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Monday, July 31, 2023

Things To Do In The Old 96 District, SC part 2

If you are looking for a family friendly, history rich, festivals galore vacation and want plenty of things to do, see and eat, look no further than the Old 96 District, SC.

If you are traveling by car to this or another fun destination, read our post, Getting The Car Ready For A Road Trip, before you go.

Me and daughter, Lisa, had a chance to come back to the Old 96 District in South Carolina a few weeks ago. We were here for the first time last July. We had a fantastic time on our first trip so we were very excited to visit again.

Last year we spent time in two of the five counties that make up The Old 96, Abbeville and Greenwood. This time, we wanted to spend at least a little time in the three counties that we hadn't gotten to on our first visit, Edgefield, Laurens and McCormick. 

Edgefield County

We spent most of our first day in The Old 96 in Edgefield. The first thing we did when we got here was look for the farm that sells the peaches someone told us we had to try. We found Titan Farms but learned when we got here that only wholesale orders were sold at the farm.

It was worth the little detour to come here, though, to see where these delicious peaches grow.

We were told we needed to go to Sara's Fresh Market so that's where we headed.

We are not kidding when we tell you that these were the most amazing peaches we have ever eaten. We needed a ton of napkins to sop up the juice that was pouring out of them and the texture was perfect. 

We made some hand pies out of these delicious peaches when we got to the Airbnb in Abbeville. Find the recipe here at Lisa's website.

Next on our list of things to do in Edgefield was to visit the National Wild Turkey Federation's headquarters and museum. They were out to lunch so the museum was closed. We walked around their grounds and took some pictures.

There is a trail behind the building but that was closed with a sign warning us about "Firearms In Use."
You don't have to tell us twice!

So we were off to our next stop, the Old Edgefield Pottery and that was closed for renovation. This was really disappointing as we were excited to see this store and museum. Old Edgefield Pottery uses local materials and has been creating stoneware since the first decade of 1800.

We noticed these pumpkins behind the pottery shop. We wondered if they were made by the potters.

You can find the Old Edgefield Pottery shop in downtown Edgefield and we noticed you can also find a lot of turkeys thanks to the NWTF. 

Some of them stood outside of the stores in Town Square and on those turkeys you could find the name of the store among the other colorful drawings on the turkey. This one stood in front of the restaurant we had lunch in, Edgefield Pool Hall.

The turkey that stands on the front porch of the Discovery Center is dedicated to Edgefield's claim to fame, the Ten Governors that called Edgefield home. Unfortunately the Discovery Center wasn't open but it would have been a nice place to learn about the history of Edgefield County.

The woman who nicely offered to take our picture by one of these turkeys told us that we needed to find the golden turkey. She told us that it was painted gold to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the National Wild Turkey Federation. It took a while, but we found it!

There were a couple of places we read about before we came to downtown Edgewood that we wanted to find. For one, we were looking for and found the Carolina Moon Distillery. Lisa was hoping to find a souvenir here to bring back to her husband, Pete.

At the center of the Town Square we found the statue of one of the most popular Edgefield natives, Strom Thurmond, the last of the Ten Governors. He stands facing the Edgefield County Courthouse.

After our turkey hunt and tour of downtown, it was time to stop for a late lunch at Edgefield Pool Hall before we headed out of Edgewood. We heard they had the best burgers in the South. We found the restaurant and were looking at their menu when a gentleman came up to us and told us that "everyone goes in there for the burgers. They have good burgers." When we asked him which burger he had, he told us he didn't have a burger, he had a hot dog. He gave the hot dog a good review which I was happy about because after looking at the menu, I was ready to try the chili and slaw dog!

On our way out of town we stopped by Magnolia Dale. This house was built in 1843 and is the second house built on this property. The first house was actually the home of the first residence of Edgefield. The Magnolia Dale is currently the home of the Edgefield County Historical Society. We found out, when we got here, that we needed an appointment if we wanted to take a tour.

We also stopped at the Ten Governors Rail Trail. This would have been a fun way to learn about the Ten Governors but it was getting late and we needed to get to Abbeville to check into the Airbnb at a decent hour. We decided we will put this on top of our things to do list if we ever get a chance to come back to Edgefield.

We enjoyed our few hours in Edgefield. We would love to come back one day to explore more of the county and the things we didn't have time for this trip. But mostly we want to come back to get more peaches!

Click here for more things to do, see and eat on your Edgefield County, SC vacation.

McCormick County

McCormick County is the smallest of the five counties and the Town of McCormick had the smallest downtown of all the towns we visited in The Old 96 District.

We were hoping to see an art exhibit at the Historic Keturah Hotel where the McCormick Arts Council operates from but it was closed for renovations.

So we headed to the next thing on our list, the Red Rooster Antique and Art shop. There was so much to look at in this store and me and Lisa both wished we knew more about antiques to appreciate what we were looking at.

Another interesting sight to see in this small town is the McCormick Train Station. It is a historic train station built around 1911. It is now the home of  SC Wilds Heritage Center.

Trains stopped running in this area in the 1970's. The Savannah Valley Railroad Trail resulted when the unused railroad tracks was repurposed through the "rails to trails" movement. It is a 9.4 mile one way hiking and biking trail. We hiked a small part of it.

Before this town was known as McCormick, it was named Dorn Gold Mines. William Burkhalter Dorn searched and eventually found gold in this area. We read that we could pan for gold at Heritage Gold Mine Park so we headed over there but found out that it is only open a few times a month.

This small county has three large state parks.

We went to Hickory Knob State Park. Being a camper, I was curious to see the campground in this park that sits along the shore of Strom Thurmond Lake.

We saw campers fishing and found out that there are are kayak and canoe rentals for even more ways to enjoy the lake. In fact, the park and campground amenities are numerous, including a pool and restaurant. There is a lodge and cabins here to rent if you don't have your own RV or tent to camp in.

Although McCormick County is a small county, it does have lots to offer. I would love come back to camp at Hickory Knob State Park one day!

Click here for more things to do, see and eat on your McCormick County, SC vacation.

Laurens County

We visited Laurens County on our way home from The Old 96 District. On our way to downtown Laurens, a gas station on the opposite side of the street, caught our eye. At the same time, me and Lisa turned to each other and said "Did you see that?" We made a U-turn and headed to the station.

We parked and got out of the car to take pictures of the gas station that didn't get the message that we were not living in the 1950's anymore. 

The owner of Nostalgic Filling Station, Rich Kuhnel, saw us from his house next door and was nice enough to come out and talk to us, even though it was just starting to rain. He told us about how he bought this station 20 years ago. He told us that the station originally opened in 1930 but had been closed since 1954. It took a couple of years and lots of work for Rich and his wife Cindy to restore the gas station to what it might have looked like back in the day.

Rich was nice enough to invite us into the building behind the gas pumps where he sells antiques he's acquired over the years.

This phone really works!


I couldn't leave without buying this Betty Boop. My mom loved her!

We enjoyed talking to Rich, looking at his antiques and learning a little about him and his racing career. The amount of trophies on display told us that he must have been a very skilled driver!

It was pouring when we left the gas station but we had umbrellas so we headed into town to check out Laurens' Main Street.

It was Sunday and everything was closed but we were determined to see the town even though it was raining so hard that the umbrellas were not much help in keeping us dry...

until a clap of thunder that had to be right over our heads, it was that loud, sent me running to the car with Lisa yelling out behind me that she needed to see something she spotted down the block. I thought she was crazy and I was scared for her life, because where there is thunder there is also lightening! But she made it back to the car safely and we were off to our next destination, Battle of Musgrove Mill State Historic Park.

We would have loved to walk the l.5 mile Battlefield Trail here. I did jump out of the car to look at the first sign on the interpretive trail. But it was pouring so we decided it wouldn't be any fun doing it in the rain.

We drove through the park looking for Horseshoe Falls (which is actually not in Laurens County so not a part of the Old 96 District). We wanted to at least see the falls while we were in the park. We spotted some water and went to look.

We, or I, did slip in the mud a couple of times but we got close enough to take this nice picture of Lisa. It wasn't the falls though.

It took us a while, we drove in and out of the park a couple of times, before we finally did find the falls and it was worth all the time it took to find them. We saw some brave souls enjoying the falls even though it was still raining, but not as heavy as before. On a nicer day, we would have taken off our shoes and joined them!

We definitely want to come back to Laurens since we feel like we didn't really have much of a chance to enjoy it. We will have to make sure we come back on a day when it is not raining and not on a Sunday!

Click here for more things to do, see and eat on your Laurens County, SC vacation.

Read more about our visit to The Old 96 District in part 1 of this 2 part series.

Have you been to The Old 96 District? Which county did you visit? We would love to hear about the time you spent there.


  1. Amazing, those peaches does look outstanding.
    Thank you for sharing your links with us at #272 SSPS Linky. See you again next week.

    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

    2. They were SO good!! Thanks for hosting your nice party every week!

  2. It sounds like you had a good time despite not having been able to see everything you wanted to due to so many places being closed. Those peaches though, mmm, I want some! #MMBC

    1. I was so disappointed when I bought peaches when I got home from SC. I am going to have to plan another trip next summer because I can't stop thinking about how delicious those peaches were! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Looks like you had a lot of fun despite the rain, and all of the closed businesses! Darn it! We would love to have some peaches up our way. The ones at the grocery just do not cut it. I would have loved the filling station, and all of his antiques! That is what I am always on the hunt for. Thank you for sharing Cathy!

    1. We can't get good peaches in NC either. I have an excuse to go back to the Old 96 since everything was closed in Laurens but the first stop I am making is to Edgefield for the peaches!

  4. Those peaches sound amazing! I think those turkeys are so cute and that waterfall looks fabulous.

    1. The whole trip was fun but the peaches, hunting for turkeys and finding the waterfall were definitely some highlights!

  5. This looks like such fun! I love peaches, I just actually had some sugar peaches with vanilla ice cream this weekend. I bet it would be amazing with these peaches! Thank you for linking up with Tell It To Me Tuesday, I hope to see you again this week!

    1. Sugar peaches with vanilla ice cream sounds delicious!

  6. What a wonderful place to visit!
    How fascinating to see where the peaches grow. They look amazing!!
    The turkeys really are a big thing in that town, how wonderful! It sounds like a great trip!

    1. It was a fun trip. Thank you so much for stopping by to take the virtual trip with us.

  7. Shame you had to make an appointment to visit Magnolia Dale and that the peaches were only available as whole sale. Love the potters pumpkins, wonder why they were just 'there' We have a 50's petrol pump outside a house near where we live, not in use anymore though

  8. forgot to add thanks for linking with #pocolo

  9. Oh wow! Old 96 District, SC looks an amazing place to visit. So much to see and do. Thank you so much for showing us around and joining in with #MMBC. Hope you join us again! :)

  10. I love that you shared
    Things To Do In The Old 96 District, SC part 2 with Sweet Tea & Friends this month. Wow, there's sure a lot to do. And I just love your photos.

  11. Your photos look amazing, it's worth to visit and enjoy with family and friends...

    1. There is so much to do in this area. Your family will have a great time here!