Criminal Defense Attorney inGramling, SC

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CDH Law Firm: Giving Hope to
Criminal Defense Clients in
Gramling, SC

Getting charged with a crime in Gramling can be a traumatic experience. Even "petty" crimes can cause an individual's life to fall apart professionally and personally. Spending time in jail is bad enough, but the ramifications of a criminal record run deep, resulting in loss of employment, loss of friends, and even family. For many people, having a zealous criminal defense attorney in Gramling, SC, to defend their rights is the only shot they have of living a normal life.

That's why, if you have been charged with a crime, you need the help of a veteran criminal defense lawyer early in the legal process. That's where CDH Law Firm comes in to give you or your loved one hope when you need it the most.

Our criminal defense law firm was founded to help people just like you - hardworking men and women who are looking at diminished employment opportunities and a possible lifetime of embarrassment. But with our team of experts fighting by your side, you have a much better chance of maintaining your freedom and living a normal, productive life. When it comes to criminal law in Gramling, we've seen it all. With decades of combined experience, there is no case too complicated or severe for us to handle, from common DUI charges to complicated cases involving juvenile crimes. Unlike some of our competition, we prioritize personalized service and cutting-edge criminal defense strategies to effectively represent our clients.

Criminal Defense Attorney Gramling, SC

Clients rank CHSA Law, LLC as the top choice for Gramling criminal defense because we provide:

  • One-on-One Counsel
  • Education on the Gramling Legal Process and Its Risks
  • Ardent, Effective Representation
  • Commitment to Our Clients and Defending Their Rights
  • Prompt Inquiry Response
  • Robust Experience with Criminal Law Cases in Gramling
  • Innovative Defense Strategies
  • Effective, Thorough Research and Investigation

Choosing the right criminal defense lawyer in Gramling can mean the difference between conviction and acquittal. Our firm has represented thousands of clients in the Lowcountry, and we're ready to defend you too. Some of our specialties include:

 Law Firm Gramling, SC
The-Cobb-Dill-Hammett-Difference

DUI Cases
in Gramling, SC

DUI penalties in Gramling can be very harsh. Many first-time DUI offenders must endure a lifelong criminal record, license suspension, and the possibility of spending time in jail. Officers and judges take DUI very seriously, with 30% of traffic fatalities in South Carolina involving impaired drivers, according to NHTSA. Criminal convictions can have lasting impacts on your life, which is why CDH Law Firm works so hard to get these charges dismissed or negotiated down. In some cases, we help clients avoid jail time altogether.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Gramling, SC
When you hire our DUI defense firm, our team will always work towards your best interests and will go above and beyond to achieve the best outcome in your case. Depending on the circumstances of your DUI charges, we will investigate whether:
  • Your DUI stop was legal
  • You were administered a field sobriety test correctly
  • The breathalyzer used was calibrated correctly and properly maintained
  • Urine and blood tests were administered and collected properly

The bottom line? Our criminal law defense attorneys will do everything possible to keep you out of jail with a clean permanent record. It all starts with a free consultation, where we will take time to explain the DUI process. We'll also discuss your defense options and speak at length about the differences between going to trial and accepting a plea bargain.

DUI Penalties in Gramling, SC

The consequences of a DUI in Gramling depend on a number of factors, including your blood alcohol level and how many DUIs you have received in the last 10 years. If you're convicted, the DUI charge will remain on your criminal history and can be seen by anyone who runs a background check on you. Sometimes, a judge will require you to enter alcohol treatment or install an interlock device on your automobile.

If you're on the fence about hiring a criminal defense lawyer in Gramling, SC, consider the following DUI consequences:

Criminal Defense Attorney Gramling, SC

First Offense

Offense

48 hours to 90 days

in jail

with fines ranging from

$400 to $1,000

Second Offense

Offense

Five days to three years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$2,100 to $6,500

Third Offense

Offense

60 days to five years

in jail

with fines ranging from

$3,800 to $10,000

Additional consequences can include:

1

Alcohol or Drug Treatment

When convicted of DUI in South Carolina, most offenders must join the Alcohol and Drug Safety Action Program. This program mandates that offenders complete a drug and alcohol assessment and follow the recommended treatment options.

 Law Firm Gramling, SC

2

Community Service

Some first-time DUI offenders in Gramling may choose to complete community service in lieu of jail time. Community service hours are usually equal to the length of jail time an offender would be required to serve.

 Criminal Defense Lawyer Gramling, SC

Sanctions to Your Driver's License

Typically, when a person is convicted of driving under the influence in Gramling, their driver's license is restricted or suspended. The length of restriction or suspension depends on how many prior DUI convictions an individual has.

First DUI Offense

First-time DUI offenders must endure a six-month license suspension. Drivers convicted with a blood-alcohol level of .15% or more do not qualify for a provisional license. However, sometimes they may still drive using an ignition interlock device.

Second DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a second DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for two years.

Third DUI Offense

Offenders convicted of a third DUI charge must use an ignition interlock device (IID) for three years. That term increases to four years if the driver is convicted of three DUIs in five years.

Immobilized Vehicle

For offenders with two or more convictions, the judge will immobilize their vehicle if it is not equipped with an IID. When a judge immobilizes a vehicle, the owner must turn over their registration and license plate. Clearly, the consequences of receiving a DUI in Gramling can be life-changing, and not in a good way. The good news is that with CDH Law Firm, you have a real chance at beating your charges and avoiding serious fines and jail time. Every case is different, which is why it's so important that you call our office as soon as possible if you are charged with a DUI.

Traffic Violation Cases

Most drivers brush off traffic law violations as minor offenses, but the fact of the matter is they are criminal matters to be taken seriously. Despite popular opinion, Traffic Violation cases in Gramling can carry significant consequences like fines and even incarceration. If you or someone you love has been convicted of several traffic offenses, your license could be suspended, restricting your ability to work and feed your family.

Every driver should take Traffic Violations seriously. If you're charged with a traffic crime, it's time to protect yourself and your family with a trusted criminal defense lawyer in Gramling, SC. Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC is ready to provide the legal guidance and advice you need to beat your traffic charges. We'll research the merits of your case, explain what charges you're facing, discuss your defense options, and strategize an effective defense on your behalf.

Common Gramling
Traffic Violations That CDH Law
Firm Fights

There are dozens and dozens of traffic laws in Gramling, all of which affect drivers in some way. Our Gramling defense attorneys fight a full range of violations, including but not limited to the following:

Criminal Defense Attorney Gramling, SC
  • Driving Under Suspension: If you drive while your license is suspended, revoked, or canceled, you could be looking at 30 days in jail and fines up to $300.
  • Driving Under the Influence: Operating a motor vehicle while intoxicated on drugs or alcohol is illegal and often results in jail time and fines.
  • Reckless Driving: You could be ordered to pay up to $200 in fines or jailed for up to 30 days if you drive with wanton disregard for the safety of other people.
  • Racing: You can be cited and fined if you aid or participate in street racing.
  • Hit and Run: When you leave the scene of an accident that involved injury to another party, you can be arrested. This serious charge can lead to up to one year in jail and fines of up to $5,000 for first-time offenders.
  • Disregard Traffic Signals: Drivers must obey all traffic signals and control devices, less they be ticketed and sometimes fined.

As seasoned traffic violation lawyers, we know how frustrating it can be to get charged with a Traffic Violation. While some traffic charges can be minor, others are severe and can affect your life for years to come. Don't leave your fate up to chance call CDH Law Firm today for the highest-quality Traffic Violation representation in Gramling.

Juvenile Crime Cases in
Gramling, SC

At Cobb Dill Hammett, LLC, we understand that children are still growing and learning about the world around them. As such, they may make mistakes that get them into trouble with the law. Children and teens who are arrested in Gramling can face much different futures than other children their age. Some face intensive probation, while others are made to spend time in jail.

This happens most often when a child's parents fail to retain legal counsel for their son or daughter. Cases referred to the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice often move quicker than adult cases, so finding a good lawyer is of utmost importance. With that said, a compassionate criminal defense attorney in Gramling, SC, can educate you and your child about their alleged charges. To help prevent your child from going to a detention center, we will devise a strategy to achieve favorable results in their case.

 Law Firm Gramling, SC
 Criminal Defense Lawyer Gramling, SC

Juvenile Detention Hearings

Unlike adults, juveniles don't have a constitutional right to a bond hearing. Instead, once your child is taken into custody a Detention Hearing is conducted within 48 hours. This hearing is similar to a combination of a Bond Hearing and a Preliminary Hearing. Unfortunately, there is little time to prepare for these hearings, which is why you must move quickly and call CDH law firm as soon as possible.

Our team gathers police reports, petitions, interviews your child at the DJJ, speaks with you about the case and talks to the prosecutor to discover if they have plans for detention. In most cases, we strive to avoid detention and seek alternatives like divisionary programs or treatment facilities. This strategy better addresses your child's issues and keeps them out of the juvenile legal system in Gramling. If your child is charged with a crime, and South Carolina decides to prosecute, your child will appear before a family court judge, who will find them delinquent or not delinquent. There are no juries in juvenile cases in South Carolina, which is why it's crucial to have a lawyer present to defend your child if they go in front of a judge.

Common penalties for juveniles charged with crimes in Gramling include:

Criminal Defense Attorney Gramling, SC
  • Probation: Children charged with probation are released to their parents or guardians. Depending on their charges, they must abide by certain stipulations while at home and may be subject to random drug screenings. Violation of probation often results in jail time.
  • 90 Days in Juvenile Detention Center: When probation is not a viable option, prosecutors may push for 90 days of jail time in a juvenile detention facility.
  • Juvenile Detention: Children who commit very serious crimes can be sent to a juvenile detention center for a long time. These sentences can last up to the child's 21st birthday.
  • School Expulsion: When a child is convicted of a crime, their school is notified of the offense. Sometimes, the administration may decide to expel the child from school for the misdemeanors or felonies they commit.

We Fight to Protect
Your Rights So You Can
Provide for Your Family

Whether you are facing a DUI charge or a serious traffic violation, CDH Law Firm is here to fight for your rights so you can continue living life. The future might seem bleak, but our criminal defense lawyers in Gramling, SC, have the tools, experience, and strategy to win your case, as we have with so many others. Don't lose hope call our office today and maintain your freedom tomorrow.

Ask us anything

Call Now 843-936-6680 PH

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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