SPRINGS PARK, LANCASTER COUNTY, S.C.
Unfortunately this will not be posted for some time due to some problems. Sorry, one of the unfortunate circumstances of urban exploration.
Well, not lost. I am sure that someone knows where this is. It’s another one of those weird little side trips I get to take from time to time. Sometimes you just have to leave the road and turn off the GPS. I was told about this little treasure by a new friend that I made last week during our CITO. It’s not illegal to visit here, although this will soon be SCDNR land.
I enjoy visiting graveyards. Make any assumption you want. I find them (and this is probably a stupid statement) peaceful. I don’t find that kind of quiet anywhere else but in one of these outdoor altars to our loved ones. Their is such rich history and art in a graveyard. You don’t see headstones so intricately carved anymore. You don’t see the messages left in epitaphs like there used to be.
Time was we used to honor the dead. Times change. I know of several small cemeteries just like the one you are seeing here. It’s a shame that they are left to the wilds like this. A shame and at the same time very interesting. There are soldiers buried here. Mothers. Fathers. Brothers. Sisters. Sons. Daughters. Never take this for granted.
There is an old epitaph that goes:
Stop stranger stop,
As you pass by.
As you are now,
So once was I.
As I am now,
You soon shall be.
Pray prepare to follow me.
Words to live and die by.
I know you may think it strange that I enjoy these places. Please know that it is from the appreciation of the history of my home state. And if any of these folks are family of yours, this is done with the utmost respect. Just trying to find a way to save a little history.
The Belhaven Memorial Museum is in many ways indistinguishable
from its countless local museum brethren. It has no money. It has no air conditioning.
It’s staffed by a nice senior citizen lady who would like to retire, but can’t
find anyone to take her place.
What makes Belhaven remarkable is that it holds the collections of Mrs. Eva
Blount Way, a seriously eccentric woman who simply couldn’t throw anything away.
Mrs. Way died in 1962 at age 92, and all the stuff originally in her home
was moved to the museum three years later. Her sprawling house, abandoned ever
since, crumbles on the outskirts of town. Prospective buyers are probably terrified
at the thought of what lies beneath its floorboards.
The UFO Welcome Center is a tourist curiosity located in Bowman, South Carolina, built in the back yard of Jody Pendarvis (b. 1951). It consists of a 42-foot wide flying saucer built out of wood, fiberglass, and plastic. The structure, entered by a powered ramp, is mounted on four columns, designed to raise and lower with motors. In addition to a labyrinth of mechanical and electronic salvage parts, the saucer is furnished with a bed, satellite television, air conditioning, toilet, and a shower. Pendarvis envisioned himself as being an ambassador to aliens and wanted to provide a facility where they could rest after a long journey on UFOs.
The saucer was built sometime in the late 1990s and became a local tourist attraction, with a $1 entry fee. The center was the subject of a 2001 segment in The Daily Show, in which Stephen Colbert presented a caricatured tour of the attraction. In 2003 Pendarvis added a smaller saucer, about 20 feet in width, to the top of the original structure and began living in the saucer during the summers when the saucer is cooler than his nearby mobile home. The admission price had risen to $20 by 2005.
This park is commonly referred by locals as “Haunted Harbor” here’s a brief history why. The park originated as a Wild, Wild West Theme Park in the 1960,s complete with Cowboys, Indians, gunfights and more. Located 4 miles south of Myrtle Beach on the old Highway 17, it was a novel attraction for its time. The first in many deaths occurred as a Stage Coach Ride tipped over and Killed one person while hurting several others. The park closed due to this and bad word of mouth. Another business group bought the park and turned it into a more traditional type of amusement area with classic rides. This too turned to tragedy as a worker at the park, broke into the park managers office shooting him with a gun while robbing that day’s money take. Again, the park changed hands and the company that owned “Blackpool Pleasure Beach” bought into the park. A lot of money was spent turning the old grounds into a Great, New European Themed British Amusement Park. One of the biggest Ferris Wheel’s in the world was added as well as a Log-Flume, Teacups, a steel Roller-Coaster called the “Black Witch” while all new buildings and midways were created. It was truly a beautiful place as it was located above a lake with a campground (still in use) on the other side of the lake. The grounds were thickly wooded and the grounds had several man-made lakes centered around a games area. A Sky-Ride carried park patrons to and from an island located on the lake. Once again, a dark cloud appeared as a young women stood-up on the “Black Witch” coaster and was nearly decapitated, she died. The park had struggled to make it and this only caused more people to refrain from visiting. Blackpool wanted to pull out and again, the park grounds and buildings were put up for sale, the rides removed and sold off. The grounds began to take on a sinister look for several years. Senior Citizens from the local RV park used several walkways in the park to exercise while the water slides in the parking lot were operated by a local person as a separate attraction. But the grounds looked just like a Haunted Town. In the mid 1990’s, a Carnival Ride Company took lease of the park grounds. They put in several portable rides like a Sky Diver, Sooper Loop, Himalaya while the buildings and grounds were spruced up and given a new coat of paint. The former Pretzel ride building was converted into an Arcade though. The “New” park opened to great fanfare and fireworks on Memorial Day Weekend, but without Major Theme Park type rides, attendance soon went downhill. After two months, several rides were taken away to go to a large State Fair up North, by the end of the season, all the rides were gone, the lights turned out for the last time.[Black Witch Roller Coaster] The city, realizing that the buildings were a fire hazard, bulldozed everything the following year. “Family Kingdom”, in Myrtle Beach now has the top of the famous Lighthouse Steeple that used to grace the parks parking lot. The grounds still remain vacant, awaiting a new beginning or another use possibility? Or yet another tragedy? It’s no wonder while locals refer to the park as “Haunted Harbor”.
This article was copied form the Defunct Amusement Parks Website from an article written by Bret Malone.
The set for the movie, The Abyss, was left in place in Gaffney, SC due to cost of taking it down. Does anyone have any information regarding the place? The following is copied from another site but is a great account of someone else’ urban exploration.
From A Screen Near You
Underwater scenes were filmed in the containment building of Cherokee Nuclear Power Plant (35.037° N 81.512° W), an unfinished nuclear power plant near Gaffney, South Carolina, in the United States. It took 26.5 million liters (seven million gallons) of water to fill the tank to a depth of 13 meters (40 feet), making it the largest underwater set ever. The depth and length of time spent underwater meant that the cast and crew had to sometimes go through decompression.
And another account:
Now, after coming all this way, I wasn’t just content with taking photos. No, I hoped the fence and started off to plant my feet on Edoras (the place was deserted, and miles from anything). Unfortunately I had some unforseen obstacles – namely various arms of river that passes Mt Sunday. The first bit, no worries, shoes and socks off and trousers rolled up tp my knees I waded across. I put shoes and socks back on. Then next two arms were much bigger and closer together though, in the end I had to go a long way up to cross wider, shallower bits, walking about with bare feet, looking rather like a hobbit what with my big, reasonably hairy lumps of meat. Finally I had to climb to the summit, easy to start with, but then I went up the near vertical bit and I was huffing and puffing and sweating like a pig by the time I crested the top. I lay down before exploring. Unfortunatley there is no evidence of the buildings – part of the deal the production company did with the DOC (dept of conservation) was to clear up behind them. So I contented myself with taking more photos and standing on the very spot Meduseld was built. Then I noticed a car coming down the track. I hid and dug out my monocular from my pack. It stopped at the gate, after 10 mins watching two people who obviously didn’t know what they were doing either, I started to make my descent. Then I saw another car, staying low I watched it past. Then I made the dash down from Edoras. I had spotted an easier, more direct route from the vantage that Mt Sunday offered, so off I went, down the road that leads to Edoras (I assume built for the production). I crossed the first bit sans shoes and socks. The second bit was deeper (and fater moving), but I couldn’t be bothered looking for another crossing, so off came the trousers and I crossed in my boxers (very refreshing in ice cold river water, especially as it wasn’t a particularly hit day). Made it back to the car okay. The other car that had stopped by the gate had gone. After the event I thought how much trouble I could have been in, if I was caught, but it’s definitely left me with an interesting tale.