Monday, November 24, 2014

A Short Visit to Pickens, South Carolina

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When my big city born-and-bred wife saw these photos of Pickens, South Carolina, she said, “Now, that’s a typical Southern town! The way we want them to be.”
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I had to agree. Look at this East Main Street view. It’s not often we get to see real mountains from right downtown!
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And here’s Legacy Square on the corner of East Main and Lewis Streets. A popular gathering place. If you click the photo above you’ll have a better view of the fancy fountain and masonry wall built in 1993. The project was funded, according to this informative article, by the sale of the commemorative bricks you see in the wall.
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A crew of workmen was renovating the County Court House when I walked by. Click the photo above for a better view. Or, maybe their efforts were directed only to the area in front of the Court House. They looked busy, so I didn’t cross the street to ask questions. Next time.
Pickens is another of those South Carolina towns determined to be beneficiaries rather than victims of their history. With a population today of only around 3,000 it doesn’t seem possible they could accomplish so much. But seeing is believing. The third novel in my Dr. Ray Raether and Samantha RV travel mystery series is set several miles north of here. A good excuse to come back. Research, doncha know.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Return Visit to Hagood Mill Historic Site, Pickens, South Carolina

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Last post I mentioned there’s more to see at the Pickens County Historical Society’s Hagood Mill site. Well, yesterday afternoon I went back for another look. And to enjoy that drive North on Route 178 one more time.

That’s the Hagood Mill Site stage you see above. Plenty of good music played there. An essential component of the Mill’s programming.

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The two log cabins alone are well worth the visit. Both have been relocated here from their original sites. The Murphree-Hollingsworth cabin on the right was built in the early 1790s, one of the earliest structures in this part of the country. The Hagood cabin on the left was build a bit later, in the early 1800s, and has been moved three times. Durable construction! Each cabin has a story to tell.

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I was hoping to see the petroglyph exhibit this visit, but it isn’t ready yet. Click here for information about the project.

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There’s much more to see here. The Mill alone requires hours of study. Here’s a short video of the wooden water wheel.

Should the video above fail to play in your browser, click here to access the YouTube version directly.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Hagood Mill Historic Site, Pickens, South Carolina

Driving around Pickens County yesterday, gathering background material for the third novel in the Ray Raether and Samantha RV Travel Mystery series, I came across the Hagood Mill Historic Site, just three miles north of the Town of Pickens. Don't know why I haven't been here before.
Prominent Pickens citizen James E. Hagood bought this property in 1825, and rebuilt this mill twenty years later. The wheel you see here is all wood, and operational. In fact, the Pickens Historical Society still grinds corn here one day a month.
There's much more here to see than the mill. The Historical Society volunteers provide all sorts of demonstrations. Even music! Click the link below for their Facebook page. More photos and news of upcoming events.
 https://m.facebook.com/HagoodMill?_rdr

And here for their newly designed website.

Pickens County Historical Society




When you visit be sure to take time to see this collection of millstones. Remarkable.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Saddlers Creek State Natural Area Day 2

Saddlers Creek State Natural Area yesterday was at its peak. The combination of autumn leaf color, beautifully maintained grounds and trails, and weather in the sunny low 70s, was irresistible. I had to spend most of the day roaming the Park. Watch your speed here. The roads are fine. But the deer are plentiful. They cross the roads when the mood strikes them.

Park Office and Recreation Area

Be sure not to miss the Park office and recreation area. Something here for everyone, plus a grand view of the Lake. This building is one of the best venues in the whole Park system for anything from a family reunion to a corporate strategy meeting. Folks even hold weddings here.

Take a closer look at that photo. Yup, a wood paneled restroom! And that's the real thing, not big-box-store paneling. Only at Saddlers Creek! Bath houses and restrooms throughout this Park, by the way, are spotless. Don't know how they do it.

Back to the campsite for a late lunch after hours of wandering through this beautiful lakeside Park. Be sure to bring plenty of food when you visit since you won't want to take time out to go to the store.

The sun goes down early at this time of year. Good time to walk down to the lake shore.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Saddlers Creek State Natural Area, South Carolina

Campsite # 31

This is campsite # 31 at Sadlers Creek State Natural Area on the South Carolinia side of Lake Hartwell. Just about ideal. Beautifully leveled and maintained. I was able to get a few days of RV camping in while the leaves still have some color.

This is the view from this site. Lake Hartwell is down a bit now, but it's still beautiful. Saddlers Creek has to be included in the list of the best parks in the South Carolina system.

I'm using the Blogaway Pro app for the first time, posting directly from the smartphone. Hope it works. If it does it will save a lot of time.