This is not today's Wonder of the World.
Although it is pretty wonderful.
We live in Peach Land, and this water tower is about 45 minutes from our house. Sue Monk Kidd wrote about it in The Secret Life of Bees, except she changed it to a giant peach on a pole inside T. Ray's peach farm. If you drive down I-85 through South Carolina, you can't miss it. When my brother's friend Mike first laid eyes on it, he said he wanted to marry a woman with a hiney like that. I don't know if that worked out for him or not, but every time I drive by Gaffney and see the peach, I think about Mike and his lustful desires.
No, today's Wonder of the World is what upstate South Carolina is really known for--or at least used to be. Think John Edwards.
No, not Nice Hair. Try again.
It's a textile mill. John Edwards' parents worked in one in Seneca, about 40 minutes from me.
More specifically, today's wonder is The Textile Mill Village. That's what interests me. The people and how they lived.
Not this so much.
It's not a very pretty photo.
But I do like looking at it because that mill used to be right around the corner from my house. It was the very first mill built in this part of the state, first constructed in 1820, long before the postcards described Greenville as The Textile Jewel of the South. During the Civil War it was churning out fabric for Confederate uniforms, and it kept going strong until the mid 1930's. The mill burned down in 1943.
Here's all that's left of the mill itself.
This is the mill office. They moved it across the street when they built the new road. If you look at the old photo, you can see it in the right bottom corner. When we first moved to Greer/Greenville in 1990, this building was used as a post office. The old postman didn't always have stamps, but he did give out lollipops to kids for free. I'd love to fix it up and live in it. But my husband says over his dead body.
And this is left too.
Remember the river picture from yesterday? The same river powered the mill. I think the dam is lovely.
But my favorites are the mill houses. There used to be hundreds around this mill, but now there are just a few.
I do a Meals on Wheels route in another mill community across town, and just about everyone I serve worked their whole lives in the mill. My friends say I'm awfully nice to volunteer, but they don't know that I'm just obsessed with this mill village thing. That, and I like the people. They invite me in and tell me about their lives, working and living to the rhythm of the whirring looms and the dinner whistle. It's a feast for both of us.
Have a great weekend everyone!