Showing posts from 2011

A visit to the Children's Graveyard

Now that the outdoor temperatures are more reasonable, it's time to get out and explore the outdoors. Recently, I visited the place now known as the Children's Graveyard or more formally as the Duncan Chapel Methodist Church cemetery. I had heard about the cemetery from ghost town hunter Tom over at his RandomConnections blog some months ago and decided then to visit whenever the temperature and humidity dropped. Now that the time was right I took my camera and decided to see what there was left to see.

Duncan Chapel Methodist Church was built sometime back in the 1850s on land owned by P. E. Duncan and later sold by Duncan to the church. The first Duncan Chapel School was built on a quarter acre in the late 1870s on land sold by the church. The church ceased to function sometime in the 1920s and was sold off in 1939 according to the deed selling off the church land. A second, larger Duncan Chapel School was built a small distance away in the 1910s and so the first school was…

The events at Chick Springs part 1

Previously, I detailed the results of my research into the deeds of Chick Springs. Next, I detailed the news of the hotel and the springs found in Google's news archives. This time I use Google's news archives to discover what events took place at the hotel and the surrounding land.

No Greenville papers are available in the news archives, but the Spartanburg Herald-Journal is available and luckily for us they paid close attention to events at Chick Springs.

1907-03-30, Spartanburg Weekly Herald, Teachers Meet At Chick Springs This Summer: The State Teachers' Association chose Chick Springs as the site of its next meeting scheduled June 24-26, 1907.1907-04-02, Spartanburg Weekly Herald, Teachers Meet At Chick Springs This Summer: A reprint of the March 30 article above.1907-06-18, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, State Teachers to Meet at Chick Springs: More information about the association meeting.1912-05-28, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, Many Are Going to Chick Springs: A big B…

Newspaper coverage of Chick Springs

Previously, I detailed the results of my research into the deeds of Chick Springs. This time I show the newspaper coverage I found in Google's news archives. The results are surely not complete due to imperfections in Google's character recognition, but it is a great start for someone looking for more information than the usual summary of the history of Chick Springs.
June 10, 1859, The Charleston Mercury, Chick's Springs: This may come as a surprise to you, but advertisements play with the truth at times and this one is no exception. In this case, "mountain air" is overdoing it bit since resort's elevation is about 900ft at best, and the resort is nowhere near a mountain. But it makes good copy.December 16, 1907, Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Chick Springs Hotel Burned: The free preview reveals the hotel burned with a loss of about $60,000.May 8, 1913, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, To Chick Springs By Trolley Soon: A short article speculating that the Greenvil…

The legal deeds of Chick Springs

This glory days of Chick Springs and its hotels have been told many times and better than I can do anyway. But where do they get their information? One source (and a good one) is Greenville County's Register of Deeds pre-1990 digital archive. While deeds are often an uninteresting, dry read, they can also provide useful bits of trivia about historical places like Chick Springs. I've found and listed as many of the Chick Springs hotel-related deeds that my search skills could find.
1834: Book R, page 266: Burwell Chick buys property in the area that will become known as Chick Springs. 1851: Book W, pages 455 and 456: Burwell Chick dies in 1847. Burwell's sons, Pettis and Reuben Chick, buy Chick Springs for $3000 in accordance with their father's will.1857: Book Y, pages 173 and 174: Pettis and Reuben Chick sell Chick Springs to Franklin Talbird of Beaufort and John Henry of Charleston for $15,000.1867: Book AA, pages 686-687 and 688: The Chick brothers buy back Chick Sp…

Researching the newspaper coverage of Pinckneyville, South Carolina

Pinckneyville is an extinct town located about 18 miles northeast of Union, South Carolina in northeastern Union County near where Pacolet River empties into Broad River. The town was established by a law passed in 1791 that created the Pinckney District which consisted of Union, Spartanburg, Chester, and York counties.

The intent of the town's designers was to create an upcounty version of Charleston. When Pinckney District was abolished nine years later in 1800, the population of Pinckneyville stagnated then declined as the county seat of Union took over in importance. In 1835, the legislature passed a law authorizing the sale of Pinckneyville's public land and buildings. While the area remained somewhat populated into the 20th century, Pinckneyville was finished as a town. The area is so remote these days that the nearest home is two miles away.

The last major event to take place in Pinckneyville was the dedication of a stone monument on July 6, 1936 where the old courthous…

Where was Ansel School?

Like Reid School Road, Ansel School Road also takes its name from a school that no longer exists. But unlike Reid School, the deed recording the buying of property for the school is available.

A deed recorded October 13, 1896 in deed book EEE, page 324 transfers one acre of land from S. D. Mosteller to Ansel School District "only for school purposes for educating white children" and also grants the school use of a well in the northeast end of the property. On September 26, 1919, the school district added more land to the school property by buying another acre from S. D. Mosteller.

According to the deed in book 230, page 492, the property was sold off to the highest bidder at auction on January 27, 1951 to an M. A. Mason. The property would later be divided into two lots, and the names of the roads passing by and near the school property would be altered. Tracing the subsequent owners of the land forward in time shows that the location of the school was near the intersection …

Paris School and a barbed wire fence?

In doing my research for the location of Reid School at the Greenville County's Register of Deeds, I came across a deed for Paris School in deed book 278, page 20 that I just don't think would go over well in the 21st century:
... trustees are to erect and maintain a substantial wire fence around the said property at least 7 feet high with a barbed wire on top so as to prevent the School children from tresspassing upon the adjoining property. Oh my! One of these days I'll have to research if that fence was actually built.

Where was Reid School?

Most of the blog post below is wrong. Sorry! This followup post benefits from a few years of experience.

Several roads in Greenville County by their names alone hint at places that no longer exist. Duncan Chapel Road is one such road, but I've covered that already. Reid School Road is another road named after something that no longer exists, Reid School.

What little information I learned about Reid School was obtained from Greenville County's Register of Deeds website. The earliest deed I know of that definitively refers to the school is from 1923 in Book 76, page 170 where Reid School District #9E purchases land adjoining the existing Reid School land. Book 888, page 280 shows that in 1970 the School District of Greenville County sold off the land as a quit-claim. Looks like they couldn't find the original deed either!

So where was the school? A plat survey for a nearby land places the school near where Reid School Road meets State Park Road on property now occupied by Ma…

The Children's Graveyard

A decaying cemetery locals call The Children's Graveyard near the intersection of Old Buncombe Road and Duncan Chapel Road a few miles north of Greenville, SC is the most visible remains of where Duncan Chapel Methodist Church once stood. The "residents" of the cemetery are listed at Find A Grave. Also nearby on 1/4 acre of land deeded by the church was Duncan Chapel Public School until it moved to a new location in 1917. I tried to link in the entry to every piece of available information about the church, graveyard, and school.

Several bloggers have already visited and written about the site:
Haunted Children's Graveyard (August 25, 2008) by Eric at A Day's Drive from Greenville, SCThe Children's Graveyard (September 27, 2008) by Tom Taylor at RandomConnectionsChildren’s Graveyard – Followup and History (September 29, 2008) by Tom Taylor at RandomConnections I haven't gone there yet, but I will when colder weather kills off some of the vegetation. I will…