Sunday, October 12, 2014
Houston had stayed overnight after our Ghost Tour of Woodburn Plantation the night before. He had Monday off, and since Laura was out of town, Glynda and I decided to head down to Athens with him for a road trip. Of course, this would be one of our typical rambling road trips, full of history and interesting sights.
…and, of course, we couldn’t really take interstates. We headed down Augusta Road, then cut through Belton, Antreville, and the town of Iva. Just out from Iva we spotted a sign for one of my ghost towns.
We continued across Lake Russell into Georgia, then drove on into Elberton for lunch. From there we drove on and hit a lot of spots.
After a bit of zig-zagging we found ourselves on War Hill Road and the location of Battle of Kettle Creek. A group of British Loyalists had been pillaging the area, and were encamped along the creek. A group of Patriots under the command of Colonel Andrew Pickens and Lieutenant Colonel Elijah Clarke attempted a sneak attack, which turned into a skirmish. The Patriots defeated a much larger force of Loyalists under the command of John Boyd.
Pickens took 75 prisoners. Of those, only about 20 survived the wounds they received in the battle. These were taken to the Star Fort in Ninety-Six. All were tried for treason, and five were sentenced and executed by hanging. One of those five was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather Samuel Campbell Clegg, who was an ensign on the Loyalist side. Needless to say, I had a good bit of interest in the location.
There was a small cemetery. If these were graves, rather than just memorials, then those buried here returned to be interred.
There was a tall obelisk, as well as a slab recognizing Patriots. I couldn’t help but notice that gggggreat Grandad’s name wasn’t on it. The victors not only write the history, but also put up the monuments.
From the Revolutionary War we fast forward to the Civil War…
This past summer while driving to Newberry Houston passed through Philomath and stopped at the historic church. One of the neighbors came out, and was gracious enough to give him a tour of the church, as well as lots of history. Mr. Nash was not available this time, we he still wanted to take us to the location.
Philomath, whose name means “love of learning” got its name because of Reids Academy, a boys school that was well-known at the time. It’s claim to fame is that this was the where the Confederacy was dissolved. Jefferson Davis separated from his cabinet and remained in nearby Washington, Georgia, but the rest of his cabinet met at the home of Captain John J. Daniel in Philomath.
The community is on Highway 22, and the road is lined with historic homes. There was one extant store, and one home had very interesting cedar posts for columns.
When we got to Philomath Presbyterian we pulled in.
Apparently this was a church that was also frequented by Woodrow Wilson. Even though we didn’t have the services of Mr. Nash, and the doors were locked, I managed to get a few interior shots with the GoPro.
We walked around to the back. As one might imagine, the cemetery had some historic headstones. The name “Nash” was prominent, so it looked like Houston’s previous guide had some history with the church himself.
We left the church and set off zig-zagging across the country. Our route eventually took us to the town of Woodville.
Woodville and Environs
When we entered the town there were two buildings with historic markers. One was a church, and the other a school. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the markers in HMDB.
There was a small row of stores, and quite a few old homes.
Just south of town we glanced over and spotted a fire tower. We had to check it out.
Houston had my DeLorme Atlas of Georgia, and spotted a community with a weird name nearby. We decided we had to check out Temperance Bell.
We found an intersection of two roads and a farm. On one corner was a building that looked like a church or school. There was a cemetery next door, so our first thoughts were that it was a church. Turns out, according to GNIS, it was the Temperance Bell School, and the cemetery next door was a private family cemetery – Bowles-Durham Cemetery. Just goes to show that initial impressions can be deceiving.
I just wish I could have found out more information about how the community got its name. When I did a search all I got was location spam.
Our last stop of the day was a place with a decidedly non-Confederate name. Union Point wasn’t named for the northern army, but because it was at the junction, or union, of two railroads. The highway runs behind the town, which faces the railroad. There were several interesting store fronts along Main Street. Some of these looked like they might have viable businesses, others looked quite empty. Nothing was open this Sunday night when we dropped by.
Across the railroad were some steps leading up to a large building that looks like it might have been a hotel. There was an estate next door that was for sale.
We drove through some of the neighborhoods. We came to a place there was a collection of old schools of various ages, right in a row. There was an old wooden building, a later brick building of classic design, and a low flat building similar to an Equalization School.
From Union Point we headed back up to Athens where we spent the night at Houston’s new house. We had to get rested up for another day’s exploration on Monday.