Back in September Dwight Moffitt and I had taken a tour of the historic Elmwood Cemetery in Columbia. The tour was interesting, but since it was at night you couldn’t really see any of the headstones or features. The tour focused on the people, and not on the features of the cemetery. Dwight and I decided that we needed to return during daylight. So, we made plans for another visit, and also planned to throw in a tour of several other historic cemeteries while we were at it. This past Friday was the date we’d set, so I headed on down to Columbia to rendezvous with Dwight. I picked him up at his house, then headed downtown where we had several stops planned.
I had been trying to track down a place I’d seen on an old map. The Temple of Health was the name of a community and a post office, but it originally applied to an old inn on a stage coach route. The Stage Coach Inn was purchased and renamed for mineral springs on the property that supposedly had medicinal properties. After my initial research I had tried to visit the location of the Temple of Health near Antreville, but I hadn’t found anything. I had discovered that the original inn had been moved to a resort near Toccoa, Georgia. It was time to actually visit the Temple of Health.
So, I was intrigued by this random name on a map. I had to find out more about it, so I had done some initial research. Now it was time to see if there was anything left of the old Temple of Health.
Tuesday, October 11, 2016
Antreville and the Temple of Health are small communities. I knew it wouldn’t take long to cover those areas, so I added a few more targets to my list to justify the trek down to Abbeville County. My plan was to head down to drive pretty much straight down to Antreville, check out a few sites I had tagged, then meander back through Anderson County by way of Lowndesville and a few other spots north of there. As usual, there would be discoveries along the way.
Sometimes it doesn’t take much to send me down a rabbit-hole of research. In this case it was a name on a map. I was looking at an 1839 atlas of the United States on the Library of Congress website when I spotted an unusual name in Abbeville – the Temple of Health. It was listed as a place name. When I checked the 1825 Robert Mills Atlas for Abbeville District, the name was there, too. I was intrigued. Why would this spot in the backwoods of South Carolina come to be known as the “Temple of Health?”
I never knew my Aunt Dess. She died when I was only three years old, so I don’t have any memories of her. Other siblings and cousins have said that she could be mean, and was a bit…unusual. You see, by all accounts Odessa Lee Taylor Poole, younger sister of my grandfather, was one of the last of the granny witches.
We just got back last night from a quick trip down to Florida. Laura had a four-day weekend because it’s Fall Break at Furman, so we took the opportunity to head down and assist her sister Amy with their mom. It was also a birthday weekend for both sisters, so we tried to work in a joint celebration.
I was out and about searching for examples of buildings designed by 19th century architect Edward C. Jones. I had visited three locations in Henderson County, including the Mansouri Inn, St. John in the Wilderness, and Calvary Episcopal. It was now time to close the loop and head back to South Carolina. I only had one more target related to Edward Jones, but I was far from done with explorations.
In Part 1 of this series I took a look at the legacy of Edward C. Jones, a South Carolina architect who until just a few weeks ago was unknown to me. Having done a bit of research, I decided it was time to do a bit of ground-truthing. Wednesday was an absolutely spectacular fall day, despite an oncoming hurricane, so I wanted to take advantage of the weather while it held. My ramble would take me on a loop up through North Carolina then back down through Spartanburg. As usual on these rambles, I made discoveries I never intended, and met some cool people along the way.
Edward C. Jones was nowhere on my radar. His name was completely unfamiliar to me, which is odd, since I’m very familiar with so many of the buildings he designed. I knew lots about Robert Mills, Rudolph Lee, and other South Carolina architects, but for whatever reason, I’d not paid attention to Jones. That all changed a few weeks ago. John Nolan from Greenville History Tours posted a series of photographs featuring buildings that Jones had designed. Seeing them next to each other the similarities leaped out. I knew I needed to find out more about this architect, and the buildings he designed.