

Along the roadway, icicles were hanging along the rocks. It was beautiful!!

Wednesday, I had to get in two more falls!!
13) King Creek Falls… we ran out of time to hike this one when we took the Spoonauger Falls, which is close to this one. So we needed to go back to this 70 foot cascade. It was worth returning for.

14) Pigpen Falls. This was a short, easy, flat walk. We had lunch, but headed back really fast since we were freezing!!

On the way home we came across this little church….check out the outhouse in the back!:) It struck me that this is the social center of this community, with the covered picnic tables!

Since we wanted to relax on Friday before leaving on Saturday, Thursday was the last day for rubbernecking. We headed for Bob Jones University to see the Gallery and Museum would be open. The artwork had to be priceless. Included were works from Italian, French, Spanish, Dutch, English, German and Flemish from Gothic to Renaisance to Baroque, from 1400-19th century. One of the eye openers for us, was simply a manger from Bethlehem……not what we expected….it was a carved out rock!! Not the wooden one that is always portrayed!!

On the way we detoured to the MOST UNUSUAL MUSEUM OF THE TRIP!! This one wins! We took the two hour tour and went back in time. I am sorry to say, I have no pictures. Maybe it really was not real? I had read about an “Antiquers Haven Museum and
Shop” in one of the visitor guides: “The facility features the largest varied antique collection in the Southeast. A seven room house is furnished with 1690 to 1890 period pieces, clothing, toys, guns and fine china. In the Emporium, read an 1863 newspaper account of the attack on Ft. Sumter. Check out the medicines, fashionable jewelry and salesman samples. There is an 1887 barber shop with its bleeding bowl, a tavern with an 1800 bar and 1860 pool table and a dentist office with a foot-powered drill and folding chair for traveling. Twenty vintage automobiles date from 1904-1934.” Wow! This sounded like a very big place….we had to stop. GPS took us to a residential area. Thinking we had passed it, we turned around and we saw a home that almost looked abandoned with a long building on the side. a really faded sign said open, so we went through the gates. When I got out and started toward the door, a big signed warned me about the dog….. and then I heard 3 or 4!! An old gentleman came to the door, and of course all 4 big dogs come bounding out! All so friendly 🙂 Anyway, he got the dogs under control and into the house and I confirmed we were where we thought we wanted to be. He had us sit down in the patio area and lets talk a minute he says… He explained that he did not let just anyone into his museum. He sold the antiques in the store part last fall and if we were really interested in seeing what he had he would show us, otherwise we could leave. We could have him as a guide and he would tell us about things we were seeing, or we could go and look, he would be quiet, but he would follow us. We chose the former, and were delighted with the two hours we spent there. It was all of the above and more. The property was originally a schoolhouse. The house itself, he said, was just like the one he went to in upstate New York. The long building was a school with about six rooms, three on each side of a hall. It replaced a smaller schoolhouse when it burned. About a 100 foot section had been added the length of the building. The tour started with the automobiles: A 1904 Watson electric car that could go 35 mph;3 Nash; Ford model A; Ford Model T based customized pie wagon with an organ in it; one of three Cadillac limo model made; a Woodie that spent all but the last 20 years in Australia; three 3-wheelers; a Chevy touring car; a 2-wheeler (first motorcycle?); two Overland Willys (grandfather to the Jeep); and three Modelettes (I could handle one of them! 2-seater with driver behind passenger); and two Rolls Royces, one of which is his favorite. He drove it from New Jersey to Alaska and plans to be cremated and the box put under the seat. Both are rare models. I cannot remember all of the details of these vehicles, but it seemed to be an unusual collection in that all seemed to be almost a one of a kind or very rare. And if you gave him about a week, he would have all of them running! You could tell he was very attached and proud of each and every one. And each and every one had a story. Did you know the standard black color came in 1928 when Ford started mass producing? Prior to that, many colors were available, but took longer to dry. And these vehicles were all different colors! After the tour of the long building was complete, he took us into the house….it felt like walking into a museum then. It was amazing, the items they had: Ever hear of a Ukelin? cross between a ukele and a violin….literally; a framed “hair flower arrangement”, the largest of its kind, with a picture of a small child, whose hair it was from infancy to old lady; a pintype picture that is 5×7 where normally they are only about 1 or 2 inches square; rope bed; and a piano player. No, not a player piano. This attaches to any piano, but has the same concept of a roll. It was the same size as a piano, so it must have been bulky- looking when attached. We had the feeling he did not let every one into the house, either!

So now we have to absorb all we learned on this trip….a trip back through time!

South Carolina (Northwest Upcountry) Second Week

Monday of the second week in South Carolina found us in Anderson. We found a brochure for a road tour of the Anderson county, which we decided to follow.

Anderson, known as “The Electric City” for the first long distance electrical transmission line established in the South, was the beginning of the tour. In addition, the city history included textile, military and agriculture. A walking tour down “the Boulevard” brought us to Anderson University, established in 1911, as well as seeing all of the early 1900 mansions. The town has converted an old warehouse to an arts center. During the depression, Shiloh Baptist church hired unemployed to paint lines on the outside of the building to make it look like brick….and it really does look real! (sorry no picture!)

While traveling the back country, we passed through Starr, a small town built with the railroad and textile industries. More churches, one built in 1858 from clay taken from the creek by the church, had walls 23 inches thick and handhewn beams. Another historic church is Generostee Baptist Church. Founded in 1851, it was racially mixed until 1864 with the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation. It then became the voice of African American churches in the local area. It was several miles out in the country, but judging from the newer building, it probably had several hundred members!

Iva has the oldest Associate Reformed Presbyterian church in Anderson County and the second oldest in the Southeast. The original one burned in 1985 and was replaced. The cemetery adjoining the church has many graves dating to pre-Civil War days. We spent a considerable amount of time in the cemetery here, as it had so many interesting tombstones. One had four upright tombstones in a square, with a flat one in the middle….in memory of four sons who died in the war…burial places unknown. As a mother…. how could you bear that~!
Another was a woman who came from Ireland in 1790….Can you imagine the transportation at that time? She died at 90 years old after being a member and serving the church for 60 years! We counted 4 sets of twins that died in infancy. Iva also housed a typical South Carolina textile mill constructed in 1904, but fell victim of the decline in textile production in U.S. The Thomason-Bowie Outdoor Education Foundation has established a 788 acre farm as an agricultural-environmental laboratory so children can experience the outdoors. They are also in the process of building a huge recreation facility/fields across the street.

We headed back, to continue this car tour another day….

Tuesday we had another rainy day so headed for Duke Power Electric World. It was a very interesting exhibition on nuclear power at the nuclear power plant in the area.

Wednesday we picked up our auto tour on the east side of Anderson, in Belton. The Blue Ridge Railroad’s construction brought this area alive. It followed the first Indian trail and later a wagon trail. Here we visited the Ruth Drake Museum and SC Tennis Hall of Fame.

Williamston was known for its mineral springs and was a resort for the wealthy low country visitors in the 1850’s.

The Hotel burned but the mineral springs park is still there. The Grace United Methodist Church and the Presbyterian church are historical. The Presbyterian church founded in 1852, has been in the current building since 1856. Built on a corner, it originally faced one street, but was rolled on logs to face the other street. (We wondered why, but when we saw the back, it looked like it had been added onto, and facing the street it originally was facing, there would not have been room.)

Honea Path original was known as Honey Path in 1855, after the Honey Trail. During reconstruction an error listed the post office as Honea Path, which the postmaster
honored. by 1876, the name became Honea Path and was chartered in 1917 as Honea Path.
It is home to the site of former Chiquola Mills. This mill was involved in an infamous labor dispute in 1934 which left seven men dead and 30 other wounded. The dispute and deaths were kept secret for many years until the 1990s when most people involved were no longer living.

Thursday, we traveled to Pickens, located on the eastern edge of the Blue ridge Mountains. It was named for General Andrew Pickens, Revolutionary War hero. Here we visited the Pickens county Museum. Built in 1902, it housed the old jail.

Outside the town area we could see Glassy Mountain, which consists a good percentage of rock.

The Old Pickens Presbyterian Church dates back to 1851.

We were unable to go into most of the churches, including this one, but pews, pulpit and pine floor still exist. We toured the cemetery adjoining the church, again finding interesting tombstones. We saw Aunt Sue’s Country Corner advertised, so in honor of my sister Susan, we found Aunt Sue’s, but it was closed for remodeling:(

Hagood Mill is a folklife center and historic site which included a family farm exhibit, two relocated and restored log cabins, restored mill, restored cotton gin, moonshine display, and blacksmith shop.

The Hagwood mill operated commercially until 1966, then in 1973 it was donated to the county in 1973 to preserve the site. The third Saturday of each month, the mill operates, with music and living history as a fund raiser. It is one of the oldest known surviving gristmills still producing grain products in S.C.

Since the weather was nice, we took another water fall hike.
8) Twin Falls(or Eastatoe Falls) on the Reedy Cove Creek This was a relatively short 1/4 mile hike. It is 70 feet of bare granite with the waterfalls coming over in three (rather than two as I expected twin falls to be) places. However, with less water, it probably was not as wide as normal.

Friday we returned to Georgia to check out a couple of waterfalls. We missed some others, so we will need to plan another trip to this area!!
9) Toccoa Falls is located on the campus of Toccoa Falls Bible College. So we had the opportunity to check this campus out. It is small, compact campus. The walk to the 186 foot falls was only a few minutes.

At the falls there is a memorial to the 39 who died when the dam above the falls burst in 1977 in the late evening hours, causing a massive flood of the campus. While there we were talking to the manager of the gift store and found out that she and her husband (who teaches there) were good friends of one of Paul’s cousins! Small world in the Christian community. We went to the Toccoa Falls Missionary Alliance Church on the following Sunday (the 11th) and saw them, and they took us to dinner at Gate Cottage buffet restaurant on the campus, right by the creek below the falls. It was a beautiful setting! We found out this week that in the early morning after we were there, a kitchen fire took the entire building, which included the gift store. So we were one of the last to eat there!

10) Tallulah Falls One of the most spectacular canyons in the eastern U.S., Tallulah Gorge is two miles long and nearly 1,000 feet deep. It was a hike and a half! The length was not the problem… it was the stairs!!

what goes down usually must come up again, and this time it was true…over 1000 stairs!! We were ready for it, but it did take longer to come up than go down! And in between, there was a suspension bridge 80 feet above the gorge!!

Coming down the gorge like it did, it was more spread out than the other falls.

This iron tower was used in 1970, when tightrope walker Karl Wallenda walked across the gorge.

As if that were not enough for one day, we had to stop at Traveler’s Rest in between. This historic site was an 1815 stagecoach inn and plantation house.

The gentleman that enlarged the inn and owned it during its most used time was very wealthy. He seemed to be self-sufficient, as he oversaw the farming of fields, gristmill, sawmill, blacksmithy, tannery, toll bridge, post office, stable and several gold mines. He had as many as 100 slaves and some continued as share croppers after emancipation in 1865.

On Saturday, we visited Clemson University. On the way, we stopped to see the Old Stone Church.

This was one of the most interesting cemeteries we saw.
Buried here is Eliza Huger. According to a long told story, she moved to New Orleans. Even by the standards of that city, her actions were considered scandalous. The story tells that her brother shot her and her lover. Burial within the cemetery was allowed only on the condition that an enclosure be constructed around the site.

Osenappa, one of the earliest graves, was a Cherokee who died in 1794. He is the only Native American buried here.

It even had a resident ghost… he looked just like Benjamin Franklin! I tried to be discreet in taking the picture, so you can’t see him very good!

On Clemson campus were several buildings open to the public. Fort Hill plantation was John C. Calhoun’s home from 1825-1850.

His daughter, Anna Marie, married Thomas Clemson in 1838. Clemson’s early career was in mining and was interested in agriculture, and the movement to establish scientific and agricultural education as a national priority. They had four children, on died as an infant, one at 3 ears old, a daughter in childbirth and a son to an accident. Although they inherited it in 1866, the did not move to Fort Hill until 1872 following the death of their last two children. Following Anna’s death, Thomas stayed until his death in 1888. He bequeathed the Fort Hill plantation and about $80,000 (about one and a half million in today’s money) to the state of South Carolina for the establishment of a scientific and agricultural college. Apparently it is an ironclad irrevocable trust in his will. He set up the trust with half the trustees being lifelong. It stated Fort Hill “shall always be open for the inspection of visitors” as a museum. He left his European Art Collection to adorn the museum’s walls. There have been a few things trustees have wanted to change, and have not been able to. It was challenged by his only surviving granddaughter, to no avail. The most significant piece of furniture is the U.S.S. Constitution sideboard made of mahogany from the famous frigate Old Ironsides, a gift from Henry Clay.

One more week to blog about…. coming soon!

South Carolina (Northwest Upcountry) First Week

We decided to take off for three weeks after Christmas…just because we could! I thought South Carolina is close enough, approximately 6 hour drive to Thousand Trails Carolina Landing, and would be warm….not….

We found some places were closed for the winter, but thoroughly enjoyed what was available to us.

To enlarge the pictures, click on them; and be sure to click on the names of places that are underlined to connect you to internet for more details and pictures.

Even though we were parked in South Carolina, we traveled into the Northeast corner of Georgia as well. We were intrigued by the advertisements of a Bavarian town in Georgia.
Helen was about an hour away. It is a small town that was “remodeled” in the 70’s to appear like a village in the alps. In addition to the typical tourist shops, we found “Charlemagne’s Kingdom”, a model HO railroad exhibition. It was a really unique layout with a scale of the tallest mountain.
The owners, from Oldenburg, Germany, came to America in 1963. in the 1990’s they created their ‘Miniature Germany’, with accurate landscaped topography, bridges, autobahn, industrial and urban architecture, from the North sea to the Alps!

On the way back we stopped in a small town south of Helen, Nacoochee, and toured an antique store,

working gristmill,

Further along the road we came across a beautiful valley, (looked like pasture land) with a Cherokee Indian Mound in the middle. The center was the site of an ancient Cherokee town visited by De Soto in 1540.

Right across the road was a little Baptist church and cemetery, still being used today.

The former site of a trading post is 1/4 mile down the road A couple of miles off the highway we found an historic Stovall Mill covered bridge.
It is fun to imagine how things looked in the area a couple of hundred years ago.

The next day, the 30th, we visited Pendleton, S.C. This was an early settlement of Scotch-Irish settlers, mostly farmers, in 1790. They were soon joined by wealthy Lowcountry families who built summer homes. We were told they came up to the mountains to get away from the coast with hot, humid weather, and diseases like malaria. We checked out a couple of antique stores and a bakery, then identified several historical buildings on a 1 1/2 mile walking tour of the town. Included was St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, where John C. Calhoun and family, and the Clemson family was buried. We found that many of the small towns we visited had histories that were related in some way to these two families. We were fortunate to be able to tour Ashtabula, an 1828 two story Plantation House which normally is not open during this time of year. we were the only clients, and since no-one else came, our guide went into a lot of details, giving us a fantastic overview for 2 1/2 hours!!

There are over 30 waterfalls in South Carolina within a couple hours drive of where we were parked in Fairplay. We were able to hike to 14 of them!! I found this website that lists waterfalls, including those that we saw. Check it out! His pictures show a lot more water than when we saw them. Keep in mind as you view my pictures that this is after two years of drought.
Our first hikes to waterfalls were on New Years Eve! It was really cold, in the 20’s, but we decided we would stay warm while walking! The combined length of our first three hikes was 5 miles…..good for the old legs!!
1) The Riley Moore Falls on the Chauga River was once the site of a gristmill. It measures 12 feet high, 100 feet wide.
2) Isaqueena Falls on the Cane Creek. This was a short walk, named for an Indian maiden who hid on a ledge to avoid capture as she fled to warn her English lover of an Indian attach.

Close to this falls is stumphouse tunnel (click on history to the left when going to this sight). This tunnel was to complete a railroad system from Charleston, South Carolina to Cincinnati, Ohio after the Civil War. After running out of money it was abandoned.

3) The Yellow Branch Falls on the Yellow Branch river is a 60 foot cascade. The hike took us through a beautiful Rhododendron forest.

On Jan. 1, we continued our exploration of the falls. The flow of these two warranted several pictures!
4) Blue Hole Falls on Cedar Creek, 75 foot down a narrow gap into a blue hole… A 30 minute hike, which we figure is 1 1/2 miles, this took some crawling along rocks to get the best view!!

Good thing we have been exercising, so we were limber enough!

5) Chauga Narrows on the Chauga River, another 30 minute hike, 25 ft. high

The Rhododendrons were practically overgrowing the pathway!

It s hard to describe how big the trunks were!

6) Spoonauger Falls, on Spoonauger Creek, a 50 foot fall was only 20 minutes from parking, but after 45 minutes we figured we had missed it….. so we double backed and found the path we missed.

The following day it was rainy, so we visited another small town in the area, Seneca. It was probably the closest good-sized town (the one we took the jeep to when we had trouble starting it…and had the starter replaced… didn’t want to get stranded in one of the remote areas we were exploring!) The historic area was Ram Cat Alley, a couple of blocks of stores and restaurants. Since it was Paul’s birthday, we went out to lunch at Circa 1930, (on internet site, scroll down for pictures) a restaurant located within an antique store. Ecclectic with white linen table clothes, antique furnishings, They had great food and service! And low and behold, I do not make the best pecan pie anymore….they do. It was REALLY GOOD! We went back a week later, just to have the pie again! So I am looking at other pecan pie recipes and going to try them to see if I can make the best again! After all, we are now in the south!

Since it was still rainy, we decided to go to Greenville. We explored the downtown area a bit, which included the
7)Reedy River Falls, the site of the original 1776 settlement in Greenville.

A great park has been built around it.

We drove through the campus of Bob Jones University, but their gallery and museum was still closed for the Christmas Holiday, so we visited it later in our vacation. The Upcountry Museum in Greenville was open and we spent some time there, viewing the unique displays showing the history of the area. We also visited the Confederate War Museum, which was housed in an old house. This museum is sponsored by 16th volunteers, sons of confederate soldiers. It was a very informative hour long personal tour which included artifacts, guns, uniforms, pictures, books. The history of the evolving South Carolina flag was interesting; in the beginning, the flag could be any color. Although it is now indigo, the Citadel still flies the red flag because that was the color the flag was when the first and last shots of the war between the states were fired.

Sunday, after visiting a Christian Missionary Alliance Church in Walhalla, we took a break and just read and relaxed! End of first week!! I’m working on the other two weeks…..
(I took 448 pictures!!)


Well, the holidays are over, and I hope all of you had a great Christmas and Happy New Year. I know we did! It took us (Paul did most of it this year) over a week to decorate inside the house, then Paul decided to put 4000 lights up outside around the roof line! Of course, when he did, the highest peak was higher than the ladder. He came in and said he needed my help…after putting the ladder on the back of the jeep, I was to hold it so he would not fall. I wondered out loud what I would do if it did fall; because, I do not think I could stop it once it started !!!! He told me to call 911….very reassuring.

Since I am trying to focus my blog about our travel and adventures, y’all need to check out Karyn’s and Alicia’s blogs for family happenings and latest pictures of the grandkids! We do have the sweetest grandkids…..

Two days after Christmas, we took off and spent three weeks in the “upcountry” (northwest corner) of South Carolina. What a beautiful area….and it is winter. I bet fall and spring are just fabulous with color. Our computer crashed (literally, it will not boot up at all!) so I could not blog as we did things, but I will be using Nate’s computer to blog over a few days, now that we are home. It was cold, but we did something every day!! Lots of hikes, museums, art galleries, antique shops, and even a few university campuses….no, we are not planning on returning to college at our age….just curiosity…and some of the museums/galleries were located on campuses.
So, revisit for details and pictures!