Slobot About Town XIV:

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Slobot goes to the Pacolet River Soapstone Quarry!

The Pacolet River Heritage Preserve is a 257-acre property run by the Heritage Trust.

It is 11 miles away from Sugar 'n Spice.

There, at the Heritage Preserve along the Pacolet River, Slobot found an old bridge abutment.

The bridge is said to have been washed away by a flood in the 1920s.

The abutment marks one spot along the Pacolet at which one can find copious amounts of the soapstone.

Soapstone is metamorphic rock that is surprisingly soft and surprisingly easy to carve. It is found only in the Piedmont and the Appalachian mountains.

The Cherokee would carve the soapstone into bowls, utensils, pendants and pipes.

Slobot could see where a soapstone bowl was started, but never finished.

Research suggests that the Cherokee most heavily used the soapstone quarry from 2500 - 4500 years ago.

Neighboring the soapstone quarry is a large granite outcrop that was turned into a quarry in 1894. Vulcan Materials continues to run the quarry.

Granite is digested in huge machines that reduce it to gravel for asphalt and concrete aggregate.

The Pacolet River Heritage Preserve is also rich in wildlife.

Slobot quickly spotted a black rat snake.

The snake was lethargic as it had apparently just eaten. Slobot could even see the shapes of its last meal!

Slobot then stumbled upon an Eastern Box Turtle.

He was a cute little fellow...

and so Slobot gave him a ride.

Slobot would like to thank the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources' Heritage Trust Program for maintaining the soapstone quarry and wildlife refuge!