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Contact me at Mom25dogs@gmail.com

Saturday, December 31, 2011

We Went To Visit Luke, Hannah and Savannah Today

Stan and I took Mom and Dad over to Luke and Hannah's new house and visit. Savannah is such a love bug!

Glendale Cotton Mill, Glendale, SC

Here is a short video from our visit to Glendale 12/13/2008.

A satellite photo of modern Glendale

A Revolutionary War battle was fought in this area! See http://glendalesc.com/
The South Carolina Upcountry was the site of many battles and skirmishes during the Revolutionary War. One of these took place in and around the site of the Wofford Iron Works in August of 1780. It is known as the Battle of Wofford’s Iron Works or sometimes as The Second Battle of Cedar Springs. The following account is based on the books Battleground - South Carolina in the Revolution by Warren Ripley published by the Charleston Post Courier and Spartanburg - Facts, Reminiscences, Folklore by Vernon Foster published by the Reprint Company Publishers.
The Battle has gone by a variety of names, including Wofford's Iron Works, Cedar Springs No.2, the Peach Orchard, the Old Iron Works, and Buffington. It was largely a running engagement along the road between present-day Camp Croft and Glendale. It started about a mile from Cedar Spring near Wofford's Iron Works, also called the Old Iron Works and, occasionally, Buffington for a previous owner. Part of the action was in a peach orchard, hence the confusion. Regardless of name, it was a bit more extensive and bloody than the first Battle of Cedar Springs.
Following the fall of Charleston on May 12, 1780, the British had moved inland and one of the main leaders in pacifying rebellious elements of the Upcountry was Maj. Patrick Ferguson. Later in the year he would die at King's Mountain. But in August 1780, he was a terror to the Whigs. Ferguson had about 1,800 men. Opposing him was a Patriot force of 1,000 or so that was trying to keep watch on the British Major without letting itself become engaged in a major battle until it had grown to more equal size.
To accomplish its mission, 400 men were left to consolidate a base camp and the remainder, a mounted force of some 600 under Cols. Isaac Shelby, Elijah Clarke and William Graham, was sent into nearby Union County to shadow Ferguson and, when possible, cut off his foraging parties.
However, the Whigs found themselves badly outnumbered and fell back to the Spartanburg area, where Aug. 7 found them encamped for the night about two miles west of Cedar Spring. This was near the crossroads where Foster's Tavern (at Highways 56 and 295) would be erected in 1807.
Scouts brought word shortly before dawn Aug. 8 that the enemy was within half a mile and the Patriots hastily broke camp and moved via the existing road from Camp Croft to Glendale to a an advantageous position near the old Iron Works. Here, they were attacked by a large detachment of British dragoons and mounted militia riflemen from Ferguson's command under Maj. James Dunlap. The first skirmish lasted about half an hour. Dunlap's mounted riflemen received the initial fire and fell back. After considerable difficulty, Dunlap managed to rally them and, putting himself at the head of the dragoons, initiated a second assault.
The dragoons charged into the Patriot line, where the fighting raged hand-to-hand. But the British riflemen were reluctant to close and before long the badly outnumbered dragoons were thrown back and, together with the riflemen, were pursued for about a mile back along the present road to Camp Croft from Glendale by the victorious Americans before action was broken off and the Patriots returned to their line near the iron works.
Dunlap continued his retreat another mile towards the direction of Camp Croft and met Ferguson with the entire Loyalist force. Ferguson and several hundred of his troops were heading towards the Iron Works. The combined units now moved back towards the Iron Works, where the Americans took one look at the British, decided they were too badly outnumbered to fight, and began a hasty, but organized, withdrawal. The Americans retreated across Lawson's Fork Creek and along much of what is now the Clifton Glendale Road. At the time this route was part of the Old Georgia Road.
There was a running battle to the site of present day Clifton. Ferguson was hoping to attack and rescue the British prisoners, but the American leaders took advantage of every favorable position to form their men for battle. This delayed close pursuit until the prisoners could be hurried beyond hope of recapture. Ferguson broke off the battle after the Americans crossed the Pacolet River at what is now Clifton.
Casualty estimates vary widely. Depending on which source you prefer, American losses ran from three killed and 21 wounded to 50 killed, and the British from eight to 34 killed. Based on the type action, probably the lower American figure is more accurate and somewhere between the two extremes for the British. Graves of the dead could be seen at the site of the Iron Works until recent years.
In addition, both sides likely had a number of wounded and Dunlap left quite a few prisoners in American hands, many of them probably also wounded.
Both sides claimed victory and probably the honors should be shared. The Americans certainly won the hand-to-hand contest, probably had fewer casualties and captured more prisoners. The British, on the other hand, held possession of the field and were advancing against a retreating foe when the fighting ended.

In 1832, Dr. James Bivings moved to the area from Lincolnton, NC and purchased land off the Old Georgia Road on Lawson's Fork Creek to build the first large cotton mill in the area. He called it the Bivingsville Cotton Factory. He brought workmen and craftsmen with him to build it. He bought his machinery in Patterson, New Jersey. One feature which elicited admiration was an overshot water wheel which was 26 feet in diameter and 12 foot wide. This mill had 1,200 spindles and 24 looms.

He purchased more land around the site including the old Wofford Iron Works. He built his house on the bluff overlooking the mill. It was a fine home for the time. He built a small community of homes as a mill village for the workers and named it Bivingsville. The house was altered ca. 1890 by the addition of two Victorian bays and a kitchen wing, alterations with significance in their own right. Listed in the National Register May 26, 1995.

View from the 2nd floor of the old Bivings house.

He, Simpson Bobo and Elias Leitner became partners but a dispute and lawsuit happened and Dr. Bivings departed. He built a finer home in Spartanburg that is now referred to as the Bivings-Evins Home.

In 1847 it was known as one of the finest mills in the state and was owned by Elias and G. Leitner. In 1856 it was sold in bankruptcy proceedings to a group of investors that included Dexter E. Converse. D.E. Converse took over the management of the Bivingsville Cotton Factory. Dexter Converse moved into the old Bivings house. It wasn't until 1878 that Bivingsville was renamed to Glendale and the mill became known as the Glendale Cotton Mill.

During the Civil War, the Glendale textile mill made items for the Confederacy including wooden shoe soles and cloth. After the War, Dexter Converse and his brother-in-law, Albert Twichell, owned the mill. By 1875, 10 years after the War, the mill had 5,000 spindles and 120 looms. The mill village had 60 houses with 400 residents. It also had a sawmill, two cotton gins, a machine shop and a carpenter shop.

Glendale expanded in the 1880’s and 1890’s. It came to have 17,280 spindles and 518 looms. The mill building itself was enlarged by a three story addition. During this time, the number of houses in the village for the workers increased to 75 homes.

Dexter Converse died in 1899 and the presidency was given to Albert Twichell. It continued to flourish. It sailed through World War I and prospered during the 1920's. But when the Great Depression hit in 1929 hundreds of textile workers throughout the state lost their jobs. At Glendale, the work was curtailed and the number of workdays a week were cut back. Sometimes the mill was opened for only two or three days a week. Many of the mills were no longer able to pay their workers with cash but issued “script”. This “script” could be spent at the company stores for groceries and other essentials.

Glendale Mill in 1917

There was a trolly from Spartanburg to Glendale. Glendale had a park and lake. Glendale, too, had a baseball team and baseball park. The baseball field was located near the Trolley Park, just off Ben Avon Road.

Here is an old postcard of virtually the same photo.

World War II brought a boom to the textile mills and Glendale Mill ran 3 shifts to keep up. Many men joined the military which left women filling in as workers at the mills.

After WWII, a change happened. In 1946 the Converse Company sold the Glendale mill to J.L. Stifel and Sons of Wheeling West Virginia. They modernized by switching from steam power to electrical power. They tore down some of the worst of the mill houses and renovated the others. There were 120 mill houses in the village. In the 1950's they sold the houses. Many were bought by the families occupying them.

The mill employed 600 employees. However, in 1957, Stifel and Sons sold the mill to Indian Head Mills. They closed the old Glendale Mill in November 1961. On March 24, 2004 the old Glendale Mill burned. Only the towers, smokestacks and the original office building are left by the dam.

This building used to be the company store. It is now the Post Office.

This is the interior of the Glendale cotton mill's original office building.

Front office

The old bridge is behind the Glendale Post Office.

Stan on the bridge.


From the bridge looking back at the Glendale cotton factory.

This was Glendale's Methodist Church. These are the photos I took. There is an old cemetery beside this church. It's Church St after it curls up around behind the baptist church.

Here is the Glendale Baptist Church. Both of these churches are on Church St. The baptist church is right at the "Y" where Church St comes off Clifton-Glendale Rd.

Mill goes up in flames
Spartanburg Herald Journal
GLENDALE -- Fourteen-year-old Zach Ivey knelt in the street and put the palms of his hands down, leveling his back Saturday afternoon so his friend, Dustin Roberts, could use it as a platform to photograph the still-smoldering Glendale Mill.Roberts, 15, snapped a few shots as thick smoke continued to roll from the ruins 15 hours after a fire left only the brick wall outline of the 137-year-old, five-story structure.

"This place is historical," Ivey said when Roberts jumped from his back. "We studied about it in school."

Working their way back up the street, the teens pulled a shiny, red Radio Flyer wagon they had hoped to use for a better vantage point. But when the authorities would not let them take it in,

Ivey gave Roberts the boost he needed for the photography session.

"We've been around here watching since 3 a.m.," said Roberts, a student at Broome High School.

"At first, we thought it was our friend's house. We came running down here to be sure he was alright."

The teens were wide-eyed as they talked about the blaze that gutted the mill, which closed 43 years ago.

"It was terrible. Those flames were just so high," Ivey said, throwing his head back and looking into the sky.

They stood in front of a house facing the mill that was the only other structure damaged by the roaring early morning blaze that sent red and yellow flames high into the air, said Glendale Assistant Fire Chief Eric Alley.

Alley said he was on duty at the station just down the street when the call to 911 came in at 2:26 a.m. Saturday.

In addition to numerous rows of houses, which had to be protected from the heat and blaze, the Post Office is adjacent to the property and its operation was shut down for the day.

Also within a half-mile radius of the mill are the Spartanburg County District 3 school administrative offices and at least five churches.

More than 80 firefighters from the Glendale, Pacolet, Converse and Drayton departments responded and rotated working throughout the day trying to extinguish the blaze and prevent it from spreading.

A crew of firefighters was assigned to remain overnight to keep the blaze from rekindling.

Agents with the State Law Enforcement Division called to the scene to determine the cause waited for what was left to cool so they could begin their work.

"When I pulled in, the back part of the mill – the three-story section -- was fully engulfed in flames," Alley said.

"It's a total loss. Everything's gone, except a small newer office addition here closest to the post office," Alley said. "Right now we're just working to keep the hot spots down."

Anderson-based Glendale Development Corp. owned the 250,000-square-foot mill. Several companies were leasing space for storage, according to Glendale Development President Mike Cicora.

Cicora, whose group bought the mill in 2000, said he learned about the fire when a friend called him Saturday morning after seeing a report on television.

He said there were plans to redevelop the mill, possibly turning it into condominiums.

"It may have looked like there was nothing happening, but we had strong interest from several different groups," Cicora said. "There were no immediate plans, but certainly there were plans for developing the property."

"I'm absolutely devastated by this. Three and a half years of my life literally went up in smoke."

The mill was built about 1867, and the site along Lawson's Fork Creek has an even richer history.

It was first developed in 1773, when Joseph Buffington built Buffington Iron Works. But Buffington struggled and eventually lost the facility to William Wofford in a land dispute.

During the Revolutionary War, British soldiers ambushed American forces that had camped out at Wofford's Iron Works on Aug. 7, 1780. The Americans fought off their attackers and the foundry was spared.

A year later, the iron works was destroyed in a raid led by "Bloody" Bill Cunningham. But it reopened after the war as South Carolina Iron works.

James Bivings of Lincolnton, N.C., bought the property and built the Bivingsville Cotton Factory in the early 1830s. It was South Carolina's first cotton mill with more than 1,000 spindles.

The mill went bankrupt in 1855, and Bivings sold it to John Bomar and Co. for $19,500 a year later. Bomar's group hired Edgar Converse to run the operation.

The mill flourished under Converse, and during the Civil War a third of the plant's production went to the Confederate government.

The factory was razed after the war and a new mill – the one that burned Saturday morning -- was built around 1867. The company also had a new name – D.E. Converse and Co. The name of the mill was changed to Glendale in 1878.

Another section was added in 1890, and another expansion occurred in 1902.

By 1907 it had more than 37,000 spindles.

Stifel and Sons of Wheeling, W.Va., bought the mill in 1946. Stifel remodeled the mill village homes and sold them to the employees in 1955.

Indian Head Mills bought the facility in 1957. Four years later, the looms stopped running for good.

Neighbors and motorists following the smoke continued to gather and watch the activity of firefighters throughout the day.

Several people reported hearing large booms that awakened them.

Witnesses said it took firefighters two or three hours to get the blaze under control, and as late as noon an isolated patch of fire could still be seen amid the rubble.

Ray Price, a firefighter and photographer for the Glendale Fire Department, said the mill's size and condition made this the worst fire he had ever seen in his 30 years of photographing fires for documentation and training purposes.

Many people walked around surveying the scene and documenting the mill's demise by shooting photos and video images.

Broadway Street resident Tim Williams learned of the fire at 2:35 a.m. when a neighbor called him. He soon got an up-close look at the blaze when he helped a friend move a dump truck and other vehicles the friend had stored behind the mill.

Driving on an access road behind the mill, Williams saw burning embers falling through the air and bricks flying out of windows.

"It looked like volcano rocks falling down," Williams said. "I had my (vehicle) windows up and my air conditioner on and it was burning my face, it was so hot."

But Williams said the only damage to his vehicle was some soot marks.

Donald Hughes, another Broadway Street resident, lives a block or so from the mill and he said the flames were so intense that they lit up the darkness.

"I live on the top of the hill and when I walked outside it was like broad daylight," Hughes said.

Hughes believes that if the wind had not shifted and blown flames away from the mill village that many mill houses would have succumbed to the blaze.

The fire was especially threatening to Hughes' mother, Dee Bryant, who lives on Glendale Avenue right across from the mill.

She woke up around 2 a.m. when she heard a loud explosion, and when she looked outside she saw towers of flames.

"I was freaking out," Bryant said.

Once the fire spread to the part of the mill closest to her home, the heat was so intense that it began to melt her vinyl siding.

Neighbors tried to wet her home with a garden hose, but the water pressure was too low so Drayton's fire department had to come and spray Bryant's house in order to save it.

"Thank goodness for Drayton," she said.

John Bishop of Duncan Street, a lifelong Glendale resident who worked at the mill as a teenager, said he was sorry to see the mill gone because of its history.

"It went down in a hurry," Bishop said. "In about two or three hours, it was down."

Ghosts at the old Bivings House in Glendale?

Spartanburg Herald Journal
By Kim Kimsey
Published: Sunday, August 31, 2008 at 3:15 a.m. Last Modified: Friday, August 29, 2008 at 10:12 p.m.
At one time, it was a grand house.

Even in its neglected and dilapidated state, there is still some regality to the home Dr. James Bivings built in the 1830s. It sits on a hill that once overlooked Glendale Mill.

Fire claimed most of the mill four years ago, but the columned house still stands as a landmark in the once-bustling mill village.

The mill was eventually sold by Bivings in bankruptcy proceedings. Dexter Edgar Converse, founder of Converse College, became manager of the mill and moved into the house in 1855. Superintendents of the Glendale Mill would follow.

The house hasn't been inhabited for many years. Or has it?

Do apparitions, including soldiers, wander its large rooms and grounds? Team members of Upstate Paranormal Investigations recently spent a night there gathering audio, video and other data to determine whether paranormal activity is indeed taking place.

Some think the house was used as a hospital for Confederate soldiers. The basement supposedly served as a morgue.

"From local people that we've talked to, they say that Confederate soldiers have been seen," said Annette Sepulveda, founder of UPI.

Some people have told UPI team members they've seen Confederate soldiers around the basement. Some claim to have seen a woman on the porch, Sepulveda said.

Going inside
During UPI's recent investigation, Sepulveda carefully steps through weeds and over wires running across the overgrown lawn from the house to a pitched tent. The tent is where the team has set up equipment powered by car batteries.

The house has no electricity, and it's very dark this overcast night. The amber glow from a streetlight illuminates the house and chain link fence surrounding the property.

It's about 9:30 p.m. and the neighborhood is quiet, but the crickets are loud. The air is thick with their chirping, as well as the humidity.

Beams from flashlights cut into the dark and guide investigators into the house.

Light from Sepulveda's flashlight bounces across floors and walls. Some places show water damage and graffiti.

"It's a crying shame, what's been done to it," Sepulveda says. "It's absolutely gorgeous, even though it's neglected."

She reflects on the house's former significance for Glendale residents. Think of the planning that must have gone on there for the whole community, she says.

"If you believe, like a lot of people, believe that life doesn't end, that the human body is full of energy and energy cannot be destroyed, it only changes to something different, then when a person dies their energy could be absorbed into these walls, you know — the energy of everyday life being absorbed into the walls and becoming a part of the building," she says.

"A lot of people believe that. Do I know scientifically? Can I prove that that's true? That's what we're trying to do."

UPI, which formed in February, has 10 active members and a technical adviser.

A few team members are from North Carolina; one is from Greenville. The rest are from Spartanburg.

All of them have regular jobs. They do paranormal investigation in their spare time.

Amber Patton, a team leader from Spartanburg, said members are serious about investigating the paranormal and include believers and skeptics.

"I think we're greatly misunderstood," she said.

She said a lot of people think of them as "ghost busters."

Patton said the group's goal is helping people. She said paranormal activity is terrifying to some, and that the group might serve to help ease their minds.

Investigations are free
UPI has investigated four cases. Two more are pending.

Sepulveda says they never ask clients for a fee. "To us, it's an honor and a privilege to have an opportunity to investigate the paranormal," she says.

Team members use their own equipment. On their most recent investigation of the Bivings house, they set up equipment, including a motion sensor and cameras, all over the house. A couple of team members watch the video live out in a tent.

They also have audio equipment to record "electronic voice phenomena."

But the most important investigative tool, Sepulveda says, is intuition. "It will tell you when something's there. It will tell you when to get out. It will tell you when it's safe."

Before an EVP session in the basement, team members gather in a circle, join hands and pray for protection.

After the prayer, Rick Huffman and Sepulveda head back into the house and descend the stairs to the basement.

Huffman, co-founder of the group and a lead investigator, sits down on one side of the basement, and Sepulveda sits on the other side. They're settling in, preparing for the EVP session.

"All right guys, we are going silent for EVP sessions," Huffman radios to team members upstairs.
They switch off their flashlights, and the basement goes black.

"Is there anyone in this basement who would like to communicate with us?" Sepulveda asks. "We're not here to harm you. We're only curious."

"Are you a Confederate soldier?"

Huffman introduces himself and the team and explains what they're doing.

More questions follow.

The session lasts about 13 minutes.

Huffman thanks anyone who might be present for any attempts they might have made to contact the team.

Not always exciting
Sepulveda says paranormal investigating is actually very boring. "It's a lot of long hours sitting and waiting," she says.

She says their ultimate goal is to help people determine whether they're experiencing paranormal activity.

They first search for natural explanations of suspected paranormal activity.

"I'm a very analytical person," Huffman says. "I will drive it into the ground if I have to, you know. I'm like a bulldog. They have to keep me on a leash sometimes because I want to find out the truth."

It will take hours to review the data the team members have collected, including audio.

Sepulveda says she hears something while playing back the EVP session from the basement.

When she asked, "Are you a Confederate soldier?" she heard a whispered "yes."

Thursday, they were still reviewing what they gathered. Sepulveda said more than half the group will scrutinize the recording to decide whether it's legitimate, man-made or mechanical. If they can't agree, they will "throw it out."

History up to question
B.G. Stephens, the self-described "unofficial mayor" of Glendale, grew up there. He said a strong rumor is that the basement might have been a Confederate morgue, but no one has substantiated that. He points out that there wasn't much Civil War combat here.

"Glendale mill workers and owners contributed to the Southern cause in the Civil War with the assignment of one-third of the plant's production to Confederate use," Michael Leonard wrote in "Our Heritage: A Community History of Spartanburg County, S.C."

Brad Steinecke, collections and research manager for the Spartanburg County Historical Association, said it's "perfectly conceivable" that the house could have been used as a hospital. Nothing in the historical records supports that, however.

Steinecke said the Glendale Mill produced wooden shoe soles during the war.

Maybe, if the crickets quiet down long enough, you can hear them echoing in the hallways or shuffling across the basement's dirt floor.

An article in the Spartanburg Herald Journal in June 1, 2008

Good sources:

Here are some photos I took today, 12/31/2011. They have made a new park with walking trails since the last time we were down here in 2008.

One of the big pines had either fallen or was cut down. The sections were along the trail and Dad measured it. It was 22" and the rings were so dense. Dad said he bet that tree was part of the old pine forests that was the area before it became a town.

For more recent photos of the Glendale Mill.

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