Thursday, December 31, 2015

Clemson Tigers Beat Oklahoma, Head to the National Championship Game

All of South Carolina rejoiced as the Clemson Tigers defeated Oklahoma (37-17) to advance to the National College Football Championship. Fireworks erupted, people ran out of their houses to dance in the streets, everyone was cheering, crying tears of joy, singing hymns, embracing strangers, visions of sugar plums ...  Or maybe that was all in my head. Nevertheless, the Clemson Tigers are off to the National Championship game next in Arizona. I know everyone in South Carolina will be watching the game, pulling for our home team. Go Tigers!  

Remember, the 'Big Game' between Clemson and Alabama is on Monday, January 11, 2016 at 8:30 p.m. (ET) at the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

North Shore Cup - Annual Canoe and Kayak Races

You definitely don't want to miss the annual North Shore Cup Canoe and Kayaking Races held every year at the North Shore Villas by beautiful Lake Marion in Summerton, S.C. 

The recent 5th Annual North Shore Cup turned out to be another huge success. Forty-eight participants from 10 different states paddled across the starting line of this year's race. Weather conditions were perfect as usual, with just enough enough wind to make the 6 and 12 mile courses quite challenging for all of the athletes. 

The festivities began Friday afternoon with kayak demos and a paddle stroke clinic offered by Jesse Lishchuk of Elite Ocean Sports. The Friday evening social, also hosted by Elite Ocean Sports, was a blast. On Saturday morning, racers enjoyed the relaxed pre-race atmosphere at the North Shore complex. Paddlers and race enthusiasts began to gather on the protected inlet and private beaches just in front of the North Shore Villas, right next to Polly's Marina & Landing. The races began around 11 am.

The North Shore Cup race course takes paddlers along the shoreline of Lake Marion, while spectators watch the race from the grassy lawns and beaches in front of the North Shore luxury condos. There was a 12 mile race for the competitive paddlers and a 6 mile paddle for the less experienced paddling enthusiasts.

The post-race meal and awards ceremony took place poolside at the clubhouse of the North Shore Villas, where exhausted paddlers enjoyed lunch hosted by Lone Star BBQ. Stellar Kayaks awarded $300 to the first paddler to reach the 3 mile marker. Other award categories included:

  • HPK - High Performance Kayaks; FSK - Fast Sea Kayak; SUP - Stand Up Paddleboard; and OC1 - Outrigger Canoe

This year the Santee Surf-N-Turf Triathlon race director, Jefferson Nicholson, decided to combine their event with the North Shore Cup Races in hopes of creating an entire weekend of racing. This annual race is typically held at the Santee State Park. However, the Park had to close due to heavy rainfall. With permission from the management and residents of of the North Shore Condo complex, the triathlon was held at North Shore as well. They quickly laid out a course on the grounds consisting of a 3 mile run, 3 mile paddle, and 8 mile bike course. It worked out perfectly!

Elite Ocean Sports business partners, Mark McKenzie and Mark Smith, expressed their thanks to all of the residents for at North Shore Villas for allowing them to host their annual race on the property. Smith, a condo owner at North Shore, is proud of the complex, the residents, and the management team that make this such a special venue each year. All of the participants enthusiastically claim that North Shore is a favorite in the year's racing series. Don't miss the races next year! For more details about this annual event, go to

Readers might want to check out the Summerton SC: Nature and Outdoor Recreation web site. Also, read about the Next Generation 'Smart' Technology Kayaks.

Free eBook Released - Summerton SC: Past, Present & Future

View or download your free copy of the eBook "Summerton SC: Past, Present & Future", written by Peter Groen. The 1st Edition of this eBook was released in 2016.

In addition to being the founder and editor of the Summerton Weekly News, the author is a retired government executive, former professor, and local Summerton resident, Peter Groen is also a co-author of three textbooks on health information technology. He is also a contributing author of several other textbooks on health informatics.

Peter Groen has also written over 100 articles in the past decade on health informatics and 'open' health information solutions that have been published in a wide range of academic journals and various trade magazines. His focus is usually on emerging technologies and the future of information technologies (IT) and healthcare.

Check out the links to some of his most recent articles posted on the Collaboration, Open Solutions & Innovation (COSI) in Healthcare web site. For more specifics, go to COSITech.Net - Articles

Peter keeps a low profile now that he is semi-retired and living just outside the town of Summerton next to the shores of beautiful Lake Marion in South Carolina. When not on his boat, he still operates a small non-profit organization called COSITech.Net, edits and publishes the Summerton Weekly News, and helps develop videos, social media, and web sites for local organizations in the area. Some of these include:

Peter is a Clemson University graduate who married a local Sumter girl 43 years ago. Unfortunately, his wife Kathy attended the University of South Carolina. Their oldest daughter also graduated from Carolina. This makes for an interesting inter-family rivalry every year in November when the 'big' game comes around.

Please take the time to visit the free, online Summerton Weekly News site and share the link with others in the area that you think might be interested in it.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Looking for a Job near Summerton, SC - Winter 2015/2016

Winter 2015/2016: Summerton is a small town in rural South Carolina that has become known as a wonderful place to vacation, raise a family, run a business - or retire to, when all is said and done. The deep spiritual commitment and sound family values of its people are reflected in the many churches and close-knit residential communities in Summerton and the surrounding area on the shores of beautiful Lake Marion.

Are you looking for a job in Summerton, S.C., or the surrounding area? There are currently quite a few jobs available nearby in Manning, Santee, Sumter, Orangeburg, etc. Check out the following links:

Summerton and Lake Marion are well known across the South for offering a wide range of outdoor recreational activities like camping, hunting, fishing, hiking, kayaking, boating, and golfing to its many visitors. Make sure you visit the Summerton SC: Nature & Outdoor Recreation web site.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

St. Matthias Episcopal Church 56th Annual Christmas Bazaar

Mark your calendar - St. Matthias Episcopal Church will hold its 56th Annual Christmas Bazaar on December 5th, from 10am-2pm, in Summerton. 

The following is a brief history of the church and a link to their web site.

St. Matthias Episcopal Church - A meeting in the yard of The Presbyterian Church, marked the beginning of the establishment of St. Matthias in 1889. The land to build the church and rectory was given by Mrs. R. H. Belser. The church was built and paid for through donations and accumulated funds. On St. Mathias Day, February 24, 1899, the church was officially consecrated by Bishop Capers. The rectory adjoining the church was built in 1903. In 1910, the church was remodeled and rebuilt on concrete blocks and stained glass windows were added. A valuable Felgenmaker organ was installed in 1917. The organ was purchased from the Washington Street Methodist Church and has the date of February 23, 1870, on the bellows. It is one of only two remaining Felgenmaker organs - both of which are in Episcopal churches in SC.  A bronze tablet, given by members of the congregation and bearing names of the church's founders, was dedicated on September 9, 1956, by Rev. Richard Patton. Visit the church on N. Duke Street in the heart of Summerton.

* See information on other Historic Churches in Summerton, SC

Sunday, November 22, 2015

Brief History of the Wilson & Summerton Railroad

The Wilson & Summerton Railroad (W&S) Railroad was first chartered by the South Carolina General Assembly in 1888.

The railroad line was built by Thomas Wilson and started at Millard Junction, just to the west of Summerton, where it connected to the Charleston, Sumter & Northern Railroad (CS&N). It ran 16.5 miles to Wilsons Mill, just to the east of Manning, where it connected to the Central Railroad of South Carolina.

The W&S began operations on September 10, 1889. Towns along the line between Wilson's Mill and Millard's Junction included Wilson, Bloomville, Jordan, Davis Station, and Summerton. The primary purpose of the W&S Railroad was to bring lumber to Wilson's Mill.

In 1890, the Eutawville_Railroad changed its name to the Charleston, Sumter & Northern Railroad. In October 1894, the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad bought the Charleston, Sumter & Northern Railroad and it was renamed the Charleston & Northern Railroad. In 1895, property, franchises, and rights of the Charleston & Northern were sold, and a good portion of the line was acquired by the Wilson & Summerton (W&S) Railroad.

In 1899, the W&S Railroad was merged with the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad and became the Northwestern Railroad of South Carolina and Thomas Wilson became its president. The railroad line ran all the way from the town of Camden to Wilson's Mill, a distance of more than 61 miles. It remained in business until the mid-1930s when it folded due to competition from the growing trucking industry.

* Be sure to visit the US Railroad & Rail Worker History web site

Key Resources

Friday, November 20, 2015

Brief History of South Carolina Railroads

The history of South Carolina railroads first dates back to the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company (SCCRR) which was formed back in 1827.

On December 4, 1827, Alexander Black introduced "a bill to incorporate a company to establish a railway or railways between the City of Charleston and the towns of Hamburg, Columbia, and Camden." The bill was passed and finally approved on December 19, 1827. It authorized the organization of the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road Company.

The stockholders officially formed the South Carolina Canal and Rail Road company on May 12, 1828. It was the second railroad company in the US. Surveys were then conducted to determine the best route from Charleston to Hamburg - near present day North Augusta, SC.

A local businessman E. L. Miller provided $4,000.00 to purchase the first locomotive for the Charleston Hamburg Railroad. It was called “The Best Friend of Charleston” and was the first practical working steam locomotive built in America. It was first built in New York, then disassembled and transported down the Atlantic coast by ship. The locomotive arrived in Charleston on October 23, 1830. The locomotive weighed about 4½ tons and produced only six horsepower.

In January of 1830, construction of the railroad tracks began. The tracks started in Charleston and reached San Souci area by December of that year. On Christmas Day, 1830, 141 passengers rode in two passenger cars up to San Souci, traveling at speeds of up to 25 miles per hour. That first trip of “The Best Friend of Charleston” was reported around the world. This was the first regularly scheduled passenger train to operate in America.

The railroad experienced several problems during 1831. These included train derailments and the burning of a freight car by hot ashes from the locomotive. The biggest setback was the explosion of the iron boiler that exploded, killing the fireman and destroying “The Best Friend of Charleston.” The death of the fireman was the first fatality on an American railroad. Parts were salvaged from the wreckage and another engine was built and named “The Phoenix”.

By the end of 1831, the railroad was eighteen miles long and reached the area of Woodstock. The tracks reached Summerville in the summer of 1832. On October 3, 1832, the company started running two daily passenger trains from Charleston to Summerville. The railroad kept slowly expanding across South Carolina. The Charleston Hamburg Railroad also became the first railroad to carry the US mail. Many towns along the train route were named for railroad people. For example, the town of Aiken was named for William Aiken, the first president of the railroad.

The train finally reached Hamburg, SC, on October 2, 1833. The Charleston Hamburg Railroad was the longest railroad in the world at that time. The track was 126 miles long from beginning to end. The train reportedly could run between 15 and 25 miles an hour, but had to stop every 10 miles for fuel and water. By October 1833 the railroad had completed its entire line, a massive system for its time easily making it the largest such company in operation.

The cost of building the railroad was just under $1 million. Elias Horry was president of the Charleston Hamburg Railroad company from 1831 to 1834. On December 28, 1837 the Louisville, Cincinnati, and Charleston Railroad purchased the South Carolina Canal and Railroad company for $2,400,000.

By 1840, the South Carolina town of Branchville asserted that it was the "first railroad junction" in the world, and the Branchville & Columbia Railroad was well into its construction (completed 1842). The Camden & Branchville Railroad was completed in 1848.

At the start of the U.S. Civil War, there were thirteen railroads with over 985 miles of track laid within the state of South Carolina. Railroads played a significant role during the Civil War with troop movement, but their greatest use was for transporting goods and material to aid in the war effort. Many miles of track were destroyed by General Sherman on his march through South Carolina.

After the Civil War, South Carolinians quickly repaired its railroads and by 1870 had added another 300 miles of new track. By the end of the century, South Carolina had over 2,800 miles of railroad tracks, criss-crossing every county within the state. The end of the century also brought the merger of many railroad companies into large "conglomerates".

The railroad transformed the state of South Carolina like nothing had before. In the 1840s, the first "railroad towns" began to emerge along the snaking steel rails where farmland once held firm. Thousands of little depots, hamlets, and thriving cities began to evolve along the railroad well into the early twentieth century.

Railroads reached their peak in South Carolina around 1920, with over 3,800 miles of track in operation. However, with the coming of the automobile and the freight trucking lines, highways began to assume dominance over the railroads. When the US Interstate Highways came along in the 1950s and 1960s, many railroad lines became unprofitable and were ultimately abandoned. Many "railroad towns" also began to fade away. Quite a few did not survive into the twenty-first century.

At its peak, South Carolina had almost 4,000 miles of track.Today, South Carolina's rail network includes nearly 2,300 miles of track. Expect the network to begin growing again as high speed rail systems and intermodal freight trains gain traction over the coming decade.

SC State Rail System Today

Class I Railroads
  • CSX Transportation (CSXT)
  • Norfolk Southern Railway (NS)

Class III Railroads
  • Carolina Southern Railroad Company (CALA)
  • Greenville & Western Railway Company (GRLW)
  • Hampton and Branchville Railroad Company (HB)
  • Lancaster and Chester Railway Company (LC)
  • Pee Dee River Railway Corporation (PDRR)
  • Pickens Railroad Company (PICK and PKHP)
  • S.C. Central Railroad Company (SCRF)
  • Carolina Piedmont Railroad (CPDR)
  • S.C. Public Railways (SCPR)

Passenger carriers

* Make sure you visit the web site on History of Railroads & Rail Workers

Key Sources

Sunday, November 8, 2015

Crowdfunding, Crowdsourcing, or Open Source Solutions?

You've probably started to become aware of the relatively new phenomenum called 'Crowdfunding'. But what exactly is crowdfunding or crowdsourcing all about? Crowdfunding is the practice of funding a public or private venture by raising monetary contributions from a large number of people, often via Internet-based platforms. Crowdsourcing is the process of soliciting needed services, ideas, or content via the Internet from people around the world.

Crowdfunding is a form of alternative financing which has emerged outside of more traditional financial systems. In 2013, the crowdfunding industry raised over $5.1 billion worldwide and is expected to reach $1 trillion by 2025. However, the key to the success of crowdfunding over the long term is 'trust' - and that has become an issue as many crowdfunding struggle to actually ever produce a product.

As of 2012, there were over 450 crowdfunding platforms - some of which are somewhat questionable. Examples of current crowdfunding platforms include: CircleUp, Crowdcube, Emerging Crowd, Eureeca, Funding Circle, Kickstarter, Lending Club, Microventures, OurCrowd, Ulule. CrowdEngine, Cashare, Daily Deed, DealGlobe, EquityNet, GoFundMe, Indiegogo, iFunding, InvestX, Zopa and many more. So, you had best check them out carefully before you start handing over your hard earned money.

Some of the many recent articles cautioning people about crowdfunding include:

However, there are starting to be a growing number of news articles on reputable crowdfunding projects that actually produced a product. For example:

Perhaps a better alternative to crowdfunding or crowdsourcing for those interested in developing new technologies or solutions would be to participate or contribute to some of the well established, reputable organizations focused on developing collaborative 'open source' solutions. 

This would include such well known non-profit organizations such as Apache, CAMBIA, Creative Commons, Eclipse, Free Software Foundation, Linux Foundation, Mozilla, Open Source Initiative, Open Source for America, Project Gutenburg, Sunlight Foundation, Wikimedia Foundation and so many more.

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Local Clarendon County Football Team Scores and Schedules - November 6, 2015

The following are the latest scores for all the local Clarendon County high school football team games as of November 6, 2015:
  • Manning HS Monarchs lost to Darlington 41-34.
  • East Clarendon defeated by C.E. Murray 49-6.
  • Laurence Manning Academy (LMA) Swampcats beat Porter Gaud 28-24.
  • Summerton's Scotts Branch Eagles season win/loss record is now 4-5.
  • Clarendon Hall Saints win/loss record for the season is now 5-5.

The following are links to the 2015 Football schedule, roster, and detailed stats for local high schools in Summerton and across Clarendon County, SC:

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for football team standings, other sports teams at your school, and more detailed statistics.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Local Clarendon County Football Team Scores and Schedules - October 30, 2015

The following are the latest scores for all the local Clarendon County high school football team games as of October 30, 2015:

  • Manning HS Monarchs lost to Marlboro County 61-0.
  • East Clarendon beat New Covenant 14-6.
  • Summerton's Scotts Branch Eagles lost to C.E. Murray 20-6.
  • Clarendon Hall Saints lost to Carolina Academy 66-28. 
  • Laurence Manning Academy (LMA) Swampcats lost to Wilson Hall 6-0.

The following are links to the 2015 Football schedule, roster, and detailed stats for local high schools in Summerton and across Clarendon County, SC:

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for football team standings, other sports teams at your school, and more detailed statistics.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Carolina Tree Care of Clarendon County, SC

Carolina Tree Care showed up last month to remove several trees and prune up others at our lakeside home. Their professional team went to work and impressed the heck out of me. As fast as one guy cut down the trees, another was right behind him with a huge machine that picked up the whole tree and shoved it into another huge mulching machine that ground up the whole tree in minutes. Work I used to do with my sons that would take us a week or more was done in 10 minutes. It was amazing to watch.

Carolina Tree Care of Clarendon County, South Carolina, is owned and operated by International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) Certified Arborists [Dana Moberg and Billy Rombilus] who have the extensive experience and right equipment to get the job done - and done right. For those who don't know, a certified arborist are usually college trained forestry professionals that must achieve a level of knowledge in the art and science of tree care, pass a comprehensive certification examination, and attend continuing education courses required to maintain their certification.

Carolina Tree Care offers reliable tree care services in Clarendon County and Santee Cooper Country, which includes numerous towns and communities around nearby Lake Marion, e.g. Manning, Santee, Summerton, Sumter. Services offered include Professional Arborist Assessments, Tree Removal, Stump Grinding, Tree Pruning, Fertilization, Pre-Construction Consultation and much more. Carolina Tree care provides free estimates, 24 hour emergency service, and is fully covered by liability insurance and workman's compensation.

For more information, contact Carolina Tree Care by calling 803-478-8299, email, or visit their web site at Also, take a minute and view the company video posted on Facebook.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Local Clarendon County Football Team Scores and Schedules - October 23, 2015

The following are the latest scores for all the local Clarendon County high school football team games as of October 23, 2015:

  • Manning HS Monarchs lost to Crestwood 49-28.
  • Summerton's Scotts Branch Eagles beat East Clarendon 38-22.
  • Clarendon Hall Saints beat Jefferson Davis 50-8. 
  • Laurence Manning Academy (LMA) Swampcats lost to Porter-Gaud 23-22.

The following are links to the 2015 Football schedule, roster, and detailed stats for local high schools in Summerton and across Clarendon County, SC:

* Check out MAXPREPS, a web site for football team standings, other sports teams at your school, and more detailed statistics.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Declaration of Women's Rights from 1848 Convention at Seneca Falls, NY

The "Declaration of Sentiments" was signed in July 1848 at the Women's Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. This historic resolution called not just for women's right to vote in the America, but also for women's right to equal pay and the right to attend college. Now, over 165 years later, we may see the first woman elected to be the President of the U.S.A.

Declaration of Sentiments and Resolutions

Woman's Rights Convention, Held at Seneca Falls, 19-20 July 1848

When, in the course of human events, it becomes necessary for one portion of the family of man to assume among the people of the earth a position different from that which they have hitherto occupied, but one to which the laws of nature and of nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes that impel them to such a course.

We hold these truths to be self-evident: that all men and women are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; that to secure these rights governments are instituted, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. Whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of those who suffer from it to refuse allegiance to it, and to insist upon the institution of a new government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form as to them shall seem most likely to effect their safety and happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly, all experience hath shown that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their duty to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of the women under this government, and such is now the necessity which constrains them to demand the equal station to which they are entitled.

The history of mankind is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations on the part of man toward woman, having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over her. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world.

  • He has never permitted her to exercise her inalienable right to the elective franchise [Voting Rights].
  • He has compelled her to submit to laws, in the formation of which she had no voice.
  • He has withheld from her rights which are given to the most ignorant and degraded men—both natives and foreigners.
  • Having deprived her of this first right of a citizen, the elective franchise, thereby leaving her without representation in the halls of legislation, he has oppressed her on all sides.
  • He has made her, if married, in the eye of the law, civilly dead.
  • He has taken from her all right in property, even to the wages she earns.
  • He has made her, morally, an irresponsible being, as she can commit many crimes with impunity, provided they be done in the presence of her husband. In the covenant of marriage, she is compelled to promise obedience to her husband, he becoming, to all intents and purposes, her master—the law giving him power to deprive her of her liberty, and to administer chastisement.
  • He has so framed the laws of divorce, as to what shall be the proper causes of divorce; in case of separation, to whom the guardianship of the children shall be given; as to be wholly regardless of the happiness of women—the law, in all cases, going upon the false supposition of the supremacy of man, and giving all power into his hands.
  • After depriving her of all rights as a married woman, if single and the owner of property, he has taxed her to support a government which recognizes her only when her property can be made profitable to it.
  • He has monopolized nearly all the profitable employments, and from those she is permitted to follow, she receives but a scanty remuneration.
  • He closes against her all the avenues to wealth and distinction, which he considers most honorable to himself. As a teacher of theology, medicine, or law, she is not known.
  • He has denied her the facilities for obtaining a thorough education—all colleges being closed against her.
  • He allows her in Church as well as State, but a subordinate position, claiming Apostolic authority for her exclusion from the ministry, and, with some exceptions, from any public participation in the affairs of the Church.
  • He has created a false public sentiment, by giving to the world a different code of morals for men and women, by which moral delinquencies which exclude women from society, are not only tolerated but deemed of little account in man.
  • He has usurped the prerogative of Jehovah himself, claiming it as his right to assign for her a sphere of action, when that belongs to her conscience and her God.
  • He has endeavored, in every way that he could to destroy her confidence in her own powers, to lessen her self-respect, and to make her willing to lead a dependent and abject life.

Now, in view of this entire disfranchisement of one-half the people of this country, their social and religious degradation,—in view of the unjust laws above mentioned, and because women do feel themselves aggrieved, oppressed, and fraudulently deprived of their most sacred rights, we insist that they have immediate admission to all the rights and privileges which belong to them as citizens of these United States.

In entering upon the great work before us, we anticipate no small amount of misconception, misrepresentation, and ridicule; but we shall use every instrumentality within our power to effect our object. We shall employ agents, circulate tracts, petition the State and national Legislatures, and endeavor to enlist the pulpit and the press in our behalf. We hope this Convention will be followed by a series of Conventions, embracing every part of the country.

Firmly relying upon the final triumph of the Right and the True, we do this day affix our signatures to this declaration.

[At an evening session] Lucretia Mott offered and spoke to the following resolution:

Resolved, That the speedy success of our cause depends upon the zealous and untiring efforts of both men and women, for the overthrow of the monopoly of the pulpit, and for the securing to woman an equal participation with men in the various trades, professions and commerce.

The Resolution was adopted.

Report of the Woman's Rights Convention, Held at Seneca Falls, N.Y., July 19th and 20th, 1848 (Rochester, 1848).