The most popular tweet I’ve ever tweeted was this item from the General Store Museum in Westminster, South Carolina. Everyone seemed particularly intrigued by the “no visible hair” requirement on the legs. And no, the museum did not display a similar poster for boys.
But I’m getting ahead of myself. The General Store Museum was the last place we visited on our first full day in South Carolina.
The day started at the Oconee State Park, where we went for a hike. The park is on the southern edge of the Blue Ridge Mountains and hosts part of South Carolina’s 80 mile Foothill Trail. The park has lots of other trails as well, as easy or as difficult as we wanted. The Tamassee Knob Trail, for example, goes straight up for 2 miles to a summit at over 1700, which has a view into North Carolina. We didn’t do that one. The area is known for its waterfalls, so we chose a moderate path that took us to one in about an hour.
The Etowah, Muskogeans and Cherokee all occupied the area in turn until fighting between the Cherokee and whites in the 1760s lost the Native Americans much of their land. After the Revolutionary War, white settlers started arriving regularly.
After the hike, we headed for the town of Wallhala, between Clemson and the park, for lunch and to see the Oconee Heritage Center Museum. Lunch was at Palmetto Sweets and Company, a pastry cum sandwich shop. Decent but not remarkable. The museum was a typical small-town museum, housed in an 1892 tobacco factory and filled with items donated by locals.
About the display, above, a local newspaper (publication date unknown) said: “When C.W. ‘Charlie’ Wickliffe operated his little country store in West Union years ago, a popular attraction was a miniature black plantation scene he kept on display. The scene, which Mr. Wickliffe carved with his pocket knife in 1923, included a house, a barn, a well, and 14 people indulging in various activities. But the thing that made it really interesting was that Mr. Wickliffe had installed a crank on the back, and attached strings, with which he could make the figures move.” One of the figures could spit water.
At the heritage center, we heard that they had a satellite facility, called the General Store Museum, about 8 miles away in Westminster. There was also the South Carolina Apple Festival happening in Westminster that day, so we decided that it would be worth taking a look.
The apple festival turned out to be less apple and festival and more of a craft fair. We visited the one room General Store Museum (where the poster that started this post was displayed) then, resisting the temptation to buy some “Charming 2nd Amendment Bullet Jewelry”…
…we decided to call it a day.