Whisk students, groups, and families back to a simpler era. The Hollingsworth Outdoor Center — located near the Heritage building at Hollingsworth Outdoor Center
Whisk students, groups, and families back to a simpler era. The Hollingsworth Outdoor Center — located near the GHS Family Y in Simpsonville, South Carolina — offers hands-on activities and explorations on a beautiful 55-acre site.
The 1823 plantation site of Dr. Thomas Collin Austin contains a lovely manor house and a well-preserved set of outbuildings that are unique in the upstate. These include a springhouse built on an artesian well and a washhouse used to wash clothes.
Hands-on activities led by knowledgeable staff give both children and adults a vivid connection to the folks who lived on the property 140 years ago:
Journey with us to another time
Contact Greg McKee 864-963-3608 or email@example.com for more information.
Check out our Facebook Place Page (and be sure to Like us) to see highlights of the events and happenings at the Hollingsworth Outdoor Center.
This year, we celebrate Juneteenth from 10 a.m.-1:30 p.m. on Friday, June 21.
Enjoy a lunch similar to what would have been served in 1865.
Enjoy hands-on activities such as broommaking, ice cream making, cooking a hoe cake, fashioning a brick, hand-dipping candles, and visit the plantation spring house.
Get a first-hand look at history. This year, we're hosting the National Trust's Joe Magill, who is the head of the Slave Dwelling Project.
Enjoy a music and storytelling session with John Fowler, who is finalizing a book on George "Trotting Sally" Mullins, a legendary turn-of-the-century fiddler who was born at Oakland Plantation in 1855.
The cost is $9 for adults, $6 for children 4-12, and free for kids 3 and younger. For more information, contact Greg McKee at 963-3608.
the book and blockbuster film "The Hunger Games" as inspiration, the Hollingsworth Survival Games will teach participants outdoor skills such as archery, fire building,
shelter construction, and orienteering (map and compass use) during the morning. After lunch, participants will
compete — either as small groups or as individuals, depending on the wishes of
the groups’ leaders/individuals — to see who is the champion at the skills learned that morning.
Thursday, June 13
$11 per person. Water and program materials are provided.
Custom sessions for eight or more participants are are available by appointment. Contact Greg McKee to schedule a Surivival Games session.
Archaeology 101 - June 17-19: Campers get an introduction to archaeology, learn protocol for unearthing the past, and search for actual artifacts on a plantation that dates back to 1823. Experienced historian and preservationist Rick Owens will lead the archaeological digs. A field trip to Hagood Mill historic site will broaden campers’ scope of archaeology in Greenville County.
$85 per camper (includes lunch, materials, and field trip expenses).
Time Travelers - July 8-10: Step back in time through hands-on activities that will connect campers with the Upstate’s heritage. Campers will build a tool box, work with a blacksmith, build a cedar bench, and learn to spin wool, as well as enjoy traditional day camp activities such as archery, capture the flag swimming, and field trips.
$80 per camper (includes lunch, materials, and field trip transportation).
Archaeology 201 - July 22-24: This is a more advanced version of the June session. Campers will continue archaeological investigations and explore several of the historic buildings on the Oakland Plantation. There will be a field trip to Clemson to visit the Calhoun House and the historical archives at Clemson University.
$85 per camper (Includes lunch and field trip expenses.)
Overmountain Rendezvous - July 29-Aug. 1: The Overmountain men were patriots who fought at the Battle of King’s Mountain in 1780. This camp offers an opportunity for campers ages 9-15 to learn outdoor skills like shelter making, fire building, black powder riflery, blacksmithing, and backcountry cooking. Campers then take a field trip King’s Mountain State Park to apply the skills learned and visit the hallowed grounds.
$120 per camper (Includes instruction, overnight expenses, and meals)
Heritage Summer Camps -- For ages 5-8
Digging In 1 -- June 10-11: An introduction to historical archaeology on the Hollingsworth property. They will spend the first day in a sand “workshop”, learning the basics while digging for items. The second day campers will hunt for actual artifacts on the Hollingsworth property.. Campers will also craft bricks
$30 per camper
Time Traveler Sampler -- June 24-25: An exciting hands-on introduction to Upcountry south Carolina in the 1840s. Campers will hand dip candles; make their own paper, pen, and ink; make a mallet; work with a blacksmith; and help build a fire and cook a stew.
$30 per camper (includes lunch on June 25)
Digging In 2 -- July 15-17: Here’s a chance to be historical detectives on an actual historic site. Campers will learn about the tools of the trade, then set out to uncover historic pieces in the ground. We’ll also work with a blacksmith, and practice archery.
$30 per camper
Under Construction -- Aug. 6-8: For budding builders anxious to develop basic carpentry and building skills through hands-on projects. We’ll build birdhouses, make a tool box, rive a shingle, make a mallet, and help with the Hollingsworth Outdoor Center’s flagpole project.
$25 per camper
Brookwood Church provided a significant community service with its annual Serve Fest on Saturday, Nov. 17. Brookwood made split rail fences, constructed roofs for the horseshoe pit benches, cleared a huge amount of underbrush from the Austin Plantation Woods, poured cement for a new flagpole, built cedar benches, and created a new team building element for the Center.
Heritage Helpers and other youth groups have been a huge help in excavating the doctor's office that was buried at the Hollingsworth Outdoor Center. Come back soon for updates on what these explorers of history have found.
Good Old Ways festival
These days, it's not common to see a team of draft horses hauling huge tulip poplar logs out of a forest, although that's how lumber would have been collected in the late 19th century. We showed how they did it the old fashioned way at the Good Old Ways Day in August.
Children have learned to use tools of the past, build their own workbox, made bricks, learned oral histories and wrote with a real ink pen.