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Tuesday, August 26, 2014
On Sunday afternoon a sold-out trolley took a ride back to the past.
The Heritage Council of North Augusta’s annual Sweet Tea Series came to a conclusion with John Menger telling stories of the people and places of North Augusta. Menger told the trolley riders about the personalities that inhabited the town, especially those on Carolina Avenue.
“The story about Mrs. Potter and her standing on the street car tracks is one of my favorites,” he said. “She was a character. She did lose her mind, and people got used to the sound of shotgun blasts and imaginary robbers. She taught China painting and piano (for the children of those who worked at the Hampton Terrace hotel). It’s also sad, too, with the death of her daughter.”
The story that Menger refers to is Potter’s daughter stepping through an empty elevator shaft while at her job and falling to her death.
Another favorite story of Menger’s is that of the Hampton Terrace hotel itself. Due to the cufflinks not fitting on the hydrant, hoses were unable to get water to put out the fire. As such, the hotel burned to the ground.
“After all of the safety precautions they put in place, they couldn’t save it because the very things they put in brand new couldn’t be used,” he said. “There was nothing they could do. All they could do was stand there and watch it burn.”
The series was presented by Lewis Bus Line, which provided the use of the trolleys on each tour, and the Sno-Cap Drive-In.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since 2013. Follow him on Twitter @TheScottRodgers.