Vacation photo ramble
On my way to Bon Haven about two weeks ago, I made a quick stop to view on old billboard for a drive-in that closed in 1984, the Circle South 29 Drive-in off U.S. 29 in the western outskirts of Spartanburg near the intersection with Fairforest Clevedale Road.:
from aerial photos taken in 1981 hosted at the SC Digital Library:
at the junction of SC 357 and SC 358, now used by a landscaping business:
near the intersection of Gary Armstrong Road and Gap Creek Road in Lyman to visit the ruins of a home:
at the intersection of SC 357 and Holly Springs Road:
just a few hundred feet away. Oops!
Perhaps I was too intent on reaching my next target, Motlow Creek School on Fern Road:
this earlier Motlow School, whose photograph I found in the Spartanburg County section of the South Carolina School Insurance Photograph collection:
I moved on to Little Chicago, where Goodjoin Road and Mt. Lebanon Road intersect, where I found only one active business (a convenience store called the Briar Patch) at one corner.
At another corner is an old service station, once occupied by Souther's Grocery, and last occupied by the Madhouse Cafe for many years:
died in 1993 at the age of 87.
December 1991 article about Little Chicago in The Spartanburg Herald-Journal article, explains how idea of the sign came about:
He said he got the idea for the sign in the 1930s, when he returned from Grand Island, Neb., where he'd picked up a shipment of 27 horses. Somewhere along the 1,800-mile trip, Williams saw a small sign on the side of the road that had about five pointers nailed to it. "I said, `I'm gonna put me up a sign like that.' That was in 1937. Well, I kept putting it off - I reckon it was in '39 when I put it up . . . Then the highway department widened the road and tore it down." The sign has been replaced twice, most recently about a year ago. Recently, a man came by Williams' store with some interesting news. There is another Little Chicago. It's in Canada's Northwest Territory, reportedly 2,075 miles away as the "crow flies." An atlas confirms the claim. Williams said the man wants him to add that Little Chicago to the sign so he can photograph it and send it to people he knows there. High atop the sign, just under "Little Chicago," is a line that reads "This is what happened - 1856 - Nothing." "That's when they claim there wasn't nothing much a happnin'," Williams explained.The sign mentioned was indeed apparently added for a time. I found a photo of the post, along with a photo of J. Bloomer Williams, with that sign in a 2010 blog post by Robert Clark at his blog Every picture tells a story.
In looking over other Flickr photographer's photos of the store, I was most interested in the photo below for showing the store while still open. I would guess by the car this photo was taken sometime during the 1970s:
I last visited in 2014 (with Tom Taylor) looked like now the renovations are done. However, I spotted another old country store along the way I also last visited in 2014, at the corner of North Southerlin Road.
This is how the old store looked in 2014:
In Tigerville, I found the old T. P. Wood Store renovated and open for business as a general store and a Papa John's Pizza.
When I visited back in 2014 with Tom Taylor, renovations to the store were still not complete:
It's always nice to see old structures like this one refurbished and reused for a new purpose. It's too bad I can't say the same for the old J. Boomer Williams Grocery Store.
If you're interested in seeing more photos from the trip, I've shared my trip photos to an album on Flickr.