Monday, July 16, 2007

No Visitors - No Sales, but ...welcome

During our forays into the hinterlands, up and down our coast and occasional incursions into Georgia and North Carolina we sometimes blunder upon places of interest. Sometimes we have a clear objective in mind. The past weekend we had set our sights on the Blenheim bottling plant in Marlboro County, South Carolina.

We wanted to see where the famous Blenheim ginger ale was produced and figured naturally enough that it was at Blenheim, SC. Last minute on line research indicated that the brew was now bottled at Hamer, SC, in Dillon County at a location which was much improved over the original and welcomed visitors. We go the impression that tours were in the offing.

The relatively quicker and decidedly dirtier path was I-95 right to the state line. We chose Hwy. 41 which afforded a largely rural passage to our target. Getting there was all of the fun, but finding the plant was puzzling. We received differing accounts of the fate and location of the plant with each person we asked along the way. Finally, we were put wise by a maintenance man in the office of a campground which appeared unoccupied.

Our photo taken at the gate to the property indicates the level of welcome we received. The Blenheim crest well resembles the seal of a not very public military agency. So, this is what our Blenheim trip became, but the real fun began with what we next discovered. One hint is that the Blenheim company was acquired in 1993 by the family and or estate of the late Alan Schafer. We will explain this in detail in our next posting. It became decidely more strange.


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