History Museum of Travelers Rest

History Museum of Travelers Rest The History Museum of Travelers Rest seeks to preserve and trace the connections from our past to enrich both our lives today and our movement into the future.
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Who remember’s a Kiddie Koop?  I remember, as a young girl, visiting a friend and there her little sister was in what lo...
05/16/2020

Who remember’s a Kiddie Koop? I remember, as a young girl, visiting a friend and there her little sister was in what looked very much like the chicken coop in our chicken yard. It took a minute for me to understand what was going on and I ended up asking Mother to clarify.

Kiddie Koops and Chimney Swifts
Amanda McNulty

With the popularity of backyard chickens and their accompanying living quarters, it might surprise some people to learn that in days of yore many children were kept in Kiddie Koops. In my family, every one of my siblings and older cousins spent perhaps as much time in a Kiddie Koop as in a regular crib. Developed in the early part of the twentieth century, it was a wooden frame on wheels with screen wire sides and a hinged top so it could be opened or closed. When you removed the mattress, it folded flat and was easy to transport in the large trunks of the spacious sedans of those days or eventually in the ubiquitous station wagons every mother drove.

Before air conditioning, one joy of this contraption was that mothers could put babies out in the fresh air on the wide, wrap-around porches so many Southern houses had, and the screen kept mosquitoes from biting the child. One time a beloved mother of seven children, revered in her community and across the state, told me that she loved having a baby in the bedroom when they went to their very old-fashioned beach house (i.e., with lots of chinks and places for bugs to get inside) because mosquitoes would bite the baby at night and not her!

Besides keeping bugs out, another “safety” feature of a Kiddie Koop was that as it had no railing other children couldn’t climb in and attempt to “care” for a younger sibling. My mother once found me feeding baby vitamins to my sister who was in her traditional crib that I had scampered up into. Apparently, the mixture was sweet and very tasty as Kappy was delightfully swallowing every stopper full I deftly squeezed into her mouth (we were only 18 months apart).

Additionally, children couldn’t throw their pacifier, bottle, or themselves out either if the top was closed and latched. And as there were no vertical rails, children couldn’t get their heads caught between them which did tragically happen periodically in traditional cribs. One drawback was that certain children learned how to use an abrupt forward and backwards jerking motion to propel the light-weight, wheeled contraption. My brother, Billy, became an expert in traveling from room to room while everyone else was napping. Momma said she and one of the several nurses she had helping her with her late in life brood would have to take out the mattress and flatten the device as they couldn’t figure out for the life of them how he got it through the bedroom door.

When I was expecting my first child in 1981, I, of course, had to have a Kiddie Koop. My own family’s had been loaned out to a relative with no request for its return. Once my father got a “boy,” the need for Momma to have more children after the age of forty, considered really old in the early 1950’s, was no longer an issue. Fortunately, Aunt Mae had one stashed in her attic on Heyward Street, and we hauled it down, had a new mattress specially made (it didn’t use a standard crib-sized one), and set it up in our “old” old house on Pou Street (the “new” old house is on Catawba Street) in Saint Matthews.

We didn’t have medical insurance so I had all my children as out-patient delivery, usually leaving two or three hours after the baby came. The Kiddie Koop came in handy as I could put the baby on a sunny spot on the porch to help reduce elevated bilirubin levels common in children after birth; with the top closed the sunlight could penetrate the screen but no irritating insects or perhaps curious anole or cat could get inside.

The Pou Street house was a simple Victorian cottage that, like the Catawba Street house, never had much updating since it was built other than adding electricity and indoor plumbing. My husband’s paternal grandfather, Mr. Wimberly, built it as a home for his first wife and three daughters, and they lived there until he made money in a mercantile business, Banks and Wimberly, and built a great big house in a fashionable part of town. The Pou Street house wasn’t underpinned, was raised off the ground, and had only a single floor, no subflooring, although it was beautiful heart pine. Back in those days, it got very cold in the winters and many nights I went under the house with a flashlight to drain and turn off the water. Written in chalk on the supporting sills were the names Blanche, Inez, and Addie, the three daughters who had no doubt, like many Southern children and animals, often played or rested in the cool shade under the house on hot summer days.

Every room had a wood-burning fireplace, none of which we used as the chimneys probably needed repair and we couldn’t risk using them as a heart-pine house will burn up in a heartbeat. The rooms did have lovely paneled doors, wide baseboards, and trim around the fireplace and prominent mantles. When I was expecting our second child, Edward painted the baseboards, trim, and mantle to look like King of Prussia marble, a technique done with a feather. We got the room all fixed up, brought the Kiddie Koop out of storage, and set it up in our bedroom ready for the new baby. Although I had pre-natal counseling due to my advanced age, I never let them tell me the gender of the baby. If you don’t know if you’re expecting a girl or a boy, even if you dearly hope it’s one or the other, when the baby comes you are so thrilled that you aren’t disappointed. The Wimberly family was extremely pleased when Conrad came as he was the first male Wimberly born in 43 years; sadly for them he has no interest whatsoever in having children at this point in his life, and is happy living in Oakland, California, working as a coder, becoming a Muay Thai expert, and surprising his mother with a tattoo on his arm, drawn by a roommate, of a tombstone with “Mom” written on it. I take it as a compliment as he said, “I’m not a rose kind of guy and I chose you over Papa.”

Pou Street was noisy. The railroad track was half a block away and the house actually shook when the train roared through town. We slept in the front rooms of the house, the porch of which was only about fifteen feet from the sidewalk. It was a distinctly low-income neighborhood and in those parts of town there were never sidewalks on both sides of the street; often there no sidewalk at all, as contrasted with the “nicer” neighborhoods. A slum landlord had moved lawnmower sheds and other derelict structures farther down the street from us which he sold on the installment plan to families with very little income. We were between that “development” and the grocery store so there was nearly a constant cacophony of loud voices as those neighbors, nearly all without cars, walked right in front of our house to go to the Piggly Wiggly or convenience store, both half a block away. One night there was a gunfight in the street. The people next door had dogs on chains inside a fence and they barked hysterically whenever pedestrians passed by. When I went over one night to beg them to silence their animals, after they finally heard me knocking over the noise of their television, they told me they’d just gotten the news that the husband’s grandmother had bitten her tongue and drowned on the blood. It was all a far cry from growing up in Forest Acres, a suburb of Columbia.

And then there were the chimney swifts. After overwintering in South America, these birds return to the Eastern half of the United States and parts of Canada to mate and raise young. Although purple martins are celebrated as amazing aerialists, chimney swifts actually spend more time on the wing as the anatomy of their feet doesn’t allow them to perch. Originally, they used their long toes to cling to the sides of hollow trees or caves during their nightly rest. With the advent of chimneys, they quickly found those structures perfectly accommodating for both their nesting sites (usually one per chimney) or communal homes where hundreds of unmated birds may congregate in a single chimney.

A mated pair breaks off small twigs in flight and using glue produced by a special salivary gland assembles a loosely constructed nest in the interior of a chimney. The chicks, four or five in number, are fed regurgitated insects during the day by both parents.

We had chimney swifts’ nests in our Pou Street bedroom chimney every year we lived there. In the daytime, there was a happy stream of high-pitched cheeps when the parents were feeding their young, which was a lovely coincidence to me if I were propped up nursing a baby at the same time. In the evening, all parents and babies hoped for an uninterrupted night’s rest.

One night, Conrad was fretful, and I had repeatedly gotten out of bed and walked over to the Kiddie Koop to comfort him. Finally, at last, he drifted back to sleep and I was trying to do the same. All of a sudden, there was a huge commotion in the shallow fireplace. The nest holding the baby birds had come loose from the bricks, and the babies were now strewn across the hearth. Conrad was awakened by the noise as were Edward and I. We got a shoe box out to hold the fledglings and tried to get all the young, avian and human, settled. As I lay in the bed listening to peeps from the distressed parents and baby birds and mewling sounds from Conrad, I distinctly remember thinking, “This is more than I signed up for.”

The next morning, Edward put the box holding the babies atop a tall cabinet on the back porch, as we read that sometimes the parents would find and feed them after such an incident. It was a balmy day and Eliza Frezil, my five-year old, and I went out to play. Conrad, too, was in his box, the mobile Kiddie Koop, moved to the same porch, with his screen top closed, isolating him from the flies and mosquitoes that the other infants had relied upon for sustenance.

Here is my old Kiddie Koop. Over the years with my children, who played in after they outgrew it, we’ve managed to lose the wheels and the top is who knows where in storage! Maybe one day someone I know will want to use it and we’ll refurbish it to its original glory.

05/13/2020
Devildog Football

Congratulations to our Spring athletes! Go Devildogs!

Spring Sports 2020!

Dad loved redbirds and they would gather in the quince bushes at the edge of the lawn.  So pretty.
05/13/2020
The Legend of Reappearing Cardinals | Appalachian Magazine

Dad loved redbirds and they would gather in the quince bushes at the edge of the lawn. So pretty.

HistoryLegend and Tall TalesNature The Legend of Reappearing Cardinals By AppalachianMagazine - May 13, 2020 0 3 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Public domain photo of Northern Cardinal in Kentucky The northern cardinal, also known simply as the “redbird”, is one of the most recognizable and ...

03/26/2020
Travelers Rest High School Athletic Hall of Fame

Many of us know this history but some may not.

As our nation today deals with the Covid-19 pandemic, our thoughts and prayers are with Devildog Nation and families as this affects all of us.
We also want to remember what happened 75 yrs. ago today as a source of encouragement and strength, and proof that the American Spirit still exists.

Today our nation honors and remembers the 75th Anniversary of the end of The Battle of Iwo Jima (19 February – 26 March 1945). The 36-day battle for Iwo Jima resulted in more than 26,000 American casualties of whom Coach Bolin was one, including 6,800 who gave their lives in sacrifice for our country. “Operation Detachment” as it was officially called, saw some of the fiercest fighting in the Pacific. 27 U.S. Military personnel were awarded The Medal of Honor for their actions, including 22 Marines and 5 Navy Sailors.
Knowing this history and the valor of many Americans, it is very important as Devildogs that we remember and never forget who Coach Dean “Chico” Bolin was. He is not just a name on a football stadium or a plaque on a ticket booth or a name in an Athletic Hall of Fame trophy case. Coach Bolin was a real person who answered his country’s call to service, was wounded, and served honorably as a United States Marine.
Coach Bolin passed away on May 31, 2007 and left us a great legacy to remember and uphold. It is also important that the young people of our community and town never forget who he was and that his sacrifices made him into the man, teacher, coach, administrator and leader who influenced the lives of so many students. We are the Devildog because of him. We have great traditions and history. We are the Blue & Gold and those are our colors. Our interlocking TR and Devildog logos that Coach Bolin created stand for something. Our community and town are forever linked together with our High School. One School, One Town & Community, & One Goal. We are TR and our best is yet to come.

This would be an important thing to do!!!
03/13/2020

This would be an important thing to do!!!

Do you have photos of old buildings, churches, and groups in Greenville? Help us tell Greenville's story and make an appointment to have them scanned by a Librarian and leave a lasting image to be preserved in the Library's Digital Collections.

https://www.greenvillelibrary.org/digitize-greenville

This is a most interesting article by Jennie Jones Giles about the Watershed that was published in the Hendersonville pa...
03/08/2020
Reminiscing about Life in the Watershed | Henderson Heritage

This is a most interesting article by Jennie Jones Giles about the Watershed that was published in the Hendersonville paper back in 2005. I saw it on another page recently, then could not find it but with the amazing abilities of Google, here it is. It tells of a way of life that has all but died out and how the area in which it existed has dramatically changed. Some of you will recognize names and places and a way of life you were made aware of by your elders.

Reminiscing about Life in the Watershed The following story was published in the Hendersonville Times-News on July 25, 2005. To view the photographs published with the story, visit http://www.blueridgenow.com/article/20050725/NEWS/507250318 By Jennie Jones Giles Effie Russell and her sister, Lessie....

When you are out roaming around in those old country cemeteries you may wonder why there are so many tombstones with dea...
02/28/2020
How the Horrific 1918 Flu Spread Across America

When you are out roaming around in those old country cemeteries you may wonder why there are so many tombstones with death dates in 1918. Here’s why. Many of us have family who died in this pandemic. This is a long read but very interesting.

The toll of history’s worst epidemic surpasses all the military deaths in World War I and World War II combined. And it may have begun in the United States

Mr Gilliam was the band director at Travelers Rest High School for years.  He had a profound effect on many students and...
02/25/2020
Ralph Gilliam Obituary - Roswell, GA

Mr Gilliam was the band director at Travelers Rest High School for years. He had a profound effect on many students and there are always stories shared about being in the band. We appreciate his guidance through our high school years.

Celebrate the life of Ralph Gilliam, leave a kind word or memory and get funeral service information care of Roswell Funeral Home.

Y’all are going to enjoy this.
02/14/2020
A Textile Art Gallery by Edith McBee Hardaway - Manufacturing in South Carolina

Y’all are going to enjoy this.

SCMFG's feature "Spools & Widgets" is proud to present the artwork of Edith McBee Hardaway. She captures our state's textile past with a unique style and technique that we are proud to showcase in this gallery. If you wish to learn more about Edith and her work, contact her today. Edith McBee Hardaw...

We’ve been able to utter this a lot lately!  The skies around here have been beautiful.
02/05/2020
The Truth Behind Old Saying: Red Skies at Night Sailor’s Delight… | Appalachian Magazine

We’ve been able to utter this a lot lately! The skies around here have been beautiful.

HistoryNatureOld Ways & Memories The Truth Behind Old Saying: Red Skies at Night Sailor’s Delight… By AppalachianMagazine - February 5, 2020 0 115 Share on Facebook Tweet on Twitter Photo courtesy of Christian Thiergan Though the only person I ever knew who could come close to being described as...

Some of you do not know this .  When you hear someone talking about the Big Brown Box this is what they are referring to...
01/25/2020

Some of you do not know this . When you hear someone talking about the Big Brown Box this is what they are referring to. Many of us attended concerts, wrestling, the circus, Furman Basketball games and a host of other fun events here. It was in Greenville but it was a huge part of our Travelers Rest lives.

Greenville Memorial Auditorium (Photo source and date unknown)

Well, I knew this.  That S.C. history class in college accomplished something!  This is an interesting little tidbit of ...
01/25/2020
Only In South Carolina

Well, I knew this. That S.C. history class in college accomplished something! This is an interesting little tidbit of S.C. history.

Well, this comes as a bit of a surprise.

Address

3 Edwards St
Travelers Rest, SC
29690

General information

Open Saturday and Sunday 1PM to 4PM Admission free

Opening Hours

Saturday 13:00 - 16:00
Sunday 13:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(864) 834-2160

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Renfrew Bleachery Men’s baseball team 1939
The Cole family enjoying our old Annuals at the Travelers Rest Museum today.