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Open season on nuisance wildlife

History buried under Santee Cooper Lakes


fresh from the grill





Good tires offer good protection for those you care about most.











408 S. LAFAYETTE SUMTER *Also Two New Locations Coming Soon to Kingstree




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R. Darren Price LAYOUT & DESIGN Cary Johnson








HISTORY BURIED under Santee Cooper Lakes 12 THE FUN is in the struggle




DESSERTS fresh from the grill


SHAD FISHING a good filler


LUXURIES OUT practicalities in


FOX HUNT for children’s home




2010 Award Winning Magazine

PHOTOGRAPHY Robert J. Baker, Ashley A. Fry & Gail Mathis CONTRIBUTING WRITERS: Yana Mathis, Earle Woodward, Ray Winans



Berkeley County • Clarendon County • Orangeburg County • Sumter County & Williamsburg County

The Santee Cooper lakes and their counties provide numerous recreational opportunities for those who love the outdoors in small or large doses. In Williamsburg and Clarendon counties, the Black and Santee rivers provide similar outdoor adventures. For those people looking to pursue more in these areas than government meetings, cotillions and the annual events that each individual town cherishes, this compiled list should help explorers see what else is going on.


The Berkeley County Blueways consist of 175 miles of waterway comprised of 23 paddling trails in Lake Moultrie, lower Lake Marion, the Santee River and Francis Marion National Forest. Operated primarily by the Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District, with funds from Berkeley County government and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the blueways are always viewed as an open invitation for recreational paddlers to experience and enjoy this regions beautiful lakes, rivers, streams and wildlife. For more information, visit, email, or call (843) 719-4146. The Cypress Gardens, located on S.C. 52, eight miles east of Moncks Corner, provides a 250-acre park that features a 24,000-gallon freshwater aquarium and flat-


bottom boats, which hold up to six people, that meander through a designated path in the swamp. As long as they have at least one adult present, groups can take the tours to see alligators and other wildlife. Francis Marion National Forest was practically destroyed in 1989 by Hurricane Hugo, but the young growth that survived on its 252,368 acres situated in Charleston and Berkeley counties has emerged to make it a popular tourist attraction. The forest itself contains the towns of Awendaw, Huger, Jamestown and McClellanville, and its headquarters are in Columbia, as are those of Sumter National Forest. Recreational opportunities include campsites, rifle ranges, boat ramps, hiking and biking trails and the famous Palmetto Trail.


The Clarendon County Museum and History Center, operated at 102 S. Brooks St., Manning, by the county’s Historical Society, is open 1-4 p.m. Thursday-Friday and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, excluding holiays. The museum features permanent exhibits dedicated to war memorabilia and

the county’s agricultural history as well as an early 20th century kitchen furnished with an antique wood stove, cast-iron water pots and old-fashioned china and cutlery. The Junior Chamber Cornhole Tournament will be held 6:30 p.m. Feb. 24 at the National Guard Armory on Raccoon Road in Manning, followed Feb. 25 with the chamber’s Oyster Roast from 6:30-9:30 p.m. Advance tickets are required for both events, and the roast will feature steamed oysters and frogmore stew. For more information, call (803) 435-4405. The Manning Commercial Historic District, which features more than 40 businesses within a nine-block radius in downtown Manning, was put on the National Register of Historic Places in May 2010. The district features gift shops, a museum, the Clarendon County Courthouse and Manning City Hall, photography studios, the Clarendon County Archives and Historical Center and several department stores. Santee National Wildlife Refuge, located in North Santee and Summerton, was first opened in 1941. Of its 13,000 acres, only 4,400 are owned by the refuge, with the remaining acreage managed through a lease agreement with the South Carolina Public Service Authority, also known as Santee-Cooper. The refuge manages 10

conservation easements on private lands, totalling 458 acres in Bamberg, Barnwell, Clarendon and Orangeburg counties. The refuge serves as a major wintering area for ducks and geese and a stopover area for neo-tropical migratory birds, raptors, shore birds and wading birds. Endangered and threatened species at the refuge include the American alligator and the wood stork. The public may use the Visitor’s Center, which features exhibits, walking trails, an auto-tour route, wildlife observation and hunting and fishing opportunities. The Visitor’s Center is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Saturday. The refuge trails and grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. through March 31; 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., April 1 to Aug. 31. For more information, call (803) 478-2217, or email santee@fws. gov. The Swamp Fox Murals are spread throughout Clarendon County and feature depictions of Gen. Francis “Swamp Fox” Marion and his soldiers fighting the British in Clarendon and surrounding areas. The newest mural, completed in June 2010 by Terry Smith, is located at Geddings Do It Best Hardware, 110 N. Brooks St., Manning. Taw Caw Park, located off Wash Davis Road in Summerton, has an extensive set of boardwalks around Taw Caw Creek, which empties into Lake Marion. A popular spot for fishing, the area has a playground, picnic shelters, volleyball courts and is free and open to the public during daylight hours. A $5 rental fee is required for the picnic shelter. For more information, call (803) 473-3543. Weldon Auditorium, North Brooks Street, Manning, is a newly refurbished, stateof-the-art concert facility that was originally

built in 1955; in 1967, the building was renamed from the Manning High School auditorium to the Weldon Auditorium after a former superintendent of Clarendon School District 2. The building was sold to Clarendon County in 2006, and remodeling began in early 2008. The site hosts concerts featuring national and local artists each week, and also features dance groups like the Columbia City Ballet and other performing arts groups. For more information and a schedule of events, visit


The Branchville Railroad Shrine and Museum, 7204 Freedom Road, Branchville, is located at the world’s first and oldest railroad junction, featuring a line that once operated on the country’s first scheduled passenger

Selections, with more than 4,000 plants representing at least 75 labeled varieties on display. The annual Festival of Roses, held in late April each year, is a popular gardens attraction. The Elloree Heritage and Cultural Museum is located on Historic Cleveland Street in downtown Elloree, about seven miles from Santee off Exit 98 at Interstate 95. Started in 1998 as part of the downtown area’s revitalization efforts, the museum boasts a rotating series of exhibits in its 10,000-square-foot facility and specifically focuses on rural life of the past. The museum opened Oct. 5, 2002, with its Farm Wing being the first part open to the public. For more information, call (803) 897-2225 or visit I.P. Stanback Museum and Planetarium, located at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, is named for the first African-American chairman of the university’s Board of Trustees, Isreal Pinkney Stanback. Started in the basement of the college’s library in the early 1970s, it features a 40-foot planetarium dome, located across the foyer adjacent to the galleries, and has an auditorium capacity of 82 seats and a Minolta IIB Planetarium Projector. Call (803) 536-7174 for more information, or visit


train. At one point in the 1800s, Branchville sat on the longest line in the world, the 183 miles stretching from Aiken to Charleston. Call (803) 274-8820 for hours and admission prices. The Edisto Memorial Gardens and Home Wetlands Park, off Seaboard Street in Orangeburg, is host to the Memorial Gardens, where less than 600 Confederate soldiers gathered to defend Edisto River Bridge. A marker honors this site, which they eventually abandoned for Columbia. The gardens were first developed in the 1920s with azaleas planted on five acres of land. A greenhouse was added in 1947, followed by a rose garde in 1951. The gardens displays past and current award-winning roses from the All-American Rose

The Sumter County Heart Walk will be held 8 a.m. to noon March 10 starting at the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce, 32 E. Calhoun St. For more information, visit The Sumter Arts Showcase will be held 7 p.m. Feb. 24 at the Patriot Hall Performing Arts Center, 135 Haynsworth St., Sumter. This extraordinary evening of music and dance is sponsored by Miss Libby’s School


The Sumter County Museum and Historical and Genealogical Research Center and Backcountry Homestead, located at 122 N. Washington St., Sumter, sits in a southern mansion built in 1916. The museum is popular for its living history demonstrations and its Backcountry festivals, which appear each fall and spring. For more information, call (803) 775-0908 or visit sumtercountymuseum. org.

of Dance and Gymnastics and the Sumter Junior Welfare League and benefits the Tuomey Foundation and its community outreach programs. For tickets or more information, call (803) 774-9014 or visit Sumter’s House of Classic Movies will begin 7:30 p.m. March 9 and continue the same time on the second Friday of each month at the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St. Doors will open at 7 p.m. The Sumter Civic Theater is partnering with the Sumter County Library to bring back the classics for die-hard movie buffs. Each film is provided by the library. Tickets are $2.50 per person, with all proceeds benefitting the library’s children’s programs. For more information, call (803) 436-2640.

Swan Lake Iris Gardens, one of the premier swan observatories in the world, is located on West Liberty Street in Sumter. Its renown is due in part to its status as the only public park in the United States serving as home to all eight species of swans, including black necks, royal white mutes, coscorobas, whoopers, black australians, whistlers, bewicks and trumpeters. The park began in 1927 as a private fishing lake for wealthy businessman Hamilton Carr Bland, who began landscaping his garden with Japanese Iris flowers. The park has an open-air Garden Street picnic shelter, the covered Heath Pavilion that seats 200 comfortably and the enclosed Visitor’s Center with conference/ reception space for 125 people. Tables are located throughout the grounds, and a large playground features an antique fire engine perfect for climbing. The Bland Gardens feature a boardwalk, on which visitors may meander through a cypress swamp, and a gazebo popular for spring weddings. Call (803) 778-5434 for more information about reservations for any of the park’s facilities or email The University of South Carolina Chamber Orchestra will perform 6:30 p.m. March 15 at the Sumter Opera House, 21 N. Main St. The orchestra is an elite group of the most talented graduate and undergraduate string students at USC in Columbia, many of whom hold responsible positions in the larger USC Symphony Orchestra and play in the state’s


other professional orchestras in Columbia, Greenville, Charleston and Hilton Head. Tickets at the box office are $25, and $5 for students with valid ID. For more information, call (803) 499-4032 or visit


The Kingstree Historic District contains 48 different buildings on Main, Academy and Hampton streets that make up Kingstree’s downtown commercial area. Placed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 1982, the district features the Williamsburg County Courthouse, a library, a railroad station and numerous businesses.

The Salters Plantation House was built by Williams Salters before he died in 1833, and has had many renovations since. An important example of 19th century domestic architecture, which combined national and local trends, the building was primarily influenced by the Greek Revival, while its front porch is relatively common among similar porches across the Pee Dee during the time period. The plantation, home of Capt. John Alexander Salters, eventually served as the land for Salters Depot, upon which the town of Salters was built. The site was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in June 2000. The Williamsburg County Historical Museum, 135 Hampton Ave., Kingstree, is open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Tuesday-Thursday, and features a room depicting a turn-of-thecentury drug store. For more information, call (843) 355-3306 or email history1@ftc-i. net.

Livin’ Lakeside Good friends, real estate are solid investments By Yana K. Mathis

Well, it’s a New Year, and that usually means a time of hope for a new beginning and reflection of the past to see what worked and what didn’t. There are three categories in life that I strive to keep in balance: the spiritual, the physical and the emotional. There is an added one that I am focusing on this New Year, and that is the financial. I have enrolled in Dave Ramsey’s “Financial Peace University” in order to take a hard look at where my money goes each month. I have been fortunate in the real estate business to learn about investing in some rental estate “ventures,” with which I had planned to fund my retirement years. What I failed to plan for was the necessary Emergency Plan that my favorite money guru, Suze Orman, now says needs to be equal to eight months’ worth of your monthly expenses in liquid cash. The old standard was three to five months. But like many people, I don’t really know exactly where all of my money goes each month. I will be working on this in the New Year with eyes wide open. Dave Ramsey teaches you how to be debt free and have financial peace. I have realized that if you don’t have the first three areas of your life checked and balanced, then you will always struggle financially. This is not a comfortable place to be, so I am analyzing everything. I am the type of person that as soon as you tell me I can’t have something, I then want it more. So, in typical fashion, I recently decided that I hadn’t splurged on coffee lately, so I drove to a Starbucks Cafe, pulled up to the window and ordered a “moderately priced” cup of coffee. Now, whether I missed out on the ambiance of the indoor smells and experience of sitting among coffee connoisseurs by sipping it on the interstate, I’m not really sure; but I didn’t even enjoy it! I didn’t think it was hot enough or flavorful enough, so I started getting upset that I had wasted some money splurging on something that I thought would be extraordinary. I hate to admit it, but a couple of weeks later, I went back to that same drive-in and tested again. I suppose I thought I had just hit them on an off night that previous time.

Have you ever heard the saying, “First time, shame on you; second time, shame on me”? Well, can you say, “McDonald’s senior coffee please”? Life is full of lessons and as a rising senior citizen, I can testify on behalf of two solid investments that improve over time: good friends and a good real estate purchase. Both of these take time to develop and nurture and can be lost if not given proper maintenance. The real estate market has changed drastically over time and is currently much different than it was in my parents’ day. In generations past, you would save


enough for a sizable down payment and purchase your home through your local banker or savings and loan. The loan stayed in your home bank and was serviced “in house.” Currently, the lenders seem to be in cyberspace, controlled by the demands of outside investors who dictate what loans they will or will not make. The golden standard today in order to obtain a home loan appears to be a credit score of at least 640 with a “qualifying” income. It is my hope and prayer that parents and high schools will become diligent in teaching our young people how to obtain and keep a good credit score. A lot of real estate buyers went wrong in the past by stretching themselves too thin when buying these homes. But for the conservative buyer, today’s market is perfect for you! There have been numerous sales far below appraisal price as sellers need to cut their losses and move on. A bank owned property is one that sells fast and buyers can pick up a good bargain. There have been some private owners turning to auctions to “dump” a property quickly, too. Short sales are still popular when a lender gives permission for the homeowner to list and sell their property for the going rate versus what is owed on it. The other investment worth your time and energy is in a good friendship. It has been my pleasure to watch the real estate skills of Angie B. Jordan over my last 18 years in this business. Our mentor,


B.G. Alderman, taught us to always “Do da’ right thing.” Angie’s always had the hometown advantage over me, but I’ve never held that against her. She’s been such a good friend to me that I even let her put an advertisement billboard on one of my properties! Most people don’t realize that even if you work for the same brokerage firm, you actually compete among your fellow agents because no one makes any money unless they sell something. When I became ill and was out of commission a few years ago, she rallied everyone in the office to take over my listings and assist my clients with their needs. So, it is with sincere congratulations that I acknowledge her recent recognition from our regional board’s membership as the 2011 Realtor of the Year. She truly deserves this award because of her relentless hard work and dedication to her clients and fellow agents. She never stops until the job is done. She has even had my office cleaned when she couldn’t stand it any longer. I have learned a lot from her, not only about real estate, but how to get around Clarendon County and who’s who. In fact, I believe she was the first person to show me where the old Rickenbaker store used to be. Be smart with your money, only buy if you can afford it, and look for the deals: They’re out there! Contact a seasoned Realtor to help guide you through one of the biggest investments you’ll make in your lifetime.



Established in 1682, Berkeley County was named after John and William Berkeley, then-owners of the Province of Carolina. After becoming part of the Charleston District in 1769, the area did not yet again exist as a county until 1882, when its seat was made at Mount Pleasant. In 1895, the county seat was moved to Moncks Corner. County Council members are elected from eight districts, with a chairman elected atlarge serving as county supervisor. Cities and towns: Bonneau, Charleston, Cross, Goose Creek, Gumville, Hanahan, Huger, Jamestown, Ladson, Moncks Corner, North Charleston, Pinopolis, St. Stephen, Summerville and Pineville Population: 151,273 County seat: Moncks Corner Supervisor: County Council Chairman Dan. W. Davis Sheriff: Wayne Dewitt Solicitor: Scarlett A. Wilson Auditor: Janet Brown Jurosko Clerk of Court: Mary Brown Coroner: Bill Salisbury Probate Court: Keith W. Kornahrens Treasurer: Carolyn Umphlett 1003 S.C. 52, Moncks Corner (843) 719-4234



Named for U.S. Vice President John C. Calhoun, Calhoun County was formed in 1908 from portions of Lexington and Orangeburg counties. Population estimates from the 2010 Census indicate Calhoun is the smallest county in SanteeCooper Country, with a population of about 15,500 people. It is the smallest by land mass as well, comprising only 392 square miles of South Carolina soil. County Council’s five members are elected from their respective districts, and a chairperson is chosen at the first meeting held each calendar year. Cities and towns: Cameron, Creston, Fort Motte, Lone Star, St. Matthews and Sandy Run Population: 15,500 County seat: St. Matthews Administrator: F. Lee Prickett Jr. Deputy Administrator: Emmett Kirwan Council Chairman: David K. Summers Jr. Sheriff: Thomas S. Summers Jr. Auditor: Pamela R. Taber Treasurer: Rebecca C. Furtick Clerk of Court: Kenneth Hasty Coroner: Donnie B. Porth


Named for the Earl of Clarendon, Clarendon County has been a welcoming place for visitors and residents for more than 150

years. With a population of more than 34,000 people as of the 2010 Census, Clarendon County was one of the few areas in South Carolina that saw population growth in the last decade, with a 7.6 percent population surge mostly in the Summerton, Wyboo and Manning areas surrounding Lake Marion. The county is one of the birthplaces of the Civil Rights Movement, having been home for the landmark desegregation case Briggs v. Elliott that helped end school desegregation in the United States when it was filed with four other cases as Brown v. Board of Education with the U.S. Supreme Court. Council members are elected from three districts, with two elected from the largest district covering Manning. A council chairman is elected atlarge. Cities and towns: Alcolu, Manning, Paxville, Silver, Summerton, Turbeville and Wyboo. Population: Est. 34,400 County seat: Manning Administrator: Bill Houser Council Chairman: Dwight Stewart Jr. Sheriff: Randy Garrett Fire Chief: Frances Richbourg Auditor: Patricia Pringle Treasurer: Matt Evans Clerk of Court: Beulah Roberts Administrative Office South Brooks Street, Manning (803) 435-0135


Like its close neighbor Clarendon County, Orangeburg County was a hotbed of the Civil Rights Movement during the mid-20th Century, with South Carolina State University at its epicenter as students protested unfair treatment in the Orangeburg community throughout the 1950s and 60s. The county was chartered as Orangeburg Judicial District in 1769 from unorganized land between the Congaree and Savannah rivers. About half of this district was separated into Barnwell in 1800, and the area was fully incorporated as Orangeburg County in 1868 when the South Carolina Constitution remade districts into counties, with officials elected by resident voters rather than state officials. A small western portion was annexed to the newly former Aiken County in 1871, and in 1908 yet another portion was ceded to Calhoun County. A change in 1910, with a small western portion of Berkeley County near Holly Hill and Eutawville being given to Orangeburg, brought the county to

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its current size. Council members are elected from seven singlemember districts and then choose a chairman among themselves after each election cycle. Cities and towns: Bowman, Branchville, Elloree, Eutawville, Holly Hill, Neeses, North, Norway, Orangeburg, Santee, Springfield, Vance and Woodford Population: Est. 92,243 Administrator: Bill Clark Council chairman: Johnnie Wright Sr. Sheriff: Leroy Ravenell Auditor: Roger Cleckley Coroner: Samuetta B. Marshall Clerk of Court: Winnie A. Clark: Treasurer: J. Steve Summers Probate Court: Pandora Jones-Glover County Administrative Center 1437 Amelia St., Orangeburg


Revolutionary War Gen. Thomas Sumter is commemorated in the name of Sumter County, which is the home of Shaw Air Force Base and the 9th Air Force Headquarters, the Third Army and the 20th Fighter Wing. With a population of more than 115,000, Sumter County is the second-largest of the Santee-Cooper lake counties by population. Council members are elected from the county’s seven districts and then select a chairperson among themselves. Cities and towns: Dalzell, Horation, Mayesville, Oswego, Pinewood, Privateer, Rembert, Shiloh, South Sumter, Stateburg, Sumter and Wedgefield Sheriff: Anthony Dennis Fire Chief: Karl Ford Assistant Chief for City Operations: Ernie Dollard Assistant Chief for County Operations: Doug Mathis Administrator: Gary Mixon Council chairman: Eugene Baten, District 7 Vice-chairman: Larry Blanding, District 6 Assistant Administrator: Lorraine Dennis Auditor: Lauretha McCants Clerk of Court: James C. Campbell Coroner: Harvin Bullock Administrative Office 13 E. Canal St., Sumter, third floor (803) 436-2102

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n literature, these birds sometime serve as a harbinger of death. In real life, they can be an invasive species. No matter what you think of the American crow, the state Department of Natural Resources is hopeful that hunters will bag a few before March 1. The birds have no bag limit and licensed hunters can get as many as they want on private lands through that date. The crow is one of a few animals that state officials readily implore hunters to take on during the off-season of the more popular deer, turkey and dove seasons, according to DNR spokesman Brett Witt. Two others are the wild, feral hogs and coyotes that have invaded every county across the state. “I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the hogs and coyotes,” Witt said. “We ask that hunters bag as many as they possibly can.” Witt said hogs are not only “extremely tasty,” but that their culling removes a nuisance that is “equally extremely destructive to habitats throughout the state.” “They’re incredibly intrusive and destructive of native habitats, and that’s made all the worse by how smart they are,” Witt said. “They can easily figure out how to get into things and just absolutely destroy them.” Coyotes are a different animal with similar adaptive destructiveness, Witt added. “We want hunters to bag as many of them as they can,” he said. “They are in every county. Not only are they highly destructive, but they’re dangerous for people and for pets.” Witt said while there have been no actual reports of wild hogs attacking human beings, any such hog encountered in the wild should be handled with extreme caution by hunters and nonhunters alike. “I’m unaware of anyone actually being injured by one,” Witt said. “But if you do see a boar, for example, they do have tusks. And just because I haven’t heard of it happening, it doesn’t mean they couldn’t be a danger to a person caught unaware by one.” Witt said the hogs would likely be as vicious to person as they are to property. “They don’t travel in packs or anything, or a boar doesn’t at least,” he said. “But a mother does with her piglet, and she can be highly protective due to that regard.” If feral hogs, coyotes or crows aren’t for your bag this offseason, Witt recommends hunting small game, many of which can be taken on one’s own property with little effort. “A permit is not required for any nuisance furbearer or squirrel in your own yard, if they’re being destructive and you

want to take care of them,” Witt said. “Outside of that, if it is a nuisance furbearer either near your property or of concern to you, you need a depredation permit, and all you have to do is call the regional DNR office.” Witt said this is the avenue that many non-hunters even use to take care of nuisance animals on their property. “This is what you do to take care of those raccoons on your property on the other side of your property,” Witt said. “However, for those we do ask that people call us and just ask for a permit for 30 days.” Beaver, however, does need a furbearers permit, although DNR does allow hunters to bag as many as they can throughout the year. “We do have the furbearers permit for the beaver because it is one of those animals where the pelt is highly valued,” Witt said. “That permit is $25. And the reason for that is that traditionally, again, those animals have been hunted for their value and their pelt. The possum, in contrast, is not really that valuable to anyone. That’s essentially why we’ve made the distinction.” Beaver, however, can be highly destructive to habitats, Witt noted. The animals frequently build dams through waterways, leading to stagnant waters that can breed mosquitoes and other pests in the warmer months. “And those are just some of the hindrances,” Witt said. For more information, visit or call (803) 734-3886.


Photo by Claudia Duncan

History buried under Santee Cooper Lakes Story by Robert J. Baker with file photos



quarter won’t buy a soft drink today, but men working on the project that created the Santee Cooper lakes Marion and Moultrie made 25 cents-per-hour and were proud of it. The huge undertaking was the largest earth-moving project of its time, bringing much-needed jobs to one of the poorest areas of the South Carolina through the Works Progress Administration, one of the most famous of Roosevelt’s New Deal programs. The $48.2 million project ultimately cost more than six times the

state’s annual budget the year it began. Even before lakes Marion and Moultrie were carved from virgin forests starting in 1939, public officials had an idea as far back as 20 years to link the Santee and Cooper rivers, improve navigation and bolster the Carolina economy. Officials realized that if the rivers could be linked and the lakes filled, dams could be built to harness the power of the water to generate electricity. This project formed the Santee Cooper Lake System, and it supplied the poorest areas of rural South Carolina with electricity and changed the way of living for many people in


the surrounding areas. Majestic plantations, ancestral homes, churches and cemeteries with roots to the early Colonial days of South Carolina were swallowed when the two huge manmade lakes were filled with water. Two plantations were moved and 12 were flooded, including the homes of Gens. Francis Marion and William Moultrie, for whom the lakes were named. More than 900 families were relocated. Some houses were torn down and rebuilt outside the flooded areas; some families were placed in alternative or new housing. At the time, the project was not well-received by everyone, as F.M. Kirk noted in a 1939 document titled “Long Fear of River ends with Santee.” “Here they are close to all they love; here they are among friends and relatives,” Kirk wrote. “Now they must scatter; new homes must be settled; friendships must be severed; new interests must be cultivated.” The displacement of families wasn’t the only issue at the outset of the project: Some 120 cemeteries were affected by the lake system project as well. A commission was formed specifically to deal with the cemetery issue, to locate the graves that would be buried by water and recover the names of the deceased. Workers located more than 7,000 graves lying in the path of lakes Marion and Moultrie, including 28 in Clarendon County.

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About 85 percent of the graves were moved, with workers using wooden cases to remove and relocate the remains to locations above the new watermarks. Dozens of long-forgotten graveyards were thus left to be consumed by the rising waters, including Bearfield Graveyard Cemetery in Berkeley County, Black Branch Cemetery on the Orangeburg-Berkeley County line and Frierson Cemetery in Clarendon County. Despite such seemingly bleak beginnings, the lakes have made their five counties – Berkeley, Calhoun, Clarendon, Orangeburg and Sumter – tourist destinations since their creation seven decades ago. Lake Marion itself covers 110,600 acres of land in those five counties, varying from shallow swamps to large open areas with depths of more than 30 feet. Together, the lakes and their 6.5-mile Diversion Canal were successful in the main goal of the Santee Cooper project – to create a route for inland navigation from Columbia to Charleston. This 122-mile stretch is marked from the point where the Santee River flows into Lake Marion to the lock at the Pinopolis Dam. Each lake contains, among other fish, bream, striped bass, largemouth bass, white bass, crappie, blue catfish and channel catfish. EDITOR’S NOTE: Portions of this article were originally published July 11, 2004, and again March 19, 2005.


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Hello again, Santee Country The fun is the struggle By Ray Winans


orry about the time between columns, but things just have been hectic for everyone. Now that the colder weather is here I have actually had time to think about the things that happened last year and kind of put them into perspective. I know that I’m supposed to be getting ready for the upcoming year, but I think it best to reflect on the last. About this time of year, I am usually getting all of the maintenance done on my gear and boat. I have all but a few things ready, so it’s time to look back. When I was told it might be good to write about my National Championship run (with American Bass Anglers, who held the championship in November at Lake Marion), I had to really look back at that experience and reflect on what happened. As I had stated in previous columns, I was supposed to do well on my home lake. That is easier said than done. I set a goal early in the season to be in the points race by the end of the tournament trail and put myself into position for the Regional Championship. That goal was accomplished, but the 16 FEBRUARY • MARCH 2012 | LAKESIDE

problem with being in the points race doesn’t always mean money in the wallet. I really didn’t have a year where my return equaled my investment: It’s like a business venture, and you always expect back more than you put in. Going into the regional, I set the goal to make it back to Santee for the National Championship. I accomplished that goal with a 14th place finish. Now, all I needed was a big win on my home waters to rectify my monetary situation. Needless to say, a 39th place finish and a lot of humble pie didn’t balance the checkbook. I tell you all of this for a lead into the real meat of my column. You see, I was so focused on accomplishing my goals to reach the pinnacle of my season that I never saw the real pleasures that I enjoyed throughout the year. Until now, I never looked back at the good – and sometimes great – things that happened. Like the times when I practiced and caught great stringers of fish (of course during practice, right?), or when I pitched a jig and fought a 30-pound catfish for 10 minutes (you know he became a dinner guest!). It’s days like calling your

fish on certain casts and busting a sixpounder or watching that top-water bait with great anticipation as the biggest wake you have ever seen following it and all of a sudden it explodes into a fountain of water with a green giant dancing in the middle. These things happened to me this year and I never stopped and enjoyed it. I just kept looking forward, never back. Now as I look back, I remember some of the fun things I did, like my weekend river trip with the guys. What a special event that was and always is. I took my retriever Lilly to the dove field where all of that tennis ball-throwing paid off. I was very proud that day. There was the first day of duck season at our buddy’s beaver pond where we harvested a few wood ducks. On the second trip to the same pond, Lilly discovered that retrieving ducks was fun, too. My son and I also got to make a trip to Arkansas to duck hunt. I may not have been successful when I reached my fishing goal, but now that I look back, I realize that the Lord blessed me in ways

that He wanted to. Now let’s leap ahead into 2012. I probably won’t chase a championship dream this year, but there are some local things that will keep me on the water. I belong to the Sportsmans Bass Anglers in Sumter and I plan on fishing most of the club tournaments. There are also some team tournaments that my partner Wayne and I will fish. I think the biggest event for me is going to be the Everstart this year on our lake. I decided to fish as a co-angler in this event since I am getting too old to run with those young guns with their hot rod bass boats fishing at 100 mph (oh yeah, that used to be me!). Nevertheless, I’ll be bass fishing somewhere; somehow, you can count on that. In closing, I would just like to say that you need to have goals and you need to strive for them, just don’t lose sight of the other things going on around you. Enjoy what you are blessed with and share those blessings with whomever and whenever you can. Until next time, God bless and be safe.

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Lake Marion Map Information

33 8 14 11 15 35 32 7 36 29 18 10 16 34 23 25 5 9 21

Arbuckle’s Landing..................................... 803-478-5260 Bell’s Marina.............................................. 803-492-7924 Big Oak Landing & Campground................ 843-753-2285 Blount’s Landing........................................ 803-492-7773 Canal Lakes Fish Camp.............................. 843-753-2271 Carolina King Retreat & Marina................. 803-478-2800 Cooper’s Landing and Guide Service.......... 803-478-2549 Cypress Shores Marina............................... 843-351-4561 Elliott’s Landing......................................... 803-452-5336 Goat Island Resort...................................... 803-478-8165 Harry’s Fish Camp...................................... 843-351-4561 Hide-a-way Campground........................... 803-492-9695 Hill’s Landing............................................. 843-753-2731 Jack’s Creek Landing.................................. 803-478-2793 J&J Marina.................................................. 803-478-2490 John c. Land III Boating Facility.................. 803-854-2131 Lake Marion Resort & Marina..................... 803-854-2136 Lakeside Marina & Resort.......................... 803-492-7226 Lake Vue Landing....................................... 803-478-2133

22 1 17 6 37 30 3 20 12 31 4 24 38 13 2 26 27 28

Lighthouse Pointe Family Campground...... 803-478-2138 Low Falls Landing...................................... 803-826-6050 Mac’s Landing & Camp.............................. 843-871-1224 Mill Creek Marina....................................... 803-492-7746 Pack’s Landing........................................... 803-452-5514 Polly’s Landing........................................... 803-478-2351 Poplar Creek Landing................................. 803-897-2811 Randolph’s Landing....................................800-BIG-CATS Rocks Pond Campground........................... 803-492-7711 Santee Lakes Campground......................... 803-478-2262 Santee State Park....................................... 803-854-2408 Scarborough Marina................................... 803-478-2184 Sparkleberry Landing................................. 843-761-4068 Spier’s Landing.............................................................NA Stump Hole Landing................................... 803-826-6111 Taw Caw Campground & Marina................ 803-478-2171 Taw Caw Creek Landing................................................NA Taw Caw Park................................................................NA

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Looking good for 101 National Fish Hatchery still going strong after a century of fish supply Story by Robert J. Baker


Photos courtesy of USNWF and The Times and Democrat


hen the Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery first opened in September 1911, its main clients were local farm ponds and perhaps the odd pond across the country to which fish would be dispatched by

special trains. Now, 101 years later, the hatchery supplies more than seven species of freshwater fish to lakes and water systems throughout the state and southeast, something that makes acting Manager Byron Hamilton proud. “When I came here in 1998 to join the staff, we had about four different species, and didn’t really focus on research at all,” he said. “Now, we have more species, including an endangered species, and we perform research with mussels.” The facility now supplies the majority of seven different species – lake sturgeon, American shad, striped bass, catfish, red-breast sunfish, blue gill sunfish and an endangered species of sturgeon – to South Carolina’s lakes in a trading agreement with the state Department of Natural Resources. “We have a memorandum of agreement with DNR, an exchange where we supply the state waters with these types of

fish, red-breasted sunfish and the like, and they supply us with striped bass fry,” Hamilton said. “They take care of the spawning with the striped bass fry. We pick up (at least) 3.3 million striped bass fry and then grow them out to a Phase 1 size, about an inch or two.” Ponds are harvested when the striped bass are such sizes and distributed through units to specific sites, one of which is Lake Marion in both Orangeburg and Clarendon counties. “About all we supply to Lake Marion and to Lake Murray up near Columbia is the striped bass,” he said. The American shad, whose adults are acquired from the St. Stephens Dam nearby, stay closer to home when they are distributed each season. “Those we spawn here,” Hamilton said. “It’s a long process, because you have to mimic the conditions they would have in their normal habitat, which includes continuous running water since they spawn while swimming upstream against the current.” Three to five days after shad eggs hatch, the young fish are taken to their new home in the Edisto River. “That is primarily where the shad are sent,” Hamilton said. “Most of our striped bass and the shad are sent to help with the

















The Orangeburg National Fish Hatchery is open 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. each weekday at 427 Lakeview Drive, Orangeburg. For more information, call (803) 534-4828.




recreational fishing industry.” The impact on the midlands fishing industry is “big, big, big,” Hamilton noted. “As far as recreational fishing goes, it’s big in Orangeburg County and the other areas we supply,” Hamilton said. “We stock anywhere from a million redbreast in the Edisto River reach year and could produce as many as 3 million striped bass for Lake Marion and Lake Murray.” Hamilton said the facility aids the economy through the fishing industry, which brings in dollars through the purchase of fishing materials, the renting of camping or hotel space and the purchase of licenses. “There’s a great economic impact from the fishing industry,” Hamilton said. “Without the hatchery, a lot of these recreational industries might not have as many of the fish they need, or might have smaller fish each season than recreational fishermen want to see.” The hatchery has come a long way since mules and pond scoops first excavated facility’s land in the early 20th century. At the ceremony honoring the hatchery’s 100th birthday in September 2011, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Southeast Regional Director Cindy Dohner called the facility “one of the real gems in the service’s National Fish Hatchery System.” “Orangeburg has served a critical role in fisheries conservation in our region, and its good work will become even more critical in the century to come,” she said. “Today, it works with endangered species, including the shortnose sturgeon and freshwater mussels,” Dohner continued, noting the economic impact on Orangeburg alone was $13.3 million in 2010. “(That’s) generating 127 jobs throughout many industries, worth $3.3 million in wages,” she said. Hamilton is proud of the hatchery’s continued success, but says he likes to focus on the day-to-day operations of the facility himself. Those operations are slow at the moment, though. “Right now, we’re gearing up for our season with the shad, which we start in the spring,” he said. “Then, we’ll be dealing with the striped bass.” The hatchery does provide tours year-round during operating hours from Monday through Friday each week, Hamilton said. “It’s probably not as exciting right now, though,” he noted, pointing at several ponds that are currently drained. About the only thing for sight-seers right now are the ducks using the pond as somewhat of a refuge. “They definitely don’t have to worry about getting hunted in here,” Hamilton joked. Other birds can be a problem, however: Egrets, particularly, come to the hatchery on harvesting days. “It’s like a feeding frenzy for them,” Hamilton said. “We try to get out here as early as possible on those days. But even with the predators, it’s not that much of a loss for us because we will have so many of the fish we’re producing at that time.”

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fresh GRILL From the Associated Press

hile most people associate grilling with a juicy burger or great cut of meat, it’s also ideal for making succulent desserts. While we all love a good s’more, the best desserts for the grill are actually the simplest – fresh fruit. “The direct open flame from the grill caramelizes sugar and brings out the natural flavor in the fruit,” Chef Ted Reader explains. “The result is a succulent dessert that will delight your guests and requires almost no preparation.” If you want to take the dessert up a notch, marinate your fruit in a mixture of rum or wine. The alcohol will burn off on the grill, leaving a subtle flavor behind. Fruits such as pears and apples are perfect for the grill. Instead of a plain apple pie, why not fire up some grilled apple rings with a side of vanilla ice

GRILLED PINEAPPLE, PEACH, AND BLUEBERRY CRUMBLE Prep Time: 30 minutes • Cook Time: 30 minutes Serves: 6-8 1 baking dish large enough to hold 3 quarts, buttered 1/2 cup melted butter 1 fresh pineapple, peeled, cored, and sliced in 1-inch slices 3 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and sliced in 1-inch wedges 1 cup blueberries, washed and picked over 2 tbsp. crystallized ginger, chopped 1/4 cup dark rum, such as Appleton 2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut 1/2 cup firmly packed brown sugar 1/4 cup all-purpose flour 1/3 cup sliced toasted almonds, roughly chopped 1/2 cup butter, melted Whipped cream or ice cream Preheat grill to medium, about 350 degrees. Brush the 1/2 cup melted butter over both sides of the peach and pineapple slices. Place the peach slices on the grill for 1 minute on each side. Cut into 1-inch chunks and place in prepared dish. Grill the pineapple slices for 5 to 6 minutes a side, until well marked. Cut into 1-inch chunks and add to the peaches. Add the blueberries, ginger, and rum and mix well. Combine the coconut, brown sugar, flour, almonds, and 1/2 cup melted butter. Mix very well. Sprinkle this mixture evenly over the pineapple mixture. Preheat grill to 350 degrees. Set baking dish on the grill and close the lid. Grill-bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the fruit is tender and the topping is golden and crunchy. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream on the side.

cream. Start by peeling, coring and slicing the apple. Then marinate in a simple mixture of rum, brown sugar, butter, lemon juice and cinnamon. Finally, throw the slices on the grill for a few minutes and wait for them to brown. Pair with ice cream and you have a twist on an old favorite. Be sure to keep these tips in mind when grilling up the perfect dessert: • Keep the heat high – Heat acts to concentrate the fruit’s flavor by reducing the water content and caramelizing the sugar. • Keep it short – You don’t want to burn your dessert. A couple of minutes should be enough for most fruits. • Keep it simple – Let the grill bring out the natural flavors, but don’t go overboard on marinades. Simple vanilla ice cream makes a perfect pairing.

GRILLED CHOCOLATE BANANA BURRITOS Prep Time: 20 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Serves: 6 3/4 cup creamy peanut butter 6 8-inch (20 cm) flour tortillas 3 ripe bananas, peeled 1 1/2 cup miniature marshmallows 3/4 cup semisweet mini chocolate chips 1/2 cup butter, melted Vanilla ice cream Fresh strawberries Preheat grill to medium 350 degrees. Spread 2 tbsp. peanut butter on each tortilla. Grill bananas for 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly charred and heated through. Remove from the grill and split in half lengthwise. Lay a banana on each of the peanut-buttered tortillas. Sprinkle 1/4 cup marshmallows and 2 tbsp. chocolate chips on each tortilla. Roll up the tortilla, folding in the ends as you go. Brush the burritos lightly with butter and place on the preheated grill. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes a side, or until heated through and lightly charred. Serve with ice cream and garnish with strawberries.

ICE WINE PEARS IN FOIL Prep Time: 30 minutes • Cook Time: 45 minutes Serves: 6 6 sheets of heavy-duty aluminum foil, each about 12 x 12” 6 Bosc pears, peeled 2 tbsp. dried currants 1 tbsp. grated lemon zest 1 375-ml. bottle icewine, at room temperature 6 tbsp. liquid honey 6 sprigs fresh mint Ground nutmeg (fresh grated if you have it) 1 tbsp. frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed 6 scoops good-quality vanilla ice cream, such as Haagen Daz Mint sprigs Fresh berries of choice (optional) Place a pear in the center of each square of aluminum foil. Draw the corners up slightly to form a bowl shape. Top each pear with 1 tsp. currants and 1/2 tsp. lemon peel. Drizzle 1 tbsp. icewine and 1 tbsp. honey. Add a sprig of mint and a tiny pinch of nutmeg. Draw the corners of the foil up around each pear and crimp the edges to form a tightly sealed bundle. Preheat the grill to medium-high, or about 450 degrees. Place bundles on one side of the grill and turn the burner under that side so that they receive indirect heat. Close the lid. Grill-roast pouches for 30 to 45 minutes, until the pears are tender. Meanwhile, place the rest of the bottle of icewine and orange juice concentrate in a small saucepan on the side burner. Bring to a gentle boil and simmer to reduce slightly to a syrupy consistency. Set aside until the pears are ready. Remove the bundles to plates. Open carefully (watch out for steam!) and slide contents onto the plate. Garnish with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzle with the icewine syrup, and place a fresh mint sprig on top. Serve immediately. For extra pizzazz, add just a few fresh berries, but don’t overwhelm the scrumptious pear.


Shad fishing a good filler for avid outdoorsmen By Earle Woodward


or most of us that hunt or fish, February can be a very trying month: Deer season has long passed, duck season is over, the crappie haven’t started up and bass and bream won’t be around until late March or early April. So what’s a person supposed to do? I have found a fish that is perfect for filler: American Shad. American Shad average about 2-4 pounds with an occasional 4-5 pounder thrown in; the world’s record is 11 pounds. Shad spend their summer months at sea, but like striped bass and salmon, they will begin a spawning run up fresh water coastal rivers in mid to late February and continue until mid to late March. I began fishing for them several years ago and I can tell you, they are a real blast to catch. My good friend, A.D., has a piece of property that borders the Lower Santee River and there is a small population


of wild turkeys on the property. The season opens for turkeys in Berkley County on March 15, and we had gone down for a weekend turkey hunt and camp out. While we were there, I noticed several boats anchored in the river were catching one fish after the other; I had to know what was going on. I walked down the bank until I was almost even with a man and what appeared to be his grandchildren, who were casting small, curly tailed, green jigs with hot pink heads into the river’s current. I struck up a conversation and learned that they were catching shad and got a few pointers on how to go about it. The next weekend, when we came to hunt, I had an ultra-light spinning outfit loaded with 4-pound line and a bucket full of green jigs and split shot. After the morning hunt, we pushed the boat into the river – right in front of the shack – anchored down and began to cast. It took a few hits before we realized what was happening, but once we figured out how and when to set the hook, it was on. Shad have a very tender, paper-thin mouth, so a light drag is essential to catching the fish, but let me tell you, they don’t call them a “Poor man’s tarpon” for nothing. The fish are ferocious fighters, making long, drag-peeling runs, high cart-wheeling leaps and dashes in and out of the faster current. When one is tackling such a battler in several miles per hour of river current, on an ultra light rig and light line, it is a battle of epic proportions. Pound for pound, I’d put a shad up against any fish that swims. Shad spawn is most of the coastal rivers of South Carolina, including the Pee Dee and the Santee. A very popular spot is the ReDiversion Canal: It is easy to access, it can be fished from the bank, without a boat, and it is loaded with shad. It also comes complete with a boat landing, Arrow Head landing. What we look for in the rivers is a pinch point, a spot where the river narrows down a bit, forcing the fish to concentrate. We then anchor the boat and begin casting. We have found that by casting almost directly across the river and then slowly retrieving the jig,

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that at the point at which the jig actually starts to swing back upstream is the point at which we get most of our bites. Sometimes you have to experiment with the speed of your retrieve or the depth, but if the fish are there, it is rare that you come away without catching anything. They seem to come through in schools. You’ll catch several fish, then cast for 20 minutes without a bite and then get hit on every cast for a bit. Take a landing net; these fish have such tender mouths that if you try to hoist them with the line, they’ll tear loose. All that being said, as great a fighting fish as they are, I really don’t find them all that great on the table. I find the flesh to be a bit on the strong side and they are extremely boney, more so than a jackfish. There are folks that love them; I’m just not counted in that number. On the other hand, the roe from the female fish is delicious, I’ve had it prepared a number of ways and it is really good; I just can’t see killing a fish for its eggs. All of my shad are catch and release. There have been days when we have caught and released upward of 20-30 fish and have had a few short stripers and a couple of Largemouth Bass hit as well. Most of our trips yield around 15 or so fish. It is a wonderful way to fill in the gap between the end of hunting season and the beginning of fishing season, the temperatures are starting to warm, there are a number of Bald Eagles working the coastal rivers, they’re looking for shad too, and it is a great family outing. Take the kids, they don’t have to be able to put a lure in a bucket at fifty yards, just get the bait into water and hold on. Give it a try; I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.


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Luxuries out,

practicalities in Story by Darren Price with file photos and ARAcontent images

Functional home renovations add value



n the new economy where a residential construction market is shrinking along with any houses actually built, luxuries and formal living are quickly going by the wayside, according to the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB). According to a survey recently conducted by the NAHB, homebuilders expect newly constructed single-family homes to average just 2,150 square feet by 2015, 10 percent smaller than previous figures. To accommodate for this shift in size, builders will have to make way for smarter, multi-function layouts with eat-in kitchens that eliminate the need for a separate dining room and great rooms that accommodate entertainment as well as office space. Homeowners looking to remodel existing homes, homes that they will someday put up for sale, would be wise to pay attention to these new home construction trends, experts say. Such trends signal what the competition will look like down the road. Choosing the right improvements today can help a homeowner be better positioned to sell a home when the economy does pick up. Keep the following tips in mind if you’re thinking of investing in an addition or a significant remodel. u Choose your remodeler with care – Select a professional contractor with experience, knowledge of local codes and a good reputation for quality work, says the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI). u P.B. & J. Residential Services of Sumter’s Jamie Charles said homeowners should look for renovators certified by the Environmental Protection Agency to work with hazardous materials like lead. He said that great care has to be taken when working with materials used in modern windows and other building materials, and only a certified renovator knows all the proper steps to ensure that everything is installed safely. “If they’re not certified, they’re not making sure everything is done properly and safely,” Charles said. u Remodel to your needs, but before you finalize your decisions, research the improvements that will likely bring you the highest return on your investment. A minor kitchen remodel should return more than 70 percent of its cost at resale, for example, according to the 2010-11 Remodeling Magazine Cost v. Value Report. Adding a bathroom pays back more than 53 percent. u Charles said that putting in modern windows can have a big return on investment. He said modern, vinyl-based windows can make huge differences in your monthly electricity costs, thanks to their double-paned insulated construction. “Everybody wants to save on that light bill,” Charles said. “It’ll take a few years, but new windows will pay for themselves.” He said firms can surround windows in insulation as well, keeping air from escaping the home. Such work is a bit more expensive, Charles said, noting windows can run about $350 each, but he has seen clients save significantly on heating costs, thanks to new windows.

MINDING THE PRACTICALITY OF A PROJECT During the latest housing boom, remodels were all about big and bold. Now, there is less emphasis on luxury and appearancesfor-appearances-sake additions to the everyday family home. Take advantage of that trend with a focus on practicality in your remodeling project. You’ll make your home more competitive at resale, and your dollars will stretch a lot further. Charles said one way to spruce up a home is with updated siding. Vinyl siding is relatively cheap, durable and easy to clean, and can make your house look modern. Another material called hardy plank, which mirrors the appearance of wood, but is actually made of concrete fibers is extremely durable. He said using either material has an added benefit – they never have to be painted. “Everybody is getting away from painting these days,” Charles said. MULTI-FUNCTION = BROADER APPEAL For today’s busy families, efficiency is essential. Can you repurpose an existing room to make life easier? Add a laundry room to save going downstairs? Increase the size of your kitchen to convert the dining room to a guest suite? Can you add a convenient bathroom addition to your basement-turned-family room. If you’ve ever waited in frustration at your turn in the bathroom, you may have already asked yourself that last question. Just about every home can use a spare bath, and a macerating toilet system is a great alternative to conventional – gravity – plumbing in situations where no below-floor drainage exists, like in basements. Macerating, or up-flush, plumbing gives you unlimited flexibility, because there is no need to break through the floors to install drainage piping, which adds substantial cost to the project. From the attic to the basement, up-flush plumbing lets you create a full bathroom anywhere you like. In this system, waste and water are pumped from the toilet, sink, and tub or shower up, rather than flowing down, as with conventional plumbing. This technology is also different from sewage-ejection systems, which temporarily store plumbing waste in a nearby tank, which can cause odor problems. With up-flush plumbing, the waste is removed to the sewer line or the septic tank with every flush. An extra bathroom, Charles said, can be the most practical and efficient remodel project for any home, and it is definitely guaranteed to improve comfort and convenience at the very least. And in the long-term, it delivers a strong return on investment when your home is sold. Aside from up-flush plumbing, tankless water heaters can also add convenience and value to a home, Charles said. The tanks don’t hold water, so owners never have to worry about leaks; and they only use electricity when water is running through their coils. Tankless heaters, Charles said, ensure you never run out of hot water, and they can save significantly on a home’s electricity costs. “Most people call them endless hot water heaters,” Charles said. “And they’re not running when you’re not there.” ARAcontent Media Services contributed to this report.


Give him something to sell! 18th annual Fox Hunt Benefit and Auction raises money for Children’s Home Photos and story by Robert J. Baker



hildren and parents sat on either side of a growing line of commercial products, with everything from televisions to electric toothbrushes up for sale. Over the crowd, Mark Spigner was calling the shots, and after each new sale took barely a second to breathe before shouting for something else. “Give me something to sell!” he yelled. Such was the scene at last year’s 17th annual Fox Hunt auction, where Spigner unloaded children’s toys, appliances and even a harmonica once used by Clint Black. The sale was part of the overall hunt, which began nearly two decades ago when a local group of hunters got together to raise money for the Freewill Baptist Home for Children in Turbeville. “It was just a bunch of fellows sitting around talking, trying to give hunters a better name when we began it,” said organizer Wayne Oxendine. “We figured we’d do something to give hunters a better reputation and help the home at the same time. We wanted some good publicity.” They chose the children’s home as the main charity because of its precarious nature: Founded in 1949, the home is funded almost solely through donations and gets no state or federal funding. “(I think) that’s simply because of what they try to do, raise children in a Christian atmosphere,” Oxendine said. “If they take state or federal help, the state or government could come in and tell them how to run the place.” The home is funded in part by Freewill Baptists and has served as home to as many as two dozen children in the past decade alone, according to former Director Todd Parrish. In 2011, he said the facility could use all the help it could get. “We are so grateful for the 17 years of faithful friendship of the Foxhunt Committee, officials and hunters,” Parrish said. “They are true friends who love our kids not just with their words, but with their wallets. Their generosity will enable us to continue to provide food, shelter, and most of all, love, for kids in need.” Parrish said kids come to the home after an in-depth interview process.

“Most of our kids who come and stay here ... maybe they lack the resources, maybe Dad is incarcerated or maybe Mom is addicted to drugs or alcohol,” he said. “Whatever the case, their families are not able to care for them right now, and some may not be able to care for them in the future.” Some of the children are even abandoned, which he said makes the home’s mission even more important. “Just because a parent does not want their child doesn’t mean that child is not needed and wanted,” Parrish said. “They’re special and precious. We let that child know that we want you, that God wants you, that you have a purpose and God has a wonderful plan for you. We want to be a help to you finding that plan.” The Fox Hunt’s main goal, Oxendine said, at least in part, is giving the home funds to do this job. Besides the auction (items are donated by Clarendon and Sumter residents mostly), the event includes an actual hunt, with a $30-per-dog entry fee, held in Foreston on 2,000 acres owned by Richard Evans. Last year, the group raised about $29,000, which Parrish said will help the operational budget of the home. “This is a home that takes in children whose parents are unable to care for them for one reason or another … and they receive no state or federal funding and rely solely on the donations from churches and other organizations for its operation,” Oxendine said. “All of the proceeds go directly to this home. Money is raised through entry fees for the hunt, paid by hunters, drawings and an auction.” Donations are also accepted for the auction “If you live in the central SC area and need someone to pick up your donation, call me and we will make the necessary arrangements,” Oxendine said. This year’s event will begin with supper at 6 p.m. March 2, including a bench show; hounds will cast at 7 a.m. March 3, the day of the actual hunt, the same day of this year’s benefit auction. Derby numbers are being given from 0-299 and 900-999, and allage numbers from 300-899. To reserve numbers, call Oxendine at (803) 452-5303 or email

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On the Lake... Photo provided Matt Fry of Summerton caught a 46-pound blue catfish on the shores of Lake Marion in the Francis Marion Subdivision recently.

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Photo by Jeffrey Blackman Zoe Blackman, 21-month-old greatgranddaughter of Pat and Don Kerl of Wyboo, sits with her dog Lia at her home in Auburn, Maine.


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1514 James Loop Road, $269,000 View beautiful sunsets from screened porch or large deck with this waterfront home. Beautiful kitchen, stainless steel appliances, solid surface countertops. 4 bedroom, 2.5 baths. Fenced yard.

We've got a home for you!

1700 Quail Trail, $249,000 Enjoy a view of Lake Marion from your front porch and moor your boat in your backyard. Large sunroom, screened back porch, fish cleaning station. 3 bedroom, 2 bath.

by the lake!

THE AREA’S BEST LISTINGSLakeside or In Town! Johnny Odom 803-460-4955

1091 McKenzie Road, $343,900 Reduced Beautiful custom built 3 BR, 3 BA home on large lot on a pond. 3000+ square foot.

We've got a home for you! 38 FEBRUARY • MARCH 2012 | LAKESIDE

1134 Conestoga Lane, $319,000 Motivated seller!!! 3 BR, 2 BA waterfront home on good water on Wyboo Creek.

1203 Cypress Point, $94,900 Very nice second floor 1 BR, 1 BA condo with great view. Furnished with new carpet.

by the lake!

Renovating a rental property


hen the economy struggles to the point of recession, few people benefit. However, there are some businesses that thrive during a recession, using the circumstances to their advantage and actually growing business in spite of a sagging economy. One such business is rental agencies or property management companies. Even landlords with a single investment property tend to do better during a recession, when individuals might be fearful of buying a home or simply unable to afford it. Such individuals still need a place to live, however, and landlords benefit as a result. One of the best things a landlord can do during a recession is to pay more attention to their rental properties, ensuring the properties are in tip-top shape so they can get the most out of each unit at a time when the rental market is most competitive. This might require some renovations, which landlords should be making periodically anyway, regardless of how strong or tenuous the economy might be. * Update the paint. Apartments are typically empty when shown to prospective renters, and any issues with the paint job are very noticeable during such viewings. If the paint is outdated or there is any fading, update the walls with a fresh coat of paint. It’s ideal to do so whenever a tenant moves out, but landlords whose buildings have a high turnover rate likely won’t need to repaint every time a tenant moves out. When adding a new coat of paint, choose a light, neutral color to give the property a fresh, inviting look. * Replace the carpeting. Carpeting is another area prospective renters are instantly drawn to when viewing an apartment. New carpeting is always attractive to potential tenants, and landlords won’t have to break the bank to replace the carpets when an existing tenant moves out. Instead of expensive carpeting, choose a me-

Why pay more for your new system? Paying more for your replacement unit is YOUR business, Saving your more is MY business!




Lake Marion Area Monthly and Long Term Rentals Town, Lake Area, Waterfront Homes and Condos



dium grade carpet with a neutral color, ideally beige or light brown, which can hide spills or stains should the next tenant prove messy and move out after the original lease terms are up. Before laying carpet, don’t forget to lay down quality padding underneath. Such padding makes the carpet feel softer and of higher quality. * Upgrade the appliances. Perhaps nothing evokes a stronger response from prospective renters than a property’s appliances. Outdated appliances make renters speculate as to what else might be outdated and if the building is well taken care of. On the other hand, newer appliances, particularly stainless steel items, create a contemporary feel and give the impression, true or false, that a landlord won’t allow the building to grow dated or fall into disrepair. When shopping for appliances, choose ones that are more basic so any eventual repairs won’t be too complicated or costly. Newer appliances enable landlords to charge more rent for a given property, and many renters would agree that such properties are worth the extra money. * Install new windows. Older buildings tend to have creaky or drafty windows, which not only makes the property colder during the winter months, but it also drives up utility costs as renters are forced to turn up the thermostat to combat drafts and cold air entering the unit. New windows can eliminate such drafts and reduce utility costs, something landlords can use to their advantage when discussing the property with potential tenants. Landlords might even be able to earn tax breaks when installing new, energyefficient windows. Discuss if any such breaks exist with the local municipality. When it comes to renovating a rental property, landlords can make a handful of small renovations that, while relatively inexpensive, enable them to earn substantially more money from each unit over the long haul.

Jimmy Mathis

803-460-5420 OR 803-478-5957 SALES & SERVICE ON ALL BRANDS 322 South Mill St. • Manning, SC


20 Years Property Manager Experience

Dee Osteen


Discount Furniture


Lakeside Feb - March 2012  
Lakeside Feb - March 2012  

2012 Spring Lakeside