I’m so sorry it’s been awhile updating this blog. I haven’t found anything really new in South Carolina lately. SO…if anyone who reads this blog knows of any unique hidden places or ruins in South Carolina, let me know! Any information from the following post is from this site.
This Saturday, I went to visit the Riverbanks Zoo. I saw lots of lovely animals.
However, we went to see the gardens. Along the way, we stopped by the ruins of of the Old State Road Bridge that was burned by Confederates. You can see this bridge from the bridge separating the Zoo and Gardens. Here are a few photos.
What surprised me the most was stumbling on to a path behind the zoo. This property is owned and protected by Riverbanks Zoo. I found out later that this path lead to the Saluda Factory ruins, which I had heard of before. What I hadn’t heard before was Sherman’s Rock. Supposedly, there is a rock that Sherman stood on, on the eve of the shelling of Columbia. I think it might be the rock in this picture, it was a massive boulder, but I can’t be sure. Next time I’ll ask a worker if they know.
I did not know much about the Saluda River Factory. According to Riverbanks Zoo, it was built in 1830 and one of South Carolina’s Oldest Textile Mills. If so, that pre-dates Graniteville Textiles, which I had assumed to be the oldest textile mill in South Carolina by 15 years. You can read more about Graniteville in my post here.
The mill was destroyed by Sherman, but rebuilt after the Civil War. I do not know if they used the same stones and structure, but it accidentally burnt down in 1884. According to Riverbanks, the ruins include “remnants of the granite foundations of the mill, picking house and millrace” (Riverbanks History). The mill at one point produced uniforms for Confederate soldiers, so burning it was strategic for Sherman’s Advance.
After traveling the trail we found the ruins. The following pictures are of the Saluda Factory.
Since my knowledge of mills of the 1800’s are very limited, I do not know what structures these originally were. At Riverbanks, you can visit the Saluda Factory Interpretive Center, but when we arrived, it was closed. They may be of further assistance if you choose to visit this area. It is very public, as long as you pay the zoo fee. It’s a very good deal for a day at the zoo, and a trip back into time! Plus you get to meet this guy!