Thursday, December 22, 2011

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, Near Clinton, South Carolina

Table of Contents for This Series

The I-26 four-lane SuperHighway is one of the most heavily traveled in South Carolina. Can’t say I enjoy it, but I’ve been up and down it hundreds of times, on the way to and from destinations in the western part of the State.

Musgrove Mill Map ToThe past decade or so, a respectable-looking roadside sign near the I-385 turn-off toward Greenville has advertised “Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.” Looked interesting. Last month I finally found time for a visit. “Visit” indeed. I ended up making three trips from Columbia in as many days. Now, that’s a lot of extra miles on my elderly Town Car. But well worth it.

Next time you’re in the area and have some extra time, turn off and follow the signs for about six miles along Highway 56. It will take you through pretty, rolling farm country, just west of the Sumter National Forest. A treat in itself.

If it’s near lunchtime when you visit, stop at that big filling station on the corner to pick up a Subway sandwich and drink. I know; I know. But the sandwiches there are really good! Maybe even one or two of those tempting macadamia nut cookies ….. Then, fortified with two – or maybe three – of the four major food groups, on to Musgrove Mill!

The State acquired 360 or so acres of this important Revolutionary War battlefield site back in the mid-1970s. But tight Park System budgets seem to have delayed its opening until May of 2003. Now, we can all visit and enjoy.

As at most State Historic Sites, it’s best to stop first at the Visitor’s Center for orientation before tramping around. Musgrove Mill maintains a good one. The building you see above was designed, to the extent possible, to resemble the original house located here. At least from the outside.

You’ll find several inviting rocking chairs on the wrap-around porch, and even a picnic table.

So go around back and eat that Subway sandwich while looking out over some beautiful woods. Now, woods scenes like the one you’ll see don’t just happen. They require a LOT of work. I don’t know how many people it takes to maintain this Park, but it must be quite a few!

After lunch, take some time to look through the exhibits inside the Center. Space is limited, but the exhibit planners have made good use of every square inch.

The combination of text and artifacts on the wall displays is especially interesting. Here’s just one example.

And here’s another. We may take displays like this for granted, not recognizing the challenges confronting those responsible for telling the story of an important historical site like this in such a small space.

Anyway, time spent here will enrich your experience as you visit other sites within the Park.

We’ll consider the importance of the Battle of Musgrove Mill for the course of the Revolutionary War in the next post.

But briefly, this battle demonstrated that Patriot troops using irregular tactics could best highly trained and equipped Loyalist troops. A point with significance for both sides as that nightmarish War ground on in the South. More on all this later.

musgrove map.pdfLike most South Carolina State Historic Sites, there’s something for pretty much everyone here. Picnic shelters, trails for hiking, informational signage, even a pond for fishing.

But look at that map! The Enoree River divides the Park into two sections. This means Park personnel must drive several miles along Highway 56 to get from one section to the other. Talk about a maintenance and management nightmare!

 

 

A substantial bridge once crossed the River here. But it was washed out long ago during one of the Enoree River’s periodic fits of irascibility. More on this beautiful River too in a subsequent post.

Much more to say about South Carolina’s Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, but we’re out of time. Stay tuned for more posts to come!

Oh, something else. A long-time CarolinaConsidered reader suggested that I add a feature that allows those interested to sign up for e-mail notification whenever a new article is posted to the site. So I have! Look in the upper right-hand corner of this page for the link. All free, of course.

Click here to view the next post in this series.

2 comments:

  1. Very informative and interesting! Enjoyed it very much. Look forward to the future blogs.

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  2. Good website! I really love how it is easy on my eyes and the data are well wrisbobet
    +tten. I’m wondering how I could be notified when a new post has been made. I hsbo ave subscribed to your RSS which must do the trick! Have a great day!

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