Our first real local road trip, we left earlier than usual one morning in hunt of a local farmer’s market. Knowing there is one in Augusta, our first thought was, “no way am I heading towards all of the Master’s Golf Tournament traffic.” So first market that popped up on a Google search proved to be in Greenwood, SC.
We were in search of the Uptown Market only to find out the grand opening is a few weeks away. Luckily, there was a small gathering of vendors across the street and I was able to nab a gallon of fresh picked local strawberries. YES…that was my main goal! As well as sweet carrots, couple yellow beets, tomatoes and a cuke.
Taking a drive thru town, I spotted the visitor’s center. Learning later, it is was part of the The Emerald Triangle, a nine-acre triangular-shaped area in the heart of Greenwood’s downtown business district. Though the origin of the nickname is unclear, Greenwood is commonly referred to as the ‘Emerald City.’
Inside the center was a huge gallery area with some local art on display, a children’s area, and one lovely, young lady who loaded us down with regional visitor materials. Her excitement and love for all of the new cultural theatre and arts activities, as well as outstanding food establishments was clearly defined in literature and stories of growing up in the area. She stated we wouldn’t want to miss a Cuban and/or a pizza oven local restaurant, her favorites, and made sure we saw some of the extraordinary “duct tape” art before we left.
Two doors down, we found their area museum which was holding a children’s birthday party. Nicely done, nothing huge as the actual train museum down the street was still in the building stages and soon to open. We did find an exhibit or two on the region which we found interesting and again, more young help excited to tell us where they would visit if they were new to the area.
So, I’ll soon get through reading all the materials for the area as my pile keeps getting bigger, and I’m sure it will be a return trip. Two lane highway skirting the Sumter National Forest, we can be there in about 40 minutes.
From there we made a beeline for McCormick, and the annual Bells and Whistles 29835 festival.
McCormick is close to around twenty miles from us and one of the closer of groceries runs without heading south to Augusta. Another place with yet much more to discover. Mr. Jer spotted his new tow vehicle for the RV. Yeah right…guess there would not be many places we couldn’t escape to with it.
My understanding this county in South Carolina has struggled, leaving many communities to shut down the doors. Running up and down the highway through Promised Land, Bradley, Troy etc. that was clear to see. Heart breaking to see how so many live and are just trying to survive. So McCormick is trying to reverse the motion and local restaurants, a darling bookstore, a quilting shop, etc. offered opportunities to keep the community prospering and enhance commerce.
We got to visit with many locals, run through the old cotton gin before a reservations-only tea and silent auction, browse vendors and tour old homes. They had a car show and plenty to eat. The park was filled with an outstanding 4 piece group that offered some toe-stomping bluegrass.
My favorite had to the McCormick Train Depot, currently housing the SC Wild’s Heritage Center plantation quilts exhibit. It had me totally excited to dig deeper into the “Secret Quilt Codes.” My understanding, and not knowing if this is exact, in 1994 a Professor from Denver brought a quilt from a woman in Charleston, learning from her that slaves found code in many quilts offering story of how to escape to the Underground Railroad and the secrets were revealed then. Maybe a wagon wheel meant turn north toward Canada…maybe a knot was when it was time to escape, etc. Fascinating!
From what I can gather this exhibit will be at the depot for a while and I need to venture up there during the week when less crowded and I can obtain more information. I did come home with a flyer that there is a book, Hidden in Plain View: the Secret Story of Quilts and the Underground Railroad. Hoping once I can get a local library card, they have it in stock.
The entire depot was full of other artifacts and a speaker, Teresa Kemp, whom I will continue to research. I’m in hopes this exhibit is being housed there for a while…I’m still unclear about that. I was so taken back with this discovery as I’ve always been fascinated with anything involving the Underground Railroad. In fact, my youngest grandson is studying that currently, so I’m on the hunt for ways to provide him with some added discoveries.
We did get a day trip to ride more of the Corp grounds…visitor’s center, day use area, etc. Great movie on how the one mile long dam was built…concrete alone in the dam would allow a side-walk from Augusta to San Francisco.
Been a chilly last few days…and we’re both still in ewe of views traveling the area or from the RV windows. Sure is some beautiful scenery, fascinating history, and some cute wildlife O:) Nice to see a southern squirrel all fattened up! This is our little black-headed neighbor…usually shows it’s cute face daily!
Until next time… ~cozygirl
P.S. Word is the county has gold!