I took these pictures and wrote this post last summer, but was never satisfied with my text. Tonight, as a curfew has been imposed by our county and there is unrest all around us, it seems appropriate to remember these leaders.
The Williamsburg County Courthouse in Kingstree, SC was built on a Revolutionary War era parade ground. In addition to the courthouse, which was built in 1823, and various war memorials, there are monuments commemorating Justice Thurgood Marshall and Dr. Martin Luther King.
A civil rights attorney, Thurgood Marshall succeeded in having the US Supreme Court declare segregated public schools unconstitutional in Brown v. Board of Education (1954) and in 1967 became the first black Justice on that Court.
“I did the best I could with what I had.”
Dr. Martin Luther King spoke locally on Mother’s Day, 1966, advocating the power of voting.
“Unless we learn to live together as brothers Surely we will die apart as fools.”
At one time a wide lawn leading up to the Ashley River side of Magnolia Plantation would have been the welcome to visitors who had journeyed via boat from Charleston. Now that expanse has narrowed with trees and there is no clear view of the whole house from the river bank.
I was ready for wildlife photography with my 100-400 MM lens attached, but the impending storm made a cool sky so I took some images between the trees at 100 MM.
If you are zooming in to see the weather vane details you’ll see spots. At first I thought my lens might be dirty but after comparing the images I’m pretty sure those are rain drops.
South Carolina is dotted with ruins of churches and other historical buildings. Fire, at the hands of an enemy during war or by accident, was a common culprit. Sometimes they were ravaged to use building materials elsewhere.
Old Sheldon Church Ruins
The Old Sheldon Church in Beaufort County was originally built around 1750.
The owners of the property have recently added a fence to keep visitors out of the ruin for safety purposes and hopefully from taking souvenirs. Oddly, to me, this has become a popular spot for wedding and other portrait photographs.
The giant Live Oaks surrounding the property lend to the feeling of times gone by.
The Blue Ridge Railroad was hoping to bore through Stumphouse Mountain for a line extending from Anderson, South Carolina to Knoxville, Tennesee. Started in the early 1850s, 1,500 Irish miners cut through blue granite with hand drills, hammers and chisels, and black powder in this and two nearby tunnels. Their efforts came to an end in 1859 when no more funding could be procured to complete the work and subsequent efforts to restart the rail project over the next several decades failed.
Even though the ceiling was quite high, 20 or 25 feet ( 6 or 7 meters) right here, I’m not a fan of underground spaces and stayed pretty close to the entrance. Ted was a bit more adventurous. You can go further, but would want better shoes and light, be prepared for bats, and have water protection for your camera.
There was less green growth on the walls just a short distance from the entrance. Two streams of water a few inches deep flowed on either side of the floor and water dripped from the ceiling. The cool air flowing out of the tunnel was welcome on this hot day.
Stumphouse Tunnel is managed by the City of Walhalla, SC as part of a recreation area.
The Cross Keys Plantation wasn’t on our list of potential stops on our recent mid-state driving tour. However, we made a quick u-turn to check out this unexpected sight.
The property is owned by the Union County Museum but wasn’t open so I only took images from the road. The white plaque at the gable peak has the build date of 1812 along with two crossed skeleton keys.
The other end of the house has just one chimney, partly hidden by a tree.
The intricate brick work is fascinating, especially in the chimney.
The bricks varied in colors and the top several rows on the front of the house appear to be of a different era.
The plantation home is the centerpiece of Rose Hill Plantation State Historic Site in Union, SC. Four Magnolia trees thought to be over 200 years old screen the front of the building from the road. This is in contrast to many of the southern plantations that had tree-lined entrances designed to impress leading to the homes.
The ornamental front gate opens into a formal boxwood garden.
Once through the gate a visitor would be wowed by the porches and size of the home. The portico on the right side of the home was probably the more likely entry point for a visitor arriving by carriage.
At its peak in the 1860s the plantation covered over 5000 acres with corn and cotton as the primary crops and about 180 enslaved individuals.
There certainly is a lot of symmetry going on, if not a front to back mirror image. I regret not taking the inside tour.
From the SC State Park website:
Gist family members lived in the mansion from about 1811 to 1889. It remained untouched during the Civil War as there were no battles, retreating armies, military quarters or skirmishes in the area. From the 1890s to the 1930s, the mansion deteriorated significantly. In the 1940s, it was purchased and restored by Clyde Franks, who sold it to the state in 1960.
This State Historic Site interprets the family life and political legacy of William Henry Gist, often called South Carolina’s “Secession Governor,” serving from 1858-1860. With its mix of Georgian and Greek Revival architectural styles, the former family mansion stands as a fine example of an antebellum home.
Cedar Shoals Creek drops down this small rock falls just before it runs into the Enoree River at the site of South Carolina’s Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Site.
It has been abnormally dry in this region of the state so there were limited splash options to photograph, on the other hand more of the textured rock was visible than there would be with a big flow. And I was able to get different angles without getting my feet wet!
As falls go this one is quite modest, but as I’ve been living in the SC Low Country that is just above sea level for three years any elevation is something to see.