From Union to Pacolet

BBQ competition cookers

Showers and thunderstorms were likely, the sky was cloudy, a few sprinkles were falling, but I went anyway. As I do every year, I attended the Uniquely Union festival now held  in downtown Union, SC.

I left later than normal due to the questionable weather, so I didn't arrive until just before my favorite part of the festival was about to start: the Taster's Choice BBQ event. This year for your $5 you received a card with ten punches. Present the card to the BBQ competitor, your card is punched and you receive a sample. After ten punches, choose your winner by handing in the card to the competitor of your choice.

The winner of the Taster's Choice competition this year was the Brother-in-law BBQ team:


As usual, I went by the Union County History Museum to catch up with their affable director Ola Jean Kelly to see what's new.

After that, I walked around taking photos of the festival...

... and the historical sites in town.


I tried to get a different view of the Union Depot than I've taken in the past, but my attempt didn't really work out:

While here, I took photos for two historical photo composites. The first one involved a photo of a 1958 or 1959 posted by the Union County Historical Society to their Early Union Online Facebook photo album.

I couldn't quite get everything to line up exactly, but it gets the point across.


I moved on to making my second composite. This service station is currently Wingo's Tire, but at one time this was American Amoco.

The American Amoco photo is also from Union County's Historical Society's Early Union Online photo album.

Next, I traveled over to the Carem community to revisit a country store I first photographed a few years ago.

One change I only noticed when processing my photos was the two signs (one on each side) had both been taken down (or stolen). Here's the earlier photo:

That done I headed off to Pacolet area. The area split into four town in the 1950s due to a water dispute: Pacolet Station, Central Pacolet, Pacolet Park, Pacolet Mills. Pacolet Park lost its charter in 1976. Pacolet Station merged with Pacolet Mills in 1997 to became Pacolet. Central Pacolet remains Central Pacolet.

This depot is one of the more attractive ones I've seen so far:


I also stopped by the Marysville School, a school for the children of the African-American workers of the Pacolet Mill. The school was open from 1915 until 1954.

The former school joined the National Register of Historic Places in 2007.

I parked at town hall and toured the mill area. The former mill office, now the town hall:

The mural on the first floor:

The Pacolet white horse:

And of course the site of the mill:

My last stop took me to the ruins of the Victor Hill hotel, just up the hill from town hall. My trip to Pacolet was inspired by Tom Taylor's December visit to Pacolet titled The Allure of Old Masonry. The area of the ruins was overgrown with vegetation preventing me from exploring the area as thoroughly as Tom did, but I found enough to claim a partial victory.

Pacolet Memories, a website dedicated to Pacolet's history, has a section about the hotel including this photo before it was torn down in the early 1960s.

It was getting late, the skies were darkening, I could hear thunder, meaning it was time to go. But I had a good day.

Now that I have reliable transportation (can't be worse than the last one), I'll be heading out on more adventures now that cooler weather is arriving.

My trip photos are in the album From Union to Pacolet - Sept 2014 on Flickr and in the album From Union to Pacolet - Sept 2014 on Google Photos.

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