Alright, so maybe the brick factory was already dead, but now even its corpse is not long for the world. We've been to the brick factory before, and I've even said a little about the Hammond's Ferry development. But, as ground was officially broken in April for the first phase of the Hammond's Ferry riverfront project, which will render the entire area virtually unrecognizable in a couple of years, we'll take a final look. Houses, restaurants, shops, and offices--1,000 units-worth altogether--are on the way. These are all shots from my last trip back in December. I led off with this building last time, but this is the view from the back. It's in there somewhere.
Let's go WWAAAYY back. In 1540, Hernando DeSoto and his party had been lost for some time in the wilds of Georgia. Even their Indian guides didn't know where they were anymore. On April 21, they crossed the Savannah River near Augusta, probably a bit to the west of the Savannah River Site. The crossing was known as Point Comfort, which is ironic, as comfort was in short supply. Here, DeSoto met the friendly Cofachiqui Indians. Well, they were friendly as long as you weren't from a rival indian tribe. If you were, they'd sever the nerves in one of your feet so you couldn't run away, and hold you as a slave for life.
In 1770, Campbell Town, SC was founded, and its existence is directly relevant (finally!) to these photos. Enter John Hammond, the father of Campbell Town. Or was his name Leroy Hammond? No one really knows for sure, so we'll call him Mr. Hammond. (Update: It was John. Leroy was the name of his uncle...and a cousin.) Anyway, Campbell Town (why not Hammond Town?) was established near where the 13th St. bridge is today,
Mr. Hammond's death meant doom for Campbell Town, as Augusta continued to upgrade its shipping and storage facilities and C-Town did not. The town languished until about 1811, but has since sunk without a trace beneath the rippling waves of history. While Campbell Town is long gone, Hammond has lived on for over 200 years through Hammond's Ferry, the bit of woods pictured here that bears his name.
So, that's about it for the brick factory. You know, I don't make this stuff up, it just seems that at every turn I find some sordid little detail. I don't go out of my way to document death, disease, and insanity. Well, okay, maybe just a little. But it might just be the CSRA itself. And no-one is immune, really. For example, Cliff Roberts, who co-founded Augusta National Golf Course with golf legend Bobby Jones, Jr., one day walked out to the 3rd hole on the Par 3 Course and shot himself in the head. And he was from New York! As an aside, there's a funny golf story about Dwight Eisenhower and Vice-President Richard Nixon. Eisenhower, who apparently didn't think much of his VP, would never invite Nixon along when he went to play golf. But Nixon was always asking to play, and so on one occasion Ike agreed to let him shoot a round at Augusta National. However, Ike was livid when Tricky Dick missed the tee-time and was nowhere to be found for the duration of the game. At the end of the round, the entourage found Nixon at the clubhouse, wearing sunglasses and nursing a hangover. It was Nixon's first and last visit to Augusta National. More here.
Okay, I'm off to see the Handsome Family. If you like country music (un-modern, downright gothic), fantastically morbid lyrics, and a wicked sense of humor, I highly recommend them. To wit: "Evel Knievel flew up from dead grass, I loved him better each time he crashed." If you can't get behind that, the King of Pop would like to speak with you about making a donation to his legal defense fund. Really, the Handsome Family would make a great soundtrack for City of Dust. They have songs about parking lots, bottomless holes, forgotten lakes, and haunted convenience stores. It was from just such a store that these shopping carts escaped and dragged themselves to the edge of the Augusta Canal. However, lacking the wherewithal to finally throw themselves in, they sorta collapsed in a heap on the bank. Here's more about DeSoto's march through the South, and a short history of North Augusta. Finally, I want to thank the Aiken Chamber of Commerce. Good night.