Wednesday, March 23, 2016

Odd and Interesting Sights I've Seen

When I am out riding, I often spot odd or unusual things along the road.  Most are of interest, but, may not be worthy of a full-length posting here.  So, I accumulate them until I have several to tell you about.

Here are a few that you might want to ride to next time you are out, with directions to each. 

Jesus' Tomb
Gap Creek Baptist Church started in the 1840’s with a log structure and has gone through several reconstructions since then.  The next-to-last structure still stands, here:

The newest building, across the road from the earlier one, is about ten years old now. 

Some biker dude taking a picture of
the doors of the newer building.

The current church building was erected and finished by hundreds of volunteers from the area as well as from around the South, East, North, and Midwest.

Just across the parking lot, about where the bike is parked in the picture above, they constructed a rough replica of Jesus' tomb.  Remember that Jesus, God's Son, walked this earth as a man, was put to death by crucifixion, buried in a tomb, but then was resurrected on the third day.  By so doing, he took the burden of all believers' sins upon himself.

The tomb is not a perfect replica of the real thing, but it is a good reminder of it.  

Up the hill to the left of the tomb is a cross similar to the one used to crucify Jesus.

The congregation celebrates Easter, the day Jesus rose from the dead, with a sunrise service in front of the tomb.  And, there have been many inquiries about the tomb from passersby.  Whenever they can, the church staff describes the significance of the tomb, and why Jesus and the tomb are of central importance to believers.

Gap Creek Baptist Church
Marietta SC 29661

Another place that has a replica of Jesus' tomb is near Murphy North Carolina, at Fields of the Wood

Outdoor Baptismal Pool
There is another church I know of with something that you don't see every day.  Recall that the Bible says that we should be baptized as a symbol of our belief in Jesus as our Savior.  In fact, it says that we are to be baptized by full immersion, signifying our dying to sin and resurrection to new life.

Well, before churches had nice warm indoor baptismal pools, they used to baptize outdoors in lakes and streams.  They still do that in some parts of the world, and even in the United States.  This church built a concrete pool down the hill by some distance from their original building.  It was fed by a nearby stream, and has a series of bleachers nearby for baptism attendees to sit on.

Here you can just make out what it looks like:

In 2004, an Eagle Scout, Josh Putnam, now a South Carolina state representative, cleaned it up as his Eagle Scout project.  It is pretty grown up around it now, but it is still recognizable.  The pool is just above center in the above photo.

There are several bleachers set back 15 or 20 feet from the pool for onlookers of the baptisms. 

That is a view from the second row of bleachers, with the pool outlined in blue.

Here, you can see the steps down into the pool. 

Can you imagine how cold the water must have been, it being fed by a spring-fed stream?  You would certainly have to be committed to your faith to be immersed here.

This is a photo, probably from the early 20th century.  The edge of the concrete pool is visible at the bottom, with several people standing in the pool.

That is some crowd of people attending and rejoicing with those being baptized. 

This is a view of the church building from the rear of the cemetery across the street. 

The pool is about as far behind the photographer as the church is away from him.

This little sign was erected when the area was cleaned: 

The Pool of Siloam has great significance in the Bible. It once was the only permanent water source for the city of Jerusalem. It also was, during the time of Jesus, a place where poor and sick people would come to bathe and be healed.

These clumps of red berries were about the only bright color when I went there.  

Siloam Baptist Church
229 Siloam Road
Easley, SC 29642

Street Corner Grave of Little Leila Howell
Little Leila was buried alone on a street corner in 1859.  She was only three and a half years old.  Not much is known about this little one.

Look how close to the highway her grave is, though the road was probably little more than a dirt track back then: 

The inscription reads: In memory of little Leila, inf[ant] dau[ghter] of Dr. W.S. and S.C. Howell who departed this life Mar. 20, 1859 aged 3 yrs 8 months and 26 days

Grave of Little Leila Howell
Piedmont Highway (SC-20) at Shirley Road
Piedmont, SC 29673

St. John's Anglican Chapel near Toccoa, GA
This little church sits alone on the side of the road.  It appears to have occasional services. There is no sign identifying it on the road, and the gravel parking lot is empty. 

The sign by the door identifies it. 

Another biker dude taking a picture.
It looks old, but there is a new foundation under parts of it, and a lot of the exterior has been stuccoed over.

I see another door around to the side, so I take a picture through the glass.

It is clean, orderly, and well kept inside.  I wonder when it is used.

I notice an outbuilding near the back.

A fancy privy with running water supplied by a barrel filled with rainwater from the roof. Clever! 

St. John's Chapel
River Road (State Road S-37-68)
near Greer Creek Road, 2.6 miles from where US-123 crosses into Georgia

Little Church Near Bad Creek
I have often visited Whitewater Falls, just across the North Carolina state line.  A few hundred feet south of the line is the road to the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Power Generation Facility and the Lake Jocassee overlook. 

If you need to stop for a few minutes of prayer, this little chapel might be a good place. 

Despite that fact that it is very well kept, it is a bit off the beaten path.

Right down the road is a miniature golf course, maybe for after-church recreation.  

Both are on Fisher Knob Road near the Bad Creek Pumped Storage Facility overlook onto Lake Jocassee.  The chapel and golf course are a little beyond the overlook, on a gravel road. Don't be going too fast past the overlook -- the gravel road is on the right at the next left hander, and there is a gate across the paved road after that. The gravel is loose in places, but passable on street tires, with care. 

Itty Bitty Church Building.
There is a tiny church along the roadside where the full size Whitmire Methodist Church once stood. 

The big church is long gone, but someone built a miniature so others would know where it was. The stone marker explains it. 

Whitmire Methodist Church
Whitmire Church Road near Catfish Pond Road
Salem, SC

How about you?  Tell us about odd and interesting things you have seen when you are out riding. 

Previous "Odd and Interesting Sights" postings:


Williams said...

Great finds. I think the primary reason I fell in love with riding a motorcycle was because I too could explore different places I normally would have never discovered otherwise. :)

Robert Wilson said...

I agree with William, I know that I'm more likely to go down that road I've never been done on my bike. Some neat finds, thanks for sharing.