Category Archives: Lifestyles

Fireworks and Freedom

Pickens County residents donned their red, white and blue as local communities hosted a variety of events to celebrate America’s independence last week, with festivities in Six Mile, Central/Clemson, Easley, Liberty and Pickens. The events each featured plenty of food, music, fun and fireworks displays lighting up the night.

Photos by Rocky Nimmons, Doug Tate and Kerry Gilstrap



Clemson professor writes history of little-known Pickens County community

By Wanda Johnson

Clemson University

CLEMSON — A group of Clemson University students and faculty tiptoed through a weed-filled plot of land in northern Pickens County as if they were trying to avoid disturbing the birds flying above them. They removed brush and debris from a cemetery some feared was forgotten.

That was more than seven years ago, when members of Clemson’s anthropology club and faculty carefully cleaned and marked graves at a slave cemetery that belongs to Soapstone Baptist Church in Liberia, a small community in northern Pickens County.

“Hundreds of freed slaves settled in the Upstate of South Carolina after the Civil War,” said Mable Owens Clarke, Soapstone Baptist Church member and historian.

Clarke said the church dates back to about 1865, when her maternal great-grandfather founded the house of worship.

Clemson anthropology professor Mike Coggeshall read bits and

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Happy 101st birthday

Happy birthday to our mother, Edna Holden, who turned 101 on May 3. She was given a party at Pendleton Street Baptist Church. We thank God for our mother every day. We are so blessed to still have her. We love you, Mama!


Norma, Shirley,

Ruby and Ricky


Spring Happenings

Local residents have been taking advantage of the beautiful spring weather, with hundreds flocking to the annual Blue Ridge Electric  Cooperative members meeting in Pickens and the opening day of the Six Mile Farmers Market on Thursday, as well as the Central Railroad Festival and the ninth annual Wings and Wheels for Meals at the Pickens County Airport on Saturday. The activities will continue this weekend with the 2018 Blue Ridge Fest, set for 5:30-10:30 p.m. Friday at the Blue Ridge Electric Co-op headquarters in Pickens. To see more photos, visit

Photos by Rocky Nimmons and courtesy Pickens County Meals on Wheels


All Aboard For Fun

Railroad Festival to roll into Central April 28

By Jason Evans
Staff Reporter

CENTRAL — This year’s Central Railroad Festival will offer something fun for everyone.

“We are gearing up for a day full of family fun,” festival committee member Ed Welch said. “The railroad festival has something for all ages.”

The 2018 Central Railroad Festival will officially kick off at 10 a.m. April 28 and run until 5 p.m.

Admission to the festival is free.

The festival has existed in its current incarnation for more than a decade, Welch said.

This year, the festival is partnering with Pickens County as part of the

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Preparing garden beds for spring and beyond

Gardening enthusiasts may have been thinking about their landscape plans throughout the winter, eager to once again get their hands dirty with soil. Whether a home gardener is making preparations for edible crops or beautiful flowers, he or she must take time to make the soil amenable to planting. To establish hearty, durable plants, gardeners can focus on three main areas: addressing soil composition, cultivating and adding nutrients.

Soil composition

Many gardeners prefer growing a variety of plants in their gardens. Such an approach requires taking inventory of the type of soil in one’s

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Ergonomic techniques can make gardening less taxing

Gardening is a popular activity that seems to be gaining even more supporters. Statistica reports that the number of people who gardened within the last 12 months in the United States rose from around 105 million in 2008 to 118 million in 2017.

Gardening can be relaxing yet physically demanding work. Gardeners who find themselves battling aches and pains after spending time in the garden may need to make a greater effort to reduce injuries and

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Annual Clemson Experimental Forest celebration Saturday

CLEMSON — The Clemson Experimental Forest will hold its annual Forest Fest from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. this Saturday, April 7, in the Lake Issaqueena area.

Above: Saturday’s third annual Clemson Experimental Forest Forest Fest will be held from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Lake Issaqueena area.
Courtesy Clemson University

There will be activities for adults and children, including guided hikes, nature walks, scavenger hunts, air rifle demonstrations, waterfall views, canoeing and kayaking, forestry activities and outdoor games.

This is the third year for the event. South Carolina Botanical Garden education and resource coordinator James Wilkins and Experimental Forest manager Russell Hardee coordinated the event and said it is for anyone who wants to spend a day connecting with nature.

“This is a wonderful event for people to spend a day in our Experimental Forest,” Wilkins said.

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Symbols of Easter

Icons complement most sacred holiday

Tradition plays an important role in Easter celebrations for many families. Cherished traditions and symbols of Easter may include anything from egg hunts to lilies to lambs. Understanding the importance behind these symbols can make sharing the miracle of Easter that much more special.


The crucifix is one of the central symbols of Easter and Christianity. The cross is a symbol of Christ’s crucifixion and sacrifice. The crucifix also highlights the ability of God to give people new life after death.

In addition to wearing and displaying the cross during Easter, some people bake “hot cross buns” as another symbol of the season.


Eggs are one of the more recognizable symbols of Easter. For Easter egg hunts, eggs are hard-boiled and decorated in bright hues. It’s believed that the origins of Easter eggs are both secular and religious. From the secular (once pagan) perspective, the egg is an ancient symbol of new life, according to The History Channel, and has been associated with pagan festivals that celebrate spring. Some

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Create and hide unbreakable Easter eggs

Easter is one of the most important days of the year for Christians. Easter Sunday is filled with symbolism and tradition, some of which harken back to early Christianity, while others trace their origins to paganism.

The Easter Bunny and Easter eggs are two Easter traditions with less extensive histories. The Easter Bunny, according to sources including, first arrived in America in the 1700s via German settlers who brought with them their tradition of an egg-laying hare called “Osterhase.” Children would make nests where the rabbit could lay its colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread from Pennsylvania, where many German immigrants settled, to other areas around the country.

Eggs are symbolic of new life and rebirth in many cultures. To Christians, eggs represent the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Another theory suggests that Christians were once forbidden to eat during the Lenten season

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