Car Accident Attorney inGramling, SC

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CHSA Law, LLC Fighting
for Your Rights in Gramling, SC

When an accident comes without warning, even the most prepared person can fall victim. One moment, you're walking to a restaurant after a long day of work. The next moment, someone else's negligence and carelessness change your life forever. Personal injury victims aren't just the victims of negligence they suffer from pain, concern over family and ability to work. Often, these victims do not have the luxury of worrying about work and family, because they're clinging to life in an ER. Without a personal injury attorney in Gramling, SC, by their side, they mistakenly provide official statements to insurance agencies and accept settlement offers that only account for a fraction of what they have lost.

If you have recently been hurt in an accident, you may be asking questions like:

  • "What happens now?"
  • "How will I pay for my hospital bills?"
  • "Will I get fired from my job?"
  • "Will I be able to function independently ever again?"

With more than 100,000 car accidents in South Carolina every year, we hear these questions every day. Our hearts hurt for those who are suffering due to no fault of their own. Accident victims are not only left with questions like those above; they're also forced to deal with costs associated with medical bills, car repair, follow-up appointments, and loss of income.

While reading these facts can be bleak, there is a silver lining. South Carolina law dictates that those who are found responsible for your pain and suffering may be obligated to pay for your expenses. CHSA Law, LLC exists for that exact reason to make sure that negligent parties are held accountable. We fight on your behalf to make sure you get the compensation you deserve. We aren't afraid to go toe-to-toe with greedy insurance agencies who do not have your best interests at heart.

Our overarching goal is to protect your rights, and our law firm is uniquely positioned to do so, with attorney Michael Dill‘s vast experience in the auto insurance industry.

Personal Injury Attorney Gramling, SC
Service Areas

We offer comprehensive vehicle representation for a number of different automobile accidents, including:

  • Distracted Driving
  • Drunk Driving
  • Rollovers
  • Multi-Vehicle Accidents
  • Automobile Defects
  • Roadway Defects
  • Speeding
  • Reckless Driving
  • Uninsured Motorists or
    Underinsured Drivers
  • Rear-End Collisions
  • Car Rental Accidents
  • RV Accidents

If you know you have been involved in one of the car accidents above, the time to seek experienced representation is now. Generally, car accident victims have three years from the date of their injuries to file a personal injury claim in Gramling. That time frame can be reduced in certain circumstances. When a wrongful death is involved, surviving family members must take action in a similar time frame.

The bottom line is that speed is of the essence in these cases. When we sit down with you to learn more about your accident, we will help you understand South Carolina law so that you are fully informed before taking legal action. The sooner we can dig into the details of your case, the sooner we can fight for your rights.

We Recover Compensation
When You Need It Most

The law states that personal injury victims are entitled to compensation for the full extent of their injuries. Why? Because the primary goal of injury compensation in Gramling, SC, is to help the victim return to the state they would have been in, if the accident never occurred. In the literal sense, doing so isn't possible. The law cannot reverse the incredible suffering and pain that accompanies a severe injury. As such, personal injury victims are entitled to receive a financial reward that equals those damages.

How much compensation you get depends on the facts and nuances of your case. With that said, you may be able to recover compensation for the following needs:

  • Rehab-Related Expenses like
    Physical Therapy
  • All Medical Expenses
  • Pain and Suffering
  • Long-Term Disability
  • Lost Wages and Loss of
    Future Income Earning Ability
  • Disfigurement
  • Emotional Distress
  • Mental Anguish

If you or someone you love was recently injured in a car wreck, contact our office today to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Gramling, SC. The sooner you call, the sooner we can begin fighting for your rights and the compensation you need.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Gramling, SC The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference
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What Our Clients Say

The Role of Negligence in Your
Gramling Personal Injury Case

If there were one common truth that we can count on, it's that life is unpredictable. Sometimes, accidents just happen. However, when recklessness and negligence come into play in situations where accidents cause personal injuries, the negligent party can be held responsible under South Carolina law. For victims to have a chance at compensation, the party responsible for the accident must be proven to be negligent. When a party or parties are negligent, they fail to take appropriate care when performing an action, like driving an automobile.

 Car Accident Attorney Gramling, SC
At CHSA Law, LLC, our team works to prove negligence
for our clients by proving:
  • The defendant had an obligation to look out for your safety.
  • The defendant did not uphold that duty.
  • There was causation between the defendant's breach of duty and the injuries you sustained.
  • You suffered real damages.

After an accident occurs, it is critical to take certain steps to help prove the responsible party's negligence and maximize the compensation you rightly deserve.

Steps to Maximize Compensation
After an Accident in Gramling, SC

All too often, car wreck victims don't get the compensation they need because they failed to take the proper steps after their accident. Don't let this be you. By having comprehensive records of your car accident and its aftermath, you have a much better chance of protecting your rights and maximizing compensation for your bills and injuries. If you have been injured in an automobile accident in Gramling, follow these steps before doing anything else:

1.

Go to a Doctor

First and foremost, seek medical attention for any injuries that you have sustained. You might not realize it now, but your injuries may be more complex and serious than you think. Damage like head trauma and back injuries are not easy to diagnose on your own and sometimes take time to surface. A full medical examination will help reveal the extent of your injuries, lead to a quicker recovery, and help document the injuries you sustained. This last part is essential to prove the significance of your injuries.

 Law Firm Gramling, SC
2.

File an
Accident Report

The second step you should take is to report your injuries to the correct authorities. The authorities change depending on the circumstances of your accident. If you were involved in a car wreck in Gramling, you should file your report with the highway authorities and any associated insurance agencies. Regardless of where you were injured and how the wreck occurred, the biggest takeaway here is to file a report. That way, you have an established, official record of the incident that can be referred to down the line.

Personal Injury Attorney Gramling, SC
3.

Preserve Evidence
if Possible

Personal injury cases in Gramling are won with evidence. It might sound like the job of the police, but it's important that you try to secure any evidence that you can collect relating to your accident, especially if you are injured. Evidence in auto accident cases tends to disappear quickly. By preserving evidence soon after the accident, it can be used in court. For example, if you cannot get a witness statement immediately after your wreck, their testimony may come across as less reliable. Completing this task on your own can be quite difficult, especially after a serious accident. That's why it's so crucial to complete the last step below.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Gramling, SC
4.

Contact a Lawyer

One of the most intelligent, important steps you can take after a car accident is calling a personal injury attorney in Gramling, SC. At CHSA Law, LLC, we will assist you with every step of your personal injury case to ensure that your rights are protected. That includes gathering all types of evidence relevant to your case. When we investigate your accident, we will determine the person who is liable for your losses. If there are multiple liable parties, we will hold each one accountable for their negligence.

Every personal injury case is different, which is why experience counts when it comes to car accident compensation. Our track record speaks for itself, but no number of past results will guarantee a perfect outcome. What we can guarantee, however, is our undivided attention and fierce dedication to your case, no matter the circumstances. Unlike other personal injury law firms in Gramling, you can have peace of mind knowing your best interests always come first at CHSA Law, LLC.

 Car Accident Attorney Gramling, SC

Common Car Accidents in
Gramling, SC

At CHSA Law, LLC, we have years of experience handling some of Gramling's most complicated car accident cases. Some of the most common cases that come across our desks include:

Drunk Driving Accidents

Drunk driving is a major problem in the Lowcountry. Drunk drivers are incredibly irresponsible and regularly cause fatal accidents because they drive physically and mentally impaired by alcohol. Drunk drivers have slower reaction times, delayed reflexes, and impaired vision, making them unfit to operate a motor vehicle. In auto wrecks, drunk drivers often come away with minor injuries compared to their victims, which is a bitter pill to swallow

Individuals who make a choice to drive drunk cause accidents by weaving in and out of traffic, going over the speed limit, failing to see pedestrians, and ignoring traffic laws. They may run cars off the road, rear-end vehicles, hit them head-on, or even cause a vehicle to roll over.

Drunk driving accidents in Gramling care result in horrible injuries, such as:

  • Burns
  • Broken Bones
  • Head Injuries
  • Brain Trauma
  • Spinal Cord Injuries
  • Soft Tissue Injuries
  • Mental Anguish

If you are injured or have lost a family member due to an impaired or drunk driver, our team of personal injury lawyers in Gramling can help. We have extensive experience with car accident cases and can explain your rights in simple, plain terms. It is important to know that you can file a personal injury suit regardless of the criminal case outcome against the drunk driver.

 Law Firm Gramling, SC

Rental and RV Accidents

When accidents happen in RVs or rental cars, people are often unsure of their rights. This confusion is understandable since there are additional insurance and legal issues that must be accounted for in these cases.

Fortunately, the lawyers at CHSA Law, LLC, have the experience to help you with complex car accident and RV cases. Attorney Michael Dill worked in the auto insurance industry before becoming an attorney. He also has an undergraduate degree that includes a focus on risk management and insurance. When it comes to rental and RV accidents, we review each client's case with a fine-tooth comb. Once we understand your accident, our team will explain your rights and options in easy-to-understand terms.

If you were involved in an accident while driving an RV or a rental vehicle, you may find that your auto insurance company, the rental car's insurance company, and the other party's insurance carrier will try to deny your claim. Situations like these call for a bold, experienced personal injury attorney in Gramling, SC, who isn't afraid of large corporations and insurance groups. We have extensive experience with insurance companies and know how to interpret policies. As your advocate, we will ensure that you receive the coverage and compensation you are entitled to, even if an insurance company says you aren't.

We can help you seek compensation in cases that involve:

  • Injuries from Boating Ac
    cidents
  • Rental Cars Injuries
  • RV Accidents
  • Jet Ski Injuries
  • Golf Cart Injuries
  • Rental cars
  • Boat accidents
  • ATV Accidents

Victims of RV and rental car accidents (as well as their families) may be entitled to compensation for pain and suffering, medical expenses, and lost income or benefits. Our personal injury lawyers work with life-care planners, medical experts, and economists to determine the amount of compensation you will need.

Personal Injury Attorney Gramling, SC

Texting While Driving and
Distracted Driving Accidents

We live in a time where just about everyone has their eyes glued to their phones. Often, this happens in situations where the person needs to be paying attention, like when they're driving an automobile. Taking a few moments to glance down at your phone can cause irreparable damage to other drivers. That is why texting while driving is illegal in Gramling. Typically, this crime is met with a minor traffic violation. However, when a distracted driver injures another motorist, you can seek compensation through a legal suit. If you have been injured in such a situation, our team can help you hold the negligent driver accountable for your losses and damages.

Texting takes drivers' minds and eyes off the road and their hands off the wheel. Because they are not paying attention to their driving,

They miss crucial road signs and information such as:

  • Changes in the Flow
    of Traffic
  • Traffic Lights
  • Traffic Signs
  • Work Zones
  • Bicyclists
  • Lane Changes
  • Incapacitate Cars and
    Motorists

At CHSA Law, LLC, we represent injury victims in Gramling who are involved in all types of car accidents, including distracted driving. We work with vigor to recover the full amount of compensation you and your family will need to recover. You can rely on our attorneys for dedicated, representation throughout your case. Unlike some distracted driving lawyers in Gramling, we will assist you with all aspects of your accident, including access to good medical care if needed.

 Personal Injury Lawyer Gramling, SC

Unflinching Legal Advocacy. Compassionate Care

At CHSA Law, LLC, we are proud of our commitment to our clients. We pledge to provide them with the highest quality legal representation in Gramling and treat them with respect, empathy, and compassion. If you are suffering from the results of a dangerous car accident, know we are here to assist.

We will help you seek compensation for your medical bills, lost wages, pain and suffering, and additional losses. Surviving family members may also recover funeral expenses and compensation for the personal loss of a loved one, including the deceased's future income and benefits. When you or your family's health and financial security are on the line, trust the best choose CHSA Law, LLC.

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Latest News in Gramling, SC

Olde Colony Bakery’s new chapter

For Sheila and Peter Rix, the longtime owners of Mount Pleasant’s Olde Colony Bakery, a career spanning 31 years has recently come to a close. After decades at the Olde Colony helm, the couple announced their retirement in October. Local business partners — and self-proclaimed devotees of the bakery — Ben Gramling and Mikell Harper took over ownership of the Lowcountry institution.The venture represents an independent project, the new owners said, and it’s not their first foray into the food and beverage space....

For Sheila and Peter Rix, the longtime owners of Mount Pleasant’s Olde Colony Bakery, a career spanning 31 years has recently come to a close. After decades at the Olde Colony helm, the couple announced their retirement in October. Local business partners — and self-proclaimed devotees of the bakery — Ben Gramling and Mikell Harper took over ownership of the Lowcountry institution.

The venture represents an independent project, the new owners said, and it’s not their first foray into the food and beverage space. Also owners of Water’s Edge restaurant on Shem Creek, Gramling and Harper view the acquisition as another meaningful investment, and a rare chance to sustain a local legacy.

The Rix family visionAt the bakery, business was always a family affair. “I was 11 when we took over,” said Phil Rix, son of the former owners. “It was slightly by accident, and slightly my dad’s good business sense.”

At the urging of a family member in 1990, Peter traveled from Pittsburgh to Charleston to explore possible business opportunities. He first encountered the Olde Colony Bakery’s benne wafer — a crisp, sesame-studded staple of the Lowcountry. While savory iterations are also common, the bakery claimed the oldest known recipe for the sweet wafer, dating back more than 100 years. To Peter’s delight, the bakery was for sale.

“He bought the bakery for the benne wafers, essentially,” Phil said. At the time, his father already boasted a robust food and beverage background, formerly heading up the dining programs at Harvard University and the University of Pittsburgh. By 1990, Olde Colony, which had changed hands several times since its opening in the late 1940s (the Rix family is unsure of the exact date), was struggling.

“Our vision was to change it from a traditional mom-and-pop shop to more of a factory operation,” Phil said. Meanwhile, Charleston was growing rapidly with transplants and travelers flooding in by the year.

“As the city got more popular, so did the benne wafer,” Phil added. “Consequently, so did we.”

Olde Colony linked to benne wafersIt wasn’t long before the reinvigorated Olde Colony became synonymous with the product. The thin, coin-like wafers, packaged with the bakery’s signature gold label, could be found across the region and beyond, including on grocery store shelves, such as Harris Teeter and Publix.

The Rix family had all hands on deck in the bakery’s former downtown Charleston location.“I’ve done everything from scrubbing dishes, replacing toilets and mopping floors to developing recipes,” Phil said. “That’s how it goes in a family business — at the end of the day, it’s all up to you.

“My dad is a fantastic cook, so I learned a lot from him, as well as the professional folks who were in the kitchen when we bought the bakery,” Phil said. “Sometimes it was like having 20 parents. Eartha Keith, who decorated our cakes, must have worked at the bakery for 40 years. She was like my mom when my mom was busy in the store.”

Through it all, the bakery’s simple benne wafer recipe has remained unchanged.

Looking for new ownersFor the Rix family, preserving the wafer’s integrity — and the bakery’s enduring spirit — has always been paramount. The value held true when, earlier this year, the family decided it was time to sell the beloved business.

Despite interest in expanding to North Carolina and Georgia, the family was adamant that the business remain headquartered in the Lowcountry.

“It seemed silly for a Charleston cookie to be made anywhere else,” Phil said. Earlier this year, an offer arrived from Gramling and Harper, partners in Gramling Brothers Real Estate and Development, a multigenerational Charleston firm.

Drawn to the bakery’s success, the duo had a personal angle, too. Avid patrons Harper and his wife had family members who had visited the bakery during its early days at its former King Street location (it’s now located off of Long Point Road in Mount Pleasant).

“When our family bought it, the goal was to get it back to its glory days,” Phil said. “We took that seriously, and so do they. They want to keep the tradition alive.”

The sale, which closed in August, seemed a perfect fit, Harper said. “We’ve been customers for a long time — we’ve personally consumed a lot of their profits,” he laughed.

Intent on continuing the Olde Colony legacy, the new owners said they plan to stay the course, while continuing to thoughtfully grow the brand’s national presence.

“The bakery is very closely associated with Charleston, and folks around here know it well. We don’t intend to change much,” Harper said. “Our goal would be to carefully grow and expand, but we plan to keep the team in place, and be very deliberate in what we’re doing.”

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Mascot Homes operations grind to halt

What happened to Mascot Homes Inc.? That is the question baffling clients of the Gramling-based modular homebuilder these days.Mascot, a company once touted as a national leader in high-end manufactured homebuilding, with 270 employees at its 200,000-square-foot production facility and home office off Highway 176, has all but vanished from the rolling foothills landscape."They disappeared like a thief in the night," said Rickie Gardner, a Gramling resident. "It was like one day they were here thriv...

What happened to Mascot Homes Inc.? That is the question baffling clients of the Gramling-based modular homebuilder these days.

Mascot, a company once touted as a national leader in high-end manufactured homebuilding, with 270 employees at its 200,000-square-foot production facility and home office off Highway 176, has all but vanished from the rolling foothills landscape.

"They disappeared like a thief in the night," said Rickie Gardner, a Gramling resident. "It was like one day they were here thriving, and the next day they were gone. Their parking lot used to be full of cars, and now it's empty."

A spokesman at the company's headquarters could not be reached for comment Wednesday, but manufacturing operations have ceased.

Only a handful of office personnel and a small team of service employees are still working out of the plant.

"Right now, they're going through some changes," said Joe Douglas of Mascot Homes' sales center on Asheville Highway in Spartanburg.

Mascot was founded in 1965 by local businessman Ed Mitchell.

At its peak in the late 1990s, the plant produced about 12 multi-family homes per week.

Jerry Dotson, owner of Alternative Housing Solutions in Fletcher, N.C., said he has bought homes from Mascot since his business opened in 2000.

In December, he heard the company was scaling back its work force and grinding production to a halt, so he decided to end his relationship with Mascot.

"Unfortunately, we saw this coming and got set up to do business with another company," Dotson said. "It's upsetting to us. We know some good people that were hurt by this."

Dotson said he has lost thousands of dollars, as several of the homes he purchased were on order. He stands to lose more money if Mascot goes out of business completely.

"All of their homes have a one-year warranty," Dotson said. "If something goes wrong, we'll have to pay for the repairs. They told me they were going to continue to do that though."

Diane Taylor, a spokeswoman for Palm Harbor Village of Marble, N.C., said her company also was hurt by Mascot's decline.

"We've done business with them for over 11 years, and they have been excellent," Taylor said. "We absolutely hate to see them go because Mascot models were some of our top sellers. Several of our customers, who already had their homes on the market, are very upset."

Terry Landingham, owner of Landingham Mobile Homes in Winston-Salem, N.C., who is also a Mascot dealer, said he did not know why the company made the decision to cease production, but suspected it was because of decreased sales in the modular homes industry.

"I'm sure they've been going through a lot of the same problems that we have been going through," Landingham said. "The industry is going through a rough time. People aren't seeking out manufactured homes as a viable option."

In the past, manufactured homes, which are assembled on a production line and shipped to home sites, have filled a need for affordable housing.

The average price per square foot for a manufactured home is between $26 and $31, while the average price per square foot for a site-built home is close to $63, according to the Manufactured Housing Institute.

Spartanburg painter’s bold style praised in Charleston art circles

Susannah Gramling likes to view Charleston best from its highest peaks.It’s here, from the quiet solitary tops of church steeples, where she can look down upon the city. The painter draws her inspiration from the intricate and varied rooftops. The rich hues, dramatic dips and asymmetrical designs never cease to inspire her. The city is simply her muse.“I love to photograph (and then paint) the city’s rooftops,” she said. “These rooftops run the full gamut.”From rooftop s...

Susannah Gramling likes to view Charleston best from its highest peaks.

It’s here, from the quiet solitary tops of church steeples, where she can look down upon the city. The painter draws her inspiration from the intricate and varied rooftops. The rich hues, dramatic dips and asymmetrical designs never cease to inspire her. The city is simply her muse.

“I love to photograph (and then paint) the city’s rooftops,” she said. “These rooftops run the full gamut.”

From rooftop scapes to figurative pieces and portraits, Gramling’s oil paintings have attracted quite a following. Her style is impressionist, and she is known for incorporating rich colors and bold strokes.

“I have a fairly bold palette,” she said. “It’s a lot of jewel tones, thick paint … always in oils.”

Though she has lived in Charleston most of her adult life, Gramling’s roots are firmly planted in Spartanburg County, in the tiny town of Gramling. Her family still lives in Gramling, and she frequently returns with husband Matthew Hubbell and their two young children to visit her parents, John and Ellen Gramling, as well as extended family.

As far back as she can remember, art was part of her life. As a child, she took lessons in Inman from Pamela Brown. She enjoyed the classes but didn’t realize how deeply she was drawn to art until it was time to apply to colleges.

“She was the best teacher; I was just too involved with other things in high school to really concentrate on art,” said the Chapman High graduate. “On some level, I guess I knew that I wanted to do something in art. I only looked at colleges with strong art programs.”

Gramling chose Converse College, where she thrived and grew as an artist. She credits the school with helping to develop her unique style of underpaint. She first covers her canvas in a rough clay or rust color. In the finished work, little hints and pieces of the color pop through. It helps to give her painting distinct depth and makes the images that much deeper.

“I can’t even tell you how I do this; it’s something you don’t think about … it’s like putting on your makeup; it’s just something you do,” Gramling said.

After graduating from Converse in 1992, Gramling found her way to Charleston, where she worked as an interior design assistant. Soon the pull to be a professional artist took over.

The city’s annual Piccolo Spoleto outdoor arts festival would be was her first big test. Gramling, who signs works under her maiden name (and incorporates her married name Hubbell as her middle initial), painted a body of work and joined other artists at the world-renowned event.

“It gave me so much confidence,” she said. “Just being out there in the park, under the tent with the other artists and being able to talk to people and see their reaction to my work. I got to see how they responded to it, which was so important to me.”

A few years later, at the 2000 Piccolo Spoleto, Gramling received one of Charleston’s top art awards — Best in Show, The Mayor’s Purchase Award. At the time she was nine months pregnant with her first child.

“I literally had to waddle up and receive my award,” she said. “I had my baby two days later.”

For many years Gramling showed her work in Charleston’s Unity Gallery and has had shows in New York City. She’s also continued her studies in Italy, first in Cortana with the University of Georgia, and later under Master Painter Ray Gary in Umbria. Most recently, she studied in Idaho under Ovanes Berberian, a Russian impressionist.

Gramling has found Charleston, however, with its vibrant arts scene most nurturing. She has witnessed the art scene there grow each year. The city has become a destination spot for people buying art, much like Santa Fe.

“There are lots of great artists in Charleston,” Gramling said. “That is good for everyone.”

Her studio on Broad Street in downtown Charleston is a former Confederate hospital built in the 1700s. The building is a classic Charleston structure complete with a charming courtyard. Here she paints and nothing else. The cell phone is turned off, she doesn’t bring her children and she can concentrate 100 percent on her work.

“It’s a beautiful old home, with a real shabby chic style,” she said. “It’s full of light and has lots of off spaces. There are writers and sculptors and painters all tucked in there. It’s just a wonderful Charleston setting.”

And the perfect place for Gramling to use her canvas to reflect on the city.

One Last Look UPSTATE AGRICULTURE Peaches no longer the apple of county's eye

The Upstate's most fruitful period in agricultural history appears to be withering as the new century approaches.The peach was king in Spartanburg in the early 1900s, one of the most productive times in the Upstate's agricultural history. But the crop's impact on the area has changed drastically. "Peaches don't have the same impact as they used to," said Clemson Extension Service agent Edmund Taylor, who works with peach growers in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Greenville counties. In the early 1900s, the area's a...

The Upstate's most fruitful period in agricultural history appears to be withering as the new century approaches.

The peach was king in Spartanburg in the early 1900s, one of the most productive times in the Upstate's agricultural history. But the crop's impact on the area has changed drastically. "Peaches don't have the same impact as they used to," said Clemson Extension Service agent Edmund Taylor, who works with peach growers in Spartanburg, Cherokee and Greenville counties. In the early 1900s, the area's agricultural market was composed of a variety of crops such as cotton, peaches, eggs and soybeans. It also included milk production. The peach, however, was the major crop in South Carolina's economy. Although peach trees were planted in the area at least 150 years ago, an early Clemson University publication credited J. Verne Smith with planting "the first commercial peach orchard of any importance to the Piedmont section of South Carolina" in 1901. Smith's original orchards on Mount Vernon Farm were located east of downtown Greer, according to the book, "Family Trees: The Peach Culture of the Piedmont." About 70 acres of peaches were planted on the original 100-acre farm. Another family whose peach farming is deeply rooted in Spartanburg County is the Gramlings. Although the late Ben Gramling started out with cotton and corn crops and a dairy business, it was his peach crops that are most remembered. Gramling planted his first commercial orchard on 10 acres in the Gramling community about 1918, according to his grandson, Ben Gramling II. He planted his first peach trees after a friend from Georgia convinced him that his land would be perfect for the fruit. Three years later, Gramling harvested his first crop from the trees. Since the trees were still growing, the crop was small. So he and his friends combined their harvests, pulling together just enough to send out the first carload grown in the Gramling area. It wasn't long before the trees matured, giving the small farming company a big boost in fruit production. "It grew from that to be a major industry in agriculture in the Upstate, particularly Spartanburg County," Gramling said. At one time, the Gramling estate included 1,000 acres in the Gramling community and a 1,000-acre plantation in southern Spartanburg County, where the family conducted its general farm operations. The company blossomed as decades passed, and the late Ben Gramling's son, Henry Gramling, started his own peach farming business separate from his siblings. At one time, Henry Gramling's business grew up to 25 varieties, including elberta, mayflower, redbird and golden jubilee. In addition to growing peaches, Henry Gramling also installed farm equipment inside packing houses throughout Spartanburg County. "At one time, I would say in the late '40s, my daddy put in equipment for 30 small packing houses," Ben Gramling II said. Henry Gramling also packed fruit for 20 other growers. He said the family eventually had to hire additional migrant farmers to help harvest the crop because there were not enough local people to work the orchards. Today, the family business, Gramling Brothers Inc., has evolved into real estate, real estate development, contracting, land surveying and fertilizing. A large portion of the business, however, still is devoted to agriculture. In addition to growing peaches commercially, the family grows strawberries and two varieties of apples and raises beef cattle. The family had such an impact on Spartanburg County that the small community was named after them. Gramling said he thinks the reason his family clings to its roots in agriculture is because "we grew up in it, and it's just part of us." Today about 3,000 acres in Spartanburg County are devoted to peaches, Taylor said, down from about 13,000 in 1981, which is when Taylor began work with the Extension Service. Taylor cites several factors, most importantly weather patterns and the loss of acreage, for the decline of peaches. He said many area peach farmers left the business in the 1980s because of terrible growing seasons. In 1982, 1983 and 1985, freezing temperatures almost wiped out the peach crop. In 1984, peach farmers faced a national surplus of peaches. "Those four bad years had a tremendous negative impact on the industry," Taylor said. The number of commercial peach growers in South Carolina dropped from 1,410 in 1950 to 899 in 1962 and to 367 in 1972. The latest statistics from the S.C. Agricultural Statistics Service show that in 1996 the state had 153 growers. Currently, about 40 commercial peach growers remain in Spartanburg County. Peaches aren't the only crop to take a hit. Soybean farming has been more than cut in half since 1988. In 1988, 3,000 acres in Spartanburg County were used for soybean farming. This year, it's down to 1,200 acres. Beef cattle production also has been important to the area's history. Beef cattle production has fluctuated in the area, said Extension Service agent Joe Guthrie. "It kind of goes in cycles," he said. "We actually now have quite a few more beef cattle than we had in the mid-1980s." Guthrie said Spartanburg County has a handful of large beef cattle producers, but most of them aren't full-time operations as many of the farmers also have other jobs. Nearly 200 beef cattle owners are in the area, he said. Most of those cattle were obtained or traded at the market in Chesnee. Guthrie said he fears that at some point cattle farmers will be faced with whether to sell their land for development. Farms in general also are on the decline across the country. For example, in 1900, 13.9 million acres of farmland existed in South Carolina, according to the federal census that year. In 1906, Spartanburg County farmlands had the largest assessed land valuation of any county in the state. Census figures from 1910 show that 2,657 of the farms were owned, while 5,076 were rented by tenant farms. The sizes of the farms ranged from less than three acres to more than 1,000 acres. As the decades rolled by, the county lost thousands of acres of farmland as farmers downsized or got out of the business. By 1984, the county had 1,350 farms with an average size of 106 acres. In 1997, that number had decreased to 1,080 farms with an average size of 111 acres. Taylor said he thinks right now the county has stable farmers who have no plans to sell their land. But if weather patterns continue to devastate farms, the county may see more acres once filled with fruit turned into spaces for homes or other development.

District 1 announces Teachers of the Year

District 1 Schools recently announced its 2012-13 Teachers of the Year for each school and the Teacher of the Year.Teacher of the Year for District One Schools and Chapman High School Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Erin Gramling, English/ language arts. Gramling is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, has a master's degree in education and has been teaching for seven years, all at Chapman High.Gramling teaches ninth and 10th grades and serves as cheerleading coach for the Chapman Competitive Cheer...

District 1 Schools recently announced its 2012-13 Teachers of the Year for each school and the Teacher of the Year.

Teacher of the Year for District One Schools and Chapman High School Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Erin Gramling, English/ language arts. Gramling is a graduate of the University of South Carolina Upstate, has a master's degree in education and has been teaching for seven years, all at Chapman High.

Gramling teaches ninth and 10th grades and serves as cheerleading coach for the Chapman Competitive Cheer Squad. She is married to Trey Gramling.

Mrs. Gramling says, “With support, a student can be successful. I want to teach because I have an opportunity to give, selflessly, every day. Teaching is rewarding because my heart almost bursts with happiness when I am able to help children believe in themselves. Since I am only one person, the reality that I am expected to be the teacher, parent, mentor and counselor for each child is overwhelming. Since I rely on prayer to guide me through life, I am able to achieve a sense of peace as I begin each day.”

Mrs. Anna Hodge is the Campobello-Gramling School Teacher of the Year. She has been the art teacher at Campobello-Gramling School for 12 years and holds a master's degree in education.

The Teacher of the Year for Holly Springs-Motlow Elementary School is Mrs. Melissa Lark, who teaches third grade. Lark has been teaching for 20 years, all at Holly Springs Motlow Elementary. She holds a master's-plus-30 degree.

Mrs. Mary Somers, special education teacher, is Inman Elementary School's Teacher of the Year. She has taught for 32 years, 17 of those at Inman Elementary. She has a master'splus- 30 degree.

Media specialist Amber Keeran is the Teacher of the Year for Inman Intermediate School. She has taught for 26 years as a media specialist, special- education teacher and public library media specialist.

Col. Robert Sanders is the Landrum High School Teacher of the Year. Sanders holds a B.S. in engineering from West Point and a master's degree in counseling from Auburn University. He spent 28 years in the Army and has been an ROTC instructor for eight years.

Landrum Middle School's Teacher of the Year is Mrs. Jackie Putman. Putman has been teaching for 28 years and for six years at Landrum Middle School. She has a master's-plus-30 degree.

Mrs. Tammy Starosto is the Teacher of the Year for Mabry Middle School. Starosto has taught for 28 years and has been a math teacher at Mabry Middle for four years. She holds a master's degree.

O.P. Earle Elementary Teacher of the Year is Ms. Anna Mathis, who teaches fourth grade at O.P. Earle. Mathis holds a B.A. in elementary education and is elementary and middle level math-certified.

Mrs. Gayle Elrod serves as guidance counselor for New Prospect Elementary School and represents the school as Teacher of the Year. Elrod has taught special education for nine years and has been school counselor at New Prospect for five years. She has a master's degree in guidance and counseling.

Teacher of the Year for Swofford Career Center is Mrs. Tracy Thornton, who teaches graphics and printing at the school. She has been in that position for 11 years. She has degrees from Spartanburg Community College and career certification from Clemson University.

The Teachers of the Year were honored by the District 1 Board of Trustees at a dinner in their honor on Aug. 13. Each teacher received a name plaque to be placed outside the classroom door identifying him or her as Teacher of the Year. They were also recognized at the annual District 1 Convocation of all staff on Aug. 16.

Call, email or mail Ashley Dill at:

-- 864-562-7272

-- ashley.dill@shj.com

-- Town Square, Herald-Journal, P.O. Box 1657, Spartanburg, SC 29304

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