Monday, June 7, 2010

Kings Mountain State Park, South Carolina. Part III. A Look Around the Park.

Click here for the first post in this series.

Up early this morning. Another beautiful day. The forest sloping down the ravine on the right-hand side of the Aliner was quite a sight as the trees filled with sunlight from their tops down. The birds seemed to agree. I didn’t see or hear any deer. But they must pass through.

office 1 After writing and editing photos for a while on the computer, I couldn’t resist returning to have a closer look at the Park Office building. According to a plaque near the front door, it was built around 1770. Making it 240 years old.

Here’s a short video that provides a closer look at this remarkable building. No wonder the Department of the Interior designated it as a historic site! Click the video window once to play it here. Click again to open the same video in the YouTube site, where you can view it full-screen, if you wish.

After the Park Office I drove the short distance to Kings Mountain’s Living History Farm. The Farm is open for self-guided tours every day. Touring the farm does require some walking. But it’s all over smooth lawn-like grass or well-maintained paths. So this facility is quite accessible.

farm privyI was able to walk around at will. The only non-resident on the property! There’s lots to see here, and I hope to learn more about the various buildings and facilities.

The building you see above is near the entrance to the farm. It’s historic in that it was constructed by the CCC. It’s the Farm’s restroom, or “privy,” as they’ve labeled it. I haven’t heard that term in years!

outdoor kitchen Here’s an outdoor kitchen. Complete with oven, hearth and large cast iron pots toward the back. Pots like that were valuable family possessions.

Notice the benches around the sides of the kitchen area. It looks as though this is one of the areas used to provide demonstrations of 19th century farm life to visitors. Kings Mountain and this Living History Farm host quite a number of such events throughout the year. I’ll bet plenty of visiting school groups have put those benches to good use over the years.

building 1 I’m not sure exactly what this building is for. But it’s a sturdy enclosure. Either to keep critters out or critters in, I’d bet.

house back Here’s a view of the “Homeplace” from the rear. This farm’s main house. It’s bigger than it looks. It must have been built by a fairly prosperous “yeoman.” Since there’s so much to tell about I’ve inserted a short video that hopefully will give more detail.

weaving shed front Not far from the house is a weaving shed. Complete with a working loom. A loom said to have been abandoned in a stage coach office. Seems odd. It must have been a valuable piece of equipment. Fortunately, the shed was open today, so I went in and took a few photos.

Here, a short walk from the weaving shed, is where the farm’s woodworking would have been done. Note the brightly colored full-time resident just to the right of the shed. He seems to own the place.

woodworking shop front This shed is full of the sorts of old woodworking tools that I remember finding as a child in old barns and work sheds. All of these appear to be the genuine article. Have a look through the shed in this quick video.

There’s much more to see here than I have time to describe today. The crops, the cattle, the sorghum press and boiling kettles. And, as important, the garden. You really should plan a visit to Kings Mountain State Park. A visit to this Living History Farm alone would make it worth the visit. And, of course, there’s much more.

I’ll include another short video in order to provide more of the photos and commentary in a shorter space.

So there you have it. A wonderful resource at this State Park. Unique in the State Park System, I believe.

Next we’re going to leave the State Park proper to visit Kings Mountain National Military Park. It’s just down the road a piece. So stay tuned!

Click here for the next post in this series.

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