There is nothing like the crowing of a rooster to get your blood flowing in the morning. This is one of the first of almost 200 pictures that I shot of Willie the Rooster while visiting my daughter in Pickens, SC.
Friday, 7 May 2010 -- First stop was the Pickens County Flea Market located on Route 183 two miles west of town. The big day for this market is Wednesday from 4 a.m. to 2 p.m. (that's right, campers, 4 in the morning). When we were there on Friday there were a few vendors and live bluegrass music. We got very good biscuit sandwiches for breakfast at the snack bar.
I was told that on any day that the flea market is open, there is always someone sitting in this area organizing a jam session.
The hands of a master dobro player.
The dobro was invented by the Dopyera brothers in 1951. The word dobro is from the first two letters of the brothers' last name and the first three letters of the word brothers.
I spent the majority of my time at the flea market sitting here listening to the music and talking with the musicians.
Stand up bass player using a wash tub/broom handle bass.
Man's best friend isn't always his best fan.
Our next stop was Stockade 'n Stuff. The building was a prison built by the WPA in 1936 and was considered state of the art architecture at the time. Granite stone was quarried from nearby Glassy Mountain and is 22" at the thickest points. There were four cell blocks, each with its own bathroom and two with solitary confinement cells. The main cells housed up to 30 men. The upstairs included two dining rooms for prisoners, one for the guards, a kitchen and an office. Prisoners were moved to a new prison in 1968 and the building was auctioned off in 1969. It was used as storage for a car dealership until 2007 when the dealership was sold. The sellers realized they had the makings of a new business with all the items they had stored over the years.
Antique items sitting outside the entrance to the stockade greet visitors as they pull up to this most unusual store frontage.
Framed memorabilia was hung on the walls by the proprietors to inform visitors of the history of the building and the area.
The antiques are displayed in rooms that mirror the original functional purpose of the items.
One of several coal burning kitchen stoves for sale.
This appears to be a modern cookie jar that was placed by itself on top of one of the pieces of furniture. I like how the piece stands out against the starkness of the stone wall.
One of the living room displays that I shot using available light. All of these photographs were shot with available light.
Antique Spinning Wheel.
Neon sign behind a brightly colored settee. There is just something about these two pieces together that caught my eye.
Pickens County Museum of Art & History. We were pleasantly surprised by the size of this museum. There are exhibits from Cherokee diplomat Attakullakulla to American Revolution Patriot Andrew Pickens, from Depression-era resourcefulness to Saturday evening barn dances. The quality of the art on exhibit in the art galleries was outstanding. We only visited the first floor of the museum on this trip, saving the second floor art gallery for our next visit.
My daughter reading about the American Indians in the area of the museum that describes their contribution to Pickens County.
McDaniel Family Piano.
Original garb from the Pickens County Stockade.
Among the museums extensive displays is a collection of medical equipment throughout the years. Although these items were "state of the art" at the time, some of these pieces were very disturbing to view in 2010.
The south has a rich history of music as can be seen in this display.
Not only did the museum house items from Pickens County's historic past, it also has an art gallery that features works by artists from South Carolina such as these two pieces of earthware clay by Lucy Bailey titled With the Catkins.
Hagood Mill Historic Site & Folklife Center -- This is another site operated by Pickens County Cultural Commission. I was very impressed with the good things these folks are doing. Benjamin Hagood purchased the property in 1823 and the gristmill, as it stands today, was built by his son, James Hagood, around 1845. Recent discoveries of pre-historic carvings, or petroglyphs, at the site indicate that it was a gathering place for people for a thousand years.
Front view of the restored mill.
Left side view of the Hagood Mill.
Back side of the mill showing the water wheel and sluice.
Also on the grounds of the mill are several buildings, shown here, as well as a stage area where on the third Saturday of every month there is traditional music, folklife and living history exhibitions.
Interior of one of the cabins at the site.
These three gentlemen make up the trio known as The Mill Cats and as I walked into the room, which is located inside the gift shop area, they broke into a Texas Swing style rendition of It Had to Be You. Their timing was impeccable. The band is just one of the groups that plays on the third Saturday get togethers at the mill. Jim, the mandolin player, runs the gift shop.