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!

2 thoughts on “South Carolina (Northwest Upcountry) Second Week”

  1. Wow very well put together lots of history.My wife and i are moving to Marette soon and will be looking for these sites.

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