Around the end of 1988, tired of apartment life, Mark and I started seriously looking for somewhere rural to build a home. We got lucky.
It's twenty and three-eighths acres of woods, partially timber-cut twelve or fifteen years before, recovering very well. It's surrounded on three sides by similar sized pieces, all of which were divided among the children of the original owner. Most have been sold to colonizers like ourselves. The fourth side is shared with a timber company, Congaree Carton. It was all in mature pine trees when we moved here, but after Hurricane Hugo they cut what was left and replanted. The baby pines have been thinned twice now (2010). There's a drawing the surveyor made at The Plat and a high view at Satellite Image.
There is an unusually wide variety in the topography for a place this size. It starts with a high sandhill in the northeast corner, complete with longleaf and Virginia pine. That's where I chose to put the boatshed and more recently the new pumphouse. Running west from there is a hardwood covered slope that gets wetter as it goes. At the bottom of the hill a small swamp runs across the middle of the land, from neighbor Boyd's place on the west side over to the Brown's on the east. One of the first projects was to build a footbridge across it so that folks could get to the back half without rubber boots
On the other side of the swamp there's a wide hardwood bottom, where the blueberries grow. Beyond that a bold stream ( Madraw Branch ) cuts across the back, slicing off an acre or two that can only be reached by bridge. The bridge I built over the branch has washed downstream in all three of the hundred-year floods that have occured since '89.
All through the woods I cut paths, a mile and a half or so in all, with the idea that I should be able to take company for a walk just about anywhere on the place. There are still a couple of stretches where duck shoes are needed sometimes, but climate change is working on them. After a few years most of the paths only need pruning back once or twice a growing season, and the limbs picked up after storms. Where there's a lot of grass and such they get mowed three times; May, July and September.
In 1991 I made the decision to make good on the real estate guy's claim of "pond site." Look in Pond Digging to see how Old Stoney and I did it.