Showing posts from March, 2012

Town Creek Park and Twin Falls Trail

Recently, I went on an excursion to Pickens County to hike portions of the railroad bed left behind by the Appalachian Lumber Company railroad. The Appalachian Lumber Company was a short lived logging company (1927-1929) with a railroad track from Town Creek to its lumber mill up in Jocassee Gorges. A flood in 1929 wiped out the company's railroad track in the Jocassee Gorges area which soon forced the company to declare bankruptcy in June 1929. Most of the rails have long since been salvaged, but a few were left behind.

But first, I stopped at SC 186 at the Saluda River to take a photo of Old Earls Bridge, a historic steel truss bridge spanning the Saluda River a few hundred yards downstream of the current concrete one.
Or at least it was. The bridge is gone, only the abutments remained.

My second stop was the Town Creek Park in the city of Pickens, SC. The park is home to the Playground of Promise, a popular playground if my visit was any indication, and to Town Creek Trail, th…

The train depots of Taylors, SC

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A few times last year, I traveled around Taylors, SC photographing locations of the community's three historical depots.

The first depot was built in the early 1870s for the Atlanta and Richmond Railway, later Southern Railway, on land held by Alfred Taylor. The community that developed around this depot quickly became known as Taylor's Station, eventually shortened to just Taylors. The depot was located between present day Freeman Drive and one of several parking lots for Taylors First Baptist Church.

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The South Carolina Library's Railroad Photograph Collection includes a May 1975 photo of the depot.

Today, the depot is no longer there.

The only hint left a structure once stood here are the ruins of a driveway off of Taylors Road.

The depot was moved, possibly in the early to mid 2000s, and is now a private residence somewhere in Greer according to South Carolina Railroad Stations. Exactly where I'd be curious to know.

The second depot in…

Back on the summit of Paris Mountain

Today, I went back to the summit on Paris Mountain to find some stone steps. In On the summit of Paris Mountain, Tom commented:
Right after you turn onto Tower Road, just at the first bend there is an old set of stone steps. I think this is part of the grounds for the Altamont Hotel. Tower Road didn't go up to the summit as it does now, as this snippet from the 1935 USGS quad map over Paris Mountain confirms.

Tower Road was extended to the summit sometime between the 1935 USGS map and this 1959 USGS quad map.

Visitors must have reached the hotel some other way. Those steps may have been on a path providing one way to reach the hotel.

I didn't notice those steps off Tower Road the first time when I went up in my car because those tight turns demand attention. I went back today once the clouds thinned enough for the sun to peek out. Sure enough, at the first bend is an old set of stone steps.

I followed the faint path in hopes of finding more ruins, and sure enough I found a sec…

On the summit of Paris Mountain

I had a day off Monday and, in response to a suggestion from Tom Taylor at RandomConnections, I went up to the summit of Paris Mountain to look for any ruins from the old Altamont Hotel. Large towers filled with antennas and surrounded by razor wire fences now stand on the area where the hotel once stood, so my chances of finding hotel ruins were tiny. The summit features a nice view of the surrounding area, however, making the trip worthwhile for that reason alone.

The Altamont Hotel (also known as the Paris Mountain Hotel) was built in 1889, but was sold 8 years later in 1898 to Reverend N. J. Holmes. N. J. Holmes repurposed the hotel to serve as the home of the new Altamont Bible and Missionary Institute, with later name changes to Holmes Bible and Missionary Institute and to Holmes Bible College. The hotel would become vacant when the institute moved away to Columbia, then Atlanta, then to the city of Greenville. The institute sold off the hotel to help pay for the new Greenville…