One of the things I love about the Carolinas is the rich diversity of stuff to do and places to go. I like the places that offer us, travelers, the opportunity to walk in the steps of history, enjoy nature, adventure and wonderful Southern Hospitality.
We have many food traditions that make the journey of life more enjoyable. Not so long ago I was scheduled as the Friday morning speaker at a Retreat Conference in North Charleston SC. We went in the day before, and on Thursday night we enjoyed a delightful meal at Magnolias on East Bay Street in Charleston. Our server was Rich, and his recommendations were spot on. I had the Market Catch which was prepared to perfection.
After speaking for the SC Main Street folks Friday morning, I talked to Lara, one of the attendees from Greenwood and she shared some of the wonders of Greenwood's growth for which I was delighted to hear. I had produced several stories on Greenwood some years ago and was very impressed at the time. Lara reminded me about the success of Inn on the Square. While my plans were to go to Conway, I ask it she could check and see if there was room at the Inn and more importantly someone available to share their story.
We were all checking out of the Conference hotel, and Lara said let me check, I'll call you from the car. Within a few minutes, the call comes in with a confirmation, and I set my GPS for the Inn on the Square in Greenwood.
Upon arriving, I was warmly greeted by General Manager Claire Griffith. She radiates positive energy and a can-do southern attitude that simply gets things done. After checking in, we were given that grand tour, which included being made aware that Friday is Fish Night in the Carriage House, which is the Restaurant for the Inn. Of course, you can order anything you like, but fish is king on Friday nights.
We soon chose a table and had a good chat about the history of the building. The now, Inn on the Square is made up of two buildings, one building was built in 1905 and the other was built in 1906, there was an alley between the two and the buildings were joined as one and first open to the public in 1985.
While the buildings have had many lives over the years, today they are joined, updated and feature 48 guest rooms, the Fox and Hound Lounge, Carriage House Dining and a gathering place for all types of events.
Jim McGuinness, one of the owners joined us for conversation as we enjoyed the Friday Night Fish celebration. I had the flounder which was flavored just the way I like it. Producer Jared started with the fried Calamari and Peppers, a generous Tapas size portion that turned into his meal.
Jim has an accomplished and varied background; he was a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America. He is a successful contractor, inventor, artist and loves adventure. Jim said that both he and his wife love calling Greenwood home. He said, "she loved it on her fist visit." They are approaching two years as owners.
After a good night’s rest, Saturday morning activities featured a great breakfast in Carriage House with Marjorie Blalock from Nighty Six who I first meet in 2012 and is now published as Marjorie Lanelle and has a new book title, Ghost Stories of Uptown Greenwood. She has collected several local stories and legends that others say are real and genuine. It's a quick read that blends a bit of history with good southern ghost stories and can be purchased on Amazon.
The Inn on the Square is featured on pages 19-25 of Ghost Stories of Uptown Greenwood. Ghost Bill who seems to have a bad temper at times and reportedly likes to unscrew left screws. He hangs out in the Fox and Hound Lounge. While on the third floor, which is where I stayed, a Grandmother, Mother and child may or may not make an appearance.
To the best of my knowledge, I did not meet them. When checking out, I did my normal detail room check to make sure I did not leave anything. A few hours later I received a call from the Inn letting me know that I had left my computer bag. I have never done that before, so maybe the third-floor ladies were having a bit of fun.
It was a good week in the Carolinas, I traveled, enjoyed comfortable beds, talked with real people, had good fish at least two times and learned more of our colorful history and enjoyed a few ghost stories.