Thursday, March 20, 2014

Looking for kin – South Carolina Genealogy Search

March 8-10, 2014

As I noted in my last post - GHS Half Marathon Race Recap (which you can read HERE - we were also in South Carolina in hopes my husband could track down some more information regarding his ancestry.

SATURDAY, March 8th:  So after a shower and some brief down time following the half marathon it was time to hop in the GMC and head to other parts of the state.  The original plan was to go to Kings Mountain Military National Park but some of the people we talked to while waiting on the shuttle bus for the race told us that Cowpens National Battlefield was good and suggested that we go there as well.

It was about an hour away from Greenville in Gaffney, South Carolina and easy to find, especially with the help of OnStar.  SIDE NOTE – What OnStar wasn’t helpful with was finding a McDonalds.  For some reason after the race I really wanted a Sweet Tea and I never have to talk my husband into getting one of those!  Twice we pushed the OnStar button, asked for directions to the nearest McDonalds and both times we were taken to residential area.  I wonder if the addresses we were taken to were people with the last name McDonald.  We eventually found one on our own once we got on the interstate but that was extremely annoying. 

Anyway…we made it to the Cowpens and walked the 1 mile loop around the battlefield and read the historical signs but we weren’t really that “impressed” with the park.  Maybe those people thought it would be good for us to walk around a nice flat area after the race.  You can read more about Cowpens National Battlefield Park HERE.

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We then drove to Blacksburg, South Carolina to visit Kings Mountain National Military Park.  Unfortunately we got there late in the day and the park was scheduled to close at 5:00PM.  We went in the Visitor’s Center and watched the movie.   I’ll be honest with you, I found it more interesting than I thought I would.  Then we walked the 1.5 mile loop through this park.  This one was NOT flat.  And at one point the park range drove up behind us on his golf cart to remind us that the park would be closing soon.  We made it through but barely had any time to spare but unfortunately, we didn’t really get to stop and enjoy what we were looking at.

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The last two pictures are of Col Patrick Ferguson’s grave.  He was instrumental in leading the British charge again the American resistance but lost his life in this battle.  Unfortunately we found out after the fact that you are supposed to throw a rock on his grave.  You can read more about the Kings Mountain National Military Park HERE.

It had been a long day so we headed back to Greenville and then to figure out what to do for dinner.  We decided on a burger joint called Grill Marks that was near our hotel but it was going to be at least a 45 minute wait so we walked around there canal area.  The weather was great on this evening.  We stopped in a blues joint on the canal called Blue Boulevard and had a cocktail while we wait to get a text from the restaurant.  The staff was great and very interested in the fact that we drove from Indiana to Greenville, South Carolina for a half marathon.  Dinner at Grill Marks was fine.  I had a turkey burger but it wasn’t as fabulous as I’d hoped for.  I kind of wanted a milkshake but I was full and tired so we went back to the hotel and went to bed.

SUNDAY, March 9th: Today we were headed to the Rose Hill Mansion.  The “purpose” of this trip/adventure was to see the area.  My husband knows for sure that he had relatives that lived near this home. 

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We got here early and the first tour didn’t start for 90 more minutes so we walked around the premises and then walked one of the trails on the property as well.  Only one other couple was there for the tour.  So it made it easier to ask questions and take our time.  The tour guide did a great job.  You can read the history behind Rose Hill Mansion and the significance it played during the Civil War HERE.  But of note, South Carolina became the first secession state during the Civil War and one of the signers of their Secession document was Simpson Bobo who was an in-law to the Skelton Family.  You can see his signature on the document; right column about half way down.

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We then learned that the Bobo house (Cross Keys House) was just up the road.  Unfortunately since it was Sunday it was closed but we got to take some exterior pictures.

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Back to Greenville to rest for a little bit and then look for some place to have dinner.  We walked up Main Street and stopped in a place called Roost but after being seated and a quick check of the menu, I determined that this wasn’t where I wanted to eat.  So we walked back toward out hotel on the opposite side of the street and found a Mexican restaurant called Bravo!  This was definitely a good place.  The food was awesome, our server Ken was fantastic and the margarita was delightful!   Later in the evening, we wanted to celebrate a great weekend in South Carolina so we treated ourselves to some ice cream at Marble Slab Creamery.  The waffle cone was a little disappointing but the rest was fantastic.  I tried to balance mine out a little bit by getting the vanilla yogurt but then had them add Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces.


Back to the hotel for the evening and to get things organized. My husband wanted to leave early in the morning so that we could make a stop at the Cumberland Gap on the way home.

MONDAY, March 10th:  So we were checked out of the hotel and on the road between 6:30AM and 7:00AM.  We were probably on the road for just under an hour and then we stopped for breakfast.  Say what you will about McDonalds but they do have some healthy options and I love their oatmeal.  Plus I had some leftover skim milk in the cooler and was able to use that up.  My husband did all of the driving and I nodded off a couple of times.  We saw a sign for a scenic overlook and at first we weren’t going to stop but then decided to check it out.  It might have been even prettier on a day that wasn't overcast.

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Just a quick stop at Bean Station overlook and then we were on to the Cumberland Gap.

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Although stopping here was a little out of our way, it didn’t put us too far behind schedule and my husband was able to get some information.  Then it was back on the road toward home.  Just one final stop in Lexington, KY - which oddly enough was the same exit we stopped at on the trip down to South Carolina.  We made great time but then again my husband has a tendency to drive faster than I do. Auto   We were in our house around 4:00PM.

I think this Facebook post from my husband sums it up well:

Facebook Recap

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