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Lake Hartwell – Lawrence Bridge - day trip

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I’ve been wanting to do a cruise on Lake Hartwell with Old Codger but I need to find a secure boat ramp where I can leave my truck and trailer overnight. I suggested to Debbie that we take our big-ol’ aluminum boat for a day trip to look at launching areas. I wanted one as far up the lake as I could find for my first Cruise. I chose one near the dam coming out of Keowee into Hartwell. We decided to eat lunch at a local restaurant down in Clemson before launching. I chose one from the ones that came up on Google. Paws Diner. We got there at about 11:30. The parking lot was full, and folks were in line out the door! On a Wednesday! Oh well, we went back to KFC and had pot pies.

After lunch we went back to Twelve Mille Recreation area to launch. There was a $5 day use fee. Neither one of us had $5. The way it works is to put the money in an envelope and drop it in a “box”. Then you hang a tag that you tear off of the envelope on your mirror. Oh well, let’s try “plan-B”. There was another public ramp nearby, Seneca Creek. Same deal! Ok, let’s head out of town and go to a little ramp further up the Keowee River, closer to the dam. No way there would be a fee there. We go to ramps on Lake Keowee all the time without use fees, so surely this would be the same. On the way, Debbie suggested we stop for change---just in Case. Knowing that she’s usually right about these things, we stopped at a gas station for change from a $20. We pulled into a little middle-of-nowhere boating access called Lawrence Bridge. Good thing Debbie had the good sense to suggest getting change! Same $5 fee here. These ramps are all managed by the US Core of Engineers. The ones we go to on Keowee are managed by Duke Energy. All three ramps that we had looked at were similar. No dock at the ramp. The dock was way off to the side, with a walkway to get there. No decent place to pull the boat up on shore while parking. Bathrooms way off away from the ramp. “Boo!” to the Core. Now I’ll really appreciate Duke.

Here is the ramp. The dock is out of the picture to the left.DSCN4289.thumb.JPG.1a0f1f48caf7e7435db63bd632c82bdd.JPG


Right across from the ramp is part of a structure sticking out of the water I don’t know what it is, but guess it’s the top of a building that was submerged when the lake was filled. Maybe a church.



From the ramp, we had to go under a bridge to head upriver to see the dam.  We made it under with a few inches between our Bimini top and the bottom of the bridge.


We enjoyed the scenery on the way up-river on the way to the dam. We finally came to a little dam with some ruins off to the side. Surely this couldn’t be the Keowee dam! It’s a mystery! When we got home, I went to Google Earth to find out what’s up. As it turns out, there is a mill dam just before the Keowee Dam. It is connected with the Newry Mill.

Here  are a few pictures. The mill is hiding behind trees and you have to look closely to see it from the boat. DSCN4285.thumb.JPG.5ec8877d3d6ff34580875fc534ead14c.JPG









When I clicked on the location on Google, this bit of history popped up in a comment. “You cannot actually go inside of the historic mill anymore, but it was one place you would never forget. Newry Mill worker's lived in the village, rented homes from their employer. Traded at the Newry Store. It also once had its own jail! The actual Newry Post Office is still next to the Mill and is still in use today. The local Historical Society chose several of the oldest and most structurally sound houses and went in and upgraded electrical, repaired roofs, plumbing, etc. These houses stand as the silent showcase of the extremely interesting Newry history. There are still descendants of the former Mill worker's that still live in the Village. Their parents, grandparents, a lot of them themselves, once worked in the no longer running mill. Actually, there are many families that are still there because of this , and each generation chose to stay. I lived here, for over 10 years, and it was still one of those rare communities that was tight knit, close, friendly, and nicest communities ever.”

It was time now to head back down river. Just below Lawrence Bridge, there Is Isaqueena Lake. It looked like it was connected with the lake, so I wanted to take a look. Nope, another dam.




We went on down to Clemson and poked around a bit. I only got a couple of pictures. Here is one of the water intakes (?) we saw. Notice the “Tiger paw”. They are all over the place around Clemson.




And we passed the Memorial Stadium, home of the world champion Clemson Tigers. 



This is an interesting looking marina.



So, that’s about it for this little day trip. I told Old Codger about it, and he’s really excited about coming back with me to see it all himself, and many more sights on Lake Hartwell.














(Ignore these extra pictures---I can't seem to edit them out.)





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Here is some history on the Newry Mill. This is all before the rivers were dammed forming lakes Keowee and Hartwell. https://scpictureproject.org/oconee-county/newry-mill.html

Here is an article about history and life in mill towns of the south.


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