walkin’ round the Square…

After spending an hour or more in The Mercantile, I stepped back outside, and took around Pendleton Square. Up the hill from where I parked, there’s an older building of which I’ve always loved the style, but it rarely has anything in it, store-wise, so I’ve never been inside. It’s now advertising for a salon, and I’m not sure what else. I think it’s because of it’s out-of-the-way position, off the Square, that anything that moves in there doesn’t get much attention.

Spinning around to face the rest of the Square, I can see the long line of buildings to my left, and the two buildings that are on the green itself. The big one is Farmer’s Hall, a historic building that now houses a restaurant, 1826 on the Green, on the lower level. The smaller building is now home to a Pendleton official’s office, I think. And having reviewed some links to historic Pendleton, I just realized that I forgot to turn around and look at the Hunter’s Store Hall, which would’ve been to my right, as I left The Mercantile. I’ll have to take a look at it, another time.

I’m not actually familiar with the history of Farmer’s Hall, or the other older buildings in the area, which is kind of sad, considering I live just down the road. I’ve never been down the road to visit Ashtabula, an old plantation house, though I’ve driven past the sign for it, many times.

Instead of concentrating on the history, I walked into the green of the Square and looked up at the towering oak trees, so huge, so noble, and wonder how long they’ve been towering over this area. I’ve found that I’ve missed our stately trees, both deciduous and evergreens, though the eucalyptus trees of Australia are lovely, too. If you can get an idea of the size, from several of these pictures, they really made me feel small and insignificant.

Every April, that large green area is covered with booths for the Spring Jubilee, the platform in front of Farmer’s Hall is loaded down with musicians, and all the craftsmen within several states bring their works of art to be seen and sold. When I was younger, I always started with a candy stop at The Mercantile, and then munched my way through the white booths, wishing I had the money to buy everything. One year, we sold some crafts of our own at the show, and that was the year that the March didn’t come in like a lion, but April sure did. Our booth almost blew away.

From there, I stopped to admire a dogwood tree. They have them in Pennsylvania, too, so in spring, when I was homesick for South Carolina, the dogwoods would “bloom”, and I felt like I was at home. I don’t say the dogwoods really bloomed, because the white “petals” are actually leaves, and the flower of the dogwood is supposed to be in the center of the white “petals”. Kind of like the poinsettia plant, which has red leaves, but most people think of them as petals.

The row of stores, across the way, have changed a number of times over the years, with the exception of Mountain Made. The store that is The Bridal and Formal Shoppe of Pendleton, it used to be a splendidly random gift shop that carried dishes, dolls, soaps, decorative rocks, and everything else that your heart could desire. And it was always shifting around, so I never knew what to expect in there. Since it changed hands, though, I have some fun memories of my cousins trying on several dresses for a formal outing, and posing in their lovely dressing room.

On the other side of the Square are two antique stores. The one that’s a little lower than the road, the last time I was in there, it seemed to be full of old farm tools and things that I wasn’t into, but I will say that it’s been years since I’ve been inside. I shall have to visit, and see if they’ve changed, though it still is a fascinating looking building, I think. The other antique store used to be a gas (fuel, petrol) station, as you’ll see from their funky layout. It gets even better, inside, because the back rooms are what used to be the garage, and it still has speed bumps on the ground. I always thought the building was just plain fun, along with the antiques being attractive and desirable. Yes, I do like antiques, but they’re usually beyond my wallet.  : )

There are one or two more antique shops on the other corner, but I stopped at Mountain Made, and didn’t make it any further. So, stop by later, and I’ll take you into this shop that’s half store for the work of local artisans and half antique store.

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