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Old 07-19-2010, 08:51 AM
jckegley jckegley is offline
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Default Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

Just a show and tell post, taken from a canoe so I know the photos aren't too good.

Came across this hunting cabin while canoeing the Sparkleberry Swamp over the weekend. What amazes me is that this thing must have been built on site. I do not believe there is a way to float this structure to it's current location. The cabin is thick in the middle of tupelo and cypresses. Not only that, about the only boats that can get into this area are jon boats and canoe/kayaks. It had to take a while for this guy (and possibly friends) to build this thing. From what I understand there are other squatter cabins hidden in the swamp besides this one.

I will post a map in a second post

Cabin view 1
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Cabin view 2
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:52 AM
jckegley jckegley is offline
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

Map showing how thick with forest the area where the cabin is.

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Old 07-19-2010, 10:37 AM
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

I guess determination can accomplish a lot. Looks like someone took on quite a project. Neat photo as well.
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Old 07-19-2010, 04:51 PM
hisloveisunfailing hisloveisunfailing is offline
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

That is a cute little cabin with its jaunty American flag and what looks like a hammock out in the back. Someone has a nice little getaway....in the swamp. I came across a derelict cabin while kayaking at Morrison Springs once, but it was in no way inviting or appealing. In fact, it made me want to hightail it outta there. But I like this one. Maybe you will get to meet the owners and see inside of it one day.
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Old 07-19-2010, 05:18 PM
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

While I think the photos are nice Joe I in no way can condone these swamp cabins. I don't like them. I think they should be outlawed and everyone removed from the swamp. It's disgraceful in my opinion. Sorry if that offends anyone. Granted this is a pretty nice swamp cabin but most of them you see are nothing more than a shack or a dump in the middle of a beautiful swamp.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:38 PM
jckegley jckegley is offline
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

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Originally Posted by Squatty View Post
While I think the photos are nice Joe I in no way can condone these swamp cabins. I don't like them. I think they should be outlawed and everyone removed from the swamp. It's disgraceful in my opinion. Sorry if that offends anyone. Granted this is a pretty nice swamp cabin but most of them you see are nothing more than a shack or a dump in the middle of a beautiful swamp.
I don't think you are offending anyone Scott. From what I understand it is illegal for this cabin and those like to be built (or exist) in Sparkleberry Swamp. Again from what I understand, the SC DNR is giving these folks who have these houseboats or shacks on stilts 3 years to remove them or they will do it for them. Though because this area is so forested and always flooded that will be something hard for the SC DNR to enforce. I don't see how they can patrol the area and catch everything.

I think the old school hunters and fisherman (a generation back or so) has had their way with Sparkleberry Swamp for a long time. At least since the dam was built on the Santee. They could pretty much squat (build a structure) on any place available and no one said anything. Times have changed.

Still you can imagine my surprise when I was out there in the middle of nowhere and came across this thing. There is no way it was towed. It had to have been constructed at the site.
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Old 07-19-2010, 06:52 PM
jckegley jckegley is offline
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

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Originally Posted by hisloveisunfailing View Post
That is a cute little cabin with its jaunty American flag and what looks like a hammock out in the back. Someone has a nice little getaway....in the swamp. I came across a derelict cabin while kayaking at Morrison Springs once, but it was in no way inviting or appealing. In fact, it made me want to hightail it outta there. But I like this one. Maybe you will get to meet the owners and see inside of it one day.
Ha, I kind of like the American flag too. I think that sets this particular cabin off. The icing on the cake so to speak.

Not sure it has an official owner. I think once you build one it is first come first serve.
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:25 PM
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

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I
Still you can imagine my surprise when I was out there in the middle of nowhere and came across this thing. There is no way it was towed. It had to have been constructed at the site.
Oh of course! That thing is like a 4 Seasons Resort in the middle of the swamp! There's no doubt about that!

Also you are correct about the laws against them. I don't know the specific language about them but believe me there's still a TON of them sitting over around Low Falls and I don't think I've seen any of them towed off or dealt with. Frankly I don't see how DNR will have the means to enforce anything regarding these swamp shacks if their budgets keep getting slashed!
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Old 07-19-2010, 08:27 PM
hisloveisunfailing hisloveisunfailing is offline
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

Now that is interesting to find out that they are a kind of first come, first serve sort of deal. I guess that is why most of them don't look as inviting as the one in your photos. That kind of thing reminds me of some of the places that Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings paddled by and wrote about in Cross Creek. And that is why I would never go paddling alone. You don't know who you might run into.
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Old 07-20-2010, 02:01 PM
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Default Re: Sparkleberry Swamp cabin (houseboat)

Very interesting history and background on these cabins/shacks. It always makes me a little sad to see people leaving their "footprint" on our natural places. That being said - I do like the second picture a lot Joe. It definitely has a sense of place and character. There is something about it that makes me think of a watercolor or sketch. It could be fun to run some PS filters over it or try it in B/W or sepia and see what happens.
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