Good Roads Cars In Rich Pee Dee

Today Spent at Hartsville after Quick Trip

Fine Crops and Highways

Cordial Welcome at Camden, Bishopville and Darlington. From Columbia To Darlington In One Day.

Hartsville, July 19. – Special Ran from Darlington in 35 minutes over 16 miles of magnificent road. Hearty reception. Spend night here to have escort to Cheraw tomorrow.


(By McDavid Horton.)

Darlington, July 19 (Special) – It was a jolly party that set out from Columbia Saturday morning on the second of The Record’s Capital -to-County pathfinding tours. The pathfinders proper, McDavid Horton, news editor of The Record, and Messrs. W. F. Fishburne and Artie J. Kind, of the Gregory-Conder company, with their sturdy machines, a Buick touring car and a Brush runabout, which had made the entire first trip of 300 miles, were accompanied by Mr. Jas. A Hoyt, editor and general manager of The Record, and Mr. W. Bruce Ravenel, junior member of the Columbia real estate and insurance firm of Walker-Ravenel & Co. Messrs. Hoyt, Ravenel, Horton and Kind were in the Buick. In the lead was the president of the Columbia Automobile club, Dr. E. Mikell Whaley, driving his Chalmers-Detroit “30,” with Mrs. Whaley and their lovely little daughter, and Mr. and Mrs. Jos. M. Lawrence and their pretty little daughter. As an escort from Columbia to Camden the party had Messrs. J. B. Roddey, T. H. Rhea, S. L. Hook and Eugene Roach, traveling in a Model 10 white Buick touring car.

It was 9 o’clockwhen Dr. Whaley got the “high-ball” signal and put his beautiful car on the way. Out Blanding street, across on Marion to Taylor and thence eastward to the limits the cars hummed smoothly, but thereabouts Fishburne and the doughty little Brush turned back. Accordingly Mr. Roach, who had started out with him, changed into the white Buick of Mr. Roddey.

From Waverley (Columbia) the party reveled in luxurious speed upon the magnificent new Two-Notch road, over which the Journal-Herald pathfinders gloated so after traveling more than a thousand miles of every kind of road. This highway is good enough for anybody, its only fault being that it extends just now only for about 10 miles. How great an improvement has been made in it under the direction of Supervisor S. H. Owens the pathfinders were made to realize when upon nearing the county line they struck the portion which has not yet been reached by the rebuilding force. From Waverley to Dentsville is a ride of constant pleasure.

That portion of the Camden-Columbia road extending from the present terminus of the new Two-Notch road to Baum’s Quarters is poor to fair, but principally poor. It is sandy and badly broken by water-breaks and small wet weather runlets, has man chassis wrenching turns, several unnecessary grades and lies through sparsely settled scrub pine barrens of uninteresting aspect.


At Blaney, a Seaboard Air Line station in Kershaw, where the pathfinders lost half an hour telephoning about various matters forgotten at the start, there is a highland swamp to traverse which after hard rains may give trouble in the carburettors of low hung small cars and which sadly soils with its black mud the bodies of handsome machines.

One of these days, after the coming automobile highway between Columbia and Camden is completed, Blaney is going to see a boom, for it is the ideal place for the automobile club house that is an ultimate certainty. The club-house would have attractions not exclusively related to motoring, for its site would probably be on the shore of a beautiful lake, White Pond, which with is clear, pure water and immaculate white sand bottom would afford delightful bathing, boating and fishing.

From Blaney the pathfinding party followed what is called the Postal road, a fair highway, good in spots, closely paralleling the Seaboard tracks. In Spears’ Creek, a stream which badly needs bridging, even to make it good for wagoning, Dr. Whaley allowed his motor to run down to low and Mr. Lawrence showed his gameness by discarding shoes and hose, wading boldly into the black stream and cranking her up. Of this performance Mr. Ravenel took several snapshots. At other interesting moments of the day’s run Mr. Ravenel made pictures, and it is to be hoped these will develop well.

At the Wateree.

At the Wateree river, almost within sight of Camden, there was a delay of nearly an hour, the party perforce waiting until a number of horse vehicles and pedestrians could be carried over on the old-fashioned flat-boat ferry which Kershaw county operates here pending the construction of a $65,000 bridge. The structure on which the road was formerly carried over the river at this point was destroyed by the floods of August, 1908, several lives being lost when it collapsed.

The new bridge, which is after designs by Messrs. Wilson, Sompayrac & Urquhart, of Columbia, and is being erected by the penn Bridge company under the supervision of R. W. Curtis, general sales agent, will have the longest span east of the Mississippi river, according to Mr. Curtis.

The Wateree is a fine, bold stream of good natural depth and before long will be navigated regularly by a steamboat. The promoters of the company say that with minor improvements by the federal government the stream would occupy several vessels. The river has been navigated by steamboats in the past and the abandonment of this business was for reasons that do not now exist.


Once across the river the pathfinders were given a hearty welcome by an automobile escort composed of people whose friendship whey are proud to have. Miss Friedheim of Rock Hill and Mrs. R. G. McCreight, in Mr. M. H. Heyman’s Maxwell roadster; Dr. A. W. Burnet, in a Ford runabout; Mr. Reuben B. Pitts, in a Reo runabout, with Prof. L. T. Baker of the University of South Carolina; Mr. C. E. Boynton, in a Ford runabout, and Mr. D. R. Williams and little daughter, in a Chalmers-Detroit “30” touring car. The combined parties swept into Camden together and there the citizens on the streets gathered around the scout cars and renewed the welcome which had been extended at the ferry by the escort. Nearly two hours were spent in Camden, the time being put in with dinner at the Hotel Camden, a visit to the telegraph office to file a bulletin to The Record, a call upon the local newspaper men, a short informal conference between Supervisor West and Messrs. Hoyt and Horton and a trip to a public stable to replenish the water tanks, so that it was 3:25 p.m before the trip was resumed, with Bishopville, 23 miles distant, as the immediate objective point. Dr. Whaley and his party had in the meantime been captured by Mr. D. R. Williams and taken out to the latter’s lovely country home, “Mulberry,” and Mr. Hoyt had gone with Mr. M. H. Heyman to call upon Mrs. Heyman, who is a good roads enthusiast and drives a Maxwell with exceptional skill.

Even after being escorted six miles on their way by Mr. Williams and a party in Mr. Williams, car, the pathfinders somehow lost the direct road and for half and hour meandered around through a network of plantation and settlement tracks, missing the pleasure of traversing a road said to be fine for most of the way out from Camden. Shortly after entering Lee county, however, they struck into a highway, not Lee’s best, either, which well deserves the adjective “fine,” under the scale of adjectives adopted by the pathfinders for the purposes of this correspondence. Good time was thereafter made all the way to Bishopville, which was reached at about 5:30 o’clock


Greeted on the streets of this beautiful country sea by a large crowd of well-dressed, happy-looking Pee Dee folk, the pathfinders learned that if they had taken the right road they would have met an escort in automobiles seven or eight miles out. On hearing this the party turned immediately and at high speed struck out to locate the missing escort. The party turned out to be one well worth locating, Lieutenant Governor Thos. G. McLeod, Drs. Harvey McLure and S. B. DuBose, Messrs. H. W. Woodward, Mayor W. R. Scarborough, J. D. Stuckey, L. W. Moore and J. P. Kilgo and County Supervisor H. E. Mooneyham, a road-builder who is master of his craft. Mr. Mooneyham’s talk at the meeting in Columbia when the Capital-to-Capital Association was organized is well remembered by those who were so fortunate as to hear it.

On the way out a stop had been made at the courthouse and here Mr. Ravenel just had to take another snapshot, so impressed was he with the beautiful building, a chaste Greek temple of silver grey, set in charming ground beautifully kept.

After cordial greetings between the pathfinders and the escort when the latter had been overtaken, the return trip to Bishopville was made at high speed and when the town was reached a still larger crowd was found to have assembled. Amount the many familiar faces which members of the party were pleased to recognized was that of Editor H. S. Cunningham, of The Leader and Vindicator, a newspaper man of high integrity and much ability.

Mutually regretful of the necessity that made it impossible for the pathfinders to remain longer in the town, the pathfinders and most of their hosts said good-bye after about an hour, the escorting party going along, after the hospitable fashion of the Pee Dee, to see them some distance on their way. The escort turned back just beyond the airy-looking steel bridge over Lynch’s river, which was the only bridge of any size in this section to withstand the 1907 summer floods. The exact point where they turned was opposite the tiny marble marker indicating the field of honor where the famous Cash-Shannon duel was fought – six miles east of Bishopville and bout an equal distance from the county line.

Good Crops

All through Lee and Darlington counties the pathfinders have been constantly exclaiming over the magnificent crops. They would not have believed but for the evidence of their own eyes that these could be better than those which they last week saw in Barnwell, Bamberg, Aiken and Orangeburg counties, but a shade better they are, nevertheless.

Dr. A. C. Baskin, T. M. Muldrow, D. C. Stuckey, J. E. Stuckey and G. M. Stuckey, W. P. Baskin, H. W. Woodward, J. S. Corbett, L. G. Jordan – mentioning at random nine whose names are at the moment recalled- have corn planted on the intensive plan that will average from 60 to 80 bushels to the acre and cotton almost locked in five-foot rows. The farm work is all exceptionally neat and the crops are uniformly clean. The soil in the Bishopville section is rich, black and loamy, requiring very little artificial fertilization to produce wonderful crops. It was in Lee, too, that the pathfinders entered the real tobacco-growing belt, through they had seen several find fields in Kershaw.

A County Speedway

From Bishopville to Darlington, 23 miles the road is as good as any the pathfinders have ever seen. four touring purposes it would hardly be better if paved with asphalt. The average running speed was 23 miles and for ‘cross-country touring that’s going some! In spurts the speedometer occasionally showed thirty-one miles an hour. The pathfinders are scrupulously careful of the rights of the other road-users, so no attempt was made to see how much faster the machines could have been sent along.

Near Darlington, just as the party stopped to turn on the great headlights on account of the gathering dusk, there was a merry salute from a mellow horn and around a curve came a delegation to welcome the visitors; Mr. J. B. Coggeshall and C. W. Hewitt in one machine, Mr. Carl Hewitt in another. Mr. Hewitt and Mr. Hoyt exchanged places and within a few minutes the party drew up in the town, at their stopping place for the night, The Darlington.


Just at the hotel corner, as one enters the courthouse square from the direction of Bishopville, there is a dangerous sidewalk crossing, where the police regulation require motorist to bring their machines to a dead stop and look about carefully before proceeding. At this point the precaution is wise and one every motorist of the right kind will be glad to observe.

After they had been comfortably installed in their rooms and had removed the dust of the day’s trip, the pathfinders and their party were served supper worth going far for, which had been prepared under the personal supervision of the proprietor, Mr. A. F. Dufft.

After supper the party was glad to great a number of prominent callers, amount the first to come and supplement the welcome of the escort being Solicitor J. Monroe Spears and Representative Lawson. With these and other friends the men of the visiting party afterward strolled for some time about the city, meeting on the streets many of the men who are making this city and county go forward in the front rank of progressive cities and counties.

Sunday the visitors were made to feel at home in the same way, a constant succession of pleasant visitors coming in to ask after the pathfinders and others of the group to wish The Record well in its efforts for good roads.


Monday morning the pathfinders go to Hartsville, to attend an important good road confernce.

The Roads.

Except for about fifteen miles of bad road through sand barrens, encountered between the eastern end of the new Two-Notch road in Richland county and Baum’s quarters, several miles over the line in Kershaw, the average of the roads traveled Saturday was good. Half the mileage, perhaps, was excellent and the Lee and Darlington county portions were as fine as any roads the State can show, permitting an automobile speed of 25 to 30 miles an hour, in safety and comfort. This is perhamps as good a place as any for a belated explanation of the nomenclature employed in these articles in respect of road comarisons.

Out of their experience with the roads of South Carolina, the pathfinders have fixed upon this scale as fair;

“Poor- A road over which travel in an automobile at all is impracticable and uncomfortable, thought possible, and where an average speed of at least 10 or 12 miles an hour can not be maintained. Roads which are impassable or dangerous are of course so

July 19, 1909  Columbia Record (published as THE DAILY RECORD)  
Columbia, South Carolina
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