The recent From the Porch post, on struggling Carolina cities, was received with overwhelming response! It seems everyone thinks there must be a solution and one politician responded, that he too was certainly aware of the situation and felt just as strongly. So, change is inevitable but it seems every day, local values and traditions, are being rewritten or at least accosted. Just this week I heard something about a group wanting some new dance, the wiggle or wobble to replace the Carolina shag as the official state dance. What will be next, replace the Palmetto tree or the Boykin Spaniel? Why replace something that has been so traditional to S.C.’s culture, so economically successful, a positive stamp on S.C., and socially in-twinned in the state? Learn to shag and you too will find out just how much fun you can have on the dance floor, besides what on earth is the Wiggle or Wobble?
Carolina Exploration is so much fun and I had a blast this month, when I traveled across rural Abbeville and Anderson Counties, to photograph some of their turn of the century farming communities. Two of particular interest: Lowndesville and Townville featured great photographic opportunities, many of which have been added to the pages of R&R. I had never been to either rural community, they are not on the modern travel maps as a hot spots of activity. So, in both cases, the changes in economics have stifled these two charming towns and their aspirations for major economic prosperity.
Townville in far western Anderson County is a agricultural area, full of rolling hills, scenic vistas, and local history that has not been destroyed but to some degree, preserved as alternative housing and misc. uses. The two large brick store buildings in Townville are each charming reminders of just how rural the community was a hundred years ago. At that time, it had numerous stores, four of which are still standing. Townville retains a certain aspect of rural American character that is appealing, if I was a young man, I might like to buy there and have a rural retreat. On the other-hand, Lowndesville in Abbeville County shows major economic decline, having once boasted of a lovely bank building, a hotel, several small stores and beautiful homes and churches. Parts of the community are well maintained and clearly individuals are working to save the community as a viable center of community life. Unfortunately, it also appears a number of the houses are in disrepair and slowly declining. It could be one of the more charming small towns in rural Abbeville, somewhat kin to McCormick’s Mount Carmel. I think R&R.com will perhaps work on a driving tour between some of these rural hamlets, connecting us to the late 19th and early 20th century. Perhaps a R&R.com rural route Jaunt from Westminster to McCormick? I expect few of you have ever traveled this area, one full of surprising architecture and history.
YOU ARE INVITED
TBHH.info was launched officially in Fort Mill, S.C., this past Wednesday evening. If you are not familiar with the tour program, one designed for cities and routes, you should! Fort Mill’s museum director, in conjunction with the Chamber of Commerce, as well as other city leaders has worked to bring a beautifully constructed mobile history tour to downtown Fort Mill. The launch party, at Southern Sugar Restaurant, 100 Main Street, attracted a large crowd of enthusiastic participants to learn more about using the mobile application, TBHH.info, to enjoy local heritage. We are fortunate Fort Mill’s Museum community and Chamber worked with R&R.com in successfully creating the first tour program, a tremendous success story. One that can easily be duplicated in your city.