Between 8th and 9th Avenues North, between North Ocean Boulevard and the King’s Highway, there sits a big old empty lot, different from other empty lots only because of the zipline installed in its western end. A smaller, completely empty lot sits across the street between North Ocean Boulevard and the Myrtle Beach Boardwalk, which is now made of boards, although for the entire time I knew it, the walk was dirty concrete except for a section in the Pavilion’s courtyard. Didn’t matter to me. I was a hip, cool kid at the age of 3 and even later, when I was a gawky teenager who knew little beyond what I’d learned in books and that the beach was a great vacation spot.
Fall Creek cuts under the railroad and flows across the edge of a flat bottomed field until it disappears under a road I’ve known by more names than I can remember. Now it’s called Warrensburg Road, but I never knew it by that name as a kid running over the bubbling, hot tar surface, trying to avoid stepping on snakes stuck in the asphalt and squished flat by the daily passage of cars and trucks on their way to and from the highway.
When new roads are built, the old ones need names. In the case of numbered highways, the name often becomes “Old Highway Such-and-Such.” But if it’s prior to the use of numbered roads, and, say, maybe the new road is being built because the old one just isn’t working for automobiles, the old one gets a name like “Stagecoach Road,” because that’s what ran on it.
In the beginning, there were animal trails, and the aboriginal peoples followed those and made their own. Then the white folk came in and drove out the original inhabitants, but kept to their trails, which eventually became roads. This used to be the main road between Greeneville and points west. You can tell because it’s called Old Stage Road.
Here’s a video of Mud Creek covering McCullough Cemetery Road beneath the railroad. Captures the scene even better than the photos in Muddy Waters. I thought about trying to drive through. Not.
My dad used to drive a school bus, and part of his route went through this railroad underpass on McCullough Cemetery Road in Hawkins County. Except when it rained a lot.
Way back in 1903, cars were pretty new. The first practical gasoline powered car came along in 1885, and the first American manufacturer got going eleven years after that. At the turn of the century, fewer than one in 10,000 Americans owned a car. Horatio Nelson Jackson, a Vermont doctor, wasn’t one of them, although he did think that cars were a damn cool thing.