Friday, July 13, 2012

Burt-Stark Mansion, Abbeville SC

Donna and I recently visited the Burt-Stark Mansion in Abbeville, SC. It was built in the 1830's and was owned by Armistead Burt during the years of the Civil War. Burt was a friend of Jefferson Davis, the President of the Confederacy, and on May 2, 1865, Davis held in this house what would be his last council of war of the Confederacy, effectively ending the Confederacy and the war. He wished to continue the cause, but the other council members convinced him that all was lost and that it was time to give it up.

Davis and his cabinet sat in these chairs at this table in this room for their final meeting.

Neat old piano; I wish I could have banged out a few notes on it.

Davis slept in this bed following the meeting with this cabinet to mull things over before conceding defeat.

After leaving there we visited the square downtown Abbeville and walked around a bit and enjoyed a couple of yummy ice cream cones. Neat painting and old ad that we came across:

This is the beautiful Trinity Episcopal Church, built in 1860.

Beautiful chancel window imported from England.

Eastern lubber grasshopper we stumbled upon.

Know what this is?

It's an LED traffic signal! I'd never seen one up close. Pretty nifty.

Thursday, July 05, 2012

Cleveland School Fire

A few days ago I rode out to Camden and visited the site of the Cleveland School, a school that burned in 1923, killing 77 people. The fire occurred during the performance of a graduation play, which tragically was planned to be the last use of the building; the following school year it was no longer going to be used, and school children would have attended neighboring schools. Here is a very informative article about the event, including a map if you wish to visit. Hat tip to my friend Cole for telling me about this historic site!

There is a pump house in the shape of the school on the grounds.

This is a monument in memory of those who perished.

A couple of miles away is a cemetery in which there is a mass grave containing the remains of most of those who perished.

This handwritten tombstone is unrelated to the school fire, but I thought it was quite interesting.

A bit of good came from this tragedy in that laws were passed very soon afterward making buildings much safer.