Monday, January 19, 2015

2014 Carolinas' Road trip wrapup

Chance re-encounters. 

Pee Dee River
We ran into an old "friend" in Cheraw, SC. Horace King is the remarkable slave who became a master bridge builder, was freed by the Alabama Legislature and later supported his former owner's family. We learned of King during last year's road trip through Georgia ( This year we discovered he learned his engineering skills in the 1820s while constructing a bridge across the Pee Dee River in Cheraw, SC, near where he had been born.


Camp Welfare dates back to slavery when lenient owners would allow their slaves to gather for a camp meeting here once a year. It has developed into an annual reunion that attracts thousands of their descendents. The permanent living structures are referred to as "tents." The graveyard dates back to the 1700s.
Camp Welfare



Timely. A quick, around the block stop in Winnsboro brought us next to the Town Clock. Built in 1833, it has been running ever since making it "the oldest continuously running town clock in America." Don't you just love finding another "est" - biggest, longest, oldest, etc. - for your experience bucket?


Did you know?

Turkey talk. All domestic turkeys evolved from one semi-domestic breed of turkey that dated back about 4,000 years. The Spaniards found them with the Mayans and Aztecs and brought live specimens back where they readily adapted to the European farm system.
The Puritans brought these domesticated turkeys with them to the New World where the Eastern wild turkey was already entrenched. 
Today, 99 percent of domestic turkeys are broad-breasted whites and are so big they can't get off the ground. Can't breed either, which must be done via artificial insemination, The largest domestic broad breasted white turkey weighed in at 95 pounds.

Patriotic. So many young men from Union County, SC, volunteered during World War II that a draft was never needed.

Favorite toast.  Members of the Clover Club, a "private" men's club in Chester, SC, came up with this beauty:
A long life and a merry one
A quick death and a happy one
A good girl and a pretty one
A Coke bottle and another one. 

Rosy canaries. We learned at Childress Vineyards in Lexington, NC, that rose bushes are the wine growers' canary in the coal mine. The roses are an indicator crop, showing any signs of distress before the vines can be endangered. 

So many to thank. 

In North Carolina, Our pal Carol Timblin opened her townhouse and guided us to the gold mine. PR pro Craig Distl and Robin Bivens, from Visit Lexington, organized the incomparable Swine, Wine and Dine Tour that introduced us to Lexington, a barbecue haven, and its attractions.

Barbara Ware and Vicki Loughner set us up with great itinerary, lodging and food in the Old 906 District of South Carolina. Becky even became our chauffer, saving untold hours of our getting turned around, confused and otherwise lost. Kelly McWhorter of the Greenwood Regional Visitors and Tourism Bureau and Donna Livingston from Edgewood County Chamber of Commerce were also invaluable as were the staff at The Fairfield Inn & Suites, our home away from home.

The indefatigable Jayne Scarborough was our chief of itinerary, schedules and driving once we arrived in South Carolina's Olde English District. Sonja Burris, communications manager for York County, and many, many others.
The Marriott Courtyard in Rock Hill was the best kind of a home away from home, providing great, made-to-order breakfasts and welcome cocktails.

All in all it was another memorable road trip of discovery for the Good Girls.  Every year we become more convinced that wherever people have settled, however small,  there are stories worth finding and exploring.

The hardest part is deciding where to go next. Where do you suggest? Recommendations truly are appreciated. 

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