Ten at the Top to Hold Connectivity Workshop in Pickens County

Ten at the Top to Hold Connectivity Workshop in Pickens County

September 17, 2019 [Greenville, SC] — Ten at the Top (TATT) invites members of the Pickens County community to participate in a community workshop focused on “Next Steps for County Connectivity: Messaging, Marketing, and Mobility.” The workshop will be held on September 30th from 12:00–2:00 p.m.

The workshop is one of 10 county workshops TATT is holding across the Upstate in 2019 as part of the 10th anniversary year for the organization.

“We’re very excited about the response we’ve had to the ten county workshops so far,” said Ten at the Top executive director Dean Hybl.

“Connectivity can have several different meanings, and that’s reflected in the content of this workshop, from different municipalities within the county working collaboratively to crafting a cohesive message to transportation and mobility,” Hybl continued.

Pickens County Council Chair Roy Costner said, ““We are excited to see local business leaders, elected officials, and county residents come together to talk about the future of Pickens County.  Our county has exceptional people in each community who help to make Pickens County a natural destination for education, business, entertainment, and exploring the outdoors. This event will open a dialog on preserving what we have while planning for our growing future.”

The workshop will touch on various meanings of connectivity, from a unified county identity and message to aspects of transportation and mobility. State Representative Neal Collins and Costner will set the context for the need for connectivity, talking about the Pickens United initiative. Janet Hartman, interim Executive Director of the Oconee Economic Alliance, will then talk about how to craft a cohesive county message; and Keith Moody, general manager of Clemson Area Transit/CATBUS, and Keith Brockington, Transportation Planning Manager with GPATS, will address connectivity from a transportation/mobility focus.

The Pickens County Workshop is free and open to the public, but advance registration is requested. Lunch will be served starting at 11:45 a.m., with the meeting starting at noon. You can register for the event here.

About Ten at the Top

Comprised of public, private and civic leaders from across the ten-county Upstate South Carolina Region, Ten at the Top was created to connect and encourage regional collaboration through data-driven research and regular convening of leaders and citizens to address key issues facing the region. Ten at the Top works with regional partners to foster collaboration and strategic planning to enhance the economic vitality and quality of life for Upstate residents both today and as the region continues to grow. For more information, visit www.tenatthetop.org.

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Where Every Quilt Tells a Story

The Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail, Where Every Quilt Tells a Story

It all started in 2009 with one quilt square mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla.

The Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce had a ribbon cutting for their new quilt square on September 13th.

Today, the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail has more than 250 quilt panels mounted on barns, businesses, homes, and public buildings across Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. One of the most recent squares was mounted on the building of the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce on September 13th—a replica of a mid-19th century quilt pattern known as Noon Day Lilies.

The idea was based on similar quilt trails in Ohio, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Oconee County was the first county in South Carolina to embrace the quilt trail concept after a group of dedicated citizens came together to establish the Oconee Heritage Quilt Trail in an effort to promote Oconee County. The first quilt square was sponsored by the Wynward Point Ladies Group and was mounted on the Oconee Heritage Center in Walhalla in the fall of 2009.

The quilts are unique designs and each painted quilt panel is a copy of an existing quilt that usually has some historical connection with the sponsoring family or organization. The quilt panels are painted by volunteers on weather-resistant wooden panels using quality outdoor paint.

The tagline of the project is, “Every Quilt Tells a Story, and Every Story Leads to a Discovery”—and the stories of each quilt can be found on the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail website. The current owner of the quilt that is replicated on the Greater Easley Chamber of Commerce comes from several generations of Pickens County residents; the quilt was a prized possession of her grandmother, the daughter of a circuit rider preacher who established several churches in the area.

Resting Place, by Gail Sexton, is at 306 Main Street in Pickens

Another quilt, called “Resting Place,” is the design of Gail Sexton, who made her first quilt in 1971 but did not begin quilting in earnest until the mid-1980s. So, while many of the quilt squares have a historical significance, others are the creations of contemporary quilters who have taken an interest in keeping the art form alive.

A pdf map of the quilt trail, along with GPS coordinates, can also be found on the website. Please keep in mind that these quilt squares are on private property and should be viewed and photographed from public roads. Many owners may allow a closer look if you ask their permission.

A festival celebrating the 10th anniversary of the Upstate Heritage Quilt Trail—called the Airing of the Quilts—will be held in downtown Westminster on October 5th.

Article by Sherry Jackson, with updates by Sharon Purvis

Revolutionary War Sites in the Upstate

Revolutionary War Sites in the Upstate

Did you know that there were more battles and skirmishes fought right here in South Carolina than in any other colony during the Revolutionary War? And you can visit the sites, immersing yourself in our state’s—and our country’s—history.

Kings Mountain National Military Park

Dubbed “the turn of the tide of success” by Jefferson Davis, the battle of Kings Mountain was the first major patriot triumph after the British invasion of Charleston and was an important American victory. The significant battle took place on October 7, 1780 and although only an hour long, it changed the course of the Revolutionary War.

The 4000-acre park is one of the largest revolutionary war sites in the country. Located near Blacksburg in Cherokee County, the park features a 1.5 mile battle trail, an exhibit area, and a 26-minute film that shows every 45 minutes.

The park is free and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. (it stays open until 6:00 p.m. on weekends Memorial Day through Labor Day).

Cowpens National Battlefield

The battle at Cowpens was a major victory for colonial forces and was key to the surrender of British Commander Cornwallis that ultimately led to the end of the war in 1783.

The 845-acre park features a Visitor’s Center, the battlefield area, a walking trail, and an auto loop trail.

Check the web site for fees, hours of operation, special events, and park holidays.

Ninety Six National Historic Site

This site actually is home to two Revolutionary War battle sites that claimed the lives of over one hundred settlers. The first Southern battle of the war was fought here. The Visitor’s Center has a twenty minutes film which depicts the battles and an exhibit gallery.

The Visitor’s Center is free and open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. except for New Year’s Day, Christmas Day, and Thanksgiving Day. The grounds are open daylight to dusk.

Check the web site for fees, hours of operation, special events, and park holidays.

Historic Brattonsville

This is considered to be one of the most important and heavily visited historical sites in South Carolina. With over 775 acres and 30 buildings, it’s steeped in Revolutionary history.

The Battle of Huck’s Defeat was an important event in the Revolutionary War and was fought at Brattonsville. In 1780, a British Legion under the command of Captain Christian Huck was dispatched by loyalist Lieutenant Colonel Turnbull to destroy Whig militia camps in the area. Huck was also given instruction by Turnbull to capture Colonel William Bratton (and others) who had just returned home to enlist more recruits for the war. The Whigs heard of this plan, rallied against the British soldiers and won the battle, killing Captain Huck in the process. This battle is believed to have revived the morale of the people in South Carolina and was the beginning of a series of victories including battles at Kings Mountain and Cowpens, which eventually led to the British surrendering at Yorktown in 1781.

Historic Brattonsville, located in York County, is open Tuesday through Saturday: 10 a.m. until 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. until 5 p.m. Keep in mind, though, if you are going on a Saturday, the interpreters usually leave around 3 p.m. Check the web site for admission prices and special events.

Musgrove Mill State Historic Site

The battle that took place at Musgrove Mill on August 19, 1780 was a short (about 30 minutes) but very bloody battle. In fact, Isaac Shelby, a Colonel who fought both at Musgrove Mill and Kings Mountain stated in his memoirs that the battle at Musgrove Mill was the fiercest battle in which he ever fought. The brief battle was between a small detachment of Colonial Patriots and a larger group of British Loyalists. But despite the odds, the Patriots were victorious and the battle was considered an important turning point in the war.

The park is free and is open daily from 9:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m.

Oconee Station State Historic Site

There were no revolutionary battles fought at Oconee Station, but its claim to fame is that it served as a military compound and trading post. The stone blockhouse was used as an outpost by the South Carolina State Militia from 1792 until 1799 as is the only remaining building of the fort Oconee Station.

Walnut Grove Plantation

Located near Roebuck, this plantation was established in 1765 from a 550-acre land grant. The Moore family, who owned Walnut Grove Plantation, were active Patriot supporters and allowed the militia to muster there during the war. Loyalist William Cunningham killed three Patriot soldiers sheltered at the plantation in 1781.

Walnut Grove is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. and on Saturdays from 2:00 p.m. until 5:00 p.m. They are closed Mondays and holidays and hours change November through March so it’s best to check their website for hours and admission fees before you visit.

Also, as you are driving around, be on the lookout for historical markers. There are 495 U.S. Revolutionary War historical markers in South Carolina alone. For a complete list, visit the Historical Marker Database.

by Sherry Jackson

Position Announcement: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director

Position Announcement: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director


Position Title: Upstate Mobility Alliance Director
Status: Full-time, salaried, exempt position
Location: Office located in Greenville, South Carolina, but scope is the 10-county Upstate
Application Deadline: September 27, 2019

Who We Are:
Ten at the Top (TATT) is a regional organization that works to develop strategic partnerships and enhance the collective capacity across the 10-county Upstate South Carolina region on issues that impact economic vitality and quality of life.

In June 2017 TATT began convening a group of transportation service providers in the Upstate with the ultimate goal of enhancing the movement of people and goods across the region. This effort now includes public, private and nonprofit partners.

Over the last two years, the group has developed the Upstate Mobility Vision, identified specific mobility themes, and a set of actionable strategies to support the vision.

The first actionable strategy is to develop the Upstate Mobility Alliance, which will serve as the convening and coordinating entity for advancing the Upstate Mobility Vision. The Alliance includes interested stakeholders from the public, private and non-profit sectors and has a leadership team as well as four task forces.

Whom We Seek:
The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director will be a prominent voice illustrating the valuable role mobility plays in the overall success of the Upstate while also promoting collaboration and community investment around mobility initiatives. The successful candidate will be highly motivated, engaging, and able to build connections with a wide range of stakeholders. The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director is an external facing position, but will also have responsibility for program and task force management.

Ideal Experience:
As the lead staff member for the Upstate Mobility Alliance, the Director will have an interest in advancing mobility issues across the Upstate region. Additional requirements include:

  • Minimum of five years of full-time experience at a management or supervisor level
  • Proven track record of consensus building as well as developing and implementing initiatives that address specific objectives
  • Experience in public speaking and articulating an organization’s mission and vision
  • Ability to manage multiple projects or initiatives simultaneously
  • Knowledge of South Carolina’s Upstate region with specific understanding of mobility and transportation in the region being desired, though not required
  • Proficiency with Microsoft Office products (Excel, Word, PowerPoint)
  • Understanding of general government processes
  • Knowledge of existing grants or other funding sources for transportation in South Carolina
  • Experience writing briefings, strategy documents, initiative summaries and related materials
  • Well organized and detail-oriented
  • Bachelor’s Degree

Key responsibilities:
The Upstate Mobility Alliance Director will be a staff member of Ten at the Top and report to the TATT Executive Director. Responsibilities include:

  • Lead day-to-day operations of the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Coordinate the efforts of the Alliance Leadership Committee and Task Forces, to include: organizing meetings, working with the co-chairs on meeting content, facilitating meetings, and leading follow-up and next steps
  • Participate in external mobility meetings and serve as the primary spokesperson representing the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Conduct presentations and regular updates on the Upstate Mobility Alliance to interested stakeholders across the Upstate
  • Develop and implement strategies to increase awareness of and participation in the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Coordinate regional mobility events developed as part of the Upstate Mobility Alliance
  • Build relationships with key stakeholders within the mobility network across the Upstate
  • Project management of task force initiatives
  • Communicate with the Ten at the Top Executive Director and Board of Directors on the progress of the Alliance
  • Participate in fundraising activities to support the Alliance as needed
  • Write reports, white papers, summaries and support material
  • Provide content for and support the web site and social media platforms
  • Write and coordinate the mailing of correspondence to funding partners and stakeholders across the Upstate
  • Other duties as assigned

Personal Characteristics:
The successful Upstate Mobility Alliance Director candidate should be:

  • An individual who believes in working across jurisdictional and stakeholder boundaries to address issues that impact our region
  • Eager and able to learn, understand and work on a broad array of issues; reflective, with strong conceptual, critical, and creative thinking abilities
  • Approachable, knowledgeable, and able to develop meaningful relationships with diverse stakeholders
  • Comfortable receiving input from many sources and able to analyze and formulate disparate information into a sound, well-organized plan
  • Professional with a demeanor demonstrating empathy, humility, respect, good judgment, cultural sensitivity and flexibility to represent the Alliance in diverse forums and organizational relationships
  • Able to serve as both a “leader” and a “doer” in working with the leadership team and task forces to produce results-oriented outcomes\
  • Flexibility to travel across the Upstate and participate in occasional evening meetings and events

Ten at the Top offers a competitive salary and benefits package including health insurance, paid vacation & holidays and a cell phone stipend. The expected salary range for this position is $75,000-$90,000, but will be finalized based on the experience of the selected candidate.

Application Process:
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter to Dean Hybl, Executive Director, Ten at the Top at dhybl@tenatthetop.org. Resume and cover letter must be received by September 27, 2019. In your cover letter, please address the following questions: 1. Based on the job description, why are you a good fit for this position? 2. What appeals to you about being involved with achieving the vision of the Upstate Mobility Alliance? We anticipate conducting initial phone interviews with selected candidates followed by in-person interviews. Candidates will be notified by email of our acceptance or decline to schedule an initial phone interview by October 14th.

Fall Farmers Markets Across the Upstate

Fall Farmers Markets Across the Upstate

One of the best things about summer is the fresh produce at your local farmers market—juicy tomatoes, sweet corn, colorful peppers, refreshing cucumbers—and it’s a sad sign of the end of summer when they close up for the year. But don’t worry—there are some farmers markets in the Upstate that stay open through the fall and even into the winter, with lots of fall and winter vegetables like kale, winter squash, beets, cabbage, and more. So you can go from salad season to soup season, still using fresh, local ingredients!

The Mauldin, Easley, and Palmetto (in Williamston) markets closed at the end of August, although there will be one more Palmetto Market at the 7th Annual Homesteading Festival on September 14th.

Several markets’ summer hours extend through the end of this month: Clemson’s is on Thursdays through the 26th; Fountain Inn, Simpsonville, Travelers Rest, and Pumpkintown all have Saturday market hours through the 28th of September.

The Greer and downtown Greenville markets will continue their Saturday hours through October 26th. The Abbeville Farmers Market, which operates once a month, has four remaining market dates in 2019.

Although a lot of farmers markets do sell other items besides vegetables, meat, and eggs, Woodruff’s Farmers Market and Arts & Crafts Market welcomes a variety of vendors selling food items and non-food-related crafts each Friday from 2:00–6:00 p.m. through November 8th, and they officially end their season on November 15th with the Woodruff Christmas Stroll.

Gaffney Station Farmers Market’s summer schedule, with Tuesday and Thursday evening as well as Saturday morning, will continue for another week (through the 14th), and then it will only be Saturdays from 8:00 a.m. to noon through November. In addition to your usual farmers market produce items, Gaffney Station also sells other agricultural products such as Christmas trees, potted plants, ornamental shrubs, and firewood—and they are hosting a Farm to Table event at Old Paths Farm on October 12th (tickets can be purchased at the Gaffney Visitors Center & Art Gallery).

Hub City Farmers Market in Spartanburg runs its Saturday market through December 14th as well as mobile market stops through October 3rd. With its mission of increasing the supply of and access to healthy, local food in Spartanburg, HCFM also runs an urban teaching farm, a community garden, and a seed-to-table enrichment program for classroom students to learn about food cultivation. Helping to fund those initiatives is a Farm-to-Table dinner on October 17th.

Greenwood’s Uptown Market is open year-round (closed only on December 25th and January 1st), and they provide a handy chart showing produce availability by month. Starting in October, the market switches to winter hours—10:00 a.m.–1:00 p.m.—both on Wednesdays and Saturdays. The market awards $10 in Healthy Bucks for SNAP users per $5 spent, distributed on Wednesdays; also on select Wednesdays, healthy recipe samples are available, with recipe cards so you can prepare the dishes at home.

Farmers markets are one of the best ways to support local farmers—so even if your local market is closed for the season, why not take a drive this weekend to visit another one?

by Sharon Purvis


Historic District Puts History on Every Street of One Upstate Town

Historic District Puts History on Every Street of One Upstate Town

One Upstate town is situated completely within a National Historical District, so history—literally speaking—can be found on each one of its streets.

Located in the northwest corner of the Upstate, the Pendleton Historic District covers an area of over 6,300 acres and includes the entire town of Pendleton, its immediate surroundings and a large tract of land that stretches west towards Lake Hartwell. One of the largest historical districts in the nation, it was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970.

In all, the Pendleton Historical District includes more than a dozen historic sites, and over 50 buildings of eighteenth- and nineteenth-century significance remain, the majority of which are within the town limits of Pendleton.

The Village Green is used for a variety of community events.

A community of approximately 3000 residents, Pendleton remains relatively unchanged from when it was first laid out as the county seat of what was originally known as Old Pendleton District (present-day Anderson, Oconee and Pickens Counties) in 1790.

In the center of town, the charming Village Green, surrounded by a lively business district of shops and restaurants, serves as the focal point. Dogwoods line many streets, and massive cedars and oaks are dominant throughout the area.  

On one corner of the Green is Hunter’s Store, the heart of commerce in 1850 and now home to the Lake Hartwell

Hunter’s Store houses the Lake Hartwell Country visitors center.

Country visitors center. The commission, which serves a three-county region, houses a visitor information center as well as the largest collection of local history and genealogy north of the city of Columbia.

In 1826, construction began on Farmers’ Hall, which stands on the southwest corner of the Green. It was initially designed to serve as the then Pendleton District’s courthouse, but the county seat was moved before the building was completed.

Local farmers completed construction of the building as the Farmer’s Society Meeting Hall in 1828, and it has been in use by the organization ever since, making it the oldest continuously operating Farmer’s Hall in the nation. The historic building also features a restaurant – 1826 On The Green.

Farmers Society Meeting Hall

Events are held on the Green throughout the year, the most notable of which is the annual Historic Pendleton Spring Jubilee. Held the first full weekend in April, the Jubilee—which has become a sort of rite of spring—is an award-winning, juried art and crafts show that attracts thousands of visitors each year.  According to event organizers, over 300 artisans vie for each of the 100 coveted spaces.

Historic walking tours are available every 2nd Friday and Saturday of the month, and self-guided walking tour brochures of the town of Pendleton are available at the visitor center in Hunter’s Store.


Getting there:

Pendleton Historic District Village Green is located at 125 E. Queen St. in Pendleton, S.C.

Old Stone Church

Worth a look:

Located just outside Pendleton, the Old Stone Church and Cemetery and the plantation homes of Woodburn and Ashtabula, each of  which are listed individually on the National Register, are part of the Pendleton Historic District. 

by James Richardson