I was out and about exploring the Pee Dee region of the state, searching for ghost towns. I’d already found a couple of potentials – Ella’s Grove, Centenary, and Eulonia – and I’d stopped by the Marion County Museum and had lunch on Main Street in Marion. Now it was on to a couple more remote locations, and eventually find my way back home.
I had one day to explore the ghost towns of the Pee Dee region of South Carolina. So far I’d visited several potential locations, including Ella’s Grove, Centenary, and Eulonia. On these trips I always like to stop in at the local museum or historical society to see what additional information they might have. With that goal in mind, I set off for the Marion County Museum in downtown Marion.
Yes, I’m still working on my ghost towns list. However, I have some serious gaps in the places I’ve visited. The eastern part of the state toward Myrtle Beach is uncharted territory to me. I decided that before I move out west and seriously start on this book I needed to make at least one visit to this area.
Ed and I have been online friends for several years now. We started commenting on each other’s photos first on Flickr, then started following and commenting on each other’s blogs, and have both been active on Facebook and Google+. I feel like I know Ed fairly well, but there’s just one catch – we had never met in person. That is, until Sunday. Ed loves history and rambling about as much as I do. So we decided to get together and see what we could find in the Pickens-Oconee areas.
I picked up Ed at his home, then we headed for our first stop, Cateechee. This is an old mill village that has suffered the fate of so many in the upstate. The mill has closed, and has now been torn down. The little community has long been in decline. There are still two churches with active congregations, but any form of commerce is long gone.
Cateechee is an isolated village where the mill is the only real employer, similar to Slater, Newry or Startex. As one enters the main village loop, the old Cateechee School can be seen off to the right.
A couple of weeks ago Glynda and I had been down to see the parents, and had stopped back by Renno and Stomp Springs. On Friday we had made another trip to Prosperity, and decided we would catch a couple more locations on the way back this time. We passed through some truly remote areas and visited a few towns that could just about qualify as ghost towns.
Back in January we had taken the parents on a right through the southwestern corner of Fairfield County, and along the eastern shore of Lake Monticello. This time we extended that earlier trip, with stops in Jenkinsville and points further north on Highway 215.
I had Monday off as part of the 4th of July weekend. My brother, Houston, and my sister, Glynda, also had the day available, so we decided to go on another photo exploration. This time our target was our old stomping grounds around Laurens, South Carolina.
Houston had some specific locations he wanted to see if we could find. Most of these were in the old Long Branch area, but we knew we would get sidetracked in route. I picked up Glynda and Houston at the family home in Gray Court. Armed with GPS, maps, and more cameras than we had passengers, we set out.
We actually didn’t get very far. At the south end of Gray Court is the historic farm area that the Gray Court-Owings Historical Society has put together. Glynda and Houston weren’t aware of this place, so we spent a good bit of time looking at the old cabins and farm implements and taking pictures of these.