Upstate Lake Living Spring 2021

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SPRING 2021

8 | The business of butterflies & birds

40 | Golf Brookstone

20 | Clemson Ski Club

54 | This gem gleams on Lake Keowee

26 | Gardens & Galleries 32 | Longboat Key Resort

44 | Sleeping in the trees

66 | Remembering our roots

SPRING 2021 Volume 16 • Issue 1 PUBLISHER Jerry Edwards, jerry@edwgroupinc.com 864-882-3272 EDITOR Brett McLaughlin, bmclaughlin@upstatetoday.com GENERAL MANAGER Hal Welch, hal@upstatetoday.com

life on the lake: theatre:

ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Wes Grooms, wgrooms@upstatetoday.com

Birding made easy............................ 30

Stage lights are coming up slowly................. 76

calendar:

ART DIRECTOR/GRAPHICS Melissa Bradley, mbradley@upstatetoday.com

Still wise to call ahead................................. 78

CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS EDITION Bill Bauer • Phillip Gentry Vanessa Infanzon • Dari Mullins Brett McLaughlin

fishing: Cashing in on crappie........................................ 80 your finances:

Beware of cyberthieves!....................... 82

COVER PHOTO View of Lake Jocassee at sunset, from Jumping Off Rock Overlook, NC

DEAR READERS If you’re anything like me, you can’t help but think the clock is ticking more slowly these days. That’s probably because we’re all yearning for the same thing … a return to those days when we could plan a getaway without having to buy insurance on a plane ticket or waste time reading the fine print about refunds on a resort’s home page. There may be light at the end of this pandemic tunnel, but it still appears to be a flashlight and not the burst of sunlight we had all hoped for this spring. Still, we’re here living in a beautiful place where the Oconee Bells will bloom soon and where our flowers and plants are already showing signs of new life. Hope, like spring, returns as the temperatures rise and each day is just a bit longer than the one before. In the spirit of spring, we have devoted several pages in this edition of Upstate Lake Living to the topic of gardening; specifically, the kind of gardening that can attract more birds and butterflies to your backyard … or, front yard, as the case may be. Some experts and a couple of established butterfly gardeners contributed to our lead article, while Vanessa Infanzon has provided 6 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

a piece on gardens and galleries you may want to visit this spring. Even our resident lakesider, Dari Mullins, gets into the act, writing about her newfound hobby of bird-watching. Converting your developer-designed landscape into a more butterfly-friendly environ or expanding your existing native plant and flower plots are great ways to start the clock ticking faster as we await the demise of COVID-19. So, too, is making a “safe” getaway, and Bill Bauer comes through in this issue with a great resort option and a local golf course that merits consideration. Finally, if you have some time and want to get outdoors, read about how you can contribute to local historian Nick Gambrell’s efforts to create a historic farmstead in lower Oconee County. As it turns out, there’s plenty to keep us occupied. We hope we’ve planted a few spring seeds in this issue. As always, I look forward to hearing from you with any suggestions for stories, including homes to feature and restaurants to review. Just email me at: bmclaughlin@upstatetoday.com Brett McLaughlin, editor

The Journal UPSTATE LAKE LIVING™ is published quarterly by The Journal 210 W. N. 1st Street, Seneca, SC 29678, USA Ph: 864.882.2375, Fax: 864.882.2381 Mail subscription: $40 includes 4 issues Single issue: $4.95, available at The Journal office U.S. Postal Permit #18 UPSTATE LAKE LIVING™ is a trademark of Edwards Group. Contents copyrighted. SUBSCRIPTION SERVICE Upstate Lake Living, upon receipt of a new or renewal subscription, will strive to provide first-copy delivery of Upstate Lake Living to the Postal Service for the next issue (March, June, September and December). Renewals must be received at least two weeks prior to expiration to assure continued service. Address subscription inquiries to: UPSTATE LAKE LIVING, P.O. Box 547, Seneca, SC 29679; phone 864.882.2375; fax 864.882.2381. Two weeks advance notice is required for address changes; please send old and new address.


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Turn your landscape into a haven for beautiful things story by Brett McLaughlin

8 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


I

f you’re anything like tens of thousands of other Americans, 2020 left you lonely and bored. So far, 2021 probably hasn’t done much to abate those feelings. So, beyond board games and jigsaw puzzles, what is the homebound homeowner to do? The answer many people turned to last year is gardening. “We have noticed an uptick in renovations and gardening. People are stuck at home and want to enjoy their own spaces. The edible permaculture type projects have become more popular, especially in smaller spaces. Gardening for wildlife and seasonal color continue to gain popularity along with going native, reducing chemicals and conserving water,” said Rick Huffman, the Pickens County-based founder of the SC Native Plant Society and owner of Earth Design, an Upstate landscape architecture firm. While many gardeners became avid gardeners this past year, devoting countlessly more hours to their plots, many used quarantine to query the ins and outs of gardening for the first time. “Everyone is learning when it comes to gardening,” Huffman said, “some more than others.” Vicki Mountz belongs in the latter category. A few years removed and retired from her job with the Ohio Dept. of Natural Resources, she and her

husband have been gardening for years. They moved to the Upstate in 2015. Her goal here, as it was up north, has been to be a friend to birds and butterflies and “even an occasional deer.” She admits to having had some “culture shock” adapting to red clay and the yearlong presence of bugs. “There’s just not enough hard freezes down here,” she lamented. “Nothing dies, and there are some bad bugs.” Whether tending to their ever-increasing collection of habitat-attracting plants and flowers, or cultivating their vegetable garden, the couple spends countless hours each week in their yard. “And, we’ve spent a lot more this past year,” she said. Similarly, Donna Jones of rural Easley moved south more than a decade ago from her home in the New York mountains where she tended to her riding horses and mastered the art of English gardening. “I checked the climate charts and growing seasons before I moved, but I wasn’t ready for red soil. I was appalled,” she admitted. She immediately enrolled in Master Gardener classes at Clemson to learn about native plants. Her yard, Jones said, was a mix of good Zoysia grass in the front and weeds in the back. At the suggestion of a landscaper, she began the conversion of her backyard by building a water feature and Koi pond.

Rick Huffman

You don’t have to convert your entire lawn into butterfly habitat. Expert Rick Huffman suggests adding one small plot after another, leaving ample room for children to play or friends to gather.

SPRING 2021 › 9


“I was familiar with bluestone (NY and PA) so I had 20 tons (21 pallets) shipped in,” she said. “I’m sure when the landscaper saw those pallets sitting in my drive he probably thought I was crazy.” She designed and built the pond herself, earning the nickname “the stone lady” among some locals. Over the past 11 years Jones has planted hundreds of native plants and pollinators in small plots across her oneacre parcel. However, she has not abandoned English gardening, which dominates her front yard. She also has a hosta garden, planted in honor of her late friend Elizabeth “Betty” Cruickshank, who, with her husband, established the Cruickshank Hosta Garden at the South Carolina Botanical Garden. Jones also said 2020 meant more time in her yard. The end result was construction of an English potting shed that she alternately refers to as her “Covid Cottage” and her “Gnome Home,” as it houses several gnomes she inherited from the Cruickshank collection. But what if your landscape consists of perfunctory plants wedged too closely together from the time your home was built? What if a bed of pollinators is as foreign to you as good news at 6 o’clock? Homeowners considering transforming their yards into havens for butterflies and birds need to acquire the same knowledge Mountz and Jones embarked on obtaining after relocating here. Huffman, while not discouraging Master Gardener or Master Naturalist classes, said crucial information abounds online and in local libraries.

Donna Jones says her kitchen window is her blind for taking photos of butterflies and birds attracted to her backyard gardens. The inset shows a male Bluebird atop one of several feeders in her yard. Photo by Donna Jones

» CONTINUED ON PG. 12

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» CONTINUED FROM PG. 10

“The Native Plant Society website has countless articles and links to other sites about native plants,” he said. “I would also suggest the book, ‘Bringing Nature Home’ by Douglas Tallamy. He’s an entomologist and his book is written for attracting insects. You need an insect-friendly landscape to attract birds and butterflies. Not mosquitoes and such, but good insects. Butterflies, for goodness sake, start out as insects.” Huffman also recommended that people start any effort to create a more nature-friendly landscape slowly. “Many people live in tight, pristine neighborhoods,” he said. “Start with just a 10-by-10-foot area, just 100 square feet off in a corner that you only mow once or twice a year. Make it your designated weed patch, and watch what happens. “If you can’t quite bring yourself to intentionally grow weeds, just start with a few native plants. Don’t convert your whole yard. Be selective,” he continued. “Use the sunny areas and you can save a few dollars on irrigation. Use planters on your deck. Shrink your lawn to a pathway, and you can leave play areas for the grandkids.” {clockwise from top} With more time to garden, Donna Jones was able to move up the timetable on constructing this lovely English potting shed in her backyard. She calls it her “Covid Cottage.” • Both feeders and multitudes of flowers in Jones’ yard attract hummingbirds. Here, one sits on a red dogwood tree twig. • Jones’ yard is a good example of expert Rick Huffman’s suggestion that homeowners work around the edges, along paths and driveways and in small plots where the sunlight is best, leaving other areas open for play and entertainment. • Pollinators abound in her’ gardens. Here, a Yellow Swallowtail sits atop a zinnia. Photos by Donna Jones

12 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


Mountz agreed, noting that this past year she and her husband created a new, long, 2-foot strip along a mulched area. “We didn’t use all native plants, but everything is appealing. “We keep growing our gardens a little each year, but they have to attract nature. If they reject (a plant), it has to go,” she added. Again, Huffman urged people to use the SCNPS website. “Click on the ‘homeowner’ area, and it will tell you how to begin converting your lawn,” he explained. “It has plant lists for homeowners based on whether they have sun or shade, whether it is wet or dry and lists the kind of wildlife they will attract. “Think like wildlife think,” Huffman continued. “Use nature to serve you.”

{top left} South Carolina native plants are essential to your garden and can actually save you money in the form of lower water use and less fertilizer. {top right} Vicki Mountz always grows extra parsley, dill and fennel, all of which are favorite hosts for the Eastern Swallowtail caterpillar. Photo by Vicki Mountz

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{above} Butterflies love fruit. Here’s one fruit feeder idea. {inset} This rare Zebra Longwing was a first in Mountz’s garden last year. It is the Florida state butterfly, but is rarely seen this far north. It is visiting a lantana plant. Photo by Vicki Mountz

He also said that converting lawns into hotbeds for birds and butterflies doesn’t require a lot of time or money and, by using native plants, homeowners can actually save money in the long run. “Whack them down in the fall. It takes 10 minutes,” he said. “They don’t require fertilizer so you can save that money and, once they take root, you can shut off your irrigation system.” But, in Huffman’s perfect world, there will be weeds. “A weed is a plant out of place,” he quipped. “It’s all about perspective and how you view it. You can have everything evergreen, or you can have a little roughness around the edges.” Both Mountz and Jones agree. Despite her repurposed wrought iron rose arbors, antique urns and colorful pastel palette of colors, Jones is not above allowing seedpods to linger through the winter … sometimes to the chagrin of her neighbors. “I have 8 or 9 feeders, and I’m an avid photographer, particularly bird portraits. My goal is to have something in bloom every day of the year. I even saw Swallowtails during that warm spell in early January. My kitchen is my blind.” “I’m fine with wild-looking things,” added Mountz. “I leave the seedpods on in the fall, if not for winter seed, then for winter cover for the birds.” n Other useful resources: • SC Native Plant Society: https://scnps.org • “The Living Landscape” by Douglas W. Tallamy and Rick Darke • Xerces Society: https://www.xerces.org

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Custom Residence Collection

MLS 20235744

124 LONG RIDGE ROAD • $1,395,000

Spacious and utterly enchanting, this impressive Mill Creek Post and Beam beauty represents the quintessential mountain-lake home in The Reserve at Lake Keowee. Expansive living areas are wonderfully laid out over white oak and slate floors beneath vaulted and beamed ceilings. Enjoy relaxing by a fire or soaking in the outdoor spa on the slate patio at this beautiful estate, nestled on 1.09 acres. This home looks as though it “belongs” amid the towering pines with its nurturing wood and stone exterior, wooden shingles, spacious three car garage, welcoming circular driveway, and beautifully groomed landscaping. 864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

MLS 20235968

123 SERENITY DRIVE • $1,399,000

Lovely craftsman home strategically placed on two waterfront lots with a new large circular concrete driveway located in The Cove subdivision at the end of a private cul-de-sac. Upon entering the large great room, the lake views are captivating and immediately draw you toward the large and wide lake views. The adjoining kitchen provides seamless interaction with the great room and the large, covered screen porch with fireplace overlooking the lake and the expansive deck area. With master on main, 3 bedrooms in the walkout lower level and another large bedroom with bath above the garage, this home provides ample space for family and guests. The bedroom above garage serves as a workout room and office affording a multi-use space for any desires. 404.281.0475 • Trip Agerton / trip@justinwinter.com

MLS 20235955

401 EAGLE NEST COURT • $2,879,000

Lake Jocassee is often referred to as “the Lake Tahoe of the East”, and 401 Eagle Nest Court exemplifies the magnificent and exclusive beauty found on this very special lake. Enjoy the most beautiful views of the southeastern slope of the Appalachian Mountains and one of the widest sections of the lake from your deck or double decker dock. Bordering state park and at the end of a cul-de-sac with only a few part-time neighbors, this home site’s location is private and utterly enchanting, yet only 11 minutes from scenic Highway 11’s market, restaurant and wine/liquor store. This 6 bedroom, 6-1/2 bath, 5,400 sq ft home accommodates large family gatherings with plenty of room for guests and is ready to be enjoyed immediately! 864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

THE FINEST COLLECTION

864-481-4444 | info@justinwinter.com | www.justinwinter.com

©2021 Justin Winter and Associates, LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Justin Winter and Associates, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. Sales data based on Western Upstate MLS.


live the extraordinary... UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20235532

115 MOSSY WAY • $2,680,000

Offering the tranquil waters of a deep cove in The Cliffs at Keowee Springs, yet positioned to capture incredibly long views of Lake Keowee’s main channel and distant mountains, 115 Mossy Way is a home designed for sharing with family and friends. The great room flows to the dining area and kitchen. Glass doors recede to the lakeside screened porch with fireplace and grill. The master suite includes porch access. An extra-wide staircase leads to the lower level, which can also be reached via the elevator, to a family room and kitchen with dining area. 3 spacious bedroom suites accommodate guests, as does a 2nd laundry area. Above the 3-car garage, there is a luxurious apartment. A paver cart path leads to a terrace with fireplace and the covered dock. 864.202.0505 • Melissa Wiles-Sellers / melissa@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20216577

207 SUNRISE POINTE WAY • $4,199,000

Spectacular 5 bedroom, 6 full and 2 half-bathrooms on an exceptional, 1.53 acre waterfront lot, with gentle slope and 326 ft of prime shoreline. Keith Summerour-designed and built by boutique craftsman, Mike Blackburn. The attention to detail and the quality of craftsmanship will exceed even the most meticulous buyer’s mind. Over $500,000 in mature landscaping, native shrubs, trees and boulder pathways. Extensive use of diverse reclaimed antique wood in beams, floors, trim and some walls, applied and finished with great skill. Unsurpassed quality and attention to detail abound, denoting this as one of the finest homes on Lake Keowee and located in The Cliffs at Keowee Falls. 864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20223818

104 NINE BARK WAY • $3,629,500

Generously endowed with natural, architectural and aesthetic charm, this listing represents one of the finest properties not only within The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards but on Lake Keowee. From its enviable situation on a premier, south-facing waterfront lot with golf course and State Park views to its timeless character and luxurious finishes, no detail has been overlooked. Precisely poised to capitalize on privacy, slope and exposure, the boutique architecture is at once enchanting, comfortable and practical. Inviting living spaces extend over three levels (with the option of an elevator), and overflow onto balconies and patios, and on to the lawn, beach and tree-hung lot. 864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

THE FINEST COLLECTION

864-481-4444 | info@justinwinter.com | www.justinwinter.com

©2021 Justin Winter and Associates, LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Justin Winter and Associates, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. Sales data based on Western Upstate MLS.


Custom Residence Collection UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20230700

310 E. FORT GEORGE WAY • $2,689,000

Possessing all the most coveted characteristics of a lake home, this handsome design is open, bright, and inviting, with wonderful lake views and easy water access in The Reserve at Lake Keowee. Harmoniously combining stone, cedar and slate on its attractive, low maintenance exterior, the contemporary interior blends light floor treatments, walls, custom cabinetry and trim, in a uniquely transitional design. Fabulous lake views are apparent immediately, and accentuated by introductory glimpses upon approach, and through the front door. This attractive property offers quality of design, exquisite attention to detail, and the substance borne of a high level of craftsmanship and maintenance.

864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20230244

256 MOUNTAIN VIEW POINTE DRIVE • $2,305,000

This property spans 2 lots, enjoying privacy and one of the finest views on Lake Keowee and within the community of Mountain View Pointe. Inside, the great room overlooks the broad lake and distant mountain view. The kitchen boasts fine cabinetry and appliances. The master bedroom commands wonderful views, and is served by 2 en suite bathrooms and 2 walk-in closets. On the lower level there is a 4th bedroom, with access to the large screened patio. The media room lies adjacent to a games room, with fabulous bar and 2nd kitchen. Above the 3-car+ garage, there is a private apartment. A dock with lift awaits beyond a lakeside patio, fire pit, outdoor kitchen and lush landscaping.

864.506.5453 • Allie Winter / allie@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20234378

201 E. FORT GEORGE WAY • $2,295,000

Nestled comfortably on a gently sloping and peaceful water front location in The Reserve at Lake Keowee, with commanding views of big water, this Jeff Holder custom built impeccably maintained residence will satisfy the most discerning buyer. Level from the street, the driveway winds to a threecar garage and motor court, where views of the lake can be seen through the double door glassed entry. Only a few steps and a gentle grade connect the pool, spa, firepit and terrace area to the covered slip dock with boat lift, lighting, water and PWC storage. This very much loved home has been a full-time, one owner residence and upgraded continually, including new floors, new heat pumps and water heaters.

864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

THE FINEST COLLECTION

864-481-4444 | info@justinwinter.com | www.justinwinter.com

©2021 Justin Winter and Associates, LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Justin Winter and Associates, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. Sales data based on Western Upstate MLS.


live the extraordinary... UNDER CONTRACT

OFFICE EXCLUSIVE

567 SHOOTING TREE WAY • $1,989,000

180-degree views of a picturesque Lake Keowee cove and deep water, covered slip access provide a stunning backdrop for this exceptionally handsome Cliffs at Keowee Falls South waterfront home. A unique yet highly functional and supremely comfortable floor plan incorporates five spacious bedrooms with four full and two half bathrooms. A grand staircase with open steps and wrought iron railings unites the three levels seamlessly, while an elevator provides additional access to all three floors. Outside, a short walk down landscaped steps leads to the nearly new covered slip boat dock with lift, lighting, running water and deep water.

864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20234741

325 TROTTINGWOLF TRAIL • $1,175,000

Nestled into the original Cliffs community with amenities such as a clubhouse, boat launch and swimming pool (no membership required), 325 Trottingwolf Trail offers privacy, leisure, convenient access, and enjoyment of mountain and lakefront living. The home’s exterior is both beautifully maintained and welcoming, with its articulated stacked stone accents, easy lake access, and impressive 180-degree views of an emerald green cove. Take a walk to the dual-slip Ironwood dock and unique water’s edge gazebo, situated on 300’ of deepwater shoreline, or ride a golf cart down the cart path. Gather by the stamped concrete fire pit, or relax in a rocking chair on the porch and admire the landscaping and natural lake beauty. 864.506.6387 • Justin Winter / justin@justinwinter.com

UNDER CONTRACT

MLS 20220155

400 S POINT BOULEVARD • $649,000

Located in the midst of The Reserve at Lake Keowee’s nature preserve, 400 S. Point Boulevard blends elegant living with outdoor pursuits. A portion of the community’s conservation easement is across the street and nearby cart paths lead to the many amenities this community has to offer. Inside, both the foyer and light-filled great room have vaulted plank ceilings with aesthetic beam accents. An expansive deck wraps around the home and joins a spacious, breezy screened porch. With multiple doors to the porch and decks, the kitchen, dining, great room, and outdoor areas create an ideal flow for entertaining. Both inside and outside spaces enjoy seasonal mountain and lake views.

248.866.6007 • Lori Parks / lori@justinwinter.com

THE FINEST COLLECTION

864-481-4444 | info@justinwinter.com | www.justinwinter.com

©2021 Justin Winter and Associates, LLC. All rights reserved. Sotheby’s International Realty® and the Sotheby’s International Realty logo are registered service marks licensed to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC and used with permission. Justin Winter and Associates, LLC fully supports the principles of the Fair Housing Act and the Equal Opportunity Act. Each franchise is independently owned and operated. Any services or products provided by independently owned and operated franchisees are not provided by, affiliated with or related to Sotheby’s International Realty Affiliates LLC nor any of its affiliated companies. If your property is listed with a real estate broker, please disregard. It is not our intention to solicit the offerings of other real estate brokers. Sales data based on Western Upstate MLS.


Ski Team is no stranger to national spotlight story by Dari Mullins

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Members of the original 1984 Clemson Ski Team are pictured here. Photo courtesy of Clemson Water Ski Team

lemson University’s football team may grab most of the headlines but, behind the scenes, the Clemson Water Ski Team has also become a perennial national power. Established in 1984, one of the nation’s oldest ski teams has evolved from a few enthusiasts looking for fellow skiers to one of the most competitive teams in the nation. Clemson skiers have participated in the Collegiate Nationals nearly every year, with a third-place finish in 1991 being their best effort. Clemson competes in the South Atlantic Conference, a division of the National Collegiate Water Ski Association. The SAC includes schools from Kentucky, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee and Alabama. The Tigers have won the prestigious SAC tournament every year since 2000, a record of consistency that has earned the university recognition and respect as a “water ski school” despite being a nonscholarship sport.

Jeff Crouch, founder of JC Sports in Seneca and former team captain (19881991), said the team’s early days presented many logistic and financial challenges. The team had an old ski boat, he recalled, and team members had to work around the marina to pay for a slip to store it. They often had to share equipment, including having just one pair of jump skis, and team members had to adapt and learn on the fly. In fact, Chad Hodge, a former team member and current sales manager at WaterSports Central, performed his first-ever jump while competing for the team in a tournament. In order to qualify, the team had to enter someone in all three events —slalom, trick and jump. Hodge stepped up and took his first jump off a 5- to 6-foot ramp so the team could compete. This “value of commitment and willingness of individuals to sacrifice their own goals for the betterment of the team” remain among the greatest lessons he learned while on the team, he said.

TEAM AWARDS D1 Collegiate Nationals: 1984 – 7th place (first year Clemson had a team); 1985 – 8th; 1988 – 9th; 1989 – 6th (highest non-scholarship team); 1990 – 8th; 1991 – 3rd (highest non-scholarship team finish ever); 1992 – 8th; 1993 – 7th; 1996 – 9th; 1997 – 9th; 1998 – 6th; 1999 – 7th; 2000 – 5th; 2001 – 8th; 2007 – 9th; 2008 – 10th; 2019 – 7th South Atlantic Conference Champions: 19881992, 2000 1993: Member of National Collegiate All-Star Championship D2 Collegiate Nationals: 2010 – 6th; 2012 – 1st; 2014 – 1st; 2015 – 7th; 2016 – 8th; 2017 – 8th; 2018 – 9th 2017: NCWSA Marketing Award of Excellence 2018: Women’s team placed 6th overall (1st nonscholarship team) 2018: Team Vice President, Ashley Stevens, won the 2018 SAC Region’s Team MVP Award 2019: HO Skis Spirit Award Winners SPRING 2021 › 21


Clemson’s ski program has evolved over the years. Currently, the team owns and operates two American Water Ski Association-approved towboats that are stored in lifts on Lake Hartwell, one mile from campus. The team also has a record-capable slalom and jump course, as well as AWSA rated officials, drivers and skiers who attend team practices. The entire team structure underwent a makeover in spring 2019, led by Ashley Stevens, then president of the club. The team became more independent and developed a framework that gives them more influence in major decisions and enables them to, hopefully, offer scholarships in the future. The Clemson team has several unique and un-

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usual features, not the least of which is that team members lead and provide boats, drivers and instruction for the Clemson Watersports Club, which is open to any Clemson student wanting to enjoy and learn about watersports. The Club typically has 80-150 dues-paying members. The ski team’s 20 to 30 members organize and volunteer for 2-hour slots during which Watersports Club members water ski, wakeboard or wake surf. Current team president, Alec Ancevic, said that despite changes over the years, the core values of the Water Ski Team’s culture have remained the same. He said the team has taught him to be outgoing and more confident, adding that, “deciding to be on the team is one of the best decisions I’ve made during my college career.”

{at left} 2012 Division 2 National Champion team holds the trophy after returning to Clemson. Photo courtesy of Hunter Ward (team member, 2012-2014) {at right} It was time to celebrate their performance at the 2017 nationals. Photo courtesy of Clemson Water Ski Team


TEAM RECORDS Men’s Slalom (9/16/2016) Wyatt Haines 3@39.5 off@36mph (111 buoys) Women’s Slalom (3/27/2004) Josefin Edenback-Hirst 2@38off@34mph (98 buoys) Men’s Trick (3/26/2011) Jonathon Paulovich 3,520 points Women’s Trick (4/27/2001) Betsy Harris 2,510 points

Members of the squad show off their colors on the Lake Hartwell dock that is home to the Clemson Ski Team. Photo courtesy of Clemson Water Ski Team

“By joining the team I immediately got involved in my college experience on the first day,” he said. “It set the tone for my success, and I instantly met like-minded friends who ended up becoming like family.” Ancevic added that all the hours spent on the water have created memories never to be forgotten and relationships that will last a lifetime. He encourages any young person interested in the team to “go for it,” adding, “No matter what your skill level, reach out to the team if you are attending Clemson.

LIFE BEGINS AT

Men’s Trick (3/26/2011) Jonathon Paulovich 3,520 points Men’s Jump (4/27/2001) Chevis Collins 152 feet Women’s Jump (9/20/2003) Jamie Harris 108 feet

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It is an open and inviting environment, and there are mentors who can train and help develop you in the sport.” Not unexpectedly, 2020 created some uncharted waters for the team. Because of the pandemic, all competitive spring and fall 2020 events were cancelled or postponed. Some activities resumed in the fall, but participation was limited and masks were required while on the boats. Similar protocols were in place this spring, and the fate of scheduled tournaments was still undecided. (Follow the team on social media to see if any events are scheduled.) n To find more about either the Clemson Watersports Club or the Clemson Water Ski Team, visit Facebook, Instagram or www.clemsonwatersports.com. For more information on the National Collegiate Water Ski Association, visit www.ncwsa.com.

{above} Ashley Stevens slices through the course at the 2019 nationals. Photo courtesy of Clemson Water Ski Team {inset} The 2019 team won the Spirit Award at the nationals. Photo courtesy of Ashley Stevens

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Gardens and Galleries show off spring blooms story by Vanessa Infanzon

The work of Southern artists rotates through The Johnson Collection Gallery in downtown Spartanburg. Photo by Carroll Foster, HotEyePhotography

26 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


M

any have felt the struggle of being cooped up for the past year. The industrious among us have managed their time learning a new language, reading the books on their nightstand or writing a memoir. Many of us binge-watched “The Crown” or “Schitt’s Creek,” ate gallons of ice cream and learned to accessorize sweatpants with a coordinating mask. For artists, this quiet period of reflection has provided an uninterrupted space in which to develop ideas. They have spent time in their studios creating new bodies of work. Museums and galleries are bursting with paintings and sculptures ready for viewing. Gardens are blooming like never before. Why not greet spring by pairing an art exhibit with a garden stroll? Luckily, we can always count on blooms to return each spring. These gardens and galleries are within driving distance of Upstate South Carolina and are guaranteed to capture the rebirth of a season and our collective hope for health and peace: ART & LIGHT GALLERY Plan to see South Carolina artist Annalisa Fink’s solo exhibit, “Stubborn Hope.” It runs March 2-27. A reception is being held on March 5, from 6-8 p.m. Return for painter Diane Kilgore Condon’s exhibit, March 30 through May 1. 16 Aiken St., Greenville, SC, 864.252.5858, artandlightgallery.com THE ARTISTS COLLECTIVE | SPARTANBURG Walk through this 20,000-square foot former Baptist Church to see works created by more than 50 artists in sculpture, painting and more. 578 W. Main St., Spartanburg, SC, 864.804.6501, artistscollectivespartanburg.org

{above} South Carolina artist Annalisa Fink’s solo exhibit, “Stubborn Hope” runs through March in Greenville. Photo courtesy of Annalisa Fink {below} Visit a cotton plantation’s interpretive gardens at Jarrell Plantation State Historic Site in Juliette, GA. Photo courtesy of Georgia Dept. of Natural Resources

SPRING 2021 › 27


Hear life to the fullest. “Meeting the Moon” — with works from nationally recognized artists inspired by the moon — is among several exhibits currently at the Asheville Art Museum. Photo by David Huff Creative

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UNC CHARLOTTE BOTANICAL GARDENS Stroll through the Susie Harwood Garden and the Van Landingham Glen on the UNC Charlotte campus. The gardens include an extensive collection of rhododendrons, native plants and non-native plants in a setting with decorative gates, gravel pathways and gazebos. 9090 Craver Road, Charlotte, NC, 704.687.0721, gardens.uncc.edu

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ASHEVILLE ART MUSEUM Visit one of the museum’s various exhibits: “Meeting the Moon” with works from nationally recognized artists inspired by the moon, “Beauford Delaney’s Metamorphosis into Freedom” featuring Beauford Delaney’s abstract paintings, “Our Strength is Our People” and “Old World/New Soil.” 2 S. Pack Square, Asheville, NC, 828.253.3227, ashevilleart.org

CHIEF VANN HOUSE HISTORIC SITE Bring a picnic to enjoy on this 135-acre historic site or wander through the one-mile nature trail. Look for the Physician’s Garden with its medicinal plants indigenous to North America and others from all over the world. Three-Sisters Garden (corn, beans and squash) is in full bloom by the height of summer. 82 Highway 225 N., Chatsworth, GA, 706.695.2598, gastateparks. org/Chief VannHouse ELDER GALLERY OF CONTEMPORARY ART Visit Cynthia Flaxman Frank’s first commercial exhibit, “Cynthia Flaxman Frank On The Mezzanine,” March 5 through May 22. Her paintings are inspired by illuminated manuscripts and her fascination with typography. Reserve a spot at the artist reception on March 5, from 6-8 p.m. 1520 S. Tryon St., Charlotte, NC, 704.370.6337, eldergalleryclt. com/cynthia-flaxman-frank-exhibition GRANT PARK PAST & FUTURE FOOD WALK Sign up for a guided food tour through a residential part of Atlanta with Victorian mansions and Craftsman bungalows. Finish in Oakland Cemetery, a public park filled with gardens, history and sculptures. Atlanta, GA, 470.223.2203, atlantafoodwalks.com HATCHER GARDEN AND WOODLAND PRESERVE Get lost in this 13-acre private garden filled with flowers, shrubs and trees. Watch birds from benches, enjoy a series of creeks, streams


and waterfalls along wood chip trails. Two short paths are wheelchair accessible. 832 John B. White Sr. Blvd., Spartanburg, SC, 864.574.7724, hatchergarden.org

RELAX AT A B&B Feel extra safe staying at one of these bed and breakfasts in South Carolina. These innkeepers list specific COVID-19 precautions on their website:

JARRELL PLANTATION STATE HISTORIC SITE Take a self-guided tour or reserve a private visit of a cotton plantation’s interpretive gardens. Learn about cash crops and what grew in an herb garden in the late 1800s. 711 Jarrell Plantation Road, Juliette, GA, 478.986.5172, gastateparks.org/JarrellPlantation

Barking Fox Farm and Guest House: 890 Greenwood Road, Landrum, SC, 864.457.7300, barkingfoxfarmandguesthouse.com

THE JOHNSON COLLECTION GALLERY Tour TJC Gallery, a private urban gallery, in downtown Spartanburg. The rotating exhibits feature Southern artists such as Romare Bearden, Elizabeth Catlett and Helen Turner. “New to You” runs March 17 through May 14 and brings a selection of never-beforeseen holdings from the Johnson Collection. 154 W. Main St., Spartanburg, SC, 864.594.5823, thejohnsoncollection.org

The Red Horse Inn: 45 Winstons Chase Court, Landrum, SC, 864.909.1575, theredhorseinn.com

Clevedale Historic Inn and Gardens: 1050 Willis Road, Spartanburg, SC, 864.345.2394, clevedaleinn.com The Pettigru Place Bed & Breakfast: 302 Pettigru St., Greenville, SC, 864.242.4529, pettigruplace.com

PIEDMONT PHYSIC GARDEN Make an appointment to see this unexpected garden in historic downtown Union. It’s inspired by London’s historic Chelsea Physic Garden, and it highlights ornamental and medicinal plants in apothecary, rose, butterfly and shaded gardens. 301 E. South St., Union, SC, 864.427.2556, piedmontphysicgarden. org n *Due to ever-changing COVID-19 protocol, Upstate Lake Living recommends calling ahead for latest information about hours of operation, mask requirements and reservations before hitting the road.

The Clevedale Inn is just one of several B&B options to consider while visiting gardens and galleries in the region. Shown here is their Ohana Suite. Photo by J.W. Boom

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Birding made easy

BY DARI MULLINS

O

ne of my favorite pastimes at the lake is bird-watching. During the COVID-19 crisis I have had much more time to enjoy this hobby. This past January, I counted 25 birds by my feeders at one time! From woodpeckers to doves to eagles, there is quite a variety of birds to see on and around our lakes. Many residents share my love for this pastime and often post pictures on social media. These photos piqued my interest, so I searched for information on local birding and learned some very interesting facts. Among the most notable are: • The combined efforts of ornithologists over the years has led to the discovery of more birds in South Carolina than in any other state. • Between 375-420 bird species have been recorded in the state. • The best time for birding is April and May during the spring migration. • There are quite a few events and organizations that you can get involved in, both locally and nationally, that promote birding. I reached out to Scott Stegenga, a local ranger at Table Rock State Park and an avid birder. He enlightened me on several ways to participate in birding activities while either out in nature or simply observing wildlife in your own backyard. Two local clubs you can join are the Keowee Clemson Bird Club (www.facebook.com/KeoweeClemsonBirdClub) and the Greenville County Bird Club (gcbirdclub.org). The Greenville club has several events planned for 2021 that have resumed with COVID precautions in place. If you prefer to participate in birding virtually, you can look forward to being involved in the 2022 Great Backyard Bird Count next February. It is an annual fourday event, so be sure to mark your 30 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

{clockwise from top} Bald Eagle at High Falls Park. Photo by Roger Cantrell • Wilson’s Snipe at High Falls Park. Photo by Pat Herrick • An adult and juvenile Double-crested Cormorant at Table Rock State Park. Photo by Scott Stegenga • Juvenile loon. Photo by Lisa Ristow • Hummingbird. Photo by Christy Schwartz • Cedar Waxwing. Photo by Christy Schwartz • Bluebird. Photo by Christy Schwartz • Redheaded Woodpecker at South Cove Park. Photo by Pat Herrick • Rose-breasted Grosbeak. Photo by Christy Schwartz

calendar. You can find out more at www.birdcount.org Project Feeder Watch runs from November 2021 through April 2022, and you can join at any time and participate as often as you want. For an annual fee of $18 they will send you a Research Kit with the needed information to get started. They also have an app available, on which you can enter your data digitally. For more information visit www.feederwatch.org It is easy to get started in birding. Stegenga recommends a beginner birder do the following: • Learn your local birds. This can be done with a traditional field guide such as the “Birds of the Carolinas Field Guide,” or digitally through websites such as www. ebird.org, which will give you a map and a list of birds that have been seen recently in your area. There are also lots of apps available through app stores that can help you identify, track and learn about the birds around you. • Work on attracting birds with feeders and birdhouses. For the Birds is a local bird store in Salem that specializes in helping you decide which houses, feeders, etc., are best for your location. Call 864.944.1265 or go to www.forthebirdsstore.com • Go on a bird-watching trip. Local birding clubs have trips, or you can simply go out on state park hiking trails. Conastee Nature Park is a popular locale for birders. Lake Jocassee also has private boat tours available during which you can see lots of aquatic birds. The Blue Wall Birding Festival is a four-day event put on by South Carolina Parks and Recreation held at Table Rock State Park in late April. Unfortunately the 2020 and 2021 festivals were cancelled due to COVID-19, but put it on your calendar for 2022. For more information on events and activities, check out www.gcbirdclub. org/BlueWall Birding is an easy, relatively inexpensive pastime for all ages. I encourage you to branch out, learn about the birds around you and share your knowledge with your whole family. Dari Mullins is marketing coordinator and office manager at the Seneca location of Watersports Central where she enjoys sharing her love of the water, boating and sports with people of all ages.


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This Sarasota resort is “key” to a great vacation story by Bill Bauer | photos courtesy of visitsarasota.com

32 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


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“key” is best described as a small, low-elevation, sandy island, formed on the surface of a coral reef. String a few together, and you have an “archipelago.” In the case of Florida’s Sarasota County coastline, the archipelago stretches north to south, from Longboat to Manasota, providing an idyllic vacation spot for taking in Sarasota’s adventure, beauty and culture. With the Gulf of Mexico on one side and Sarasota Bay on the other, miles of pristine beaches, restaurants, shops and resorts await your visit. The sometimes sophisticated, but often laid-back, lifestyle of Sarasota attracts people from all corners of the globe who are seeking the serenity and seclusion that island life offers, with a cultured and refined city just a bridge away. Crossing over the bay via the Ringling Bridge puts you on Lido Key. A short drive through Lido and around St. Armands Circle and you are in Longboat Key, the largest of the keys and one of Florida’s top destinations. Legend has it that Longboat Key got its name from longboats left by the Spaniards after they landed and then fled, having found the natives less than friendly. Well, times change and being friendly is now everyone’s second nature on Longboat Key. And, nowhere is that friendliness more apparent than at The Resort at Longboat Key Club, a sprawling complex with breathtaking views of the beach, a lagoon and award-winning golf courses.

The Resort at Longboat Key Club not only offers the best in man-made amenities, but those provided by nature are pretty sweet as well.

SPRING 2021 › 33


spa is truly an islandSO MUCH LUXURY inspired sanctuary A combination devoted to wellness of 218 rooms and and beauty. suites, multiple dining As for dining, options, a spa, Har Longboat Key Club Tru tennis courts, a offers a variety of marina and 45 holes options designed to of magnificent golf satisfy the palates of (See accompanying all diners, regardless of article.) are at your their tastes. Latitudes, disposal. While the a fine dining resort can attend restaurant, grew out of to all your needs, a recent renovation to upscale shopping at join Spikes and Tees, St. Armands Circle Portofino, The Tavern as well as museums and Whiskey Bar and theaters are also and Banyan Poolside. close by in downtown Hours vary but, day or Sarasota. night, you will not go Whatever resort hungry! lodging option you From soaking up select, you will not It doesn’t get much better than having the pool on one side and the Gulf of Mexico on the other, and that’s the sun on the beach be disappointed. life at The Resort at Longboat Key. during the day, to Rooms are large and watching from your balcony as it sets over the sumptuous, with balconies, kitchens and golf — experienced practitioners dedicated to Gulf of Mexico at night, you may never want modern conveniences. Bose radios, mini bars soothing and nourishing your body provide a to leave The Resort at Longboat Key Club, stuffed with goodies and spectacular ocean or variety of massage, skin and body treatments truly one of Sarasota’s premier beachfront bay views are standard. at the resort’s 9,000-square foot spa. There hotels. When the time is right — after a satisfying are 10 tranquil treatment rooms and two Check out these packages day of sightseeing and shopping in Sarasota, relaxation rooms, as well as a salon to provide Recently voted among the Top 30 Florida a long stroll along the beach or a round of for your manicure and pedicure needs. The

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Resorts in the Conde´ Nast Traveler 2020 Readers’ Choice Awards, The Resort at Longboat Key Club offers many ways to save when you are planning a stay. Golf, tennis, dining, spa, family and romance packages all include the resort’s array of award-winning amenities and services. For information on packages, specials and accommodations call 941.383.8821 or visit online at longboatkeyclub.com. n

The Resort at Longboat Key Club is a sprawling complex with breathtaking views of the beach, a lagoon and award-winning golf courses.

For more information on the Sarasota area, visit visitsarasota.com

Moving In? Moving Out? Moving Up? Call Eric ... When Buying or Selling in the Lake Keowee / Seneca Area.

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Associate Broker 864-903-5719 LakeKeoweeRealEstatePro.com SPRING 2021 › 35


ASSISTING BUYERS AND SELLERS

Clemson and Beyond

WHEN IN SARASOTA Sarasota has no shortage of shoreline on the Gulf of Mexico, but it also has a variety of venues for shopping, culture, beauty and recreation. Here’s a “Can’t Miss Top 5 List” for new or returning visitors. St. Armands Circle The Ringling Bridge links Longboat Key to the mainland, but not before passing through Sarasota’s mecca for shopping — St. Armands Circle on Lido Key. The Circus Ring of Fame is composed of nearly 150 boutiques, specialty shops, galleries, restaurants and sidewalk cafes. St. Armands also hosts festivals, shows, sales and holiday-themed events. Hot tip: Try the Columbia Restaurant for the best Cuban sandwiches or made-at-your-table mojitos you’ve ever had!

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Myakka River State Park View life from above via the Myakka River’s 100Dating back to the 1940s, the foot Canopy Walkway. Myakka was designated a Florida Wild and Scenic River in 1985. It is your one-stop site for exploring Sarasota’s backcountry, offering hiking, biking, canoeing, fishing and birding. Hot tip: View life from above via Myakka’s 100-foot Canopy Walkway. Climb the 100 steps – it’s worth the view!

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Anything Ringling Once the winter home of the Ringling Bros. Circus, the circus’ heritage is spread throughout the city. The Ringling Museum has a collection of more than 28,000 works of art. Hot tip: Enhance your Ringling experience by touring the 36,000-square foot Ca’ d’Zan Mansion, John and Mable’s former winter residence. Leave ample time as The Ringling campus is 66-acres.

Marie Selby Botanical Gardens Epiphytes, ferns, mangroves, butterflies and more than 6,000 orchids inhabit a tropical conservatory garden at these botanical gardens in downtown Sarasota. Down the road apiece at Historic Spanish Point, sits another 30-acre campus focusing on historic and local plant life. Hot tip: Order a box lunch from the Selby House Café and enjoy a picnic in a secluded, serene setting. Baseball If it’s spring, it’s baseball, and Sarasota is home to the spring training facilities of Ferns, flowers, mangroves, butterflies and more the Baltimore Orioles and the than 6,000 orchids inhabit the tropical Marie Atlanta Braves. The Braves Selby Botanical Gardens conservatory. are the new guys on the block having arrived in 2019 to play in CoolToday Park. Hot tip: Hit a home run and visit both! For more information on these Top 5 places as well as accommodations, dining and other attractions in and around Sarasota visit: visitsarasota.com.


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Longboat offers creative, convenient golf

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story by Bill Bauer | photos courtesy of visitsarasota.com

hen prolific golf course architect Ron Garl’s name pops up, golfers immediately think of Florida. Yes, he is a native Floridian, but more importantly his signature is on 103 public designs in The Sunshine State. Fortunately for the guests of The Resort at Longboat Key Club, two of his masterpieces are onsite. Distinctly different, Harborside and The Links of Longboat provide 45 challenging holes that have earned Golf Digest’s prestigious list of “Best Places to Play” award. “If you can be successful in Florida, you can be successful anywhere. You really have to dream up and create,” Garl said. That imagination and creativity are on full display at Harborside and The Links of Longboat. The 18-hole Links course, the older of the two dating back to 1961, sits at the southern end of the island. The 27-hole Harborside layout, established in 1981, is located mid-island. All 45 holes were completely redone and redesigned by Garl in 2015, making The Resort at Longboat Key one of Florida’s premier golf locations. “We have been told we have the best conditions and best greens of any course in Florida. These courses are flawless,” said Terry O’Hara, director of golf. His description — along with Paspalum grass from tee to green — is about all the two courses have in common as each is unique in design and difficulty. Harborside’s three nines — Blue Heron, White Egret and Red Hawk — are more private. Rarely will you see more than one hole at a time. Tree-lined fairways lead to relatively flat, spacious greens surrounded by bunkers. Many of the holes border Sarasota Bay and Longboat Key Club’s Moorings marina. The Links, on the other hand, is more wide open with several holes in view at a time. They are more challenging off the tee with greater changes in elevation, smaller greens and a lot of water along the way. Five thousand Palm trees along with pink and white oleanders line the fairways The signature holes on both courses are not only spectacular, but also demanding; so

38 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

All 45 holes at The Resort at Longboat Key Club were completely redone and redesigned in 2015. Original designer, Florida’s own Ron Garl, did the work.

much so that O’Hara points out many golfers play Blue Heron’s par-5 fifth hole as a par 6! “There’s water right off the tee, water to the right and huge sand dunes to the left on the second shot. Then the third or fourth shot is all over water to a green that is surrounded by 70 percent water,” he said wryly. Add a green that slopes back-to-front and a spinning approach could be in the hazard. Similarly, the Links’ signature 18th hole is extremely challenging. From the tee you’re staring at a fairway lined on each side by water leading to a 30- to 40-foot elevated green. Well-bunkered and also sloped back-to-front, the hole calls for a carefully placed approach. With over 150 golf courses in Southwest Florida, choosing a place to tee it up can be tough. However, immaculately maintained resort courses, like Harborside and The Links of Longboat make for an easier decision. O’Hara explains why. “The first thing people do when they get out on the first fairway they play is reach down and touch the grass … they want to know if it’s real because it’s so perfect. Expect flawless conditions and greens that normally run 12-13 on the stimp day in and day out. No one ever leaves here without being blown away!”

Five sets of tees with three different tee boxes make both courses playable for all golfers. Choose the yardage that suits your game, and there’ll be a landing area awaiting your tee shot. “The three nines at Harborside give our members and guests the opportunity to play three different 18 hole combinations — Blue Heron to Red Hawk, Red Hawk to White Egret and White Egret to Blue Heron,” said O’Hara. “And the Links lets you play a pleasant 18 right at the resort.” At Harborside a double-ended driving range and a huge short game complex are perfect for warming up or for getting in some extra practice. The Links has a full range with limited flight balls. Both courses have wellappointed pro shops, excellent instruction and staffs dedicated to making your golf experience nothing but excellent. n Call the pro shop at 941.387.1632 for tee times and information or the resort at 855.314.2619 for golf packaging and specials. Or, visit online for all resort information at longboatkeyclub.com. or visitsarasota.com.


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Brookstone vision is coming to life New ownership brings new life to unique design story by Bill Bauer | photos courtesy of The Club at Brookstone

G

olf courses have their ups and downs, a saying that doesn’t always refer to topography. The Club at Brookstone is one such course. For several years, changes in the economy, ownership and management, and even renovations, have made life at the Anderson club a bit of a roller coaster ride. However, the recent purchase of the former Brookstone Meadows by Tyler Brennan and his wife Melissa Mertely — young investors with a vision — has The Club at Brookstone on its way to becoming what it once was. And, that would be someplace special. “For beauty and some surprising challenges, I rank The Club at Brookstone at the very top of all the courses I’ve designed,” said Tom Jackson, a South Carolina native and the award-winning architect of The Cliffs at Glassy. It was that potential that attracted Brennan and Mertely. “We were looking for our next opportunity, and I’ve always loved golf so we browsed golf opportunities and ultimately decided to purchase The Club at Brookstone,” said Brennan, a captain and F-15E Pilot whose entrepreneurial spirit also finds him owning Race Day Quads, a successful ecommerce retailer specializing in racing drones.

Melissa Mertely and Tyler Brennan are bringing new vision and millennial spirit to a tried and true golf course, The Club at Brookstone.

Under new ownership, The Club at Brookstone is regaining its prominence as a unique and challenging public course.

40 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


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The course at The Club at Brookstone features a unique layout with five par-3s and five par-5s.

In August 2020 they took ownership of TCAB, which only four years earlier had undergone a change in ownership and name, to say nothing of a massive renovation … well, almost. While major upgrades to the golf course were completed, plans to build a new clubhouse, pool, restaurant, and eventually become a private country club had been abandoned. For course members, many of whom are homeowners in the subdivision, Brennan’s purchase was a huge relief. “We were shut down for a year, from about April 2016 to April 2017, while the greens were replaced with Tiff Eagle grass, sand bunkers were reconstructed, tee boxes were laser leveled, restrooms were built on each nine, and a driving range and full scale practice area was developed,” said Roy Swan, a member of Brookstone since 2014. “We were surprised and disappointed that the

new plan would not be fulfilled, but we also realized that we now had a much improved golf course.” For three years, lacking both cash and staffing, TCAB was in limbo and on the market. Under the leadership of Clint Wright, an experienced golf course general manager, the course did as well as could be expected. “Clint brought in golf outings, the First Tee and actually increased the membership and number of rounds, while keeping the course playable,” said Swan. But it was clear that new ownership and direction were needed. In less than six months, Brennan and Mertely have provided that direction. “Our goal is to make The Club at Brookstone the highest rated public golf course in the Upstate,” said Brennan. “We have doubled the size of our maintenance staff, and it all

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With course improvements underway, focus is also being given to improving each golfer’s overall experience; part of that is adding GPS tracking to all golf carts.

starts with having the right people. We have a great team who all understand the expectations of making this golf course one of the best.” The hiring of Joey Davis as superintendent has brought new life to the course, especially the greens. Davis has been in the turf industry for over 10 years and toiled at prestigious courses like Pinehurst and Augusta National, as well as the everyday “country club.” Coming aboard last August, Davis said, “I really only had a month to month-and-a-half of warm temperatures. I put a lot of focus on the putting greens and getting them hardy enough to survive colder temperatures.” Machinery is always an issue and key to golf course maintenance. Brennan and Davis hired a course mechanic with 25+ years of experience, who improved the equipment and began plans to acquire new and better equipment this year. “The biggest change and most important is the improved greens,” commented Wayne Vollentine, a member since 2016. “The new greenskeeper has been rolling the greens to create a true roll and increase the speed. Our greens are some of the best and fastest I’ve played.” “The biggest enemy to turf outside of people and equipment is trees,” explained Davis. “We will be limbing up a lot of tree canopies around several holes to add more sunlight to greens as well as to encourage more turf growth in bare spots along cart paths. Several trees have also been taken out to give golfers better access to the greens.” “Tyler and Joey reacted quickly to member suggestions and removed trees on the eighth and ninth holes to make them more playable,” commented Swan. There are only 36 bunkers to avoid, but, typical of a Jackson design, each is strategically placed, either coming into play from the tees or surrounding the greens upon approach. The bunkers were a major part of the earlier restoration, and using top quality sand and new drainage has made them play like bunkers should be played. Jackson’s original design has not really changed. The unique, five par 3-five par 5 layout is still a blend of doglegs, blind tee shots and heavily contoured fairways that traverse the existing terrain. At only 6,557 yards it is not long, but it does require deftly placed tee shots to leave reasonable approaches from level lies. “While not a mountain course, the changes in elevation make for interesting shot-making,” Swan said. The future is bright for The Club at Brookstone, which has become a true collaborative effort.


This impressive clubhouse offers a number of amenities to both members and non-members playing Brookstone.

“I have been blown away by the help from the Brookstone Meadows community and how much pride they have for this golf course,” Brennan said. Davis agrees, adding, “I have never had as many volunteers as we have here, and they are as much of a reason for our improvements thus far. This golf course has some great bones to it, and I am excited about the future.” As the course transforms, Brennan’s first priority is to ensure that each golfer’s experience improves just as much. “Otherwise the improvements are for naught,” he said. The Club at Brookstone is on its way to achieving the goal of becoming South Carolina’s best public course. If you haven’t played it in a while, drive over and tee it up. It’s come a long way in just six months. n Brookstone is located at 100 River Club Drive, Anderson. Tee times can be made by calling 864.964.9966.

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JUST IMAGINE

sleeping in t he t rees story by Brett McLaughlin | photos courtesy of J. Blanding Photography

At night, Bella Luna (pictured here) and Stella Vista are both glimmering examples of “glamping,” treehouse-style.

44 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


Imagine t his.

The only reason to set down your glass of Chardonnay is to pull the fluffy comforter a little tighter around you. As the sun crawls down the western sky you gaze out across the meadow. In search of dinner, two deer cautiously emerge from the woods. You can smell the succulence of a steak grilling on the deck below, but that’s his job right now. The intermittent chirp of a cricket and the periodic buzz of a cicada fade to the back of your temporal lobe, replaced by Sinatra as he croons “My Way” on the phonograph inside. Glass back in hand, your thoughts turn to the solitude this night promises — a few hours around the campfire, a long shower in your luxurious bath, then snuggling in a bed so big it wouldn’t fit in your room at home. How sweet it will be to sleep beneath the stars … closer to them than you have ever slept before.

Imagine no longer. This reality — and modest variations of the same — awaits in northern Oconee County, where a pair of enterprising women have created luxury treehouse accommodations — two singular getaways where quiet resides, nature prevails, friendships are deepened and romance can easily rule the night. “These were designed to be quaint and romantic … more of a retreat,” says Debbie Backman, who lives beyond the meadow with her master craftsman and homebuilder husband Lavern. “Families, children?” “Oh, no. No kids. This is more of a romantic getaway for couples,” she answers with a knowing smile. Not that a trio or two of girlfriends haven’t spent a few nights. There’s even been a wedding. But, in all likelihood, there have been far more proposals. Guests come from as far as Charlotte, Atlanta and South Carolina’s Lowcountry. Others drive the few miles from Walhalla and West Union. Debbie and Lavern talked about the project, and he agreed to build it with the proviso that he would have nothing further to do with running the enterprise. “He told me, ‘Don’t call me when there’s trouble; I’m never coming back’,” she laughed. “I don’t know that he’s ever been out here since he finished it.”

The raised bedroom area of Stella Vista is highlighted by a 4-foot Moravian star fixture. Owner Debbie Backman always sees that her guests enjoy some wine, fresh fruit and, maybe even some chocolates.

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Eventually, Backman would also agree to build a second treehouse a few hundred yards through the woods on a parcel he had given to his daughter, Deanna Lucas. He attached the same strings to that deal and has held firm, even referring Lucas to another builder when she made an addition last year. Coincidentally, in building the two, 300-square foot treehouses, Backman staked claim to having built both the smallest and largest homes in Oconee County. The latter being a palatial 16,000-square foot home whose construction he supervised before retiring. Although guests sleep well above the forest floor, neither rental is a stereotypical treehouse. Noting, “trees eventually die and fall down,” Backman saw that they were built on firm foundations and as structurally sound as any two- or three-story lakefront home. However, a tree does grow up through one deck and many are touchable, their leaves providing natural canopies over both lodgings. » CONTINUED ON PG. 48

Enjoying s’mores around the fire, swinging on a deck swing, lazing on the upper deck or simply relaxing inside with vinyl on a phonograph or reading a good book are all possibilities at Stella Vista.

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» CONTINUED FROM PG. 46

The rustic exterior appearance of the houses belies the stunning design features and elegant décor of each two-room rental. Both provide immensely private settings that can be enjoyed from either upper level decks or finished, lower level patios. As if a multitude of stars hovering overhead was not enough, ambient string lights encircle the decks and are sprinkled throughout surrounding trees.

S tella Vista (S tar View)

Even as Backman was honing a large timber to serve as an outdoor bar and cutting a fun trap door from the upper to the lower deck, Debbie was busily combing retail outlets, scouring antique stores and attending auctions to gather items that could be repurposed for both construction and décor. Among her finds were French doors that open to the upper deck, vintage windows that provide multiple views of the surrounding properties, antique glass doorknobs and a teakwood bathroom sink. The centerpiece, however, is a 4-foot Moravian star that gave birth to the name of her rental and hangs magnificently over a king-sized bed.

The Singer sewing machine table at right belonged to Bella Luna owner Deanna Lucas’s grandmother. Antiques and collectibles abound throughout the mountain treehouse.

» CONTINUED ON PG. 50

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» CONTINUED FROM PG. 48

There is an adjacent sitting area with a table for two, but it is the Stella bath that truly adds uniqueness to this rental. Its large, natural fossil stone shower features a river rock floor, multiple showerheads and romantic fairy wire lighting. It comes outfitted with luxurious towels. Also unique to the Stella experience is the sound of a small creek near the lower patio. The rhythm of its waters — with or without the assistance of a gentle rain on the metal roof — can wash away stress and invite the soundest of sleep.

Bella Luna (Beautiful Moon)

Austrian crystals and pure brass fittings highlight the chandelier over the bed in Bella Luna.

Deanna Lucas had thoughts of building a cabin on the property her father had given her; a place to escape the hectic pace that accompanied her life in Columbia. But, when she saw Stella, she found herself scribbling floor plans and decorating options on napkins. “I like different kinds of spaces that can be used at different times of the day,” she said. “That’s what I’ve tried to create. I don’t have a particular style; just things I love.” One of those “things” is her unique table just inside the entry. It is made from her grandmother’s antique Singer sewing machine. The pump is still attached.

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The bath at Stella Vista features a natural fossil stone shower with a river rock floor, multiple showerheads and romantic fairy wire lighting.


Across the room, friends built the frame for a king-sized bed that features built-in storage cabinets. Over the bed hangs a massive, crystal chandelier. “I’m not a big chandelier fan,” she admitted, “but I was at an auction and the price was right. I didn’t think it was a valuable piece, but I took it to a gallery owner and he said it was worth far more than what I paid because it’s a German chandelier with Austrian crystals and brass fittings.” Last year’s addition consisted of an elevated walkway to a small deck that contains a built-in hammock, suitable for both afternoon naps and stargazing into the night. Just another place, for another time of day. It was in this setting, near Stella Luna, that a couple from Delaware, who had dated since middle school, lived out their childhood dream of “running off and getting married in a treehouse.”

This photo is a good representation of the interior of Stella Vista. A full bath on the left features a luxury stone/ tile shower. A portion of a 4-foot Moravian star lighting fixture is visible over the king-sized bed and, at right are vintage French doors leading to a wraparound deck.

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A fallen piece of an oak tree, wrapped in bubble lights and flanked by stumps adorned with tea lights, provided the backdrop for their storybook wedding. “This past year we’ve hosted doctors and nurses looking for stress relief, and I’ve been surprised by the number of locals,” Lucas said. “But, they come for anniversaries and everyone has a birthday.” Your mobile phones may not work and there is no Internet, but each rental features phonographs and a collection of vintage vinyl. You’ll also find board games and a small book collection. Oh, there are also wine and chocolates. In the morning you can enjoy fresh fruit and muffins with coffee or tea. Other amenities include fire pits, complete with firewood, and chocolate bars and marshmallows for making the requisite s’mores. Each rental has an infrared grill (You provide the steak.), French press, coffee maker, electric kettle and mini-fridge. n You can book either Stella Vista or Bella Luna on Airbnb directly. If you don’t have an account, you will need to set one up before trying to book from the links. Rates vary SundayThursday and Friday-Sunday with a two-night minimum required on weekends. For more information, visit: comesleepinthetrees.com

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The grounds around Bella Luna were the setting for a unique and romantic wedding in 2019. Tea lamps and bubble lights accented wood the groom found in the surrounding woods.

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The home sits on one of the finest lots in The Vineyards community. The slope to the lake is gentle and gives way to a rare sand beach. The point leads out to a sandbar that serves as a breakwall that keeps boaters a safe distance from shore.

54 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


Vineyards Estate is a Lake Keowee Gem story by Brett McLaughlin

photos courtesy of Justin Winter Sotheby’s International Realty

SPRING 2021 › 55


E

ven before there was a pandemic, Don and Susan Buckley spent most of their waking time on the deck that spans the width of their home in The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards. Looking out over northern Lake Keowee, it has been the perfect place to enjoy morning coffee, a light lunch, a book in the afternoon, a tasty dinner cooked in the nearby outdoor kitchen or an evening glass of wine. An outdoor fireplace or overhead space heaters have warmed cool spring mornings or brisk fall afternoons. On glorious summer days the screens have been retracted and the Cantina doors to the main house opened, creating a spacious area in which to entertain friends and neighbors. In short, the Buckley home is the perfect place to engage life … specifically, the lake life they began dreaming of nearly two decades ago.

56 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

{at top} It is on this large deck spanning the width of the home that the Buckleys spend many of their waking hours. The area features a full outdoor kitchen, fireplace, television, multiple seating areas, infrared heaters and retractable screens. {above}The soothing sound of a babbling creek is ever-present thanks to this waterfall located immediately off the lower level patio.


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The gentle slope leading to the lake features terraced landscaping. The shoreline is highlighted by a dramatic point from which a sandbar leads to a small island that is now a Heron rookery. One of the few natural sand beaches on Lake Keowee is also on the property.

58 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

“The lake was the big draw,” Don said, “but we love the community.” The Buckleys’ journey to Upstate South Carolina was a circuitous one, involving both an odd coincidence and a stroke of luck. They moved around while working, but called San Diego home for 38 years. When thoughts turned to retirement, a lot of options were considered. A San Diego neighbor suggested they look at The Cliffs Communities in the Carolinas where he had purchased several lots. They listened, but didn’t rush into action. Then, their niece and her husband, who had attended Clemson, came to California for a wedding. When they stopped to visit in San Diego, the Buckleys learned that her husband was a salesman for the same Cliffs Communities their neighbor had been talking about. “It was quite a coincidence,” Don said. Eventually, they purchased a lot in Cliffs at the Valley. It would be the first of roughly 10 properties they would buy and sell, one of the last being a lot in The Cliffs at Falls South.

“As property owners we were invited to the grand opening event, but it was on the 4th of July. And, we weren’t going to fly all the way out here on a holiday,” he said, recalling the 2003 event. “We were sitting around the pool in San Diego and the phone rang. It was our San Diego neighbor, who had since moved to the Vineyards, calling to say we had won a drawing for a boat from the Falls property release. We had no idea about the drawing but then our niece’s husband came on the line and confirmed our good fortune. I wasn’t going to say no to a free, 24-foot boat, so we flew here immediately.” The problem, however, was they had no dock. In their search to find the perfect property on which to build, Don recalled seeing an undeveloped lot with a two-bay dock in The Cliffs at Keowee Vineyards. He secured the name of the owner and permission to moor his boat. The lot was so beautiful that they approached the owner about selling and eventually secured the lot.


It was on that lot — a parcel with a narrow point extending into the bay with an attached sandbar that enabled walking out to a small island — that they began building their home in 2008. “All the amenities were here,” Susan said. “The golf, the wellness center …” And, your own island? “There are several Heron nests on the island,” Don said. “It’s been deemed a rookery and people are discouraged from using it. Duke came in and put in riprap to stop the erosion and to limit visi-

tors, but you can’t bring a boat into the shallow water on this side, so we have our own inlet.” It took two years to build the home the Buckleys designed. They started with their San Diego neighbor’s floor plan, but made extensive changes. They made it lighter and brighter by using more and larger windows. They added two bedrooms, a courtyard and a second two-car garage. “Guys love their garages,” Don quipped.

{above left} The bathroom of the master suite features exquisite cabinets, granite countertops and twin brass basins. The door leads to a small herb garden, and adjacent to the vanity is a large, tile shower with multiple showerheads. {above right} The main level master suite has a separate sitting area (left) and opens to a patio (right) with a hot tub and adjacent herb garden. The coiffed ceiling is repeated in several rooms throughout the home.

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The deck was expanded and its amenities enhanced. “Don is an avid cook,” Susan said. “And Sue is my sous chef,” he chimed in. Together, they eat 95 percent of their meals at home, often enjoying that day’s “fresh catch” from the Cliff’s market. The weather determines whether meals are cooked in the outdoor kitchen with its granite countertops and stainless grill with built-in rotisserie and searing burner, or indoors, where there is both a “show” kitchen and a “back kitchen” where, according to Don, a few appliances can be left out and the “dirty work” of food preparation gets done. The kitchen is typical of the entire home in that it is both formal and luxuriously functional. An island with leathered granite countertops and spacious seating for four evidences this. Nearby is a state-of-the-art magnetic induction range with limestone

The reclaimed maple flooring throughout much of the home blends seamlessly with custom cabinets and leathered granite countertops. This island serves as both a workspace and for casual dining. A back kitchen is behind the partition, and the door at left is a walk-in pantry.

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“THE HOUSE HAS A LOT OF LITTLE TRICKS. WE DON’T MISS MUCH WHEN IT COMES TO DETAILS.” — Don Buckley —

hood and a ventilation system that pops up when needed. Double Miele wall ovens with a warming drawer, a walk-in pantry and abundant custom cupboards complete the space. “The house has a lot of little tricks,” Don said. “We don’t miss much when it comes to details.” An impressive front entry opens to stellar indoor living space that includes a large foyer and great room whose dominant feature is a massive fireplace that is the largest of the home’s five fireplaces — three stone and two limestone. A wide archway leads to the kitchen as well as formal and informal dining areas, each with extensive views of the lake. The home is comprised of six bedrooms, six full and two half baths, an exercise room, office/study, two laundries, recreation room and a media room. While there is surround sound throughout the home, the media room is equipped with a high resolution KEF speaker system identical to one gifted to President Ronald Reagan by Margaret Thatcher.

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SPRING 2021 › 61


There are three sitting areas on two levels. The lower level features two semi-private apartments, one of which, Susan noted, may have the best view of the island. Both have full baths that feature Italian marble countertops. There is also a 1,100-bottle chilled wine cellar and cedarlined closet on this level. The main level master suite features a separate sitting area with an exterior access to a hot tub and adjacent herb garden. The full bath has an impressive tiled shower, jetted tub and nearby walk-in closet. As exquisite as the interior may be with its milled brown ash and reclaimed maple flooring, stone highlights and exquisite décor, the exterior is equally impressive. The landscaping includes terraced gardens and an impressive recirculating waterfall. The featured room on the lakeside level is a media room across from which is a full bar and entry to the home’s 1,100-bottle, temperature-controlled wine cellar.

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» CONTINUED ON PG. 64

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While functional for two, the home’s size and open design beg to entertain guests. The Buckleys enjoy doing just that. They have hosted several large dinner parties for neighbors and friends, including their realtor, Justin Winter. The point has been the setting for birthday parties, engagement parties and other large catered events. The Shawn James Band has performed on several occasions, including a party they hosted for a couple whose wedding was held on their point the following day. “We’ve never regretted a minute. We love it here,” Susan said, summing up their feelings on life in the Vineyards and in the house on the point … the one with the island. n

The great room can become part of the great outdoors by opening the cantina doors and retracting the screens on the deck that spans the lakeside width of the home.

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SPRING 2021 › 65


REMEMBERING w h er e h e c a m e from local historian guides farmstead development story by Brett McLaughlin | photos courtesy of Nick Gambrell

This is the original house built and added onto by Oakway builder Andrew Bearden. The home is currently being reconstructed as the centerpiece of the Foothills Farmstead project.

66 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


{below} Nick Gambrell measures a notch for a replacement sill on the farmhouse. {at bottom left} Thousands of metal shingles are stacked and ready to roof the farmhouse once again. {at bottom right}Pictured is an example of a labeled wall stud for the farmhouse in storage. Photos by Ashley Jones

N

ick Gambrell is living his dream while building a timeline to the future one board at a time. Gambrell’s well-publicized effort to recreate an early 20th century, working farmstead began taking visual form in recent weeks as volunteers started reassembling the centerpiece farmhouse. It will be the first of 13 structures that will form the Foothills Farmstead Living History Museum. “If you forget where you came from, you don’t know where you are going,” says a man whose interest in history dates to his childhood and whose historic passion is currently playing out near his hometown of Oakway, SC. There, he and a small band of hardy volunteers are recreating a working Southern Appalachian farmstead where visitors, including school children, will be able to participate in farm activities reminiscent of the 1900-’50s. For Gambrell, the project goes beyond preservation and education. It is also personal. The hand-hewn timbers and pegged construction of the front two rooms of the farmhouse currently being reconstructed are believed to have been built by Andrew Bearden in the 1850s. Six rooms with a hallway down the middle were added later, and an iconic front porch was built circa 1915. Bearden, who built several similar homes in the Oakway area, likely lived in the house. But in the early 1930s, Gambrell’s great-grandparents purchased it. It stayed in his family until his great-grandmother, Lillie Mae, died in 1985. While the farm was sold when Gambrell was only five, families members have told countless stories and shared old photos depicting family gatherings in the home and on the Folk Victorian porch, steeping his desire to preserve both history and his family heritage.

SPRING 2021 › 67


A MAN ON A MISSION Nick Gambrell isn’t very old. He just turned 40. Most of those years, however, have been devoted to “old things.” After graduating from West-Oak High School, he obtained undergraduate and graduate degrees from Appalachian State and Clemson University. At age 20 he built his own log cabin home. From 2004-’09 he worked as director/curator of the Oconee History Museum and served as an adjunct college history instructor. After several years of overseas mission work, he returned to Oconee County in 2014 and opened Old Oakway Architectural Salvage, a firm devoted to the preservation of historic buildings.

“IF YOU FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM, YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE YOU ARE GOING.” — Nick Gambrell —

The home remained vacant for 30 years before the farmstead project began in late 2013. In 2017, the Foothills Farmstead was formed as a non-profit organization and grants were obtained from SC Parks, Recreation and Tourism, Oconee County, the USDA and Oconee County ATAX. Using those funds, Gambrell and his cousin, Carla Gambrell Honea, began carefully disassembling the structure. Piece by piece every tin shingle and pane of glass was salvaged. Every timber and brick from three fireplaces was hand-numbered and packed for storage. On the Farmstead website, Gambrell recalls, “The ceiling of this porch was traditionally haint blue. Each board was carefully numbered, photographed, drawn, removed and de-nailed before being placed into storage ... and there were hundreds of ceiling boards (that) were a V-Groove pattern similar to bead board. Before shuttering that business to devote himself fulltime to the Foothills Farmstead project, he oversaw several noteworthy projects. They included: • Deconstruction of the Biemann-Hughs house in Walhalla. This 13-room boarding house, built in 1888, was rebuilt as a private home outside of Washington D.C. • Preservation of the Historic Center Church in Oakway. Built in 1880, it is currently used for a variety of community events. • Deconstruction and rebuilding of the Warren King Dairy Farm granary. It is now part of the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum in Pendleton. • Deconstruction and rebuilding of the Silas Butts Schoolhouse in Brasstown. Built in 1937, Silas used this one-room building as a gristmill, an unofficial orphanage and to run moonshine. It was moved to the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum in 2016 and 2017. • Reconstruction of the two-room Faith Cabin, circa 1937, at its original location as part of the Seneca Institute, an African-American junior college that operated from 1899 to 1939. Today, Nick and his wife, Bentley and their children live a half-mile away from the Foothills Farmstead in another historic home that Nick believes was build by the Bearden family. 68 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

» CONTINUED ON PG. 70

Zach Sahms notches a replacement sill for the farmhouse. Photo by Ashley Jones

Alta Lee Gambrell (Moore) is pictured outside the original Gambrell farm home in Oakway. Note the paving design, which will be replicated as the home is reconstructed as part of the Foothills Farmstead project.


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“The porch floor was made up of octagonal pavers. The square/diamond gaps were then filled in with concrete. They make for a beautiful porch floor,” he notes. “It took us nearly two years to dismantle it,” Gambrell said. “It weathered well though and maintained many of its unique characteristics. Now, it’s time to build it again.” The farm’s 16-acre location at 152 Schoolhouse Road is less than two miles from the home’s original site. The land was donated by the School District of Oconee County. When completed, the farmhouse will be the focal point of a complex expected to include 13 buildings. Among them will be a gristmill, general store and two tenant houses that Gambrell has already This picture shows the deconstruction of the Gambrell farmhouse, a process that spanned nearly two years. Note the tags on each timber. Now, the home is being reconstructed as part of the Foothills Farmstead project.

» CONTINUED ON PG. 72

Spring is a Time of New Beginnings!

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» CONTINUED FROM PG. 70

When completed, at least 13 structures will be part of the Foothills Farmstead, including a gristmill, blacksmith shop, two tenant homes, a schoolhouse, a centerpiece farmhouse and several other farm buildings.

made arrangements to obtain. A blacksmith shop, community building, schoolhouse, church and other farmstead outbuildings are also being planned. “Visitors will be able to tour all the buildings and witness life as it would have been on a working farm,” Gambrell said, adding that he hopes to have cotton, planted by horse-drawn plows, available for schoolchildren to pick, as well as smithy, quilting and sorghum cooking demonstrations. The porch of one tenant home will serve as a stage to host concerts and lectures open to the public. For now, however, the farmhouse foundation has been rebuilt and volunteers are needed to assist on many fronts, from carpentry, to data entry, to website design. “It’s a big dream, but I just can’t stop,” Gambrell said. “We need to capture history, because history is going away.” n A bridge grant from SC Humanities allows the farmstead to be open every Saturday, 10 a.m. until noon. There is a $1 admission fee. Entry is from School House Road, across the road from the Oakway Fire Department. Directional signs are placed out each week. 72 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

For more information, visit www.foothillsfarmstead.org, follow their Facebook page, or email: info@ oldoakway.com. The organization uses an online platform called Patreon as their “virtual donation jar.” Google patreon farmstead. The weekly farmstead news is available for members as are posts, videos, gifts and more. You can help further the Foothills Farmstead along for as little as $3 per month.

Pictured are people attending the Barker family reunion in 1944. Over more than 50 years, countless family gatherings were held at the Gambrell farm in Oakway.


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Russell Farmstead is historic site

W

hile the Foothills Farmstead will be a working farm when completed, (See related story.) it would not be hard for travelers to miss the historic Russell Farmstead in northern Oconee County. Once an Appalachian farm, inn and stagecoach stop, this national historic site is now marked by a few collapsing buildings and interpretive signs erected by the federal government, which oversees what was designated in 1970 as a National Historic Forest Site. Located in the Andrew Pickens Ranger District of the Sumter National Forest, the Russell Farmstead dates to 1867, when William Ganaway Russell, a wealthy cattle driver built a spacious farmhouse and several outbuildings on the property. Because the Blue Ridge Railway brought tourists only as far as Walhalla, in the 1890s Russell established a stop for travelers continuing the trip by stagecoach by enlarging his farmhouse with an L-shaped, two-story addition on the rear. The addition could accommodate up to 80 guests. The self-sufficient farmstead included 10 outbuildings clustered around the main house. Many of life’s necessities were made in the sheds and the blacksmith shop. The springhouse provided drinking water and served as a refrigerator. Russell’s wife, Jane Nicholson Russell, managed the inn, raised 15 children, served as a midwife to the community and even ran a post office out of the main house. Russell died in 1921, but the inn continued operating into the 1950s, run by family members. A fire destroyed the main house and three outbuildings in 1988. Existing outbuildings include barns, storage buildings, an icehouse, a corncrib and a springhouse. Only a stone chimney and some steps leading to an extinct entrance remain of the farmhouse. n

Directions from Walhalla: follow SC Highway 28 north to Cuzzin’s General Store. Take the left fork (Hwy. 28). The farmstead is on the left before the bridge crossing the Chattooga River into Georgia. (This is a website compilation.)

The photo depicts William and Jane Russell, with some of their children and their dogs, gathered around the springhouse at the Russell Farmstead.

74 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

This was the way the Russell farmhouse appeared before arsonists burned it to the ground in the 1980s. Today, the National Forest Service manages the farmstead site.


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upstate theatre Every effort has been made to present the most current information available. Postponements and cancellations continue, however, so please call or visit venue websites to verify performance dates.

CENTRE STAGE 501 RIVER ST., GREENVILLE, SC INSIDE THE SMITH-BARNEY BUILDING 864.233.6733 OR TOLL FREE 877.377.1339 TUES.-SAT., 8 P.M.; SAT. MATINEES 2 P.M.; SUN. MATINEES, 3 P.M.

MARCH/APRIL THE WIZ You may know the story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but this Tony-award winning, Motown-inspired musical version is a fantastical tale for today. A classic tale redesigned, The Wiz reminds us of the importance of friendship, faith and the true meaning of home. Ease on down the road with us this spring following Dorothy’s adventures in the Land of Oz set to music in this lively mixture of rock, gospel and soul. It’s an energetic carnival of fun to the Emerald City, and back again like you’ve never seen them before!

MAY CLUE: ON STAGE

APRIL 2021 A FLEA IN HER EAR

It’s a dark and stormy night, and you’ve been invited to a very unusual dinner party, where murder and blackmail are on the menu. Inspired by the Hasbro board game and based on the iconic cult classic film, Clue is a hilarious farce-meets-murder mystery. Join the fan-favorite oddballs Miss Scarlet, Professor Plum, Mrs. White, Mr. Green, Mrs. Peacock, Colonel Mustard, and Wadsworth, the Butler, as they race to uncover the murderer, murder weapon and location of the murder in Boddy Manor before the body count stacks up. This zany comedy whodunit will leave both cult-fans and newcomers in stitches as they try to figure out the age-old question … whodunit?

Many consider A Flea In Her Ear to be the greatest farce ever written. Mistaken identities, a doppelganger, a spinning hotel bed, a crazy, jealous Spaniard, and a foreigner no one can understand help make the antic, pell-mell story leave audiences rolling in the aisles with laughter. A perfect springtime comedy to make audiences forget their troubles and laugh!

GREENVILLE THEATRE 444 COLLEGE ST., GREENVILLE, SC 864.233.6238 OR WWW.GREENVILLELITTLETHEATRE.ORG TUES. & THURS., 7:30 P.M.; FRI. & SAT., 8 P.M.; SUNDAYS, 3 P.M.

PEACE CENTER FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS 300 SOUTH MAIN ST., GREENVILLE, SC 864.476.3000 OR 800.888.7768 The Peace Center is working to reschedule the events. Ticket holders will be contacted when details become available. Performances of Hamilton have been postponed until late summer 2022, and new dates for the two performances below, originally scheduled for March and April, will be announced soon.

PRETTY WOMAN: THE MUSICAL After an incredible run on Broadway, Audience

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upstate theatre Choice Award-winner Pretty Woman: The Musical is now on tour! One of Hollywood’s most beloved stories of all time, Pretty Woman: The Musical is brought to life by a powerhouse creative team representing the best of music, Hollywood and Broadway. Featured in the musical is Roy Orbison and Bill Dees’ international smash hit song “Oh, Pretty Woman,” which inspired one of the most beloved romantic comedy films of all time. The Musical delivers on all the iconic moments you remember. Get ready to experience this dazzling theatrical take on a love story for the ages.

Walhalla Performing Arts Center

MEAN GIRLS Cady Heron may have grown up on an African savanna, but nothing prepared her for the vicious ways of her strange new home: suburban Illinois. Soon, this naïve newbie falls prey to a trio of lionized frenemies led by the charming, but ruthless, Regina George. But when Cady devises a plan to end Regina’s reign, she learns the hard way that you can’t cross a Queen Bee without getting stung.

FOOTHILLS PLAYHOUSE 201 SOUTH 5TH ST., EASLEY, SC 864.855.1817 OR WWW.FHPLAYHOUSE.COM FRIDAYS & SATURDAYS, 8 P.M.; SUNDAYS, 3 P.M.

THRU MARCH 7 BYE, BYE BIRDIE When the draft selects rock star Conrad Birdie, his fans are devastated, but none more than struggling songwriter Albert Peterson, whose song Birdie was just about to record. Albert’s longtime girlfriend, Rosie, pushes Albert to write a new tune that Birdie will perform on television to a fan selected in a contest. The scheme works, with young Ohio teenager Kim McAfee declared the winner, but no one has counted on the jealous wrath of her boyfriend.

APRIL 23 – MAY 2 LITTLE WOMEN One of the best-loved books of all time now comes to the stage. Lovely Meg, talented Jo, frail Beth, spoiled Amy: these are hard lessons of poverty and of growing up in New England during the Civil War. Through their dreams, plays, pranks, letters, illnesses and courtships, women of all ages have become a part of this remarkable family. Based on Louisa May Alcott’s childhood, this lively portrait of 19th century family life possesses a lasting vitality that has endeared it to generations.

CLEMSON LITTLE THEATRE 214 S. MECHANIC ST., PENDLETON, SC 864.646.8100 FRI.-SAT., 8 P.M. (7:30 FOR CAYT); SUNDAY MATINEES, 3 P.M.

MARCH 5-14 CHARLOTTE’S WEB (A limited onstage and expanded broadcast version of this classic story is planned. Patrons are advised to check the CLT Facebook page for updates.) This is the story of a livestock pig named Wilbur and his friendship with a barn spider named Charlotte. When Wilbur is in danger of being slaughtered by the farmer, Charlotte writes messages praising Wilbur in her web in order to persuade the farmer to let him live. This Clemson Area Youth Theatre production is being directed by Lisa Spears.

BAD CREEK BAND WITH THE BINGE

Friday, March 5 @ 7:30 pm

You will get a little blues/southern rock style with a small fusion of country. They began in 1985 in Walhalla, SC by brothers Howard & John Frady in their parents’ basement.

7 BRIDGES - THE ULTIMATE EAGLES EXPERIENCE Friday, March 12 @ 7:30 pm

Back by popular demand to the WPAC, it’s 7 Bridges: The Ultimate EAGLES Experience is a stunningly accurate tribute to the music of The Eagles. 7 Bridges faithfully re-creates the experience of an Eagles concert from the band’s most prolific period.

THE BLACK JACKET SYMPHONY: ACDC BACK IN BLACK Thurs., March 18 & Fri., March 19 @ 7:30 pm

Relive that full album moment with a live concert experience unlike any other as The Black Jacket Symphony recreates a select classic album live in its entirety, note for note, sound for sound, plus a full set of greatest hits from the evening’s artist in the 2nd half of the show.

3 REDNECK TENORS

Friday, March 26 @ 7:30 pm

A new breed in the “tenor genre” featuring classically-trained veteran artists, is like Duck Dynasty goes to Carnegie Hall – down home laughs with big city music!

JON & RENO: THE COMEDY GUYS

Saturday, April 3 @ 7:30 PM

Jon Reep is a comedian whose country point of view has built a following through his comedy specials & as a winner on Last Comic Standing. Reno Collier has toured with Larry the Cable Guy, Jeff Foxworthy, Bill Engvall & Ron White.

Tickets & Information WalhallaPAC.com • 864-638-5277

SPRING 2021 › 77


calendar of events Every effort has been made to present as accurate a Calendar of Events as possible. However, current circumstances may result in cancellations and rescheduling. Please call or visit the website of all venues before attending an event. — Editor

MARCH 3-6

Pickens County Literacy Association hosts 2021 Spring Book Sale at The Market at the Mill, 225 Pumpkintown Highway, Pickens; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.; admission is free.

MARCH 5

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents The Bad Creek Band with special guests The Binge, featuring a little blues/southern rock style with a small fusion of country; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac. com

MARCH 6

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents Celtic Angels, a celebration of everything Irish; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac.com

MARCH 7

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents topselling recording artist, songwriter, concert headliner, network television star, motion

picture actor and Broadway performer Tony Orlando; 7 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac.com

MARCH 12

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents 7 Bridges: The Ultimate Eagles Experience; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www. walhallapac.com

MARCH 13

MARCH 16

Planning a Productive Spring Garden is a SC Botanical Gardens event, 150 Discovery Lane, Clemson; enjoy fresh produce from the spring into summer and have a battle plan against insects, diseases and weeds; 10 a.m. to noon; $20 registration fee, register by March 14; for more information, visit www.clemson.edu/ scbg

MARCH 20

Seneca Race for the Green Half-Marathon and 5K; prizes for first-, second- and third-place men and women; Shaver Recreation complex, 7:30 a.m. race time; for more information visit: runsignup.com/Race/SC/Seneca/ RacefortheGreen

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents Grammy award-winning queen of bluegrass and the newest member of the Grand Ole Opry Rhonda Vincent & The Rage; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www. walhallapac.com

Chattooga Belle Farm 5K Wine Run, 454 Damascus Church Road, Long Creek; 9 a.m.; see the amazing scenery and landscape of Chattooga Belle Farm; all participants will receive a race T-shirt, souvenir wine glass, finisher medal and a glass of wine (or soda for under 21 runners) after the race. To register, visit: https://runsignup.com/Race/SC/ LongCreek/ChattoogaBelleFarmWineRun5k

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents the musical comedy of classically trained singers The 3 Redneck Tenors — Matthew Lord, Blake Davidson & Jonathan Fruge; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www. walhallapac.com

Walhalla Performing Arts Center, The Righteous Brothers; performance is being rescheduled; for information, visit: www.walhallapac.com

MARCH 26

MARCH 28

Sip ’n Stroll Seneca is an art festival and wine tasting event on Ram Cat Alley in historic downtown Seneca. It features a juried arts and crafts show and wine tasting tent; 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.

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calendar of events This event is rain or shine. The cost for the Wine Tasting is $10 for four tastings and will begin at noon.

APRIL 3-4

44th Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee features juried arts and crafts festival, excellent entertainment and food vendors; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

APRIL 8

SC Botanical Gardens will hold a virtual Spring wildflower ecology session, 10 a.m. to noon; educator Sue Watts will explore the ecology of the forest floor and explain plant adaptations; for registration by April 1, visit: www.clemson.edu/scbg

APRIL 9

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents Shovels and Rope, the musical duo of Michael Trent & Cary Ann Hearst; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac. com

APRIL 10

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents Superstar – The Songs, The Stories, The Carpenters with Helen Welch; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac. com

APRIL 17

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents The Malpass Brothers; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac.com

Clemson Music Festival event on Main Street in Six Mile; 12-7 p.m.; featuring acoustic guitarist L.C. Branch, JET Band and the Swingin’ Medallions; free event and free parking. Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents Street Fighting Band – A Rolling Stones Tribute, featuring Stephen Skipper as the most believable Mick Jagger imaginable; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www. walhallapac.com

MAY 1

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents SkynFolks – The Authentic Lynyrd Skynyrd Experience; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac.com

MAY 9

Oconee Humane Society Aircraft for Animals Fly-In at the Oconee Regional Airport. The event brings together pilots and classic car enthusiasts to help shelter pets. Opportunities to take flights in several aircraft, including a vintage WWII Stearman open cockpit biplane; classic and new cars and planes line the tarmac for people to check out; food vendors and children’s activities. Admission to the event is free.

APRIL 23

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents “End of the Line” – a tribute to the music and improvisatory spirit of The Allman Brothers Band; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www.walhallapac.com

APRIL 30

Blue Ridge Fest returns to Pickens, SC with some of the finest musicians and beach music around, as well as a classic car cruise-in with hundreds of classic cars on the grounds of Blue Ridge Electric Cooperative; 5:30 p.m. until 10 p.m.; for more information, visit: www. blueridgefest.com

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MAY 14

Walhalla Performing Arts Center presents The Bellamy Brothers, who continue to prove that the trail they’ve ridden to fame has been as unique as their music itself, music that is now celebrating over 40 years of success; 7:30 p.m.; for information or tickets, visit: www. walhallapac.com

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SPRING 2021 › 79


Getting your fill of spring crappie BY PHILLIP GENTRY

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pring is the favorite time of year for most crappie anglers. When the dogwoods start blooming, fish invade the shallows for spawning and, regardless of which lake you choose to fish in The Upstate, it’s time to get out on the water and chase some slabs.

When it comes to fishing for crappie, an especially important tip is to keep your bait above the fish. The shape and positioning of a crappie’s eyes, mouth and body prompt the fish to feed in an upward direction. Rarely do they feed downward. Pay close attention to the level of the fish marked on your electronics, and make sure you place your baits at, or just above, that level.

Whether crappie are moving in to spawn, still on the beds or in post spawn, you’re not likely to find too many fish if you aren’t fishing around cover like stumps, brush piles and stake beds this time of year. Spring is also a time when water color begins to change from mostly clear to stained or even muddy, as spring rains and winter thaws occur. Using heavy line and light wire hooks in stained water can really pay off. If you get a hook snagged while fishing around heavy cover, the heavier line allows you to pull the hook free, often bending the hook out which is easier to re-bend into shape than retie an entire rig. Over the course of a day that can save you a lot of time.

No matter what you’re fishing with or how you’re fishing it, depending on water clarity, keep your baits from 6-24 inches above the fish. Just six inches below them, and you’re likely to get skunked.

There’s no surer sign that spring has arrived than doing a little crappie fishing. Photo by Phillip Gentry

Although it’s been a long time since deer season ended here in South Carolina, that doesn’t stop crappie anglers from “rattling” crappie in.

a high pitched rattle or some larger BB shot to make a lower pitched rattle. Seal the hole with waterproof caulk.

Rattling refers to adding some noise to your fishing rig to entice spawning crappie into striking your bait. Adding noise is as easy as using a bobber filled with small shot. Using an electric drill, make a small hole in a plastic bobber. The pear-shaped ones you can get at most bait shops work best. Add a few lead shot from a shotgun shell. You can use smaller #8 shot to make

The secret is to add enough weight so the cork floats at the midway point with the weight of your crappie jig under it. The shot also adds weight to the rig, so when the cork is floating up over the top of a stump or next to a stick, you can flick the rod tip, which causes the cork to rattle without pulling it away from the structure you’re fishing.

80 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

Many veteran anglers would agree that if they had to pick only one spot on a lake they’ve never fished before, they would head to the nearest marinasized boat dock. Everything crappie need can be found around big boat docks — depth, food and cover. A lot of crappie even spawn under big docks in most lakes. All they have to do is move from shallower to deeper as the weather dictates.

Shooting 1/32-ounce jigs into and around the stalls is a popular goto tactic for fishing marina docks. Allow the jig to settle and watch your line for signs of a bite as it falls.

Phillip Gentry is the host of PG & Boatgirl Outdoors Podcast. Download the podcast on Apple, Google Play, Spotify or at pgandboatgirl.com.


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Protect Your Finances from “Cyberthieves”

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found in hotel business centers. Ask an employee for the name of the legitimate network. When you use it, log off when you’re finished.

ou’ve no doubt heard reports of personal data being stolen and used for financial fraud — anything from online shopping on your credit cards to actual theft from your financial accounts. This problem won’t go away anytime soon, but you can take steps to defend yourself. Here are a few suggestions: • Use multi-factor authentication or other extra security options with online accounts. Many of your online accounts offer extra security by giving you the option to prove your identity in different ways. With multi-factor authentication, you must provide at least two different factors to prove your identity when you login to an account. This additional layer of security provides you with much greater protection. • Be creative with passwords. Create different passwords for work, financial services sites, social media and email and give each password some length and complexity. Consider passphrases — actual words combined with symbols and numbers (for example, “ThisIsAPassphrase!2468”) — for sites that allow them.

bank or financial institution and not on a fake site established by hackers. Your financial statements should have the legitimate website, so bookmark it and use it when doing anything with your accounts. Also, be careful when downloading apps — stick with those from established providers such as Google Play or the App Store.

• Protect your computer and your key data. Keep your antivirus software updated. And, don’t install bootleg or unlicensed software, which could infect your computer with a virus. Also, back up your important data.

• Avoid “over-sharing” on social media. Cyberthieves constantly stalk social media platforms for information they can use to commit their crimes. You can help stymie them by limiting what you share online. It’s a good idea to keep your full name, address and birthday private. You might also avoid discussing your plans for upcoming vacations. Review your privacy settings periodically so that only people you know or approve can see your information.

• Watch out for fake websites or apps. When making financial transactions, be sure you’re on the website of your

• Limit use of public Wi-Fi. Hackers often set up their own Wi-Fi networks in public areas, such as the computers

82 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

• Don’t take the bait of “phishers.” Cyberthieves go “phishing” for sensitive information — usernames, passwords and account numbers — by sending communications, such as emails, purporting to be from a business or financial institution with which you often do business. They may claim your account was “suspended” or that an “unauthorized transaction” was made, and you’ll be asked to click on a link that takes you to what appears to be the company’s website. If you go along with this request, you could find malicious software being downloaded on your computer. Legitimate businesses generally won’t ask for account numbers or passwords unless you initiate the transaction. Other signs of phishing include threatening language, “urgent” requests, misspelled words or odd word choices. If an email looks suspicious, delete it without opening it. This list is not exhaustive, but by putting these steps to work, you can at least reduce the risk of becoming victimized by cybercriminals. This article was written by Edward Jones for use by David Adrian Jr., a Seneca financial advisor with the Fortune 500 Company that serves more than 7 million customers and has over $1 trillion in assets under management. Reach Adrian at 864.882.5763 or www.edwardjones. come/david-adrian.


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