31 August 2008

Me like

Just wanted to say, like this a lot, big fan. We should keep it up. Although I think a lot of this is due to my wife linking here on her blog. So yeah, tell a friend. If you want.

Backwoods humor

Ok, so here we have a random grouping of things that didn't really fit on any other posts, so... We begin with this lovely local phenomenon. Maybe telephone poles grom better if you elevate them? Maybe they get better reception? Maybe someone was clearing the land and was too %&^*ing lazy to lower the poles when they did?
What is it about this sign...?

Uh huh.....

Ohhhhhh...yeah... Remind me not to vote for that hospital.
I believe that is the "Blue Ridge Railroad Trail", but who can be sure around here? (Brrrrrrr......)
Ummmmmm.... K.
And on a more serious note, here is the Civil War memorial in Wahalla, where we got gas.

27 August 2008

Don't go chasing waterfalls

Ok, so after leaving the Old Stone Church, we turned to a list we got of local waterfalls. Intrigued by the possibility, we set off. By the end, emotions ran as seen above.
Our first contestant was this guy, Chau Ram falls, in a county park by the same name. Remeber that whole thing about low water levels? Yeah.....
So.... for the next waterall we wound up turning onto a very backwoods, very boonies, very.... just.... not where we wanted to be road. We're almost surprised the car didn't break.
So here's the dilema. The yellow line is 76, the main highway we were on, going northwest. The directions said turn right on Cobb Bridge Road, the blue line. We did this, after 2 miles we were supposed to find a dirt road on the left called Spy Rock (I'm not making this up.) When we didn't find it, we decided to go another couple miles to see if the milage was off. After 5 miles, we found the road, on the RIGHT side. I'm not sure what posessed us to continue at this point, but we did, and turned right onto Spy Rock road. Now we assumed that the directions and the milages were completly off, but they said to look for another dirt road that didn't even have a name, just a number, it was something like 708C. We drove down this dirt road from Hell for around an hour, stopping every mile or so for another dirt road. They weren't labeled well and usually required stopping the car to check the sign. 708B, 708H, 708T, 708M....... Do I need to mention we never found 708C? Now the confusing part. We finally came out onto a paved road. Highway 76... again.... See the green arrow above? explain how we wound up there??? After turning right, then right again, and never crossing any of the roads!!!!
SRSLY.... Never again

the Fighting Elder

Ok, so this post focuses on a man named Andrew Pickens, seen in the portrait above at the Calhoun house. While a name seemingly lost to history, his role in the Revolution and settlement of the South Carolina frontier certainly is not. Born in Pennsylvania in 1739, his family moved to the Waxhaws region, where later Andrew Jackson and James Polk would be from, in 1752. He fought in the Cherokee War, an extension of the French and Indian War, from 1760-61. In 1764 he bought land near the Seneca River and the Georgia border, and established Hopewell plantation. When the Revolution began, he was made a Captain of Militia, and eventually rose to Brigadier General. He led the militia in several important battles such as Kettle Creek in Georgia, which all but ended loyalist support in that state, the Siege of Augusta, the Siege of 96, and Eutaw Springs. But perhaps his greatest legacy was the militia's part in the overwhelming victory at Cowpens. Following the war, was a leader in negotiations with the Native Americans, signing the Hopewell Treaties near his plantation, as well as others, including the treaty at Coleraine, GA. He was also active in politics including House of Representatives 1781-94 and 1800-12, US House of Representatives 1893-95, the Georgia-South Carolina Boundary Commision, State Constitutional Convention, and the Third US Congress.
Pickens was also active in the church, leading to his men calling him "the Fighting Elder." The Old Stone Church, seen above, was built in 1802, with Pickens as one of the founding members. It is located just a few short miles south of Clemson. The guide at the Calhoun House also said that Clemson now also owns Picken's Hopewell Plantation, and is planning to restore it as well for the public. So if you need a nice historic charity to give to...

Andrew Pickens is buried next to his wife Rebecca in the Old Stone Church Cemetery.
The cemetery has some other interesting people in it, but there was a funeral happening and we (she) didn't want to be rude. Pickens was the one I was most interested in anyway.
Interior of the church, taken throught the window.

In the garden

Ok, so after leaving the Calhoun house we were driving down the street when the wife yelled "train!" So we parked the car and discovered the Clemson Botanical Gardens.

The said train that the wife saw, placed in the garden by the class of '39.

Go... Tigers?

Ok, so after our first night of camping, we set off on our adventures and our first stop was the John C. Calhoun house at Clemson University. Calhoun was educated at Yale and a Connecticut law school during the time period when the northern states were contemplating leaving the Union. This led to his strong belief in State's Rights, Nullification, and the legallity of secession. His political career was one of the most colorful including Congress 1811-1817, Secretary of War 1817-1825, Vice President 1825-1832, Senator 1832-1843 and 1845-1850, and Secretary of State 1844-1845. In 1832 he and other Southern politicians protested the national tariff as only protecting the interests of Northern manufacturers. He threatened that South Carolina would secede over the issue, and only President Andrew Jackson's threat of invasion prevented it from occuring. This did not, however, quiet Calhoun who then turned the question to slavery, demanding that the Northern states never interfere with the institution. While he died in 1850, well before the Civil War began, he is often credited with being one of the South's greatest heros, and one of the founders of what would become the Confederacy. Although he is buried in Charleston, this home, known at the time as Fort Hill Plantation was where he lived from 1825-1850. *CHB*

Clemson University, home of the Tigers (very original). In the distance is part of the stadium known as Death Valley. Supposedly this name came from Presbyterian coach, Lonnie McMillan whose team continued to get beaten in the stadium, leading him to say "it was like Death Valley."

US, South Carolina, and Clemson flags
Portrait of John C. Calhoun. Take note, a house museum that lets you take pictures inside!!!!! Many bonus points!!!! *CHB*
An artists depiction of the Fort Hill plantation. The house itself was originally built in 1803 for Dr James McElhenny who named it Clergy Hall. Calhoun and his wife Floride bought it in 1825, enlarged it, and renamed it Fort Hill for Fort Rutledge, a nearby fort built in 1776.
A portrait of the US Senate. Calhoun is directly under the second column from the right.
When Calhoun died in 1850, the house went through a series of legal procedings before falling under the ownership of his daughter Anna Marie, wife of Thomas Green Clemson. Clemson was a scientist, mining engineer, diplomat to Belgium, and founder of Clemson University. In his will, he specified that the house be opened to the public as a museum. All of the furniture and objects in the house belonged to, were made by, or were given to either the Calhoun or Clemson families, and most of the portraits are of family members. The tour guide when we went knew the stories behind many of the pieces, and I will try to relate as many as I can remember. Seen above is the main bedroom, with the nursery through the far doorway.
If you look closely, you can se one of the house's eccentricities. Note how the top of the doorway slants to the left, and the far doorway slants to the right. This is seen throughout the house, and the guide said that it is not due to the houses age, but she wasn't sure why it was this way.
The dining area, with Floride's bridal portrait over the fire place. *CHB*
This piece was given to the Calhouns by a foreign ruler. I don't remember which one, but probably King Leopold. *CHB*

the living room. The couch belonged to George Washington and is one of very few surviving pieces like it.

The faces on this chair are carved after King Leopold *CHB*
The upstairs bedrooms

An old trunk and washbasin in a side storage room
Awards given to the Calhouns by King Leopold
personal artifacts of the Calhouns and Clemsons

The interior of the separate kitchen building *CHB*