Less Traveled 2010

Tracy Pou

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Small Town Spotlight: Blackville

Posted 9/16/2010 12:12:00 PM

Diverse culture, historic sites and easy living lands Blackville in this week’s small town spotlight. Blackville was built around the railroad. Because the village served as an overnight stop along the railway that connected Charleston to what is now North Augusta, railroad businessman John Alexander Black decided to organize it as a town. In 1837 Blackville was established in Black's name.

While most of the town’s railroad tracks are gone, some remnants of Blackville's railroad past can still be seen. The old train depot, built about 1910, has been renovated and currently houses the Blackville Library. Visitors also can learn more about Blackville's history at the James H. Hammond Museum, which is run by the local historical society.

Blackville also is home to a small Mennonite community. The warm climate of the South and natural beauty of the Blackville area lured Mennonite settlers from out west. The Mennonites, whose religion is similar to the Amish, add an unexpected layer of diversity to the area.

Visitors delight in their homemade crafts and dishes. Miller's Bread Basket serves up a variety of Mennonite meals that have become town favorites. Additionally there are a number of shops and other businesses that are run by Mennonite families. Lill Stoltzfus owns Lil's Herb Garden, which showcases a variety of plants and flowers. On that same property, there's a 1940s cottage that has been renovated and now serves as the Wisteria Cottage Bed and Breakfast. With no telephone, television or internet service at the cottage, Wisteria is the perfect place to unwind and detach from the hustle and bustle of every day living.

No trip to Blackville would be complete with a visit to the Healing Springs, which are about 3 miles outside of town. Visitors from all around travel to the springs, which many people believe have natural healing powers. Whether you're looking for history, unique shops, cultural diversity, or a little peace of mind, you'll likely find it in Blackville.

For more information on the area, see www.tbredcounty.org or call Joan McDonald with Blackville Historical Tours at (803) 284-3267.