Harriet Tubman

It was an honor to walk up to the statue of the great late Harriet Tubman while visiting Pennsylvania. Her life was a profound portrayal of no excuses, despite the atrocity of wounds she endured.

Photo by gloria humphrey
Between 1850 and 1860, Tubman made 19 trips from the South to the North following the network known as the Underground Railroad. She guided more than 300 people, including her parents and several siblings, from slavery to freedom, earning the nickname “Moses” for her leadership.

“General Tubman” worked shoulder to shoulder with Colonel Montgomery as they led the “Combahee River Raid” just up the road a piece and along the waters that now flow under the only bridge in the world named in her honor.

The freed slaves were temporarily housed in the Baptist church, where Montgomery addressed them, and they responded by singing “There is a White Robe for Thee.”

Historic Mills & Bridges

I must admit I was oblivious to what I now know as The Glendale Cotton Mill. Just another nature preserve I said to myself as I wandered on my usual trail hike. However, there was something a little different about this one. The path alongside the river was like being in a course on agriculture before coming to a red iron bridge that crossed over the. creek.

Photo by Gloria Humphrey

For several thousand years, there was little human activity along the little waterway that was to eventually be known as Lawson’s Fork Creek. Hunting parties of Native American Indians passed over and around the area. There was an abundance of wildlife. The Indians lived lightly on the land. They left little to mark their thousands of years living in the Piedmont except an occasional stone arrowhead.

Photo by Gloria Humphrey
Lawson’s Fork Creek

 The area along the creek was part of a vast wilderness that changed little over the centuries until the coming of the Europeans. The first time that the creek was seen by one of the Europeans was about the year 1567, when a party of Spanish explorers under the command of Captain Juan Pardo passed nearby. This was the first contact with the Europeans but it was only the beginning. It started slowly at first. It was almost another 200 years, around 1750, before more Europeans came in any numbers to the area of the creek. In all this time, the area near what would eventually be called Lawson’s Fork Creek and the Pacolet River remained a perfect wilderness. These men brought their families and started to make settlements, changing the Piedmont forever.

The settlers worked hard to make a living and raise their crops, particularly corn. Some of the settlers built small water-powered mills using the creeks that provided a ready source of waterpower. It was during this time that Lawson’s Fork Creek got its name. By the year 1773, the use of the waterpower of Lawson’s Fork led to what we know today as Glendale.

Remnants of the 1830s-vintage Glendale Mill on Lawson's Fork Creek in Spartanburg, South Carolina
Photo by Gloria Humphrey
Remnants of the 1830s-vintage Glendale Mill on Lawson’s Fork Creek in Spartanburg, South Carolina

Glendale and its mill were not always known as Glendale. The story begins with Dr. James Bivings, who arrived in the Spartanburg area around 1830, bringing with him an entire crew of laborers. He started a cotton manufacturing company in 1831 and built the Bivingsville Mill and surrounding town of Bivingsville. His home, now known as the Bivings-Converse House, was situated on a bluff above the mill.

Old timers tell us that Dr. Bivings being a very religious man, on one occasion stopped the mill asking all employees to attend the revival which was being held in the village. Along with the mill plant, Dr. Bivings founded the village of Bivingsville which consisted of some 12 homes, a community church in which old timers said that school classes were taught during week days, along with a shop or two.  Mr. Bivings built two magnificent houses in Spartanburg County which stand today. First he built (about 1834-35) a magnificent two and one half story house located directly in front of the mill composed of twelve rooms and a full size basement. A huge fire place was located in every room. (Glendale History Website)

Photo by Gloria Humphrey

Savannah Georgia

“Savannah, a coastal Georgia city, is separated from South Carolina by the Savannah River. It’s known for manicured parks, horse-drawn carriages and antebellum architecture. Its historic district is filled with cobble stoned squares and parks such as Forsythe Park shaded by oak trees covered with Spanish moss. At the center of this picturesque district is the landmark, Gothic-Revival Cathedral of Saint John the Baptist.” (compliments of google)

Golden Isles Georgia: St. Simons Island

If you are looking to relax and enjoy a majestic scenery filled with organic sea breeze and sounds of rippling tides, then Golden Isles is the place to be. This little town is rich in history, culture, museums and African-American Heritage. The Pier Village serves as the downtown hub for bait & tackle, shopping, visiting the library and strolling to the nearby lighthouse.

It is also the largest barrier island in the Golden Isles with pristine stretches of marshland.  Barrier islands are a stretch of sandy land that lie parallel to the coastline of a larger mainland. They are separated from shore by a bay, lagoon or sound; and because of where they are situated, they protect the coast from being directly impacted by storm waves or winds. This is another reason they’ve earned the title “barrier island”. (Golden Isles website)

Pictured above are regulars on the pier that made my visit refreshing and pleasant. The pelican, whose called Georgette by Greg “the crab man” (holding the blue crab) has been there for more than 20 years after a hook injury. If you remember the cargo ship that capsized last September after a fire broke out, it’s still there filled with 42 automobiles.