It has been awhile since we last intentionally visited any counties on our family county tour, so we planned a weekend to visit some of the counties located in the western side of South Carolina a couple weeks ago. It was a busy and interesting weekend with learning new information, lots of driving, and having car issues resulting in getting new brake pads.
Point of Interest: God’s Acre Springs
We headed up to Aiken to stay the night and stopped in Barnwell County on our way. We visited God’s Acre Healing Springs in the town of Blackville. As the legend goes, during the revolutionary war, soldiers were taken to the spring and healed by bathing or drinking the spring water. Today, pipes of water run freely and people come and fill up gallons and cars loads full of the water. While we were there, a couple was packing their trunk with container after container of water. We let the girls play a bit in the water and filled up a water bottle of the water for later when needed for healing!
Point of Interest: Ridge Spring farmers marker
I had some difficulty finding an “attraction” in Saluda. We originally planned to visit Bryan’s Cafe but when we arrived in town, we found the cafe had been closed and photography business was in it’s place. Luckily, we had already made an impromptu stop in Ridge Spring (population 823) at a farmers marker along the road. Ridge Spring is known for its peach, cattle, asparagus, and pecan farms. This small town had small farmers market with people selling various goods on the roadside. We picked up a couple of gourds that the girls plan on painting for birdhouses. We also purchased some local honey. We visited the town square which had an old painted piano in the gazebo and a train car, that the girls could climb up. One thing we have learned thus far with our county tour is South Carolina has many, many small rural towns and Ridge Spring is definitely one of them!
Point of Interest: Emerald Farm
Next stop was Emerald Farm in Greenwood County. This beautiful 75 acre farm featured so much more than your typical farm experience. They had goats, peacocks and fish that you could feed and walk alongside, but what was truly unique was the train fascination/hobby that these owners showed off. We were taken above the farm store by the owner to see the train exhibit. This room was full of a running trains through expertly designed towns. They host a model railroad group and they work on creating new features to the train exhibit. It was interesting to see this hobby in action. All the little details were rather impressive! Next, we road a little passenger train around the farm. This eight seater train took us through a “village” created by the owners with a town store, saloon, school, and other interesting attractions along the way. We finished up our visit walking alongside the peacocks and feeding the many goats. They also have a small store that sells homemade soap. This stop was one of the girls favorites.
Point of Interest: Erskine College
After having lunch, we headed further north to Abbeville. This is another county I had a little difficulty finding an attraction. Among the farmland and little rural villages, sits Erskine College, located in Due West. Erskine College is a private liberal arts school with a student population of 600. What makes Erskine College even more unique is that it is the first higher education organization in South Carolina to create a statewide charter school authorizer, The Charter Institute at Erskine, which sponsors 17 charter schools across the state. It was rather quiet on campus and we walked around the green space, while Hunter napped in her stroller. We then headed to get some ice cream to energize ourselves for our next county stop!