Friday, October 27, 2017

Out in the Woods at Oconee Station

By Laurie Bower Epps

My favorite part of American History is the Revolutionary War, and just afterwards. Partially this is due to my hobby of genealogy. I discovered that I've got ancestors on both sides of the war, and usually brothers. Although I admit, my father's family leans more strongly towards the Tory side of the war. 

For 28 years of my life, I lived out in California on the other coast. Now that I'm back in one of the original 13 colonies, I'm determined to uncover as much Revolutionary War History as possible. In fact, coming in August 2018, there will be an entire month of early colonial sites from Virginia. So please bear with me. For now, sit back and enjoy a beautiful autumn day with my friend Darlene and my youngest daughter Chloe.

Anyone that knows me, quickly learns that I don't like to go off half cocked. This was the closest I've come to that in a long time. Originally, we'd planned to just go to this site and hike to the waterfall. Instead, we had an adventure. Not only did GPS get us essentially lost, but it took us on an adventure off-roading in my low-riding Honda. May I confess now, that it was worth it?

Still set apart, the Oconee Station is near the top of a hill in the middle of the woods. Nothing has been changed too much in the last 200 years. I was surprised and pleased when I was approached by a ranger who tends to the grounds. Not only was Ranger Alexander knowledgeable, but he was a great conversationalist as well. I learned so much in that hour, and it would've taken me weeks to learn that much history if reading my beloved books. What a welcome surprise! 


Oconee Station got it's name because it was considered too small of an outpost to be called a fort. Built in 1760, originally the site was erected as a guard station to protect the settlers from the numerous Indian attacks that were commonplace in the area. The Cherokee Indians or "Creeks" would raid the smaller encampments for ammunition and other supplies. With outbreak of the Revolutionary War, it didn't affect the station in the same way as our neighbors slightly north of us. In fact, towards the end of the war, the outpost faced some scrutiny for housing both British and Patriots alike. The danger for any white man was very real.

By 1800, the Oconee Station carried on as a makeshift Trading Post for frontiersmen and pioneers who were heading to or from beautiful Asheville. Later it became a storage place for furs and finally a residence for William Richards who was one of three brothers, and he decided to stay in the area after the Revolutionary War. The trading post was also a common stagecoach stop to get supplies before travelers headed into the Blue Ridge Mountains.

The original structure was also used as a kitchen predominantly near the end of there being a full-time resident at the site. It was neat to see the crockery still near the stove and/or fireplaces. 

My Fashion 

Blue Lace-Topped Dress
~ Lane Bryant

Capt. Hook "Villian" Leggings
~ LuLaRoe

Black Sketchers Tennis Shoes
~ Rack Room Shoes 

If this dress looks familiar, it should. I wore it for my very first fashion blog. It is my favorite dress, and these fun leggings give me another chance to wear it once it cools off. I think it'd be perfect with my blue suede shoes, but due to hiking I opted to wear my tennis shoes instead.

Chloe's Fashion

Grey Graphic Sweatshirt & Sweatpants
~ Kohl's

Pink Star Wars Graphic Tee
~ Target

Black & Pink Argyle Tennis Shoes by Sketchers
~ Kohl's

For Chloe, i selected comfort. The color choices are all hers. She just loves pink but is getting to an age where she has to be careful how she wears it. (In the sense of modesty...)

It was fascinating to learn about the daily life here at the Oconee Station. I do hope to return this spring and find the waterfall. It involved about two hours of walking, and we were worried that the night would come with us out in the woods. Not such a good idea so close to Halloween.

My daughter and I took our picture next to an Ancient Asian Strawberry tree. I just loved the twisted bark and the overall effect. The travesty of this blog is the large number of excellent photos but there was only room for a few here on my blog. I hope you'll appreciate my efforts.

On our way down the mountain, we noticed signs for the Wahalla Oktoberfest. I'd been wanting to go since I moved to the Upstate, and it made for a wonderful way to conclude our Saturday.

 Wishing you all a very Happy & Safe Halloween!

The focus today fashion-love's was comfort. I hope you'll find an adventure of your very own. Until then, stay fashionable and be blessed.


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