Looking back on my trip to South Carolina and neighboring states, I have the lingering feeling that I was walking through the pages of my novel about Michael Eisan. It was especially strong after the last day that we spent in Gastonia, North Carolina, not far from King’s Mountain.
I thought that I had finished my research, so my husband David planned some activities to fill that day. In the morning, we visited Daniel Stowe Botanical Gardens and had a pleasant stroll in the fall flower beds. But the best part was the path through the forest and meadowlands that would have been much the same when Michael Eisan experienced them on his forced march after the Battle of King’s Mountain.
For lunch, we went to a pub called Sammy’s in Belmont. I had chicken fried chicken, which sounds redundant but was delicious. I don’t think Michael Eisan would have ever eaten so well.
Then in the afternoon, we visited the Schiele Museum of Natural History. It was a remarkable museum for such a small place as Gastonia. But again, I made a serendipitous discovery. On the grounds of the museum, there was a colonial Back Country Farm. I felt as if I had walked onto Michael Eisan’s property, and it was just as I’d imagined it.
With all the information I gathered and the especially the atmosphere I soaked up, I have enough material to keep me writing for the next season.