Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Weekend-

Obviously Im safely back at home and almost have another work week behind me, thank goodness!! I had a great weekend and the weather was just wonderful for traveling with the trees all in various shades of spring green..this is I-26 heading west.

recent rains have everything greened up...the girls enjoyed being along for this trip...even tho there is plenty of space in the van they chose to stay very close to RIGHT behind my seat...

Lunch on the road consists of one of my favorite snack foods....Thats Annie's legs dangling from the seat she likes to look out the window Flossie prefers to stay on the floor of the van...they are pretty good travel partners although they bark at ALL strangers...and everyone is a stranger to them...

Then on Saturday my sis and I drove upstate to the mountains to do a waterfall hike.  Once again in Oconee county which is up in that funny little tip of our state that is bordered by NC on the north and GA on the west...and its a very beautiful spot!! Our hike is in the Chattahoochee National Forest, and the river in the area is the Chattooga River, a Wild n Scenic River-

Fishermen were busy trying to catch Brown trout, and doing quite well from what we heard...
the forest was beautiful, some early flowers were blooming on the floor...


Our destination was off the Spoon Auger creek that empties into the Chattooga...and lunch on a rock by the falls...shared with some local wildlife...

After lunch and hiking back to the car (only a .6 mile round trip hike) we decided we had time to do a second King Creek Falls.  It was a bit farther but an easy hike at 1.1 miles

a boisterous and  beautiful waterfall enclosed in a nice rocky cove...

This highland area has some beautiful scenery....and lots of water, rivers, ponds, streams, rivers, and more!!

Nearby is the Stumphouse tunnel...Ive blogged about this before but had no photos of it, cause my batteries died before I got this time I got some stills and video..this old tunnel was hacked out of the Stumphouse mountain before the Civil fact the war was the reason it was never finished...when the project went broke..

Its more like a cave than a tunnel...check this out

and the nearby Issaqueena Falls that we saw last fall with no photos...had to go by there and get that proof photo and a little video..

the power of water is amazing...we had a wonderful weekend...I cant wait to go again!!

This weekend my BFF is coming over to spend the weekend..we are celebrating her birthday...
WE are hoping for good weather but rain may dampen our plans...IF so then its Junk stores and shopping, if its nice out its gonna be hiking, and drinks by the firepit when the sun goes down!! IM really hoping for a sunny day.


Monday, March 26, 2012

Memorable May 5, 1860 part V

for Taphophile Tragics
Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy Part V
May 5, 1860

.... this is the last Memorable May 5th post about the  Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy at least for now....due to a couple of reasons:
  • firstly, you are now up to date (after reading this) with what Ive uncovered,
  • secondly,  I'm running out of steam and its SPRING.... time to dig in the garden, hike, and get out of digging in the archieves every weekend for a while
  • thirdly, because I'm at a wide spot in the road with my findings!! The leads I have now are many but they are vague and it will take me a while to connect all these dots.....

One victims name was listed as R J Huggins.  NOW this was a real stroke of most of you may know I am a volunteer photographer for Find A Grave.  I get requests to go photograph headstones up to a 20 mile radius of where i live. About 3 weeks ago I got a request for a grave in a cemetery near Bishopsville, SC.(a few miles away)  So off I went to get that photo. The deceased one I hunted was William James Barrett.  When I got there and found the grave it was a double headstone he and his wife... check out the wife's maiden name.

OF course the minute I saw this stone I saw that name HUGGINS the same last name of one of the Boykin Pond victims...when I uploaded the photo to Find A Grave for Mr. Barrett  the wife's headstone had not been requested, but as I normally do with a double stone,  I uploaded it to her memorial page also...and when I got to her memorial page I noticed there was a link to her Mother's  (who was a Huggins) memorial page....and that link took me to Mt Elon Baptist Chruch and I saw lots of Huggins listed in that cemetery! I had read that my Mr. R J Huggins was from Sumter county and MT Elon was in Darlington I figured it was no use looking but I did....I clicked "show me all Huggins in Mt Elon cemetery" and there was a half page long list, I scrolled down only checking the death dates and ILL BE DAMNED IF I DIDNT SEE


To the Memory of
Who died on the 5th of May, 1860  in the 20th year of his age,
one of the unfortunate number
drowned near Camden!!!

I couldnt believe my eyes!!

...with  more reasearch I learned this part of Darlington County, where he was buried, used to be part of what was called the OLD SUMTER DISTRICT but years later was divided  into different counties ...SO thats why my Sumter County search was in the old records had him listed in Sumter Co. but he was actually now in Darlington County!!

 SO thats number 13 found!! And in this case 13 is a lucky number as it takes me over the halfway mark!!

After many trips to the Archieves one fellow asked me "have you checked  a book called
 The History of Camden,  (Kirkland and Kennedy c-1905)?"
NO I hadnt!!! I did and in Volume II Chapter 23, I found a COMPLETE LIST OF THE NAMES with a short passage about the tragedy and all the lives too soon taken from this Earth.
As you know I have already found 12 of long forgotten...and  without the aide of this remarkable list of names which it appears came from an official inquiry and the testimony of two of the Rail Road who was a hero and saved several people....
SO here are the ones I have YET TO FIND:
  1. Selena Crobsy, of Camden (born in England)
  2. Mary E. Hinson, of Camden
  3. Benjamin F. Hocott, of Arkansas (student at McCandless School)
  4. Sarah Ann Howell, of Camden
  5. Jane Kelley, of Boykins (she may be in Rembert the others from Boykins were)
  6. Louise McKeown, of Camden
  7. Margaret McKeown, of Camden
  8. John Oaks, of Camden
  9. T. S. S. Richbourg, of Sumter (maybe he is in Darlington Co also?)
  10. DORCAS PAGE, a free negro
  11. PENDER CIPLES, a negro slave

AND I know you nearly died as I did when I saw the names of the 2 negroes! Finally a name to put to their watery fate.  I was told that Dorcas is probably a female name. There was a plantation here at that time owned by the Ciples family...called White Oak Plantation and many slaves took the  last names of their owners.  Hot lead to follow here is to find out if there  is a Ciples family cemetery, and if so were slaves  buried there? Most times when slaves were buried  the graves were marked only with a small field stone that could be carried and placed by hand...with no inscription since most slaves were illiterate--Ive been warned by other researchers not to have ANY hopes of finding the negroes burials or even a written mention in documents of any kind...:o( 

SO as I continue to follow the many leads-- too many to list here and bore you with, I close with this part V, but I promise to update with each one that I find...until then I leave you with this passage from the old Sumter Watchman article...

"Camden is shrouded in gloom, and many of its citizens overwhelmed by the most severe affliction and bereavement"


Thursday, March 22, 2012

Good, Bad, n Ugly

Heading out of town tomorrow hopefully for a waterfall hike the first of 2012
I took the day OFF WORK...Im so looking forward to this 3 day weekend getaway!! I hope to see some birds and if I can hold the camera still long enough I may acutally get a shot of something....
This week the Black n White Warbler returned to my yard...this is not a great shot but its record proof,

And after going 3 rounds with the EVIL bird police over at ebird...I think you better get a shot of EVERY bird you saw in order for them to not hassle you! That little plug I gave them last week I want to UNPLUG...geeze--I was entering my lists from 1995, NO I cant recall the day but I TICKED IT IN RED INK meaning it was a rare sighting, and not a MIS TIC,  a savannah sparrow ipswich...they said YOU DIDNT SEE IT, CHANGE IT------you were 50 miles inland....even tho I was on a Bird Club field trip with a renown and seasoned leader who said IT was an ipswich..WELL to make life easier for me, I made my lists private and do you know that corporate bird brain project leader said "Im sorry you don't have confidence in your ID's enough to share with the world." SO I said " well I shared with the world and so far after 3 crappy emails from ebird, its not exactly working for me!"

So here is the tufted  titmouse looking so cute with his beady black eyes..

Seems everybody has attitude these days...and then this morning I had to call the satellite company and complain cause the bill went up $4---- again!!    SOON it will be costing more than the electric bill....I told them I will have to cancel it if they don't lower the price, they said, pretty much this.
"GO ahead we don't care." We have been with Direct TV since they were PRIMESTAR in the very beginning, so much for loyalty made me feel pretty blue...

SO I guess you can see my week has not exactly been filled with love n to say the least, and then the gas price went up another 4cents before I could get my van up there to fill it up for the trip...Dang!!  I wish Wall St, would implode and then the gas prices would stop yoyoing...sometimes the price changes 2 x  day.


One of my favorite Hostas that we have in one of my favorite pots!! YOU have to surround yourself with the things you love it makes the cold world a little easier to live in....and you don't feel so adrift...


all that powder on the decking is Pollen! I have to wash my van before I leave its been Pollenated for see what else can I complain about.....IM sure Ill think of something to ruffle my feathers  soon as I hit the publish button...meanwhile I hope all of you have a great weekend.

OH yeah, and then there is the divorce Im going thru....
"I'm due a good turn!"


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Memorable May 5th, 1860 Part IV

Part IV: Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy 24 drowned
More from the Sumter Watchman Article of May 5th 1860.

A flat boat of considerable size had, a short time previous, been built and placed upon the pond for purposes of pleasure. A goodly number (thirty or more) of the company embarked upon this boat, intending to pass over and around the pond. These consisted chiefly of young ladies, there being but a sufficient number of gentlemen, as was supposed, to manage the boat and afford company and protection for the ladies.
As you recall from parts 1-3, I had found 11 burial spots ...going with the names that I thought I would have the best chance of finding were the complete names and the ones who had also listed Family members in the original list of names was this one:

  Miss Minnie Alexander daughter of Dr Isaac Alexander of Camden.

What was  unusual about this one was while I was researching the story of the Duel between Mr Nixon and Mr Hopkins that took place in 1829,  I discovered Mr Nixon was buried at the old Presbyterian Burial Ground and I recalled seeing this sign when I went looking for his grave...

DO YOU see WHAT I SEE?? Grave of Dr Isaac Alexander----he was a  Dr. and the father of Minnie Alexander one of my VICTIMS!! SO HE** YEAH -----she was buried right here...!!!
Excuse my

Ms Amelia "Millie" Adamson Alexander, the daughter of Dr. Isaac Alexander....(her name is misspelled on this stone, which was placed later by the historical society) she was the widow of William Adamson,  so a young widow and MOTHER drowns at age 32..


this stone was placed by her son, I am assuming that WA means William Adamson( II. ) ..that's #12 located!!!!!!

Meanwhile back at the achieves old copies of the Camden Weekly Journal issue dated May 15, 1860  a transcript lists:

Among the many sufferers in the accident on Boykin's Mill Pond, was Benjamin Franklin Hocott, in the 20th year of his age.
Died on Saturday May 5, 1860 Miss Sarah A Howell in the 27th yr of her age, she has left an aged grandmother, and joined Camden Baptist Church in December 1853..{SO this one I may be able to find out something via the church which is now the First Baptist Church of Camden.} 
Died on Saturday May 5, 1860, Misses Margaret and Lousia McKown, daughter of Mr. John McKown, in the 19th and 17th years or their ages.
 {I found so many variations of the spelling of this last name, from McKown, to McCown, to McKeown and it is the latter that is the correct spelling according to the 1850 census)
While researching online I found a diary of Mr. Ralph LeLand Goodrich.  He was a teacher at the Old McCandless School, I have written about the school before..  This is his account of  that horrid day.

After tea, heard that quite a number of the May party about eight miles away were drowned. Mr. Manget and I started to go down street. Mrs. Mack and Miss Carpenter wished to go to Lucy Fisher’s. We went up with them. Manget left. I stayed. Returned. Found Mr. Manget. A (train) car load had started about two o’clock. 26 were drowned. Hocott, one of our scholars was one of the number.
I have since found that Mr Benjamin Hocott was from Arkansas, probably from an influential family since he was attending the school here in Camden, away from his own home state...
So although no grave site for these 4 named above... (as of yet) I have found their complete and proper names!!
AS much as I would like to say that I FOUND all 24 victims burials as of today I have not..sadly!! ....and trust me I am still following every lead, its like any investigation when your leads dry up or become exhausted you really have to DIG in and GO back through your original research.....and I have no way of knowing IF I will ever find them all but Ive come a long way...
Stay tuned to Part V for the most recent findings...

Meanwhile IN closing more from Mr GOODRICH'S DIARY there are some tips in this paragraph, (the funeral of 10 at the Methodist Church and one at the Espiscopal Church.)
May 6, 1860
Came home about half past five this morning, feeling sick and tired. I never want to witness such a scene again. It was heartrending. Only 24 were drowned. Attended church in the morning. Afternoon attended the funeral of 10 at the Methodist church. A great many were present [and there were] hundreds of carriages. Walked down to the burying ground. In lowering the coffin [of] one lady, the fastenings broke, & it fell and; broke off the lid. The body nearly came out. It was solemn to see so many buried at once. So many people — so sad. There is a general lamentation. The loss almost entirely falls on the Methodist society. One young girl, a member of the Episcopalian denomination was amongst the number of the dead. She was the staff and comfort of her poor old mother. Mr. Manget worked very hard and; is sick tonight. He went to bed early.

                                              This is the pond as it is today where the drownings occurred. 

...the bridge is a remnant of the Old Charleston Highway as it crosses the Boykin Mill Pond....George Washington himself traveled this old historic and now defuncted highway during 1791 when he rode in his coach on the way to Savannah during his "goodwill tour" of the South.  So this bridge was here on that fateful day in May when the 24 were struck down in the prime of their youth.


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Got Gas?

Well I took my cold frame top OFF its so warm right now I dont need it, my beans are sprouting and the lettuce is coming up really well and the onions are getting the green tops and I guess its SPRING FOR REAL IN DIXXELAND!!

Well Im curious to know if the Great Crested Flycatchers will nest in the birdhouse since I moved it? I did see a family of bluebirds come in for a drink they normally nest in the other bird house...NEVER got any purple martins in those houses although that was my intent when I put those up.  

One thing I started last night was I signed up for ebird.  My blog buddy Jen got me interested and so I checked it out...its a great tool....I havent done any trips with bird clubs in many years but I used to be a regular at the spring and fall meets....So Im plugging in my checklists from way back in the 90's and hope to eventually bring it up to present day...quite a challenge!! 

ahh.....speaking of beans makes me think of Gas.....a friend forwarded some comic relief my way ...I been giggling ever since so I wanted to share a bout this one, how true is this???

 How bout this

The reason I've Got Gas Prices on my Mind is next weekend I have planned a trip to the upstate, so Im gonna be driving the Dixxeland Express (17 mpg) cause the Girls have to go along with me,....and IM wondering how much the MO-JO is gonna cost me....probaby half my weeks pay!!

 call 1-800-Drop Dead....LMBO

that will be me on the notice the vanity plates..*giggle*
you know its really NOT funny, cause Im serious it will take half my pay check to fill up my van with gas..actually Ive never filled it all the way to the top...SO Ill put in enough to get me there and back.....AND if Im lucky and we have good weather like this weekend my sister and I plan to do the First Waterfall hike of 2012..SO It will be worth whatever it costs...of course I will be eating beans the rest the of the week...

Speaking of politics...I saw this on a house in town...*chuckle* I agree with this guy...

Can beat them FIRE THEM eh? I agree Hope your beans are coming up and your gas is not too painful... ha ha hardy har har..


Monday, March 12, 2012

Memorable May 5th Part III

Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy Part III

From the Sumter Watchman...

The boat seems to have committed them to the boxom of the water, huddled together, mainly, in a mass. The water is supposed to have been about twenty feet in depth, thus thrown together in one clinging to the other, with that grasp which belongs only to those in a drowning condition, there was little opportunity for the males in the company to rescue the ladies or even to save themselves.
I do hope ya'll are not getting tired of this but its such a huge amount of information I didnt want to barely brush the my search continued for more of the Boykin Mill Pond drowning victims..I have come to the conclusion that I may never find them all...but as many as I do..I will celebrate the finding!!

------back to the original article....with the list of names it stated the following:
Miss Lizzie McKagen 
 and her brother Willie McKagen. 

 It was then that I remembered the reference to Lucius LeGrand as being a brother in law to the Isaac McKagen (and the article stated he was the brother to Lizzie and Willie.) Buried within  a few feet of Lucius and William Legrand (from  my story part 1) is J W P McKagen. A Confederate States of America stone is in place for him just feet away from Lucius LeGrand (the Master Mason)  and his I checked the Census for 1860 and found that JWP McKagen  was the father of Little Lizzie and Willie McKagen.

He had been mortally wounded in the Civil War, that came along a year after he lost 2 of his children on that memorable day
... in the 1860 census book of Kershaw County a notation was made on the McKagen family record stating that Lizzie and Willie were buried in the Legrand/McKagen family plot at Quaker Cemetery, having drowned that year in unmarked graves!! So maybe they lay in this wide space between Lucius and his brother, the CSA stones were added to many of the CSA soldiers graves many years later so JWP McKagen lays in this area but the stone is probably NOT over his body and there is another stone for H G McKagen in the left foreground. 

Elizabeth "Lizze"McKagen (1842- May 5, 1860) & Clarence William McKagen (1852 - May 5, 1860) lay here in unmarked graves.

SO two more found!!! IF I were a wealthy woman I would place a stone for them myself!

The old 1860 newspaper listed "Little Alice Robinson, (a sweet little girl) ..."
 the 1850 Census of Kershaw County showed Alice Davidson Robinson born 11 Jul, 1848 and the 1860 census had a notation,
Alice D Robinson, died in Boykin Mill Pond, buried Quaker Cemetery.....
SO away I went back to search for little Alice Robinson...and I found her in section 15..

on the back of her stone it reads...snatched from her widowed mother's fond embrace, a brother's love and the Cherished Friend.

Little Alice Robinson was not quite 12 yrs old when she drowned in the murks of the Boykin Pond...

The Watchman article listed Miss Sarah Nettles as a victim of the tragedy...I searched for her on Find A Grave...but didnt find a Sarah Nettles, but when I searched all the Nettles in Quaker cemetery I found Lousia S Nettles Born Oct 25, 1842 d. May 5, 1860 !!!!!!!
SO my Sarah Nettles is Lousia Sarah Nettles...and she was buried in a family plot in section 4 along with more brave young men from her family who had enlisted in the Civil War that would break out soon after this tragedy..

Two more mere babes this part III had me finding the resting places of 4 more of the dead....thats 11 of the 24 found!!!

from the article...
Piercing cries and shrieks, and calls for help, both from those on shore and those on the unfortunate boat, filled the air. Sisters and brothers, parents and children, relatives and friends, whose hearts were bound together by the nearest and dearest of earthly ties, and animated by the warmest and most tender affection, were there - some on the sinking boat and some on the shore. Oh how rudely were those confiding hearts torn asunder and ravished with wild and aching grief!

more to come in part IV...

this is the old Mill Building as it stands has withstood the test of time and tragedy..
built in 1792, and Grits are still milled there today--if you google it you can order some Boykin Mill Grits!


Sunday, March 11, 2012

Noisey Neighbors

Yesterday and today was remarkable! One couldnt ask for a prettier spring day if one ordered it up--its way early to be having this wonderful weather tho..everything is at least a month early.

 I worked in my garden setting up a cold frame to get my beans n squash going early...I predict (drum roll please) no more winter for the Midlands of SC.  We had only a hand ful of days where it went below freezing in the dead of winter so only a complete freak of nature could bring a freeze in now.  I need to make a manure run..YEP I usually haul manure this time of yr to introduce some red wigglers into my soil..(and some Good Earth into my soul)

... above me the red shouldered hawks were courting...its the only answer to the way they behaved all day long screeching, dive bombing each other then cuddling, and soaring, they must have been exhausted is all I can say...I grabbed the camera and got fuzzy photo as he soared away, a couple of awful short vids, and most of the time they were flying by at the speed of light...MY camera is so noisey when in Video mode, its contstantly focusing and making this groaning sound...i got several fairly good bits followed by me moving the camera, or losing sight of the hawks, wish I could cut and edit the bad parts out but I dont have Quicktime Pro is what it is.

The happy couple noisey neighbors have been building the nest for a while and its WAYYYY up near the top of a 100 ft pine so dont expect any photos of little fuzzy headed chicks, I would need a 100ft cherry picker to get that shot...

I dont do a lot of YouTube so Question for those that do, can you combine several clips together from different videos to make One Video? If so HOW?
Thanks for the visit and hope you had a great weekend like I did, back to work tomorrow another week X'd off the countdown!!


Monday, March 5, 2012

Memorable May 5th, part II

Boykin Mill Pond Tragedy Part II

SO...a real challenge lay ahead of me as I try to find out more about the 24 victims of the mass drowning of May 5th, I said I want to find the burial places of as many as I has turned into quite a search...
The old Sumter Watchman article listed the names of the dead..but as small communities are, the list caused more confusion for me than clarity!!

the Boykin Mill Pond

this is the exact transcription from the old Watchman article that came out 2 days later with the list of the dead:

Miss Lizzie McKagen, a lovely sister of Mr. Isaac McKagen, of our town, Willie McKagen, a young brother of the same; Luke (Lucius) and William LeGrand, brothers, one of them a brother-in-law of Mr. McKagen above mentioned. Miss Sarah Nettles, two Misses McCowns, Miss Minnie Alexander (daughter of Mr. Isaac Alexander, of Camden). Miss Howell, Miss Crosby, Miss Henson, two Misses Yound and one brother, Miss Mary Jenkins, Mr. Hocott, Mr. Huggins, Mr. Jery McLeod, Mr. John Oaks, Miss Kelly, little Alice Robinson (a sweet little girl), Mr. S.S. Richburg (surveyor, formerly of this place). Mr. Richburg, with noble devotion, lost his life as we understand attempting to save another. These, with two negroes, complete the melancholy list.

SO my work was cut out for me, with that very incomplete list of names....Miss Howell, Miss Crosby? Two negroes?  How can I find people with only a last name to go on? SO needless to say I had little to go on in some cases so I started to spend my entire Saturday in the archieves in Camden looking into what info was available about this tragedy...Google will only take one so far and then you have to jump into the trenches and leave your living room to research..Microfilm, city census reports, death indexes, cemetery surveys...documents, family histories---old newspapers, ETC.

IT took me about one week to find out that two Misses Yound (mentioned above) and one brother was actually a misprint and the name was really YOUNG..once I found that out it really helped me to search for them....

I found the Youngs by searching for Mr Jery McLeod (he was related) and I found this out through another person's research of their McLeod Family Lineage!! (...and great great uncle Jerimiah who drowned in Boykin Mill Pond...etc) GREAT Break for me...he was buried at the very old Methodist church in Rembert a nearby small community, south of the Boykin Mill Pond.

Rembert Methodist Church Cemetery founded in late 1780
Jerimiah R Jerry McLeod
Jerry McLeod a would be hero

SO I turned to the Lee County Cemetery Survey done in 1993, and there he was--  AND I found not just
Jerimiah R "Jerry" McLeod

who gave his life trying to save others, also the Young Children, 2 sisters, a brother, and a cousin of theirs who was in attendance of that celebrative day in May...a birthday celebration for Miss Hollie, who would have turned 20 the very next day but she drowned the day before....

Miss Hollie Adele Young, 19 yo                              Mary Ann Young age 11
May 6, 1841- May 5, 1860                                   Jul 10, 1849 - May 5, 1860
Hollie Adele Young            Mary Ann Young

at only 8 yrs old....
Young Mr Sameul Henry Young
Sept 29, 1852 - May 5, 1860
                                                                          all three of the afore mentioned were the children of
                                                                          Samuel Henry Young (1817-1881)
                                                                          and Mary Ann McLeod Young (1818-1864)
Samuel Henry Young
reads drowned in Boykin Mill Pond

and What a great surprise to find their Cousin
Miss Mary Eliza Jenkins buried alongside .
            1846 - May 5, 1860
            in the 14th yr of her life

     Mary Eliza Jenkins

so sad all these young and energetic lads and lassies snuffed out so Hamlet said "Out Out Swift Candle"
SO I did the dixxedoodles I had found 5 more of the 24 victims burials in the same cemetery..well I may not find them all but I had 7 located so far....17 to go!!! More to come.....for next week.

                                   for Taphophile Tragics