Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Glendale Shoal Mill - Father's Day Adventure

This Father's Day was made very special by spending some time with my daughter Jenna.  Last summer she had gone to Glendale Shoal Mill with friends of ours and went swimming in Lawson's Fork Creek.  So, we packed up a little bit of gear and headed out.  I was honestly surprised at how beautiful it was.  There is a really nice hiking trail in the area, that is not a difficult hike but full of greenery and I am sure if enough time was spent, you could pick out some great wildlife and plant-life that would make it well worth the trip!  I tried to convince Jenna to hike the route with me but she was more interested in swimming than anything else.  We hiked about 1/2 a mile to where she had swung on a rope-swing into the creek, but after inspection of the area she opted out and decided to head back to the dam area to swim. 

The entire area is beautiful, well landscaped in the parking area with great photo opportunities.  The batteries are dead in my good camera so I was forced to snap pictures with my cell phone.  You can just feel the rich history in the area and I look forward to returning with a decent camera and time to shoot areas we didn't get into!

Sunday, June 12, 2011

Peter's Creek Preserve - Part Deux

A few days ago, after a long endeavor of studying and preparing to take my nursing boards, I treated myself to a early afternoon hike to Martin Mill's dam.  I hiked Peter's Creek last winter, and enjoyed the encounter with God's creation however the trail I took didn't take me to the dam.  I had seen a few pictures of it online so I thought it would be good to take a trek, and snap a few pictures of this historical area.

The mill was used in the 1880's as a flour and grist mill, saw mill and public cotton gin on Peter's Creek.  In the 1920's the mill was abandoned which,

"coincides with the invasion of the cotton boll weevil which ravaged the South Carolina economy and caused the abandonment of many farms. At the same time, the small mills were being superseded by large commercial mills that used electricity instead of water to power the machinery."
Mills in the Upcountry: a Historic Context, and a Summary of a Mill Site on the Peters Creek Heritage Preserve, Spartanburg County, South Carolina, by Chad O. Braley. 

I didn't know this, so I had to look it up...The boll weevil is a small beetle that feeds on cotton buds.

The hike to the mill is very short, really disappointing since my last hike was over 6.5 hours with two summits!  However, it was a quiet morning and it was a good day to investigate the mill site.  I didn't see any wildlife except for a rabbit that scampered off quickly after I spotted it.  There was an interesting bug I came across but it wouldn't sit still long enough for me and would fly away each time I approached it.  It only took about 50 minutes, to the mill and back, with a stop for pictures and to take in the site a bit.

These mills were often the focus of the community.  This mill had a post office located nearby, and the democratic Club No. 2 meetings were held at Mill Pond.  Walking along this trail, there isn't much sign of any community buildings anymore!  Now, for some more historical context,  First Lady Michelle Obama's great-great-great-grandmother Melvinia lived in this same area as a slave.  You can read more about this ancestry link here: http://bit.ly/jYaGx3

Next I need to figure out a hike that is going to give me a little more physical satisfaction and more sites to see!