Upstate Lake Living Spring 2016

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SPRING 2016 › 1



your backyard The Reserve at Lake Keowee is a playground for fun and adventure. Nestled in the rolling foothills of South Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, The Reserve is a private community located two hours from Atlanta and Charlotte, one hour from Greenville and 16 miles from Clemson University. Now The Reserve’s most anticipated neighborhood awaits—Peninsula Ridge. Enjoy large, estatesized homesites, breathtaking lake and mountain views, and convenient access to The Village using our on-call concierge boat shuttle service. Only 36 homesites remain. To see Peninsula Ridge for yourself, visit and schedule a trip. Homes selling from $500K-$2M+ and homesites from $100K-$600K+.


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17 First Mate Way—$169,000—MLS#20172696 Lovely WF build site on deep water cove in Keowee Key! Over 100 feet of rip-rap shoreline! Covered dock in place!

304 Bay Hill Drive—$299,000—MLS#20167857 Beautiful WF building lot on Lake Keowee! Lovely sunset views! Sandy beach! Rip-rapped shoreline! Covered dock!

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16 Hope & love make strangers friends 22 North Carolina’s minted original 28 Catawba Valley’s tasty trail 36 Distiller is unbound by barrels, tradition 44 Experience NASCAR’s Upstate heritage 52 Augusta: Where high tech meets history 58 Good food with a twist 66 Enjoying life, high on a hill

85 THEATRE Upstate stages are in full bloom 88 CALENDAR Time to shake off winter 95 FISHING ‘Shooting Docks’ for Crappie 96 YOUR WATERFRONT A spring guidelines update 99 WATERFALL Beauty in the deep woods

74 Contest winners capture the Upstate 80 Discover a gem in The General tell us what you think! Email your comments to, we would love to hear from you!


Building & Protecting Waterfront Dreams for Over 30 Years


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SPRING 2016 Volume 11 • Issue 1 PUBLISHER Jerry Edwards, 864-882-3272 EDITOR Brett McLaughlin, GENERAL MANAGER Hal Welch, ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Sandy Peirce, 864-973-6305 ART DIRECTOR/GRAPHICS Melissa Bradley, CONTRIBUTORS TO THIS EDITION Bill Bauer • Rex Brown • Phillip Gentry Dave Kroeger • Brett McLaughlin COVER PHOTO Russell Carlson, Keowee Key, submitted in the 2015 Upstate Lake Living Photo Contest

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 Oconee Publishing. 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.



Four world championships and two league MVP awards. Forty-six game winning drives. The longest winning streak in NFL history. Tom Brady is a champion, and champions never crack under pressure.

SPRING 2016 › 13

DEAR READERS {editor’s note}



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2/9/2016 10:23:01 AM

Happy New Year!

’d like to kick off 2016 by saying “thank you.” With this spring edition we begin our 12th year of publication. It hardly seems possible that we’ve been telling stories and offering travel and dining suggestions for a dozen years, but it’s true. It’s also a fact that you are the catalyst for our success. Without your continued interest in our magazine and your support of the advertisers who reach out to you from our pages, we wouldn’t be able to do what we do. That said, we’ve packed a lot more “lake living” experiences and opportunities into this edition. Many of our readers can relate to having been strangers to each other when they moved here and to building deep friendships in a corner of the world that puts a premium on forging new bonds and sharing joy and hope with one another. We found a group of ladies who have done just that. Brought together by tragedy, they are spreading love and hope to parents and children in need of both. We hope you enjoy the touching story of “Strangers no longer.” The Upstate does hibernate to some extent during the winter but, when the ground gives way to daffodils and daisies and the Oconee Bells line the trails of Devils Fork State Park, the whole region seems to awaken. There is no other way to explain why the calendar of events in this issue has more opportunities for fun that ever before. We’re shakin’ off the winter dust and gettin’ down to some serious Upstate living. Bill Bauer insists that Barnsley Gardens Resort is a spring must for golfers. He

also takes us on a trip down memory lane with an intriguing look at how one little racetrack has amassed a notable history in the annals of stock car racing. And, if that wasn’t enough, Bill’s been sipping some good wine this past winter and now he’s sharing his favorites with us. He suggests a trip to North Carolina’s wine country and, thinking you might want to take a couple of days away, I’ve added a little piece on “a minted original,” Rutherfordton, NC, where the past meets the present in all sorts of interesting ways. If your tastes turn more towards excellent single malt whisky, The Blue Ridge Distilling Co. in Rutherford County is turning out an award-winning, single malt, barley blend that has the whisky world talking. Check it out and, if you happen to come across Defiant Whisky’s creator Tim Ferris ask him to tell you his story about “running toward disaster.” If you happen to be headed to Augusta for The Masters next month, or just want to have a great getaway, we highlight the historic Partridge Inn in this issue. We also found some mighty fine food and a unique dining atmosphere at Breakwater in Greenville, SC. Last but certainly not least, Gary and Diane Mohr shared their astounding Reserve at Lake Keowee home with us. From a theater to a refrigerated wine room to a porch you can live on, the home is amazing. And, that doesn’t even consider views of Lake Keowee the likes of which I haven’t seen in 12 years. Enjoy and, as always, let me know what you think. We’ll see you again this summer.


APRIL 20-24

JULY 19-24



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Hope and love unite all the members of the Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation.


strangers no longer A LITTLE BOY’S LIFE WEAVES A TAPESTRY OF HOPE & LOVE story by Brett McLaughlin | photos courtesy of the Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation


ine strangers. One hope. Love. Nine friends. One bond. Those nine words are the essence of the Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation. But, they don’t begin to tell the phenomenal story of how one little boy’s life is sowing love among strangers and forging bonds of hope across both miles and generations. When the eight women showed up on Ram Cat Alley in Seneca the night of Aug. 21, 2014, they just wanted to help Jason and Mary McIntosh Tannery. One of their twin sons, Lachlan, had recently been diagnosed with a rare form of cancer. A couple of the ladies — Jason’s sister Macy Weaver and Lindsay Stovall, a high school friend of Mary’s and former employee at her mother’s business, Circa 1930 — had helped plan the informational meeting and

registry drive for potential bone marrow transplant volunteers. Six degrees of separation attracted others. Kathleen Boatwright met Mary when Lachlan and his twin, Calhoun, enrolled in the daycare where she worked. After Lachlan became sick she became their nanny. She invited her mom, Joy, who, in turn, invited her co-worker Meg Bishop. Coincidentally, Bishop had grown up in the same neighborhood as Macy’s husband, Patrick. One of Beth Winkler’s cousins was Macy’s best friend and one of her childhood pals was Jason’s cousin. When Mary was pregnant with the twins and needed help running Porta Portese (now M. Tannery & Sons), Beth stepped in. Tessa Shope rented a booth in Mary’s store. Despite the fact that Lachlan had only been diagnosed with Juvenile Myelomonocytic Leukemia 16 days earlier, the first donor drive was a success.

“It was huge,” Beth recalled. “Hundreds of people — family, friends, customers and strangers — came out to register with Be The Match, all in hopes of being a match for Lachlan. We hosted a silent auction and sold special “Love for Lachlan” T-shirts and donated the money to Be The Match.” With Lachlan’s only hope for recovery hinging on a bone marrow transplant, Mary had been very vocal about her desire to become an advocate for Be the Match and to make it a household name. Her wishes were not lost on her friends as they worked the event. Among themselves they talked about what more could be done. “I remember talking to (Macy) one day … We both knew then that this was much bigger than just a community bone marrow drive,” Lindsay said. “We also both knew Mary well enough to know that she would use this experience to change other’s lives. We agreed that we had a group of people who had the brains, creativity, SPRING 2016 › 17

Beth Winkler

Kathleen Boatwright

motivation and altruism to facilitate change on a much larger scale, and we haven’t looked back.” Over the next two months eight women met secretly to create a foundation, draft a plan, secure non-profit status and build a network. In the process they found time for fun and learned to know each other better. Bonded by their desire to help those they loved, they came to love one another. They became a sisterhood. “What brought us the most joy was envisioning (Lachlan) standing at a podium beside his mama in 20 years, being the spokesman (for Be The Match), telling his story of how, through his terrible situation, so many lives had been saved and so many children and families had been given a lot of love and hope while dealing with their own experiences with cancer,” said Macy. Unfortunately that day would not come. Lachlan was admitted to The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC) in Charleston on Nov. 9, 2014, to begin a chemotherapy regimen for a bone marrow transplant that took place November 20. The family celebrated Lachlan and Calhoun’s second birthday on November 21, Christmas and New Year’s in Lachlan’s hospital room. On January 2, spirits were raised even more when “Team Tannery” showed up in Charleston, bearing a slide show video that rolled out details of The Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation. “I knew that this group of ladies were wonderful people, but had no idea how truly amazing they all were,” Mary said. “When the Foundation was revealed to Jason and me we were completely in awe of what these women had done.”

Lindsay Stovall

Bonded by their desire to help those they loved, they came to love one another. They became a sisterhood. Macy Weaver

Mary McIntosh Tannery

Tessa Shope

Meg Bishop


Lachlan was able to move home on March 24, 2015, but the homecoming was short-lived. Two days later they were told his leukemia had relapsed. They returned to MUSC on April 9 and, on April 26, the family was told that Lachlan’s body could not endure any further chemotherapy. “Our friends, family, community and complete strangers surrounded our family with love, support and prayers. We found beauty and hope in each day,” Mary said. Lachlan died at his home in Clemson, just a few miles from his beloved Memorial Stadium, on May 7. “But we are able to keep his memory present by sharing his Foundation and his story with others,” Beth said. “It brings so much comfort to me — to all of us — to celebrate him every day and know that one little guy has brought and will continue to bring so much hope to others.” Mary said Lindsay, Meg, Joy, Beth, Emily, Macy, Tessa and Kathleen have become her sisters. Each woman’s motivation to volunteer is different. Kathleen is driven by the memory of “sweet” Lachlan diving out of his hospital bed and jumping into her arms; Tessa by the good health of her own two children; and Joy by the stillborn death of her first child at birth. Lindsay, who “loves to love on other people’s children,” recalled a photo shoot Mary asked her to do after the twins were born. “My love for Calhoun and Lachlan was born that day I went to her

house and held their tiny little hands,” she said. “Even at just a few days old, their ‘twin bond’ was very apparent. They wanted to be right next to each other, and as long as they were, they were content. It was beautiful.” Lindsay said it has been an honor to watch Mary mother the twins and their baby brother, Owen. “… Even before Lachlan was ever diagnosed with anything,” she said, “Mary always treated each day as a gift. She has not only documented their lives through photos, embracing the good and the not-so-good moments, but she has also shared them with the world. She could have easily chosen to guard her privacy throughout Lachlan’s

{above} Lachlan celebrated his second birthday in the hospital with his brother, Calhoun. He would also enjoy a loving celebration of Christmas and New Year’s in the same facility before returning home briefly. • {right} Mary McIntosh Tannery uses the words “strength, compassion, grace, giving, love, hope, happy, faith and funny” to describe the women who compose Team Tannery. But, every member of that group will tell you they were inspired by those same traits, shown to them by a 2-year-old boy who refused to relinquish his spirit to cancer.

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A second Lachlan’s Light the Night event to support the Foundation will be held November 20 in downtown Seneca. Along with a golf tournament to be held in April, it is one of the Foundation’s major fundraising events.

illness, but she remains an open book, vowing that if sharing her story helps one person, it’s worth it.” That story is now being told collectively through the lives of women who are no longer strangers. “The Foundation is exactly what I would have done if I had done it myself, down to all the little details,” Mary said. “These women get what it’s all about and get me. It’s about taking something not so wonderful and making something beautiful. The world will know

The Foundation holds two primary fundraising events each year, a golf tournament to be held in April and Lachlan’s Light the Night, an outdoor festival of love and hope featuring music, food and activities for all members of the family. The second Light the Night event will be held November 20 in downtown Seneca. Details of these events can be found at:

{left} Tannery & Sons and Circa 1930 on Seneca’s Ram Cat Alley were full to overflowing on August 21, 2014, when the community came together to learn more about Be The Match. Volunteers such as Meg Bishop, Julie Box and Macy Weaver, left to right, worked as part of Team Tannery to recruit possible donors and tell the story of Lachlan’s rare form of cancer. • {right} Jason’s sister Macy Weaver (right) and Lindsay Stovall, Mary’s high school friend, sparked the effort to form a foundation. Here, they are shown signing non-profit papers at the Secretary of State’s office in Columbia.


Be The Match and The Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation thanks to these women.” The Foundation mission statement is threepronged. Love and hope is about delivering light to childhood cancer and leukemia victims and providing them some muchneeded comforts of home. Support takes many forms, including welcome packages to newly-diagnosed patients awaiting transplant, as well as travel cards for gas, food, and other necessities during the families’ hospital stay. Raising awareness about childhood cancer and leukemia and continually seeking to grow the National Marrow Donor Registry is a primary focus. “Our lives were forever changed by Lachlan and our journey,” Mary said. “… We hope to continue bringing the same love and hope we were given to others.” n If you would like to be a stranger no longer, you can inquire about becoming a bone marrow donor, make a donation, or simply learn more about The Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation by visiting: http://lachlanshope. org. The website has much more on Lachlan’s journey and the efforts of the Foundation. To view the reveal video that launched the Foundation, visit: the ttps:// watch?v=xR54eE7VzCQ.


DON’T BE A STRANGER Here are some ways you can get involved: ‣ You can register as a possible donor. Approximately 70 percent of all patients in need of bone marrow transplants must find a matching donor outside of their family. Anyone between the ages of 18-55 and in general good health can become a potential lifesaver. It only takes a few minutes and a swab of the cheeks to register. To learn more or register as a donor, visit: ‣ Volunteer to help at Be The Match events. ‣ Hold your own donor drive. Mary, Meg and Joy are official Be The Match ambassadors and can help you plan a donor event.

The Tannery family — Jason, Mary, twin sons Lachlan and Calhoun and their younger brother, Owen — have always been Clemson Tigers. When Lachlan was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, the Clemson community came together for them in many ways, including ongoing efforts to register possible bone marrow donors.

‣ Assist the foundation in developing and providing curriculum to educate elementary and middle school students about the importance of transplants and being donors. ‣ Make financial donations to the Lachlan McIntosh Tannery Foundation. To learn more about these and other opportunities to “be a stranger no longer,” visit:


BASKETBALL 1-800QUICK FACTS Don’t miss the opportunity to purchase seats in the all-new Coliseum Club! Opening for the 2016-2017 season, the Coliseum Club inside the rebuilt Littlejohn Coliseum will be an exclusive basketball gameday experience like no other. This new premium area will offer a first-class experience that includes various amenities including prime sight lines, inclusive pregame buffet, halftime appetizers, theater style seats with cup holder, private restrooms and more.

HOW TO QUALIFY We will ask everyone who would like to be considered for the Coliseum Club to sign a capital gift pledge form for the minimum of $25,000 per pair. The pledge is payable over five years, may be tax deductible and will contribute to your IPTAY Priority Points. In addition, one must be an IPTAY Annual member at the IPTAY($3,200) Level or above. For more information and/or to reserve your seats today, contact Director of IPTAY Premium Seating Kyle Shields by phone at 864-656-3945 or by email at

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A MINTED ORIGINAL Thar’s gold and more

in them thar hills story by Brett McLaughlin photos courtesy of Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills

Lake Lure is famously known for the movie classic Dirty Dancing, but the lake and its surrounding mountain vistas are the true stars of the Rutherford County area. One of the best ways to see those actual sites is by taking the Lake Lure Boat Tour, an economical and relaxing two-hour adventure.



wenty years before the “49ers” stormed California, the gold rush hit western North Carolina, and in the middle of it all was Rutherfordton — a quiet community where locals provided for each other and weary travelers were welcome to gather themselves before continuing their journey across the mountains. Some 225 years later — with both the gold rush and the textile industry having come and gone — Rutherfordton is still an ideal place to live and a place where travelers are welcome to stay a spell. And, while the gold mines are closed, gems of many kinds dot the countryside and communities in and around the Rutherfordton area. Some, such as Lake Lure and Chimney Rock are well known. Others, such as Bennett’s Cars and Tanner’s Outlet enjoy regional reputations. And, still others, such as the Gold Mile and Defiant Whiskey, are just breaking onto the scene. If your spring plans include a short getaway, not too far from home, consider the Rutherfordton area, where the not-so-obvious “must see” is generally as much fun as those that jump out at you from the rest stop attractions rack. Rutherfordton is building a portion of its tourism future on its past. It’s theme, “a minted original,” stems from the first minting of a one-dollar gold coin here in 1832. That’s why it only makes sense to begin any tour of Rutherford County at the county seat and, more particularly, Rutherfordton’s Bechtler House. Under the watchful eye of The Rutherford County Tourism Asset Foundation, The Bechtler House, at 130 West 6th St., has been purchased and recently became the official hub of the North Carolina Gold Trail. Christopher Bechtler is famously known for minting America’s first one-dollar gold coin 17 years before the U.S. Mint made its own version. The home’s growing inventory includes several artifacts from the work and life of the Bechtler family, including the original coin press and gold scale. Also on display is the highly coveted and only known existing Bechtler Rifle. The house is not only the hub of the NC Gold Trail that spans 29 counties, but is the start and end point of a developing “Gold Mile,” a one-mile walking trail that loops through Rutherfordton. A casual stroll along the local Gold Mile reveals a host of gems including an outstanding children’s museum, a vintage hardware and general store, a couple of craft brew houses, a visual arts center and a retail Tanner’s Outlet store, something every woman won’t want to miss. Tanner’s got its start in Rutherfordton in 1931 as the Doncaster Collar and Shirt Company, an outgrowth of the family’s successful textile operation. Four years later it introduced shirtwaist dresses for women and launched the original program of direct sales of high-end fashions. By the 1950s, the Tanner family had established a national network of home showings conducted by “wardrobe consultants.” Today, this unique business formula continues to prosper. Locally, the Tanner mill is closed, but the family still resides here, operates a foundation that is crucial to the local economy and continues to sell its line of clothing from both a warehouse location and the Main Street retail store it opened two years ago. A couple of doors down one can find the Rutherford County Visual Arts Guild, home to a variety of artists whose juried works range from pottery and wood to paintings and photography. The center features a wide variety of gifts and a gallery whose exhibits change routinely. Hills Hardware & General Store is a quick trip back in time, featuring everything from the functional — think gardening tools — to the flippant — hard candy and soft books. At 172 N. Main you will find KidSenses Children’s Interactive Museum. If children or grandchildren make the trip, this is a must see. SPRING 2016 › 23

{clockwise from top left} For lunch, dinner or just a quiet afternoon, Rumour Has It wine bar is located in the heart of downtown Rutherfordton. • This 1917 Reo truck spent 45 years at the bottom of Lake Lure before being recovered. It is just one of hundreds of vehicles on display at Bennett Classics in Forest City where you will find one of the most unique vehicle collections this side of Henry Ford Museum in Detroit. • B Sharp music has been described as “Cheers” for local musicians. It is Rutherford County’s music hub, where musicians and wannabes congregate. If you want to feel the Rutherford County vibe, this a good place to start.


In 10 years, KidSenses has brought fun and learning to more than a half-million visitors, offering interactive opportunities for all ages. There is a vet-pet hospital where you can x-ray your ailing pet, a real fire truck, a bi-lingual children’s restaurant, a bubble-ology dome and a host of other hands-on exhibits designed to stir young imaginations. After everyone has worked up an appetite you might want to hit the road. Heading east on Business 74 towards Spindale. The Spinning Bean Café and Coffee House is a great place to grab lunch. After a sandwich, some homemade soup or a unique salad, you might want to check out the B Sharp music store. B Sharp music has been described as “Cheers” for local musicians. It is Rutherford County’s music hub, where musicians and wannabes congregate, pick up in-

The Rutherford County Tourism struments, talk music and strum on Asset Foundation oversees The the sidewalk. It’s funky, eclectic and Bechtler House at 130 West 6th you’re bound to meet an interesting St. in Rutherfordton. Christopher character or two inside. Bechtler is famously known for Back on the road, your next stop is minting America’s first oneForest City where you should include dollar gold coin. a stop at The Twisted Pear. They offer an eclectic mix of home décor, gifts, fashion accessories and jewelry and even a huge selection of craft beer and wine. Heading out of town be sure to stop at Bennett Classics, an antique auto museum tucked away at 241 Vance St., in the middle of a cross-country trucking operation. Open daily, Monday-Saturday, Buddy and Joe Bennett have one of the most unique vehicle collections this side of Henry Ford Museum in Detroit … and some of them are for sale. There’s a farm truck that’s been in the family for 50 years, a 1969 Rolls Royce, a 1979 LaFrance fire truck, Thunderbirds from 1976 and a big-block V-8 from 2004, a 1959 retractable convertible Ford Skyliner and a 1951 Hudson Hornet. In another corner you’ll find a 1928 Star Depot hack and, just down the line is a 1917 Reo truck that spent 45 years at the bottom of Lake Lure


Now Consulting Buyers and Sellers

Diane Bostrom (864) 280-5844 1209 Stamp Creek Rd Salem, SC 29676 If you make a spring trip to Rutherfordton and Rutherford County, you will find the area in full bloom. Besides picturesque cityscapes, the surrounding lakes, rivers and mountains provide an idyllic setting for a short getaway.

SPRING 2016 › 25

By Essex

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before being salvaged by the Shelby Dive Team and a giant magnet. If you have time while circling back to Rutherfordton, you might want to check out Blue Ridge Distilling Company (See related story, this issue) or Washburn’s General Store, which specializes in old-fashioned, hard-to-find, American-made products, from Amish molasses to butter churns. The store has been in the Washburn family since 1831, originally opening as a tavern, inn and mercantile for stagecoach passengers. It’s a charming place to spend some time. Back in Rutherfordton for the evening, one will have plenty of dinner and lodging options. We stayed at the Firehouse Inn Bed and Breakfast (See Upstate Lake Living, winter 2015), which was a treat, especially after a quiet dinner at Rumour Has It, a wine bar just a short walk away. Our second day, and our map back home, took us west through Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Each community has plenty to see, but the Lake Lure Inn & Spa should be on most itineraries, as well as a pontoon ride by Lake Lure Tours. Several scenes from the 1987 movie Dirty Dancing were filmed at the Inn & Spa, including the memorable pickpocket scene and several of the dance practice scenes. The lake and river scenes were mainly filmed around the western end of the lake, not far from the Lake Lure Marina. One of the best ways to see those actual sites is by taking the Lake Lure Boat Tour, a 2-3 hour outing that is well worth the price. Our tour guide not only filled us in on the sites for the famous “lift” scene and the location of the workers’ cabins (destroyed by fire in 1997), but also pointed out several classic lake homes, including the $5.3 million “castle” built in 2010 and the houses along “Million Dollar Row,” so named because of the view, not necessarily the homes. As we headed toward the expressway, we stopped by The Flowering Bridge that connects Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. The 1925 Rocky Broad River bridge was closed to traffic in 2011, but was saved by a group of local citizens. Today, the 155foot bridge features a winding path through a variety of gardens, offering an array of colors and fragrances throughout the year. n For more information on attractions, accommodations and dining in the Rutherfordton area, visit:; Online Travel Guide:; Facebook: @Lake Lure & the Blue Ridge Foothills; Twitter: @VisitRCNC; Instagram: @RutherfordCountyNC; or Pinterest: @LakeLureBRF



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The Flowering Bridge connects Lake Lure and Chimney Rock. Rather than see it torn down, locals banded together to preserve the 1925 Rocky Broad River bridge as a 155-foot garden that features a winding path through a variety of gardens, offering an array of colors and fragrances throughout the year.



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Four unique wineries — one shared passion story by Bill Bauer

When Jennifer Foulides and her husband, Ed Wisnieski, left corporate America in Manhattan a few years ago, they found refuge on 32 acres of land overlooking the Western North Carolina Mountains near Morganton, NC. This is the view from the patio of their winery and tasting room. (Photo courtesy of Silver Fork Winery)


air the perfect climate and terrain for growing grapes with a new breed of winemakers on a mission to advance North Carolina’s already budding wine industry, and you have the makings of the Catawba Valley Wine Trail. On both sides of an invisible line separating the counties that encompass the Piedmont and Mountain regions of Western North Carolina there exist perfect conditions for growing the “fruit of the vine.” Fertile soil, abundant rainfall, ideal temperatures and plenty of sun abound in Burke and McDowell counties, and that is where visitors will find four wineries, unique in personality but alike in passion. Silver Fork, Belle Nicho, South Creek and Lake James Cellars are among over 100 wineries that carry on a tradition that began when Sir Walter Raleigh first introduced grapevines to the New World. Whereas only sweet varieties made from muscadine grapes were once bottled in North Carolina, the state now produces a vast number of vintages and blends from the sweetest of whites to the driest of reds. The quartet of wineries that make up the Catawba Valley Wine Trail is proud to be

producing some of those fine wines. LAKE JAMES CELLARS The senior member of the four wineries is located in downtown Glen Alpine, a rural community just outside of Morganton. Lake James is a genuine family operation that began when friends of Mike and Betty Fowler started requesting their homemade wine. It is now, according to their son, Josh, “a hobby that got out of hand.” Josh is the selftaught winemaker in the family having honed his skills for over a decade. Along with son Alex, the Fowler clan has been producing award-winning wines since 2005, purchasing and pressing grapes from several NC locations including the Yadkin Valley. “The Italian Barbera is our best seller, right along with Mimosa Red,” said Betty. A blend of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel and Syrah, Mimosa Red is aged for 36 months in French oak and then blended to bring out the best in each variety. Lake James also produces dry whites like Traminette, and an assortment of sweeter varieties, many seasonal in nature.

The winery and tasting room occupy one side of a restored, red brick 1915 textile mill that also houses a large antique consignment store. “Where else can you shop with a glass of wine in your hand?” Betty asked.

(Photo courtesy of Silver Fork Winery)

A LABOR OF LOVE That is how Jennifer Foulides describes Silver Fork Winery. She and her husband, Ed Wisnieski, left corporate America in Manhattan a few years ago and headed south, seeking a refuge where their dogs could roam and a place they could enjoy their favorite wines. Thirty-

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two acres of land, that just happened to have 3.5 acres of grapes, a few miles from Glen Alpine, provided them with both. In 2011, they bottled their first vintage from nine varietals that were planted in the early ’90s and cared for by former owner Larry Kehoe, a viticulturist who never made wine, but was one of the first to introduce French vinifera grapes to North Carolina. Under Kehoe’s mentorship, Jennifer and Ed planted additional acreage that has produced a wine list that includes Petit Verdot, Cabernets Franc and Sauvignon, Merlot, Chardonnay, Chardonnay Reserve (Oaked) and Chambourcin, as well as a dry Rose and special blends. If they’ve learned one thing in creating classic Bordeaux style wines, it’s that patience is more than a virtue; it’s a necessity in the wine business. “We don’t like to rush our wines into the bottle,” said Jennifer. “And, we are constantly learning.” Bridget Dunford is pictured tending to the vines at Belle Nicho Winery, located at Howling Dog Farm in the Catawba River wine-growing region of North Carolina. (Photo courtesy of Belle Nicho Winery)

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Naming and creating blends is a specialty at Silver Fork. Their signature wine, 4 Dog Red, is a blend of four varietals and gets its name from Lil Bear, Callie, Lily and Gus, the four dogs that meander around the grounds. And then there’s NONSENSE — 3 vintages of 3 different varietals in 3 different barrels — the newest release being a luscious blend of Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot. FINE WINES AND BEAUTIFUL HORSES The third visit on the wine trail is more than a winery. South Creek Vineyards and Winery is home to owners Jim and Mary Rowley and their cherished horses. Driving up to their 100-year-old Italian Renaissance style house, which serves as residence, retail shop and tasting room, one passes by a picturesque pasture that provides the perfect setting for mares, Lu-Lu, Jewel and Dakota. Facing a job relocation, the North Carolina couple decided to change careers to remain in the state they loved. A picture of a vineyard for sale piqued their interest and a trip to Nebo ensued. “We arrived at the vineyard and although we could not have known it at the time, we were about to take the first step in our new lives. Deciding to take a leap of faith, we invested our future in the North Carolina wine community and purchased South Creek Vineyards & Winery from Frank Bolden in the summer of 2010,” Jim explained. Bolden, who meticulously

managed the vineyards for eight years, provided the foundation for the Rowleys to continue a tradition of producing validated Bordeaux-style wines. While Jim considers himself a “self-taught-on-the-jobwinemaker,” he credits Bolden’s guidance and a trip to the Bordeaux region of France with raising his level of expertise. South Fork specializes in gold medal red blends, with musical names like Duet, a 50/50 blend of Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot that aged in American oak barrels, and is a gold medal winner from the American Wine Society. Its signature wine, Maestro, a classic Bordeaux blend with all four grapes of the Bordeaux region — Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Petit Verdot — won a gold medal at this year’s prestigious Grand CRU International Competition held in California. Not to be left out are two classic Chardonnays, an oak-aged 2013 Reserve and a 2013 stainless steel variety. A “BEAUTIFUL PLACE” While the first three wineries have names derived from locations, Belle Nicho Winery at The Howling Dog Farm has a different source. Loosely translated it could mean Beautiful Place or Niche … and that it is. Green grass grows down the center of the grape rows and the flora in and around the vineyard is simply spectacular. But despite its beauty, owner Bridget Dunford and General Manager Janet Bertinuson point out, “We

actually named it after a favorite aunt and uncle — Jeannie Bell and Uncle Nick. And after raising cats and dogs for over 20 years, it’s naturally a part of our Howling Dog Farm!” Using solar panels for electricity and giant cisterns for irrigation, as well as organic growing methods, Dunford and Bertinuson have made a commitment to the environment. “Being a small farmstead winery our endeavor is to enhance the property through sustainable practices,” they said. Belle Nicho is described as a place where French chic meets Southern hospitality — a niche they began to carve out when they ventured into the wine business in 2007. In spring 2008, they initiated their first Vineyard Work Day, with many faithful friends assisting in the planting of Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cynthiana, Isabella and Seyval Blanc — all FrenchAmerican hybrid and vinifera grapes. Belle Nicho’s wines range from dry through semisweet to a lovely sweet red. “All of our wines are enjoyed, but our Strawberry-Rhubarb and Rose have been our most recent best sellers,” said Dunford. Belle Nicho’s signature wine, aptly named

Solar panels for electricity and giant cisterns for irrigation, organic growing methods and vintage tractors are all part of the commitment Bridget Dunford and Janet Bertinuson have made to the environment at their Belle Nicho Winery. (Photo courtesy of Belle Nicho Winery)

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Sweet Dog Red, is a wonderful blend of Chambourcin and Cabernet Franc, and a portion of its sales are donated to REASON: Reduce Euthanasia and Spay or Neuter. Locally made molasses and honey from sorghum and hives on the farm, along with jelly made from their Isabella grapes, are also available in the tasting room. The wineries along the Catawba Valley Wine Trail are event-oriented featuring live music, car shows, weddings and alfresco dining among other events. Four times a year they join forces for a “Wine Hop,” during which wine lovers can blaze their own trail by picking up a Wine Hop Card The winery and tasting room of Lake James Cellars occupy one side of a restored, red brick 1915 textile mill that also houses a large antique consignment store. (Photo courtesy of Lake James Cellars)

SETTLE INTO HISTORY AT THE INN AT GLEN ALPINE The quartet of wineries making up The Catawba Valley Wine Trail wind their way through some of North Carolina’s most historic cities, beautiful sights and Lake James State Park. Taking it all in requires a stay of a night or two, and The Inn at Glen Alpine provides the ideal location to stay while you play. A year ago, gracious hosts Teresa and Craig Sellman bought the former 1913 country manor and undertook a six-month renovation that fulfilled their dream to own and operate a B&B. In the course of that renovation, the Sellmans literally took the word “ordinary” out of the phrase bed and breakfast. Teresa and Craig hail from New Jersey and Baltimore, have traveled abroad and worked in London. But, once they discovered Asheville, they decided the time was right to move south and begin their quest to own a B&B. Inspired by the historic and elegant Crossed Keys Inn bed and breakfast in New Jersey, which was the setting for their wedding just over 10 years ago, the couple began their journey in July 2014 and have never looked back. Teresa refers to the makeover of the original private residence of J.D. Pitts, a prominent Asheville businessman in the early 1900s, as “putting red lipstick on the pretty lady.” The house, she says, was already beautiful. Four redecorated, luxurious guest rooms including two suites, spacious and elegant common rooms, and a relaxing wraparound porch await weary travelers. 32 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

[story by Bill Bauer | photos courtesy of The Inn at Glen Alpine]

{left} The porch of The Inn at Glen Alpine is the perfect place to enjoy breakfast or lunch, or to simply pull up a rocker and enjoy a good book. • {bottom left} This is one of the four redecorated, luxurious guest rooms — two of which are suites — that make up the accommodations of The Inn at Glen Alpine. Each room features a flat screen TV, wireless Internet, private bath with a walk-in ceramic shower, deluxe cotton bedding and towels and plush bathrobes. • {bottom right} 1913 country manor and original residence of prominent turn-of-the-century Asheville businessman J.D. Pitts provided the perfect foundation for the establishment of The Inn at Glen Alpine bed and breakfast.

Each room comes with a flat screen TV, wireless Internet and private bath with a walk-in ceramic shower. Deluxe cotton bedding and towels, plush bathrobes, and eco-friendly soaps, lotions, and body washes complement each room. Add antique furniture and a fireplace adorned with lanterns and candles, and your room becomes a romantic hideaway. Breakfast at The Inn is a banquet, featuring locally grown foods and allergy-friendly alternatives, including gluten free meals. Coffee, juice and freshly baked banana bread are standard, followed by poached eggs on top of goat and cheddar grilled

cheese with caramelized onions and served between crusty French bread. You can also enjoy a side of sweet potato, bacon and apple hash, which is part of the typical morning meal, served at your desired time. Coffee, tea, ice and water are available for early risers outside the second floor rooms. With the addition of a licensed commercial kitchen, the Sellmans offer a la carte meals for lunch or dinner served in your room, the dining room or on the porch. You can also get a tastefully prepared “brown bag” meal to go as you venture out to discover the area. The Inn at Glen Alpine is located 3 miles off I-40, only 45 miles east of Asheville, 25 miles west of Hickory and 30 minutes to the entrance of the famous Blue Ridge Parkway. Morganton is just 6 miles to the east along NC Hwy. 70. Call 828.584.9264 to check for availability and more information, or visit The Inn’s website:

at any of the four wineries, and then sip, savor and taste away, while collecting a unique wine glass as keepsake. Each winery provides a special treat to complement the tasting and participants automatically register for a $25 gift certificate. The 2016 Spring Hop runs from 1-5 p.m. on March 15. The cost is $20, and it is wise to register ahead. While each winery’s website provides directions, the easiest way to hit the wine trail is to head to Glen Alpine, home to Lake James Cellars, just 3 miles off Exit 100 on Interstate 40 on Highway 70. From there, follow the excellent signage. The Fowlers will point you in the direction of the other three, which are nearby, but a little more secluded. The individual days and hours for tasting vary from one to another, but all can be found on each winery’s website or by calling. n • Lake James Cellars, 828.584.4551 • Silver Fork, 828.391.8783 • South Creek, 828.652.5729 • Belle Nicho, 828.659.3168

South Creek Vineyards & Winery, like other wineries along the Catawba Valley Wine Trail, is an event-oriented venue, featuring live music, car shows, weddings and alfresco dining such as the patio wine dinner pictured here. (Photo courtesy of South Creek Vineyards & Winery)

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The Bertha Lee Strickland Cultural Museum focuses on the history, culture, and contributions of the local African American community and their impact on society. Exhibits will be rotated twice yearly. The museum bears the name of Seneca native, the late Mrs. Bertha Lee Strickland, who for 47 years worked for Mrs. Lilian Lunney until Mrs. Lunney’s death in 1969. Located in the Historic District of downtown Seneca, the museum sits adjacent to the Lunney House Museum.

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BLUE RIDGE DISTILLER IS UNBOUND BY BARRELS, TRADITION story by Brett McLaughlin | photos courtesy of McConnell Group

“The Defiant spirit runs through our souls. That craving for adventure and breaking away from convention. Finding truth in authenticity. Some chase a few defiant moments. Others live a lifetime in the spirit.” — Defiant website


im Ferris has lived most of his life on the edge. Now, he’s making whisky the same way. As the owner of Defiant Marine, a deep-water diving company, Ferris and his employees routinely run toward disaster. Using metal, fire, water and their intellect, they salvage the past and avert catastrophe in the present. Five hundred or more feet below the surface of the ocean, they operate in a world in which there is no room for error. “Diving taught me to think big and take small bites of the elephant,” he said. “It taught me to be immune to the fear of failure.”

Now, Ferris is applying that same philosophy to another of his passions … the making of whisky. The Defiant Whisky website puts it this way: “In diving and in whisky, greatness is not coincidence. It is cultivated, pushed, practiced and always evolving. We’re rethinking whisky by taking the best of Scottish tradition and combining it with American ingenuity. We’re starting a whisky revolution. Charting a new course on the journey. And we’re doing it the Defiant way.” That revolution is taking place in a distillery of Ferris’ own making in Golden Valley, NC. The land has been in his family for more than two decades and it abuts a 550-acre former Girl Scout camp that the founder and

{opposite page} Only three years from its official launch, Defiant has already won multiple awards including the silver medal for the 2015 Craft Spirits Competition and bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. • {above} The porch of the tasting room at Blue Ridge Distilling is just a great place to relax and get away from it all. The creator of the distillery’s Defiant Whisky is in the process of transforming a former Girl Scout camp into a destination experience.

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Blue Ridge Distilling has hosted several events at its tasting facility, which previously served as the dining hall/activity center for a Girl Scout camp. More events are planned, including destination dinners and retreat opportunities.

his partners purchased in summer 2014, three years after his crew of Defiant Marine divers built the still for Blue Ridge Distilling Co. Standing on the back porch of the former Girl Scout dining hall and activity center that now serves as a tasting center, Ferris looks across an expanse that includes amphitheaters, several lodge buildings and a private lake. “This is the home of our brand,” he said. And a rising brand it is. Although only three years since its 38 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

official launch, Defiant has already won multiple awards including the silver medal for the 2015 Craft Spirits Competition and bronze at the San Francisco World Spirits Competition. Last fall it was named the featured whisky of the inaugural Rolex Central Park Horse show. “(Defiant is) a flavorful, interesting dram, and it’s a solid addition to the growing category of American single malts,” wrote Kevin Gray in Cocktail Enthusiast. Such high praise for “young whisky” — whisky brought to the market in a few

months versus whisky aged in barrels for several years — is hard to earn. Ferris lightheartedly attributes this early success to being “extremely lucky and pretty smart.” The luck may relate to having built a still over one of the purist aquifers in the East. The “smart” refers to having spent two years finding specially cultured yeast, purchasing exclusively two-row premium brewer’s barley and to using top grade American white oak toasts that maximize the spirit’s contact with wood and quickly impart flavors and color. The technique is not unique to Blue Ridge

Make Lasting Impressions Artisan leathers show your artistic side. Distilling, but the combination of quality ingredients and technique appears to be. The result is a quality craft brand. “This young whiskey is aged between two and six months,” Gray wrote in his review. “To speed up the aging process, Defiant inserts oak spirals into the barrels … Such practices are often utilized when spirit producers want to bring their product to market without waiting years for a spirit to age naturally in barrels. Sometimes it’s used to good effect, other times, not so much. In this case, it seems Defiant is starting with a quality product off the still, which is key in achieving a favorable result.” “Most distillers use oak for aging,” Ferris said. “We use it as an ingredient.” “I like whisky and I’ve always been drawn to single malt barley

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Tim Ferris, founder and president of both Defiant Marine and Defiant Whisky, is being featured in a new History Channel series, “Billion Dollar Wreck.” The series, which began February 8 and continues for eight weeks, follows famed treasure hunter Martin Bayerle and his son Grant as they embark on a complex expedition in pursuit of both personal redemption and a billion dollars’ worth of treasure aboard the renowned and mysterious sunken cruise liner, RMS Republic. The show airs on Mondays at 10 p.m. Ferris brings to the expedition years of technical deep-sea salvage diving expertise. It is the kind of high-risk, high-stakes project Defiant Marine knows better than anyone in the world, and it taps into a trait Ferris shares with Bayerle. “I was immediately drawn to Republic’s undeniable and truly historic story,” said Ferris, “and my role is to identify and manage a myriad of desires and expectations and orchestrate a safe and timely recovery.” One of the largest and most luxurious ocean liners of its time, Republic sunk shortly after its departure from New York Harbor in the early hours of Jan. 24, 1909.

whisky,” he added. “But, we left that to Scotland and adapted to corn whisky. I couldn’t be more excited to be taking us back to our whisky roots.” Ferris has hosted several events at his tasting facility, but several more are planned including destination dinners and, eventually, overnight stays and retreat opportunities. “We have 29,000 square feet, 60 buildings, the potential for 250 beds, a private lake and miles of hiking trails,” he said. “We plan to have apple and peach orchards and a vineyard. You can come for a walk or enjoy an entire estate-style experience.” Current visitors to Golden Valley at 164 Girl Scout Camp Road and the nearby distillery at 228 Redbud Lane are limited by state law to purchasing one bottle per person, per year. However, Defiant is available in 23 states and four foreign countries. It can be also be purchased at www.forwhiskeylovers. com/distillery-row/distilleries/blue-ridge-distilling-co. More information is available at: or by calling 828.245.2041. n

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The still being used to blend Defiant Whiskey was built by the same deepwater divers who work for founder Tim Ferris’s Defiant Marine. Long hours of research went into the project before construction ever began to assure that it would include the latest, state-of-the-art distilling features.

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208 Crestview Court Pinnacle Pointe Welcome to 208 Crestview Court in the wonderful waterfront community of Pinnacle Pointe. The meticulously maintained home was completed in 2000 by Kisker. The home has a bright open floor plan with abundant natural light. The kitchen is well equipped and is steps away from a sunroom/ screened porch that is the perfect setting to have your morning coffee. The master suite is located on the main level with 3 additional bedrooms on the lower level. All just steps away from your covered slip dock in a private deep water cove. Price reduced $100,000 from original price. Offered at: $749,000.

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Racetrack has featured the famous, but the focus is on family story by Bill Bauer

It’s all about families at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway. The speedway has a special program that involves different family events during the intermission of each race, but this opportunity to go down on the track is one of the most popular. (Photo courtesy of Greenville-Pickens Speedway)



t’s Saturday night and you’re driving towards Greenville on the Calhoun Memorial Highway. Having passed through a horde of strip malls and car dealerships, the traffic thins out. For a few miles the bright lights of the city are behind you and the quiet and darkness of evening envelop you. Suddenly scores of towering stadium lights pierce the sky to your left. A deafening roar rushes at you like a tidal wave. Welcome to Saturday Night Thunder. It’s business as usual at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway (GPS), a legendary half-mile racetrack steeped in tradition and home to thousands of spectators nearly every Saturday night from March through September. Welcome to one of the birthplaces of Southern NASCAR racing. One of four South Carolina racetracks with NASCAR links — the others being Hickory, Anderson and Myrtle Beach — Greenville-Pickens Speedway waved its first checkered flag over a dirt oval in 1940. The surface changed to blacktop in 1970 and was chosen by NBC the following year to host NASCAR’s first televised race. With names like Richard Petty and Buddy Baker leading the pack, the speedway instantly became famous. “Going from dirt to asphalt was the biggest change I’ve seen in over 40 years,” said Reese Fant, staff writer for GPS. Fant covered his first race on dirt in 1968 and while he

acknowledges that racing is ever-evolving, he said, “It’s still racing.” “That race had five divisions, and they still have that many almost every Saturday night. They change the rules now and then, but the racing remains the same,” the veteran trackman said. The historic speedway dates back to the days of NASCAR organizer Bill France and the late Tom Blackwell who, with his brother, Pete, built the dirt track and guided the business for many decades. From 2002-2014, current owner Kevin Whitaker ran the operation. In 2015, Anthony Anders, the 2014 National Champion of the NASCAR Whelen All-American Series, took over track operations. Anders was no stranger to GPS having won his first race here in 1997 and track championships in 2013 and 2014. While he still competes on a limited schedule, his role as promoter, operator, organizer and general manager keeps him plenty busy. “I’ve been a racer all my life, and I’m a little tired of traveling,” Anders said. “There is a lot of history here, and I wanted to be a part of something awesome and make some big changes.”

One of the best attributes of GreenvillePickens Speedway is its up-close-and-personal view of races and its family atmosphere. Race fans arrive well before the first green flag is dropped at 7 p.m., a time change Anders put in place last year. “We have changed the start time of the race to 7 p.m. instead of 8 p.m. to get families home an hour earlier,” says Haley Wilbanks, the Speedway’s marketing director. “We have a lot of families who attend every weekend and have also installed a kids’ program that involves different events during the intermission of each race. Kids have brought their power wheels out and raced on the track, and we’ve had balloon twisting artists, and carnival rides.” Access to the infield pit areas where race teams — often made up of friends and family — are busy prepping racecars, is permitted prior to the races, but the real action takes place along the backstretch. “It’s the place to pull up in your pickup truck, get out the lawn chairs, barbecue and enjoy the races with your friends,” Fant said. The backstretch is a three-tiered parking lot that runs between the far turns and is

only separated from the racetrack by a chainlink fence. Here you’ll find kids from 6 to 60, from all walks of life simply enjoying an evening at the racetrack. The higher you get, the better the view of the cars as they put the pedal to the metal and accelerate out of the second turn. For others, looking to view the races from the start and finish line, there is the grandstand, where rows of concrete provide stepped seating from the track to the concession stand and newly-remodeled bathrooms. “We basically gave the racetrack a major facelift,” says Wilbanks. “Everything is repainted, new asphalt was put down, and the Turn 3 office has been remodeled.” There is no shortage of good old racetrack food such as hotdogs, burgers and fries, chicken fingers, cheese and chili nachos, candy bars, {below} Dave Roberts will be defending his 2015 track championship during a season that debuted in February but continues through September. (Photo by Kerry Dale) • {bottom} Tasha Kummer, one of the most successful female drivers in the Late Model Stock Division at GPS, grew up going to GPS and sitting on the backstretch watching her brother race. (Photo by Bill Bauer)

SPRING 2016 › 45

fried Oreos and corn dogs. While alcohol is permitted, there is a special non-smoking, non-alcohol section of the grandstand reserved for families. From the high-speed, high-end late model stock cars down to the 4-cylinder models, every race is intense and every racer is passionate. “If you want to race cars, you can do it here,” says Anders. “There is a race for anybody that has a car and can get it here.” Anders noted that, while a fabricated late model stock car runs upwards of $75,000 and arrives with $900 tires in a sleek, sponsor-wrapped trailer, a compact, front-wheel drive, 4-cylinder Honda might be towed to the infield by a pickup truck. “The many divisions make it affordable for everyone to race,” said Anders. Watching the big boys race for big purses at speeds over 100 mph is just as exciting as seeing a $250 winner cross the finish line at half that speed. Gender and age have no bearing on who gets behind the wheel at the Greenville-Pickens Speedway. Tasha Kummer, one of the most successful female drivers in the Late Model Stock Division, grew up going to GPS and sitting on the backstretch watching her brother race. “It’s where I took my first lap in a late model car. My mom has pictures of me

A fleet of racers in five different divisions and some 1,000 fans pack the GreenvillePickens Speedway every Saturday night. The track has hosted some of NASCAR’s top names in its 76-year storied history. (Photo courtesy of Greenville-Pickens Speedway)


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standing in victory lane with my brother when I was 3 years old,” she said. Kummer, who is a beautician when she’s not racing, has not won yet — but has come close several times. “My best finish in the division I am currently in is second place,” she said. “I have come very close to winning several times and have led 56 laps out of 100, but just was not able to be the leader when the flag dropped.” Taylor Nesbitt began racing midget racecars at age 11, and now, at the ripe old age of 19, fastens her seatbelt in a Limited Late Model racecar. “It’s a family thing and it’s fun,” said Taylor pointing to her dad, Martin Nesbitt, as he prepped her car for a training run. It’s not uncommon for relatives to work on each other’s cars during the week and then race head-to-head for the checkered flag on Saturday night. Kummer’s nephew, Trey Gibson, may have helped her dial in her car and even test it out as he did before February’s “Winter Meltdown,” the first race of the 2016 season, but he will be racing alongside his aunt for a chance to hold the trophy in the winner’s circle come race time. Gibson came in second in the overall point total at GPS last season, and was the Anderson Speedway Champion. Like Nesbitt, he says racing is strictly family. “My Papa owns the race car, my aunt and

uncle race, and when we come to the track, it’s family time,” he said. From the shorter 4-cylinder races to the late model Twin 75s, the adrenaline flows on the asphalt and in the stands. “The feeling you get when everyone is lined up, bumper-to-bumper, motors revved up and then coming out of turn 4 and seeing that green flag drop ... it’s a feeling I can’t explain, but it’s the best, heart-pounding, exciting moment I’ve ever experienced; I’ll never get enough of it,” Kummer said. The 2016 schedule, which began in February, runs through September 17 with an as-

Taylor Nesbitt began racing midget racecars at age 11 and now fastens her seatbelt in a Limited Late Model racecar. (Photo by Bill Bauer)

sortment of regular and featured races. Plan on joining the “family” at the GreenvillePickens Speedway and experiencing a little Saturday Night Thunder this racing season. n Admission is $12 for regular and $15 for featured races. Children 11 and under are free. For racing news, track and fan information, and an events calendar, visit the GPS website at, or call GPS at 864.295.5674.


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That’s why curious minds are always welcome at Duke Energy’s WORLD OF ENERGY, the education center at Oconee Nuclear Station. More than 3 million visitors have enjoyed our exhibits for over 40 years. All for free. Come see our brand-new Global Balance station, featuring a giant interactive globe. Try your hand at one of our computer games. Explore the Story of Energy exhibit. Get outside and hike our nature trail by beautiful Lake Keowee. Or come out to one of our monthly events, featuring live music, educational lectures, movies and art shows, just to name a few.

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UPSTATE MEDICAL ASSOCIATES HALF MARATHON & 5K We give away $1,000 to the fastest male and fastest female in the half marathon! All half marathon runners get a finishers medal.

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GLO Run Seneca's first run at night! Starts at 9:00 PM at the Shaver Recreation Complex.

Starting in April Jazz on the alley

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Every Thursday April - October. Starts at 6:30 on Ram Cat Alley.

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May 27 & 28, 2016

Don't miss the award-winning fireworks display at Gignilliat Field. Free for the whole family.

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The Partridge Inn Where old meets new and guests rule story by Brett McLaughlin | photos courtesy of The Partridge Inn

“The guests make our policy.” — PARTRIDGE INN GM LLOYD VAN HORN —


hether it’s James’ infectious smile at the door, Clarence’s booming greeting from across the lobby or Sheila’s pure Southern welcome, you can’t get past the registration desk of Augusta’s Partridge Inn without realizing you are about to have a unique lodging experience. If you are among the fortunate to have tickets to The Masters this spring, you are among the truly blessed if you have reservations to stay at The Partridge Inn. If you are staying elsewhere, you should seize the opportunity of being in Augusta to peruse this historic hotel. Odds are good you will find your way back. And, if The Masters isn’t on your schedule, you might want to book an overnight to Augusta for no other reason than to have a Partridge Inn experience. A landmark of Southern style and hospitality in Augusta for 106 years, the iconic hotel has stood the test of time and continues to draw visitors from around the world and serve as a gathering place for Augustans. It recently completed a multimillion dollar renovation and emerged with a new identity as part of Hilton’s Curio Collection. “Like a lot of other small Southern cities, there is a resurgence in Augusta,” said

General Manager Lloyd Van Horn as he looked out across the city from the terrace of the hotel’s penthouse suite. “We wanted to be — we needed to be — part of that process. “No place has the soul of this property,” he continued. “Its history is unmatched. I mean, we’ve been doing The Masters since it began.” That’s why, when Atlanta-based NorthPointe Hospitality Management acquired The Inn in 2014 they immediately set about a renovation that Van Horn said was intended to give The Partridge Inn a “new interpretation of what it has always been,” an air of “comfortable sophistication without appearing pretentious.” “The Partridge Inn is an incredible hotel with a significant place in the history of Augusta,” Guy Robbins, curator for Augusta Museum of History, writes on The Inn’s website. “Over the past 100 years, it has played a prominent role in the city’s development.” Augusta’s “golden age” spanned several decades. From the late-1800s through the mid-1930s, the city flourished as a resort destination, drawing a veritable “who’s who” of the winter elite — primarily Northerners escaping the cold and seeking to enjoy the city’s warmth and hospitality. Early visitors arrived for the season by train and brought

trunks of clothes and their own personal staffs to see them through to spring. The Partridge Inn was the epicenter of this grand tradition of hospitality. The ballroom was a primary gathering area and served as the setting for a number of Augusta’s high society events including a 1923 dinner for President Warren Harding. In a city that has historically been known for golf, when the weather was not favorable, the public would gather for putting contests in The Partridge Inn lobby, which in present day serves as the ballroom. Throughout The Inn’s history its success has hinged on going beyond comfortable accommodations and unmatched amenities and focusing on unparalleled service to its guests. To that end, Van Horn said, nothing has changed. “Our guests come first,” he said, noting that being flagged as part of Hilton’s Curio Collection pushes the demand for personalized service to an even higher level. “The rule for our staff is to treat each guest as they would want to be treated ... It’s a philosophy that we insist on. “The guests make our policy.” When combined with the accommodations, innovations and amenities afforded by the recent renovation, a unique stay is a given.

{opposite page, clockwise} A new addition with The Partridge Inn renovation was this first floor cigar bar. It features a patio and lounge with captain’s chairs and sectional seating, as well as a fire pit. Bar service, of course, is available. • As the sun sets in Augusta, The Partridge Inn becomes one of the city’s gleaming assets, completely renovated and in the heart of the city’s historic Summerville District. • The historic veranda of The Partridge Inn has been a gathering place for city and state leaders, business people and tourists for 106 years. Visitors to the PI Bar & Grill can enjoy dinner on the veranda or guests can simply lounge and take in the restful nature of the city’s historic district. • Suites such as this are among the room options available to guests. Modern furniture, including exquisite beds with designer linens and sheets, private baths and connecting balconies are among the features. Conveniences include MP3 docking stations, desks and high-speed Internet access. • The 2,100-square foot penthouse at The Inn was completely remodeled. It offers three exclusive guest rooms, a private kitchen, plenty of dining space and this bar and lounge area. The adjoining terrace and rooftop lounge afford stunning views of downtown Augusta.

SPRING 2016 › 53

ACCOMMODATIONS None of 144 guest rooms is designed the same, but each features modern furniture, including exquisite beds with designer linens and sheets, private baths and connecting balconies. Conveniences include MP3 docking stations, desks and complimentary, high-speed Internet access that doesn’t even require a password. Not only was the exterior of The Inn painted a classic white, but the interior public areas were redesigned including hotel hallways, a quarter-mile of verandas that wrap around the exterior of the hotel, the lobby, a state-of-the-art exercise room and a new porte-cochère.



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The hotel’s 2,100-square foot penthouse was completely remodeled. Its three exclusive guest rooms are available to rent out for private events, and, on weekends when it is not booked, the space opens as a pop-up bar. The adjoining terrace and rooftop lounge afford stunning views of downtown Augusta. Several of the guest rooms overlook an expansive courtyard swimming pool.

{left to right} The city has historically been known for golf. In the first years of The August National, hotel bellhops even served as caddies and, when the weather was not favorable, the public would gather for putting contests in The Partridge Inn lobby, which in the present day serves as the ballroom. • The ballroom of the original Partridge Inn has long been a gathering area and the setting for a number of Augusta’s high society events. Most notably, in 1923, the hotel’s magnificent ballroom was the site of a dinner for President Warren Harding.

AMENITIES One of the city’s favorite gathering spots, the P.I. Bar & Grill, was redesigned for a polished look and feel. A white marble bar features illuminated liquor shelves, plenty of high top and communal seating, new bench

seating, and two big screen televisions. If a more intimate dining setting is desired, the bar itself is well removed from an adjoining dining area. Van Horn said the hotel’s new chef changes the menu routinely, offering traditional


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GLITTERING PAST — BRIGHT FUTURE Like many of the private homes that dot the landscape of the Summerville Historic District, The Partridge Inn began as a two-story house, the home of the Walton family, one of whose members, George Walton, was a Georgia signer of the Declaration of Independence. Augusta’s proximity to the river and surrounding low lying marshland made it uncomfortable during hot Georgia summers, so prominent citizens from downtown built summer homes on “The Hill” to get away from the oppressive heat. As Augusta merchants became more prosperous, they began to construct summer homes on “The Hill” spending their entire hot season in them, thus the origin of the name “Summerville.” In the 19th century, New York hotelier Morris Partridge acquired the property and began a small boarding house for northern visitors. Within two years, his establishment was already experiencing the first of what would be five expansions. After extensive renovations, 60 rooms were added enabling The Partridge Inn to open as an “official hostelry” on January 8, 1910. In its early days, a U.S. post office, drug store, flower shop, news and bookshop, barbershop, and ladies’ hairdressing and manicure parlor were all located in the lobby of The Inn. The ballroom was a primary gathering area and has served as the setting for a number of Augusta’s high society events. Even through the latest renovation, the original 1836 home remains encompassed within the building, visible in part from the courtyard. Today, the Summerville District, and The Inn in particular, are part of a city resurgence built on a glittering past and anticipating a bright future. From the terrace of the Penthouse suite the horizon reveals the two existing reactor towers of the Vogtle Electric Generating Plant as well as one of the two new reactors now under construction. At $5 billion, the new construction and ensuing operation of four nuclear reactors is expected to provide a long-term economic boon to Augusta. Several thousand additional high tech jobs are also expected to be created by the Dept. of Defense’s decision to locate the country’s cyber security command center at nearby Fort Gordon. Experts have predicted that those jobs will result in a steady flow of new housing starts and commercial growth. The command center also influenced the renovation of The Partridge Inn. “With the cyber headquarters for the country located here, we had to have the best technology we could find,” explained Partridge Inn General Manager Lloyd Van Horn. “When those folks stay with us, they expect the best.”

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Mountain and sunset views! Southern fare, as well as unique regional dishes. The renovation also brought about the addition of a cigar bar on the first floor that includes a patio and lounge with captain’s chairs and sectional seating, as well as a fire pit. The Inn offers complimentary valet parking and two Tesla charging stations and one standard charging station for electric cars, also complimentary. The engine that drives Hilton is the higher standard of customer service and amenities offered by its Curio Collection of hotels. Each is unique and, in Augusta, that means capitalizing on a rich history of Southern charm. “It was important to blend the historic past of the hotel with modern technology and conveniences,” Van Horn said. “It allowed us to create an ‘old meets new’ feel.” n The Partridge Inn is located at 2110 Walton Way in the historic Summerville District of Augusta. More information and reservations can be obtained at: or by calling 706.737.8888. Standard room rates range from $139-$189 and from $118-$161 for advanced, full payment reservations. Breakfast, weekend getaway and bed and breakfast packages are also available for most rooms.


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SPRING 2016 › 55


Enjoy yourself Read a book in the hammock Get lost in the woods Or at the spa Enjoy breakfast on the balcony Sleep in Take a hike Go mountain biking Make memories Take pictures & naps Laugh out loud Savor a sunset boat ride Be with family Go horseback riding Enjoy a round of golf Make new friends Have afternoon tea Learn to fly fish Smell the roses And the forest after a rain Go bare footed Ride a motorcycle up the mountain Go camping Raft a river Enjoy outdoor music Make s’mores Just relax In


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Clemson Downs, the only continuing care retirement community (CCRC) in the Clemson area has expanded to include Creekside 4) Confusion with time or place. Cottage, offering additional assisted living rooms and memory 5) Trouble understanding visual images care services. Creekside Cottage is a 32 private room “home and spatial relationships. like” environment that addresses the needs of the individual 6) New problems with words in speaking or writing. memory support resident and those needing assistance with 7) Misplacing things and losing the ability daily life. The 24 hour care is resident centered and will to retrace steps. provide support to meet their special needs. 8) Decreased or poor judgment.

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good food with a

Don’t let the new age décor fool you. The Breakwater bar has become a popular “Cheers” type location in downtown Greenville. Regular diners will also enjoy being able to choose from a large selection of vintage whiskeys and bourbons as well as wines from around the world.


Sophistication meets fun on Greenville’s West End story by Brett McLaughlin | photos by Rex Brown

s Greenville’s West End is exploding with activity — new hotels, condominiums and storefronts — the tide is also coming in at Breakwater Restaurant and Bar, where some of the city’s finest chefs are cookin’ up everything from Provencal-seasoned tenderloin to Southern fried chicken. First and foremost, Breakwater is about great food at reasonable prices. However, it’s also about a dining experience that is a little out of the ordinary on Main Street in Greenville. “It’s not dark in here. It’s not even dim. There’s not a lot of wood. It’s bright and vibrant and feels roomy but can still provide an intimate setting for dinner,” Breakwater General Manager Eddie Carbaugh said.

{below left and right} Whether it is a unique and flavorful dessert or a salad featuring locally purchased ingredients that you crave, diners at Greenville’s Breakwater Restaurant & Bar have a variety of unique and delicious choices. • {bottom} The Provencal-seasoned prime petite medallions will melt in your mouth. The Meyer Ranch beef comes served on a colorful plate of roasted marble potatoes, sautéed spinach and wild mushrooms. A splash of bistro steak sauce provides a little added zest.

SPRING 2016 › 59

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A favorite among Breakwater guests is the grilled rack of lamb. Served with farro, squash, grilled red cabbage and heirloom tomatoes, the lamb is seasoned to perfection and served with mint chimichurri.

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The eatery’s combination of a modern sophisticated main dining room, coupled with private dining options and a welcoming bar, is catching on with a growing clientele. “I really believe our atmosphere sets us apart,” Carbaugh added, looking out through a façade of glass onto the increasingly busy corner of South Main and Oneal streets. “People feel welcome when they come in here, and we work hard at that. “Everyone on our wait staff has more than 20 years experience.” It doesn’t hurt either that Breakwater owner Gary Lang, whose original Breakwater Restaurant flourishes in Beaufort, has been able to put together an impressive kitchen staff led by 15-year veteran Chef Samuel Dominguez. “We have the most talented kitchen staff I’ve seen in this business,” Carbaugh said. “They are amazing and are doing more every day.” The Breakwater menu is diverse and on the cusp of becoming even more so as newly inspired entrees and neighborhood favorites are headed back to the menu. While the grilled rack of lamb, salmon, beef medallions and pork tenderloin are staples, diners can look for new entrees, some involving house-cured meats and a return to Charcuterie plates. As Breakwater rolls out a new menu this spring, customers will have little trouble finding something scrumptious given the abilities Dominguez has brought to the kitchen. During our visit we were astounded by the tenderness of the medallions, which came on a plate of roasted marble potatoes, sautéed spinach and wild mushrooms, and also the lamb, served with farro, squash, grilled red cabbage and heirloom tomatoes. The menu also offers a variety of seafood dishes, both as entrees and appetizers. Fish selections can be grilled or baked with lemon and olive oil. Dominguez purchases as much seafood and local produce as possible and varies the menu with each season. His entrees are bountiful and priced affordably, ranging from $20 to $38. “Our prices are very reasonable,” Carbaugh said, “especially given the quality of the food. When you eat here, you’re paying for what’s on the plate.” As popular as the food is good, is the Breakwater bar, a

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202 WILD OAK COURT • $875,000 Executive Chef Samuel Dominguez prepares crème brulee in preparation for the evening dinner crowd. A native of Argentina, Dominguez has been creating delectable food for 15 years, including the past five years in Greenville.

“Cheers” like pub where new age décor envelops an after-business crowd of both regulars and newcomers. “Our bar is a big draw,” Carbaugh said. “Per size, we may have the busiest bar downtown.” Vintage whiskeys and bourbons line the shelves, and Carbaugh notes with pride that Breakwater was the first Greenville establishment to “get on board” with the Moscow Mule. Thirty copper mugs are testimony to the case of standard Russian vodka Breakwater serves each week.

“We have the most talented kitchen staff I’ve seen in this business. They are amazing and are doing more every day.”

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Daily “happy hour” specials such as half-off liquor and discounts on $8-and-under wines and beers have added to the popularity of Breakwater, as have small plates and other food specials. Mexican Mondays are routine, and Dominguez’s influence is clearly present on Tapas Tuesdays when patrons can order different tapas and combine them to make a full meal.

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“We offer half-portions and that means you can try something you might not go out of the box for any other time,” Carbaugh said. “You can build a custom plate and then relax with a drink and good conversation.” Wine Down Wednesdays highlight Breakwater’s extensive wine list, many of which are not “mainstream.” An impressive array of wine options fills one wall of an area that can also serve as a private dining room or meeting room. Wine dinners are held periodically. Located at 802 S. Main, between the Hampton Inn and Fluor Field in Greenville’s historic West End, Breakwater is within walking distance of Falls Park and is surrounded by unique shops and venues. It offers valet parking off Main Street. n

Located at the corner of South Main and Oneal streets, Breakwater is in the heart of Greenville’s booming West End. An open and bright dining room sets it apart from other Main Street eateries, as does its ever-changing menu.


Breakwater is open for dinner Monday through Thursday, 5-9:30 p.m.; and Friday and Saturday, 5-10 p.m. The bar opens daily at 4 p.m. For more information, to see the new and changing menu or to make reservations, visit reservations/ or call 864.271.0046.


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Everything they wanted it to be

Both Gary and Diane enjoy creating dishes in a large kitchen, the centerpiece of which is a double island, covered with quartzite and offering bar seating on one side and very ample preparation area on the other.


Hilltop home is a gem in The Reserve at Lake Keowee story by Brett McLaughlin photos by Rex Brown SPRING 2016 › 67

{above} Screens can be raised automatically to provide an unfiltered view of the lake from the outside living area where there is a complete kitchen, with a large grill, separate Kamato Joe grill, sink and refrigerator. A television, comfortable seating and access to a firepit overlooking the lake just steps off the porch make this a perfect gathering place. • {below} Water cascades over five falls as it makes its way from just outside the master suite to a small pond near the lakeside edge of the property. The Mohrs awaken to the sounds of the falls every day, sounds that can be heard throughout much of the home.



ary and Diane Mohr knew exactly what they wanted in a retirement home. They just never dreamed how much they would love it. Getting from the flatlands of Houston, Texas, where they both worked, to their current perch atop one of the highest hills in The Reserve at Lake Keowee required a few plan modifications. Some were more “major” than others. “We had long thought of Asheville as a potential retirement place,” Gary said. “Then we found out they have real winters. There’s a lot of difference between their 3,500 feet (above sea level) and our 1,000 feet.” In 2003 they decided to investigate the foothills, and there they found The Reserve and a culture and people they knew immediately would make their retirement house at home. “We looked at a lot of waterfront lots,” Gary said. “I wanted a waterfront home,” Diane added. “I’m from Long Island. I wanted to be able to sit on the dock and dangle my feet in the water. I wanted to have a boat right there that we could jump in and take off.” Then a Reserve representative took them a little further up the hill. When they saw the views from Fort George Way, they knew this was where they were meant to be.

“We saw the views, and they were spectacular,” Diane said. “We’ve been coming back ever since. We love the activities here, and we’ve made some great friends.” “We’ve got a boat in the marina,” Gary noted. “But this is what we see all the time,” Diane added, sweeping her arm across a panorama that includes views of several tiny islands, views of Lake Keowee for literally miles into the distance and, at its edges, glimpses of the Blue Ridge Mountains. With those images seared into their memory, the couple set about designing their home. “I wanted a waterfall. Gary wanted a theater,” Diane said. The couple compromised and included both in the plan. They presented an architect with a lot of ideas and a short list of “must haves” that included as many rooms as possible with lake views, a “Carolina lakestyle” that was not too rustic or too “lakey,” and a big kitchen. They liked stone and wanted to include wooden beams and barrel vaulted ceilings where possible. They worked with an architect and, eventually, builder Ridgeline Construction of Greenville, while continuing to live and work in Houston. “We had a lot of phone calls and photo Fridays,” Gary said. “We couldn’t wait for Fridays,” Diane added, “and to see all the pictures of how the house was coming.” Unlike most lake homes, one approaches the Mohr residence going up a hill. The drive is lined with lampposts and opens into a large bricked area in front of the stone and slate-roofed home. A three-car garage extends out on the right, while the main

entrance and a covered porch complete with rocking chairs, are to the left. Inside, across the great room, a wall of windows immediately draws the eye to one of the most expansive views of Lake Keowee to be found on the north end of the lake. The ceiling of the room rises to the top of the two-story home, adding to the view. A large radius window lends even more to the panorama. “Because we are on a point and up this high, we really have a 270 degree view,” Diane said. “From the (screened) porch you can actually see the cove that comes in behind (actually, across from the front entrance) the house. We just love to sit out there. We can see the sun come up in the morning and go down at night.” The “porch” is really an extension of the home’s living area. The screens can be raised automatically to provide an unfiltered view of the lake. There is a complete kitchen, with a large grill, a separate Kamato Joe grill, a sink, a television, comfortable seating, heaters and a small refrigerator that Diane calls “a beer keeper.” And, while they may not be “lakefront,” the Mohrs can access their outdoor living and entertaining area by simply stepping off the porch. A path leads to a natural gas fire pit and on to the waterfall. The headwaters are outside the master suite and are a gathering place for all kinds of birds that come to bathe early in the morning. The water then spills over several falls en route to a small pond. This is the view the Mohrs awaken to each day. The master suite offers another breathtaking view of the lake and features one of four gas fireplaces in the home. This one, however, is unique in that it is raised so that it can be seen from the bed.



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{above} Beneath an archway between the formal dining room and the kitchen one can access a refrigerated wine room through French glass doors. The room features a cork floor and individual compartments for up to 600 bottles of wine. • {below} This lakeside exterior view of the Mohr home provides a good perspective of the home’s screened living area (left), a large radius window in the great room and second-floor balcony accessed from the guest suite and Diane’s office (center), and chairs near the headwater of a falls that babbles outside the couple’s master suite.


“We wanted to be able to hear the water from our master suite, and we really can,” she said. “You can really hear it pretty much throughout the house,” Gary added. When meals are not being cooked outside, both Gary and Diane enjoy creating dishes in a large kitchen, the centerpiece of which is a double island, covered with quartzite and offering bar seating on one side and very ample preparation area on the other. Shades of brown and white quartz also cover countertops on either side of a 6-burner range. The kitchen also features a steam oven and a 72-inch, side-by-side refrigerator/freezer neatly hidden behind wood-paneled doors. Other than in the great room, the ceilings on the first floor are 12 feet. The couple designed additional storage and lighted display space above the kitchen cabinetry. That added space is accessed with a ladder rail in the hall area leading to a walk-in pantry, half-bath, large laundry room and the garage. (The ladder can also be moved to access older vintage wines in a nearby wine room.) Movie buff or not, the theater is impressive. If the 157-inch screen wasn’t enough, the room features added sheetrock and insulation to accommodate one of the first Dolby Atmos surround sound audio systems in the country. The Mohrs and their guests can enjoy screenings from two tiers of leather recliners with heated cup holders and catchy floor lighting. One of the home’s three barrel ceilings highlights a passageway from the formal dining room to the kitchen. » CONTINUED ON PG. 72

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SPRING 2016 › 71


Beneath the arch one can access a refrigerated wine room through French glass doors. The room features a cork floor and individual compartments for up to 600 bottles of wine. “We like wine,” Diane said with a smile. The master suite completes the first level. The room offers another breathtaking view of the lake and features one of four gas fireplaces in the home. This one, however, is unique in that it is raised so that it can be seen from the bed. A large walk-in closet and the master bath complete the suite. The bath features a massive tile shower with multiple heads, double vanity and a beautiful copper/nickel standalone tub. Up a cantilevered stairway, inspired by the Biltmore house, and beneath large decorative beams that create a vault-like atmosphere that dissects the entire house, one finds the guest quarters. There is a small kitchen and a living area that can overlook the great room or be closed off for privacy using “barn doors” on rails. The guest master features views of the lake and a walkout stone patio that extends the length of the second floor to Diane’s office. The hickory flooring used throughout the home is also present here. The bath features a tile shower and stand-alone tub. The second guest room also has its own bath and a notch window in the stone façade that affords guests a view of the cove. Gary’s “man cave” is also on the upper level. The room serves as his office and offers a magnificent view of the cove and distant mountains. A full bath, one of five in the house, adjoins the room, which also offers adequate wall space for Gary to display the 80 patents he obtained while working as a research engineer for Exxon. The second floor also features a fitness room with a view of the mountains. Diane’s adjacent office, which she refers to as “my cave,” shares a bath with the fitness room. Technologically, the home is unmatched. Lights, heat and security can all be managed from a mobile phone, including the built-in exterior lighting that illuminates the front of the house at night. “It’s everything we ever wanted it to be,” Diane summed up. n 72 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

{above} Gary’s “man cave” serves as his office and offers a magnificent view of the lake. • {below} From 1,000 feet above sea level the sunsets are unparalleled.

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15471 Wells Highway, Seneca, SC 29678 864.882.3583

SPRING 2016 › 73


READER PHOTO CONTEST WINNERS It’s no easy task to pick just one of the many incredible photos that we received in our second annual photo contest, but in the pages to follow we share the best of the best. Every picture submitted captured the beauty, vitality and the enjoyment of our magnificent lakes. Winning photos were selected from three categories — places, people & pets and nature — and because there were so many that we wanted to share, we have a bevy of honorable mentions. Get out your cameras and share a photo of lake living, big or small, that you’ve snapped while exploring our beautiful area. Whether you are an amateur or professional, we welcome your photos! In addition to the overall winner being awarded $500, Upstate Lake Living will publish the top three winners and honorable mentions in next year’s spring issue. We invite you to begin submitting your best shots now for next year at

1st Place » Places Category OVERALL WINNER


Cool Fall Fisherman by Russell Carlson, Salem Photographed on Lake Keowee

1st Place » People & Pets Category Paddleboard Catfishing by Carrie Garrett, Lake Keowee Photographed on Lake Keowee

1st Place » Nature Category The Expectant Mother by Howie Roesch, Pointe Harbor

SPRING 2016 › 75

Honorable Mention » Places Category COVER: Dawn at the Docks by Russell Carlson, Keowee Key

South Cove Fishing by Dave Desmarais, Port Santorini Crystal Tree by Howie Roesch, Pointe Harbor

Jocassee Kayaks by Russell Carlson, Keowee Key Emerald Bay Sunrise by Jim Brophy, Cliffs Keowee Falls South

Sunrise over Jocassee by Connie Caldwell, Keowee Plantation 76 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


Honorable Mention » Nature Category

A Who’s a What Your financial health matters by Alex Vassey, CFP® CRPS® | CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ Certified Retirement Plans Specialist™ | Investment Advisor

T Dahlia Days of Summer by Pam Turner, Keowee Key

The Monarch by Rylee Overfelt, Keowee Key

Turtle, Elizabeth Sheridan, Keowee Key

he mind of a four year old is an amazing piece of work. The questions and concerns that it creates are without a doubt astonishing. My little girl will often ask questions or make comments out of the blue that can take me a minute to respond. Over the years I’ve created a response that not only gives me a minute to think of a more appropriate response but can also lighten the mood for some of her deeper concerns. I’ve been annoying her with this response so often it’s almost automatic now. I simply respond by saying “a who’s a what”. Perhaps it just sounds funny but I catch a smile every time and usually hear an echo for a minute or two. A who’s a what? A who’s a what? In our house it’s just a funny response. On occasion I’ve seen that look in a client’s ALEX VASSEY eyes and know they’re thinking, “a who’s a what?” Many people believe that investing and retirement is overly complicated and have had that reinforced by advisors selling complicated and generally unnecessary products. Fear and greed tend to be the driving force for clients to leap into investment products that can complicate things. The fear of seeing an account value decline or the greed of wanting an unrealistic return are the usual culprits of getting into something that could create long term problems. The truth is that retirement and investing is only as complicated as you and your advisor make it. The amount of understanding for investments, investing and retirement widely varies from person to person so I’ve always tried to begin with the simplest approach. I like simple and I like sensible. There can always be factors that complicate financial planning and investing but there’s no reason to create more complications. If you’re thinking about retirement or are retired and you find yourself thinking “a who’s a what” find out how simple investing for and during retirement can be. I’m a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional at your local investment firm located in Seneca and Clemson and I’m here to help simplify your retirement. Let’s keep “a who’s a what” as just a funny response and not an actual step to retirement.

Seneca Office: 140 Bountyland Road Clemson Office: 133 Thomas Green Blvd, Ste. 200 P: 864.718.0600 | F: 864.718.0602 |

Radiant Cherry Blossoms by Howie Roesch, Pointe Harbor

Securities and advisory services offered through Commonwealth Financial Network®, a member FINRA/SIPC, a Registered Investment Adviser. Fixed insurance products and services offered through Financial Dynamics. Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards Inc. owns the certification marks CFP®, Certified Financial Planner and in the USA.

SPRING 2016 › 77

Honorable Mention » People & Pets Category

Hard Day on the Lake by Connie Caldwell, Keowee Plantation

Dogs Life on Keowee by Kathleen Riley, Waterford Pointe

Catching Air On Keowee by Bob Ridge, Crestview

Foggy Morning Fishing by Judy Ledford, Seneca Morning Sunshine Morning Sunshine Morning Sunshine

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PowerView Pebble available inrequired seven colors. *The PowerView App and is additional equipment required for programmed operation. operation. ©©2015 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used hereinused are the property Hunter Douglas. *TheThe PowerView App and additional equipment for programmed 2015 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks herein areofthe property of Hunter Douglas. The PowerView Pebble is available in seven colors.


*The PowerView App and additional equipment required for programmed operation. © 2015 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas. 54397 78 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING *The PowerView App and additional equipment required for programmed operation. © 2015 Hunter Douglas. All rights reserved. All trademarks used herein are the property of Hunter Douglas.

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Open Mon-Sat 10am - 6pm SPRING 2016 › 79

The General is a gem Resort course among Fazio’s best designs story and photos by Bill Bauer

Hole 9 at Barnsley Garden Resort is a monster par five that brings you out of the woods and around a lake. The same layout awaits golfers starting the back nine, before returning them to a wooded setting for the finishing holes.


Number 14 at The General is signature-like and gorgeous. An elevation drop of over 90 feet disguises its true distance, but clubbing down allows one to reach a soft green resting in a bowl-like setting and guarded by a pair of bunkers.

rince Fugger of Germany was undeniably pleased with the success of his 1988 to 1992 restoration of The Barnsley Gardens at Woodlands. So much so, that he decided to create a prestigious resort on the remaining acreage that would continue to attract visitors worldwide. Seven years later he opened the Barnsley Gardens Resort, home to one of the most sought-after golf courses in the Southeast. Named “The General,” after one of the trains in NE Georgia’s historical Great Locomotive Chase, the Jim Fazio design has placed the Barnsley on Conde Nast Traveler’s list of Top Golf Resorts of the Southeast. Fazio chose a 378-acre parcel of land on which to create a golf course that would blend into Barnsley’s landscape. Using native plants and following the natural rises and falls in elevation, Fazio personally supervised a layout that pays homage to the resort’s original vision. It has been said that a golf course should be designed to hold a player’s interest from the first tee to the last green, and Fazio’s layout is up to the task. At 7,200 yards from the tips and 5,450 from the most forward tees, the design offers a challenge for every level of golfer. The first two holes, par 4’s just under 400 yards, are dogleg lefts. They play into a valley setting that has the feel of a Scottish links course. Mounded fairways will catch your eye from any of the four tees, as will significant bunkering at each bend. Leaving the number two green, the course takes on a different look as it enters a hardwood forest and climbs quickly to the first of what many players say is the best collection of par 3’s in the Southeast. You suddenly find yourself surrounded by rounded, mountain peaks and towering trees that define each fairway until making the turn at the Woodlands Grill. Holes 9 and 10, both monster par 5’s, bring you out of the woods, around a lake and then send you right back in for a repeat performance on the back nine. While every hole can be a stiff challenge for the skilled SPRING 2016 › 81

player and require strategic play, accuracy and proper club selection, each remains playable for the average golfer. All four of the par 3’s are lengthy, ranging from 120 to 240 yards depending on your choice of tees. Numbers 8 and 14 are signaturelike and simply gorgeous. At 240 and 196 respectively from the tips, an elevation drop of over 90 feet disguises their true distance. Both play at least two clubs less to ample, soft greens resting in bowl-like settings below. Bunkers and drop-offs further protect the greens. Pausing at the tee box to take in the striking views of the surrounding mountains is a must before carefully descending to the putting surfaces. The General’s finishing hole is one of the par72 layout’s toughest par 4’s. While there are not a lot of water hazards that come into play throughout the course, a lake lines the left side of 18’s narrow landing areas and projects into a left bend in the bunkered fairway. A good drive from any tee box requires yet another good shot to a tiered, uphill green. Eighteen typifies Fazio’s design concept where each unique hole requires golfers to size up every shot whether standing on the tee or in the fairway. Named the “Best Resort Course in Georgia” by Golf News, The General lives up to its reputation. Manicured tees, fairways and lightning fast Bermuda greens as well as neatly trimmed, white sand bunkers give it a private club appearance. Practice facilities include a large putting green adjacent to a spacious lake and a driving range and chipping area. The Woodlands Clubhouse and pro shop is top-shelf in every category, featuring clubs and accessories, as well as the latest in golf attire. An indoor/outdoor dining area has a fully stocked bar.


The club’s staff caters to your every need. Playing The General at the Barnsley Resort is more than a round of golf — it is a golf experience that once encountered will leave you longing to return. n The Barnsley Resort is less than three hours away, located in Adairsville, GA, about 10 miles off I-75 north at exit 306. To arrange a tee time call the Golf Shop directly at 770.773.2555 or go online at The Golfer’s Getaway package, which includes an overnight stay and a full American breakfast, also includes two rounds of golf per person (based on double occupancy). Call The Barnsley Resort at 1.877.773.2447 for pricing and more information.

{above} Water doesn’t come into play too often on The General, but it does on the finishing hole. Typical of many holes on the Fazio-designed course, mounded fairways feature large bunkers at the bends. • {below} This is the view from one of the verandas at the Barnsley Gardens Resort in northeast Georgia. The golf course many of the rooms overlook is listed among the best in the Southeast by several travel publications and golf magazines.

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WAYNE HOBIN Premier Agent

Lake Homes Realty closed a phenomenal $174,000,000 in real estate sales in 2015. Visit and see what buyers see. Over 700,000 visitors in 2015. Visit for all Lake Keowee sales since 2008. Go to to see an example of the dedicated websites I create for each of my listings. Email to subscribe to my monthly e-blog on market conditions.

Call today for a FREE market analysis of your property WAYNE HOBIN Premier Agent LAKE HOMES REALTY



Salem, SC 29676

SPRING 2016 › 83

Contact your Local Oconee Federal Office to discuss our Exciting New Loan and Deposit Products.

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We remain consistent with our Core Values while focusing on new products and services to meet all of your Banking Needs. We look forward to introducing you to a friend that you have known for 92 years!


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MARCH 17-APRIL 10 THE ADDAMS FAMILY The Addams believe life revolves around death. Strange is normal, happy is sad, but a dinner with Wednesday’s boyfriend’s family turns out even stranger.

MAY 5-21 A PARTY TO MURDER Six people come for a weekend mystery game, but it takes a sinister turn with unexpected and terrifying conclusions.

MAY 10-11, 17-18 SECOND CHANCE Six weeks after the death of his wife, a man is visited by two beings that give him the chance to trade places with his wife and sacrifice his life for hers. Does he change it?


APRIL 15-17, 22-24 A RAISIN IN THE SUN Set on Chicago’s South Side, the plot revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts of three generations of the Younger family. The tensions and prejudice they face shape this American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.


APRIL 8-10, 15-17 RUMORS At a large, tastefully appointed Sneden’s

Landing townhouse, the Deputy Mayor of New York has just shot himself. Though only a flesh wound, four couples are about to experience a severe attack of farce. Gathering for their 10th wedding anniversary, the host lies bleeding in the other room and his wife is nowhere in sight. His lawyer, Ken, and wife, Chris, must get “the story” straight before the other guests arrive. As the confusion and miscommunication mount, the evening spins off into classic, farcical hilarity.


MARCH 3-6 AND THEN THERE WERE NONE Based on Agatha Christie’s best-selling mystery, this story is sure to leave the audience thrilled. Ten guests arrive on remote Soldier Island to find their host and hostess missing. A mysterious recording accuses each of them of murder, dooming them to demise in the method described by a nursery rhyme. Ten figurines on the mantel fall one by one as the guilty succumb to justice. With nine gone and one left, will the nursery rhyme find completion? Left in the hands of an avenger, will there be any survivors?

APRIL 8-23 A VISIT FROM SCARFACE When you write about gangsters, make sure to watch your back! In 1930s Hollywood, Ben Hecht writes a film about Al Capone and finds himself the target both of Hollywood censors and Capone’s men. He might just have a Hollywood hit on his hands if the hit on his back doesn’t go off first! From the writers of Don’t Cry for Me, Margaret Mitchell and Elvis Has Left the Building, as always, the humor is fast and the story is wild.


APRIL 22, 23, 24, 29, 30 & MAY 1 A SOUTHERN EXPOSURE This comedy-drama is set in a small town in present day Kentucky. It is the story of Britney Hurt whose idea of love is so unrealistic it could be lifted from the pages of a romance novel. Raised by Hattie, her sassy, Biblethumping grandmother with a cast-iron will, Britney stuns her family when she announces that she has fallen in love and is moving to New York. Soon after she arrives in the city, her dreams of a fairy-tale ending are dashed. However, it is in the midst of her heartbreak Britney begins to realize her own selfworth. But tragedy strikes and she is forced to return to Kentucky. In the end, and with their roles reversed, Britney and Hattie finally forge the type of relationship they once struggled to attain; one built on acceptance, friendship and the fiercest kind of love.


APRIL 15-24 LOVE, SEX AND THE IRS Jon Trachtman and Leslie Arthur are out of work musicians who room together in New York City. To save money, Jon has been filing tax returns listing the pair as married. The day of reckoning comes when the Internal Revenue Service informs the “couple” they’re going to be investigated. Leslie masquerades as a housewife, aided by Jon’s fiancée Kate. Complicating matters further Leslie and Kate are having an affair behind Jon’s SPRING 2016 › 85

upstate theatre back, Jon’s mother drops in unexpectedly to meet her son’s fiancée, and Leslie’s ex-girlfriend shows up demanding to know why Leslie has changed and won’t see her anymore.

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MARCH 15-20 CABARET Welcome to the infamous Kit Kat Club where the emcee, Sally Bowles, and a raucous ensemble take the stage nightly to tantalize the crowd and to leave their troubles outside. But, as life in pre-World War II Germany grows more and more uncertain, will the decadent allure of Berlin nightlife be enough to get them through their dangerous times? Come hear some of the most memorable songs in theater history.

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APRIL 20-24 THE SOUND OF MUSIC Be among the first to see this brand-new production of The Sound of Music. This version of the spirited, romantic and beloved musical story of Maria and the Von Trapp Family is sure to thrill audiences with a Tony, Grammy and Academy Award winning score.

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This engaging, theatrical docu-drama is about the growing white supremacist movement in America and the expulsion from “God’s Country” of non-Aryans by those dedicated to violent revolution.


APRIL 28-MAY 21 MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET (MAINSTAGE) Inspired by the true story, Million Dollar Quartet dramatizes the

upstate theatre impromptu jam session featuring Elvis Presley, Jerry Lee Lewis, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash and include the hit songs “Blue Suede Shoes,” “Folsom Prison Blues,” “Great Balls of Fire,” “Hound Dog,” “Whole Lotta Shakin’ Goin’ On” and many more.

MAY 26-JUNE 4 SELF HELP (MAINSTAGE) Norm Foster’s hilarious play about two struggling actors who reinvent themselves and their failing acting careers as self help gurus. Their marriage and their lives unravel in this uproarious farce as they try desperately to deal with dead bodies and nosey reporters while holding on to their newly found fame.

MARCH 10-20 JAMES AND THE GIANT PEACH (DOWNTOWN) Based on the beloved book by Roald Dahl, James and the Giant Peach is about a young boy who escapes his conniving aunts via a magical giant peach and discovers adventure, friendship and the true nature of family along the way.

UPCOMING EVENTS John Denver Musical Tribute starring Ted Vigil

Saturday, March 5 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $28.00, children 12 & under $14.00, group rate $24.00, Day of show tickets $33.00

Ted Vigil, one of America’s greatest John Denver tribute artists, pays homage to all the great John Denver songs: “Annie’s Song”, “Leavin’ on a Jet Plane”, “Thank God I’m a Country Boy”, “Calypso” and many, many more. Enjoy the music the world grew to love and walk out of this show feeling refreshed and joyous from the experience.

SteelDrivers (bluegrass) Saturday, March 12 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $28.00, children 12 & under $14.00, group rate $24.00, Day of show tickets $33.00 The SteelDrivers, a group of seasoned bluegrass veterans, bring their high-energy show back to the WCA! They blend country, soul, and other contemporary influences to create an unapologetic hybrid that is as old as the hills but fresh as the morning dew. This is new music with an old feeling.

Fantastic Shakers (beach music) Saturday, April 2 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $22.50, children under 12 $12.00, group rate $19.00 Day of Show tickets $26.00

Come dance the night away as the “South’s Finest Show Band” hits the WCA stage! South Carolina’s Grand Strand has become the band’s summer home and their hit single “Myrtle Beach Days” catapulted The Shakers to the top of the Carolina musical groups.

Ralph Stanley II (bluegrass) Saturday, April 16 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $22.50, children under 12 $12.00, group rate $19.00 Day of Show tickets $26.00 A legend in his own right, Ralph II has had 2 Grammy nominations and has 6 solo albums under his belt, along with the newly released and highly acclaimed duet album with his father titled “Side by Side”.

A Southern Exposure (play: comedy/drama) April 22-24, 29, 30, May 1 • Evenings 8pm, Sunday 2:30 pm Advance tickets $12.00, children $6.00, group rate $10.00 Day of Show tickets $14.00

A Southern Exposure is a comedy-drama set in a small town in present day Kentucky. It is the story of Britney Hurt who is raised by Hattie, her sassy, Bible-thumping grandmother with a cast-iron will and her two eccentric aunts. Britney stuns her family when she announces that she is moving to New York to live with her boyfriend. In the end, however, and with their roles reversed, Britney and Hattie finally forge the type of relationship they once struggled to attain; one built on acceptance, friendship, and the fiercest kind of love.

Seldom Scene (bluegrass) Saturday, May 7 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $28.00, children 12 & under $14.00, group rate $24.00, Day of Show tickets $33.00 Seldom Scene features the musical talents of Ben Eldridge, Dudley Connell, Fred Travers, Ronnie Simpkins and Lou Reid. Come hear bluegrass classics such as “Lay Down Sally,” “Old Train,” “Walk Through the World with Me” and “From this Moment On.”

Peter Rowan (bluegrass)

Saturday, May 21 @ 8 pm

Advance tickets $22.50, children under 12 $12.00, group rate $19.00 Day of Show tickets $26.00 Come join us as we welcome to the WCA stage Grammy-award winner and six-time Grammy nominee, Peter Rowan, a true Bluegrass music icon with a career spanning over five decades.

call for tickets


For more info on these & future events, visit Order tickets online or call 864-638-5277

You can also buy tickets at the following local merchants: The Wine Emporium in Keowee/Salem, H&R BLock-Dogwood Plaza in Seneca, Dad’s & Lad’s in Westminster, Community 1st Bank in Walhalla and the Walhalla Chamber of Commerce.

SPRING 2016 › 87

calendar of events MARCH 3 globalFEST – CREOLE CARNIVAL at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University, 7:30 p.m.; this program brings together three artists for a true “creole carnival” in a single night: Haitian singer Emeline Michel, Brazilian group Casaurina and Jamaican singer-songwriter Brushy One String; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/

MARCH 5 Dutch oven, hearth cooking returns to the Hagood Mill in Pickens County, 10:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. All students will be cooking, managing the fire and cleaning cast iron. The fire heats the cabin. There is no running water or electricity. Tuition is $75 and advance registration required; www. Ted Vigil, one of America’s greatest John Denver Tribute Artists, pays homage to all the great John Denver songs; Walhalla Civic Auditorium, 8 p.m.; for more information: Asheville Doll Show at the Western North Carolina Agricultural Center, Fletcher, NC 828.697.1414

MARCH 6 The Peking Acrobats, 3 p.m., Peace Concert Hall, Greenville. Using trick-cycling, precision tumbling, gravity-defying flips, crazy contortionism and much more, The Peking Acrobats are all about pushing themselves beyond normal perceptions of human capabilities. Tickets at 864.467.3000 or 800.888.7768 or online at www. Hendersonville Symphony Youth Orchestra: Symphony of Tomorrow concert. Bo Thomas Auditorium at Blue Ridge Community College. 4 p.m.; www.

MARCH 8 CU Symphonic Band at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University, 8 p.m.; prepare to be changed by the powerful and transformative music of David Maslanka’s; for tickets and 88 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

information: 864.656.7787 or http://www.

MARCH 12 The SteelDrivers: a group of seasoned bluegrass veterans — each distinguished in his or her own right — brings its high energy show back to the Walhalla Civic Auditorium, 8 p.m.; for more information: http:// Enjoy traditional blue grass music as local musicians gather at Table Rock State Park to keep this inspirational talent alive. Visitors are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and join in a jam session or simply sit back to enjoy the music with the lake and mountains as a beautiful backdrop; 2-6 p.m.

MARCH 15 Artist-in-residence Jenn Bostic will conduct a songwriting workshop at The Reserve at Lake Keowee, 4:30-6 p.m. at Founder’s Hall. A concert will follow on March 18 from 7:30-9 p.m. For more details or to sign up, contact Cathy Washburn, executive director of the Community Foundation at 864.481.4010 or

MARCH 17 Oconee Bell Nature Walk at Devil’s Fork State Park, 10 a.m. – noon; one-day advance registration required; fee; hike a one-mile long Oconee Bell Trail through the prespring forest and discover the story of the plant that has been the quest of botanists for over 200 years. Designed for ages 10 and older; for more information: http://www.

MARCH 19 5th Annual Seneca Half Marathon and 5K; 8 a.m.; race begins and ends at Shaver Recreation Center in Seneca; $1,000 cash prize to fastest half marathon male and female; T-shirts with early registration. For information visit Hagood Mill Third Saturday event from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. features Kids Fest, centered on kid-friendly activities such as learning to build and play a host of homemade folk instruments, as well as hand-painting Spanish Colonial horses. There will be concerts throughout the day as well as a talent show sponsored by the Young Appalachian

Musicians. Event also showcases the historic Hagood Mill and features a variety of local craftsmen and artisans who bring crafting traditions to life; $5 parking charge; visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket; on-site concessions available.

MARCH 22 The Reserve at Lake Keowee will host a Travelogue Series “Australia: It’s a lot more than Snakes and Kangaroos” with Leslie & Russell Desjardin; 4:30-6 p.m. at Founders Hall. For more details or to sign up contact Cathy Washburn, executive director of the Community Foundation at 864.481.4010 or SYBARITE5 at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; 7:30 p.m.; no ticket required; SYBARITE5 is turning heads throughout the music world with its dynamic performance style and eclectic repertoire from Mozart to Radiohead; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or

MARCH 26 Old Farm Days hosted by the Pendleton Historic Foundation at the Ashtabula Plantation, 2725 Old Greenville Hwy, Central; 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Visit

MARCH 27 Easter Sunrise Service, Chimney Rock State Park, 5:30 a.m. Celebrate the glory of Easter as a spectacular sunrise ascends over Lake Lure. This 60th Anniversary year will feature live music and breathtaking scenery; Chimney Rock, NC, 828.625.9611; www.

MARCH 29 PILOBOLUS at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; 7:30 p.m.; famous for its bold athleticism and creativity, dance ensemble Pilobolus has astounded millions across the globe by expanding the boundaries of modern dance; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or

APRIL 2 Come dance the night away as the “South’s Finest Show Band,” The Fantastic Shakers, hits the Walhalla Civic Auditorium stage,


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calendar of events 8 p.m.; for more information: http://

APRIL 2-3 The 39th Annual Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee will be held on the Village Green in Historic Pendleton, SC; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday, noon – 5 p.m.; admission is free (No dogs allowed on the Village Green
during Jubilee.)

APRIL 5 CU Women’s and Men’s Choirs at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; 8 p.m.; the Women’s and Men’s Choirs each perform repertoire from a variety of style periods; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/

APRIL 7 CU Jazz Ensemble at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; 8 p.m. The Ensemble presents an eclectic evening of jazz from big band standards and swinging classics to funk charts and original tunes; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/

APRIL 9 Enjoy traditional blue grass music as local musicians gather at Table Rock State Park to keep this inspirational talent alive. Visitors are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and join in a jam session or simply sit back to enjoy the music with the lake and mountains as a beautiful backdrop; 2-6 p.m.

APRIL 10 Clemson University Department of Performing Arts Pops Concert at Patrick Square; 5 p.m.; a variety of ensembles perform at the 17th annual “POPS” concert, the proceeds of which benefit the department’s scholarship fund. Bring a picnic to Patrick Square and enjoy good music. Lawn seating.

APRIL 12 Duke World of Energy hosts free entertainment in the form of Super Tuesday; event begins at 10 a.m.; visit: http://www. asp. CU Symphonic & Concert Bands at The 90 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; 8 p.m.; the two Clemson concert bands present a variety of modern and classic music by some of the most exciting composers of our time; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or http://www.

APRIL 14 The CU Singers, Clemson University’s premiere choral ensemble, performs literature from all stylistic genres; 8 p.m.; Brooks Center for the Performing Arts; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or http://

APRIL 15 Experience the excitement and artistry of Cirque Mechanics Pedal Punk, an acrobatic bicycle extravaganza; join for family fun at Imagination Station in The Brooks Center Lobby at 6 p.m. and stay for a dynamic show at 7 p.m.; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/ Rosanne Cash, 8 p.m., Peace Concert Hall, Greenville; Rosanne Cash is an artist and musician who is comfortable in her craft regardless of what she happens to be creating. Her 2014 album, The River & Thread features 11 songs she wrote with her long-time collaborator/husband John Leventhal that celebrate the rich landscape of the American South.

APRIL 15-23 Greater Clemson Blues Music Festival; 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. each day at various venues throughout Pickens County. Event showcases exceptional jazz, rock, reggae, gospel and roots artists. For the schedule at each venue, prices and more information about festival events, visit:

APRIL 16 The Reserve at Lake Keowee will host Emile Pandolfi and Dana Russell’s Cabaret, 7-9 p.m.; Founders Hall; for more details or to sign up contact Cathy Washburn, executive director of the Community Foundation at 864.481.4010 or foundation@reservekeowee. com. Jay Leno, 8 p.m., Peace Concert Hall, Greenville.

Bluegrass artist Ralph Stanley II has proven to be an accomplished songwriter and has 6 solo albums under his belt. At 8 p.m. he brings his accomplished style to the Walhalla Civic Auditorium stage; for more information: As a part of the Greater Clemson Music Festival Hagood Mill will feature “Roots of the Carolina Blues” featuring Freddie Vanderford and the Mill Billy Blues Band. For more information please visit www.

APRIL 19 4th Tamassee DAR School Benefit Golf Tournament, Cliffs Valley Golf Course; registration, 8 a.m., shotgun start, 9 a.m., auction and award banquet to follow; Captain’s Choice; for registration or more information contact: Judy Griffiths at or Peg Riley at Enjoy music from the stage as the CU Symphony Orchestra presents instrumental and vocal selections from opera, musical theatre and more with vocal ensemble The Blonde, The Brunette and The Redhead – featuring Clemson University’s own Lisa Sain Odom; 8 p.m.; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/

APRIL 22 The CU Percussion Ensemble features contemporary drumming and percussion from around the world, as well as music for marimba ensemble; 8 p.m. at The Brooks Center for the Performing Arts at Clemson University; for tickets and information: 864.656.7787 or Brooks/events/

APRIL 23 2016 Issaqueena’s Last Ride bike event; four route options of 100, 80, 60 and 30 miles; the ladies at St. Johns Lutheran Church in Walhalla will serve a light breakfast and a buffet for your post ride; to register visit ilrsc. com where you can either print the form or register online. Central Railroad Festival, 10 a.m. – 5 p.m.; features tours of the Central Railway Museum, local food, music and arts and

calendar of events crafts vendors, free entertainment and rides for children; for more information:

Community Foundation at 864.481.4010 or

Seneca Mud Run sponsored by whenlifesucks. org, with proceeds going to provide restorative care and holistic wellness coaching for military veterans and their families; Shaver Recreation Center; for more information: www.seneca.

A musical celebration of the Greenville Little Theatre’s 90th Anniversary. Enjoy musical highlights by your favorite performers from Les Miserables, My Fair Lady, Guys and Dolls, Man of La Mancha, The Music Man, Oklahoma and many more — all while taking a walk down Memory Lane. For tickets, www.

MAY 6-8

APRIL 30 Hendersonville Symphony Orchestra presents “From Vienna to Cologne” featuring Jorge Federico Osorio, pianist and the 2016 Young Artist Competition Winner; 7:30 p.m.; Blue Ridge Community College Concert Hall, Flat Rock, NC; 828.697.5884; www.

MAY 3 The Reserve at Lake Keowee will host flute and piano duo Astralis; 7:30-9 p.m.; Founder’s Hall; for more details or to sign up contact Cathy Washburn, executive director of the

MAY 6-7 Mayberry Days in Westminster, SC. Historic Main Street comes alive with faces, vehicles and characters known around the world from the 1960s television program The Andy Griffith Show; named one of the Top 20 Southeast Festivals for May 2016 by the Southeast Tourism Society, the event includes two Mayberry parades, pageants, games, events and family entertainment; for more information: or call 864.647.5316.

MAY 7 Seldom Scene, one of bluegrass music’s most enduring bands, returns to the Walhalla Civic Auditorium stage featuring the musical talents of Ben Eldridge, Dudley Connell, Fred Travers, Ronnie Simpkins and Lou Reid; 8 p.m.; for more information: http:// Cruise-In and Music on Main series begins in Pickens, SC. The first Saturdays of May and June will feature a different category of vehicle to showcase on West Main Street while a band performs on the Pickens Amphitheater stage.

MAY 7-8 Tour de Falls, DuPont State Recreational Forest, 9 a.m. – 2:30 p.m.; buses will be available in the parking lot on DuPont/ Staton Road to take visitors to High Falls, Triple Falls, Bridal Veil Falls and Lake Julia; buses are not handicapped accessible, no pets allowed, reservations not accepted; Hendersonville, NC 828.877.6527.

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SPRING 2016 › 91

calendar of events MAY 10

MAY 20

The Reserve at Lake Keowee Educational Series will host Harry Bodiford and a discussion of the Civil War History of Pickens County; 4–5:30 p.m.; Founders Hall; For more details or to sign up contact Cathy Washburn, executive director of the Community Foundation at 864.481.4010 or

Come welcome to the Walhalla Civic Auditorium stage Grammy-award winner and six-time Grammy nominee, Peter Rowan, a true Bluegrass music icon with a career spanning over five decades; 8 p.m.;

MAY 10-11 Blue Man Group, 7:30 p.m., Peace Concert Hall, Greenville; Blue Man Group is best known for its wildly popular theatrical shows and concerts that combine comedy, music and technology to produce a totally unique form of entertainment.

MAY 12 Bone-e-Fit fundraiser at Woodburn Plantation, Pendleton, SC.

MAY 13 Hosted by the Walhalla Area Chamber of Commerce and the city of Walhalla, Mayfest Art of Living is an annual festival celebrating the arrival of spring to the Upstate; 10 a.m. – 9 p.m.; food and craft and art vendors from the region. A Classic Car Show will also be held from 5-9 p.m. at Kaufman Square. Bearfootin’ Public Art Display reveal. Come see the bear revealed one by one at the First Citizens Bank Plaza. Music starts at 4:30, followed by the reveal at 5:15; free; 828.233.3216;

MAY 14 Enjoy traditional Blue Grass music as local musicians gather at Table Rock State Park to keep this inspirational talent alive. Visitors are invited to bring their acoustic instruments and join in a jam session or simply sit back to enjoy the music with the lake and mountains as a beautiful backdrop; 2-6 p.m.

MAY 19 Spotlight on Oconee sponsored by Greater Oconee Chamber of Commerce. For details visit:

MAY 19-21 The Reserve at Lake Keowee will host the BMW Charity Pro Am presented; open to the public daily. For more details visit 92 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

MAY 21 Issaqueena Festival in downtown Six Mile, SC. Food, arts, and crafts vendors line Main Street, with free entertainment for both adults and children. Hagood Mill Third Saturday event from 10 a.m. – 4 p.m. features Agriculture and Military Day with a local heirloom seed swap and demonstrators that will help with your growing needs as well as Revolutionary and Civil War re-enactors. There will be rifles and artillery discharges, as well as more modern military vehicles and weapons. Event also showcases the historic Hagood Mill and features a variety of local craftsmen and artisans who bring crafting traditions to life; $5 parking charge; visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs or a blanket; on-site concessions available.

MAY 28 Seneca Fest; 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.; rides, crafts and events downtown; fireworks at dark; for more information:

ONGOING Westminster hosts Music on Main on the first Friday of each month, April through October. The event goes on rain or shine, moving into the Westminster Music Hall if required. A cruise-in with old cars accompanies popular beach and Southern rock music. Jazz on the Alley, Ram Cat Alley in Seneca; every Thursday evening beginning April 2, 6:30 p.m.; features America’s touring jazz musicians. Cruizin’ on Main, antique car show and entertainment; first Saturday of every month, beginning April 2; NortonThompson Park, Seneca, SC. Third Thursday of each month, May thru September is Rhythm & Brews free

downtown concert in Hendersonville, NC; music starts 5 p.m., headline acts 7-9 p.m.; azalea parking lot along King Street; Historic Ballenger House tours and rentals: The Seneca Woman’s Club preserves and manages the Historic Ballenger House. To reserve a tour or your next event call Debbie, 864.324.8417 or Ruth, 864.882.7162. Visit online Oconee County Library used book sale is the second Thursday of every month in the basement of the Walhalla Library from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Hardback and paperback books (adult’s and children’s), magazines, books on tape, books on CD, records, CDs, games, puzzles and DVDs. Hagood Mill, 138 Hagood Mill Road, Pickens, hosts “corn grinding” days, rain or shine, third Saturday of every month from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. These minifestivals offer traditional arts, folk life and music. Regular demonstrators share their skills in milling, blacksmithing, cotton ginning, moonshining, spinning, weaving, bee keeping, metal-smithing, quilting, woodcarving, flint-knapping, chair caning, open hearth cooking and more. Hagood Mill, 138 Hagood Mill Road, has monthly “First Saturday” house concerts in the Visitors Building from noon to 2 p.m. and is open Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. to tour the grounds and pick up “mill products.” Guided tours available by appointment. The site is available every day during daylight hours to picnic or walk the nature trail. For information contact Hagood Mill at 864.898.2936 or Pickens County Museum at 864.898.5963. Silver Dollar Music Hall in Westminster, SC features open mic each Friday at 7 p.m. with regular pickers performing at 8 p.m. Clemson Area Storytellers monthly meeting is the 4th Tuesday of each month, 7-9 p.m., at The ARTS Center, Clemson, SC. Oconee Heritage Center hosts Stichin’ Together, from 1 to 3 p.m. on the 2nd & 4th Saturday of each month.

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“Shooting Docks” for Crappie


ith the spring crappie spawn emerging across the country, many anglers find themselves at a loss for where to start finding crappie that have moved from tributary creeks to their spawning areas. On many lakes, to find the best crappie holding spots you never have to leave the dock. Scott and Billy Williams of Cochran, GA find that many of the lakes they fish during the spring spawn are loaded with boat docks and, in turn, these docks are loaded with crappie. While many anglers may have never even heard of “shooting docks” to catch spawning crappie, Scott Williams said the tactic is hard to beat. Shooting refers to holding the bait, typically a small crappie jig, in one hand while using the other hand to hold the line tight to the spool of an open-bail spinning reel. “It takes a bit of practice,” said Williams. “You bend the rod over and hold the jig between your thumb and forefinger under the reel. Release the jig and simultaneously release the line, which slingshots the bait forward, parallel to the water, causing it to skip up under the boat or dock or whatever you’re shooting at. “During the spawn, the fish are coming out of deep water and into staging areas or spawning flats, so you want to be fishing the shallower docks,” Williams added. “Even a dock as shallow as three feet will hold crappie. Fish will get under them before the spring and then spawn under them, right up against the supports or any cover under


Learning the technique of shooting docks takes a little practice, but can pay off big in terms of fish being caught.. [photo courtesy of Philip Gentry]

them. Later in the season, as the water temperature continues to rise, the fish will move back out and we’ll be going out to docks that are in deeper water.” The reason crappie are so attracted to docks is that one boat dock can provide all the necessities of life for a spawning crappie and its new fry. The physical structure provides a place to hide from larger predators as well as a place for baitfish to gather. The supports, and often brush or bottom structure associated with docks, also provide a place for eggs to attach. Add in the shade provided by the overhead structure, and it makes sense that a boat dock has the potential to be a small crappie community. Boat docks come in two basic styles — floating and pier docks. The big difference is a floating dock has little or no support structure attached to the bottom. A pier dock has

vertical and, more often than not, supplemental diagonal and horizontal supports for stability. The two styles of docks fish differently. “I really like a floating dock because there’s nothing under it to get hung up on,” said Williams. “If the fish are under there and you feel any kind of catch or tension on your line after you shoot the jig up under there, you’ll know pretty well it’s a fish. The pier docks are a little more aggravating because of the cross bars. The floating docks are a little easier to shoot just because they can be a little bit higher off the water sometimes.” Williams said making a good shot is important, but what happens after the shot is just as important to detect bites. By using a 1/32-ounce rubber body jig, the bait sinks slowly and gives the fish a long time to look at the jig descending toward its protected area. “Any movement in the line, and I’ll set the hook,” said Williams. “Get the fish’s head turned out. After that, the fight is on.” Phillip Gentry is a free-lance outdoor writer who lives in Upstate South Carolina. He is also the host of Upstate Outdoors, an outdoor radio program aired Saturdays, noon 2 p.m. on 106.3 WORD FM. Contact Gentry at

SPRING 2016 › 95

A spring guidelines update DUKE ENERGY PERMIT UPDATES AND A QUICK REFRESHER ’ve covered Duke Energy’s dock and erosion control permit guidelines in the past, along with updates in subsequent issues, but it’s been a while and recent changes merit a refresher on the questions we’re asked on a regular basis. These changes and guideline reviews will pertain not only to new permits but also any changes that you may want to make to your existing structure.


DOCK AND RIPRAP UPDATES Effective Jan. 1, 2016, there are four changes that may be of interest if you are applying for a boat dock or shoreline stabilization permit soon: 1. Duke now requires each boat dock permit application to show the type of roof the dock will have (i.e. gable, hip). 2. Boat Dock and Shoreline Stabilization permit fees have increased by $50. The new fees now in effect are: Boat Dock Permits, $350, plus the Habitat Enhancement Fund fee of $500 for a total of $850. Shoreline Stabilization Permits are $100, plus the Habitat Enhancement Fund fee of $500 for a total of $600. If you are planning to have both boat dock and stabilization work done within the same 12-month period, you may apply for both at the same time. In this case, the stabilization fee of $100 and separate Habitat Enhancement Fund fee would be waived making your total cost for boat dock and stabilization permit $850. 3. Boatlifts intended to be mounted on the outside of a dock, as opposed to in the boat slip, now require a Dock Permit Application ($850 fee). A side tie boatlift with a cover is allowable, but will count towards the total square footage of the structure. Side tie lifts without covers will not be counted toward square footage. 4. Solar Panels are allowable, but will now require a new dock permit. Solar panels must be mounted flat to the roof structure. I have summarized information of the most common questions we receive about permits below. You can also access Duke Energy’s website for more detailed permit information (www. FAQ ON DOCK AND EROSION CONTROL PERMITS HOW DO I APPLY FOR A PERMIT? Print out the permit forms or submit them 96 ‹ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING

electronically, including the Construction Application and User’s Agreement, at Duke Energy Lake Services’ website. You’ll also see a list of other items you’ll need to include with your permit there. Or call and ask them to mail you a permit package. WHEN SHOULD I APPLY FOR A NEW PERMIT? You’ll need to apply for a permit before doing any of the following: building a new dock; reconfiguring, relocating, modifying or expanding an existing dock; shoreline stabilization. HOW LONG DOES IT TAKE TO GET MY PERMIT BACK ONCE I SUBMIT ALL MY INFORMATION? Response times vary depending on what you’re applying for and the time of year. Our experience is that it takes about four weeks to get a response on dock permit applications and about six weeks on shoreline stabilization. HOW LONG DO I HAVE TO PUT MY DOCK IN PLACE AFTER I RECEIVE MY PERMIT? Permits are valid for one year from the date on the approval letter. The dock must be installed within that time frame. Failure to install will result in the need to reapply for a permit. DO I NEED TO CONTACT DUKE ENERGY LAKE SERVICES AFTER MY DOCK IS INSTALLED? As a courtesy, your dock manufacturer may contact them, but you should ask to be sure. If not, you should contact them to inform them that the dock has been installed so that the final dock inspection can be performed. DO I NEED TO APPLY FOR A PERMIT IF I PLAN ON INSTALLING A BOATLIFT OR PWC LIFT? A boatlift is allowed within a slip of the dock without a permit. Dock owners are also allowed up to two PWC lifts along the side of a dock without a permit. Boatlifts installed on the outside of the dock will require a permit. WHAT IS THE MAXIMUM SQUARE FOOTAGE FOR A DOCK ON LAKE KEOWEE? The maximum square footage for a private dock on Lake Keowee is 1,000 square feet. The square footage is calculated by the dock, including the roof and walkway size. HOW FAR AWAY DOES MY DOCK NEED TO BE FROM MY NEIGHBOR’S DOCK? All docks must be at least 10 feet from the neighboring projected property line and a


minimum of 25 feet between docks. Any infringement of this rule requires an Encroachment Agreement signed by you and the neighbor, which remains valid for the life of the permit. WHAT IS THE HABITAT ENHANCEMENT FUND AND WHERE DOES THIS PORTION OF THE PERMIT FEE GO? The Habitat Enhancement Program, effective since Sept. 1, 2014, is a partnership between stakeholders and Duke Energy to develop and implement habitat management strategies that will improve habitat for fish and wildlife in and adjacent to lakes Keowee and Jocassee. As part of the habitat management strategy, a “Habitat Enhancement Fund” was created to fund these activities. The HEP will provide an effective means to promote continued protection and enhancement of fish and wildlife habitat at the Keowee-Toxaway Project and its watershed. The fund (managed by the Foothills Community Foundation, a nonprofit, independent nongovernmental organization) will be supported from payments by applicants approved to build, rebuild, expand or maintain a marina, individual private dock, stabilize shoreline, conveyance activity or excavate along the shoreline of Lake Keowee and Lake Jocassee. As I’ve mentioned previously, permit applicants must include two checks: one check made out to the Habitat Enhancement Fund and a second check made out to Duke Energy. Get ready to enjoy a great spring on our beautiful lakes. LAKE RESOURCES CONTACT INFORMATION • Lake Keowee: Duke Energy Lake Services, 1.800.443.5193, or • Lake Hartwell: 706.856.0300 or http:// • Kroeger Marine Construction: 864.882.7671 or Feel free to email me with questions you might have or any topics you would like to see addressed in future columns — dave@ Dave is President/CEO of Kroeger Marine Construction, which has excelled for decades, offering unmatched experience and quality in boat dock building, erosion control and boat lift installation.

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SPRING 2016 › 97

Lee Falls


lthough there is no official trail to this picturesque waterfall, the 75foot cascade had been labeled among the best in Oconee County by those who have followed a well-worn trail to its location. Hikers have been making the difficult, 1.5-hour trip from the trailhead off FS 715A, northwest of Walhalla, to Lee Falls for 170 years. It has made the trail easier to follow over time. Lee Falls on the Tamassee Creek lies in a hardwood hollow that shelters a host of botanical rarities, including Oconee Bells and bulblet. The falls also features a spray cliff that provides a quasi-aquatic habitat for amphibians, mosses and ferns to thrive in moist coolness. DIRECTIONS 1. From the intersection of SC 11 and SC 28 at Walhalla, drive north on SC 11 for 8.3 miles and turn left (west) onto Cheohee Valley Road. 2. Drive 2.3 miles and turn left onto Tamassee Knob Road. 3. Drive .5 mile and turn right onto Jumping Branch Road. 4. Drive 1.5 miles and turn left onto FS 715A, which is gravel. 5. Drive .5 mile to parking area on the right (just before small bridge over Tamassee Creek). 6. At the north end of the parking area strike out through the middle of the first of three fields, crossing creeks as you come to them. 7. At the end of the last field, the trail enters the woods. Hike through the woods for .3 mile and take the left fork, crossing a creek, and head toward the larger branch of Tamassee Creek. Hike another .2 mile and follow Tamassee Creek upstream to a point where the trail gets very rocky and obstructed. You are less than .2 mile from the falls. You may have to cross the creek several times depending on conditions. 8. Once you can see the falls, you should be on the south side, which is the best place to be to view the falls. 98 ‚ UPSTATE LAKE LIVING


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