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Fort Jackson Gate, Percival Road: 1980s   7 comments

Posted at 11:43 pm in Uncategorized

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I've been meaning to get back up in here for several years and see what is still left, but recently I've seen construction trucks going in and out, so I figured I had better go ahead and do it now, before whatever is left is gone..

As you may know, one of the main Fort Jackson gates used to feed directly into Percival Road, not too far west of Decker Boulevard. All the gates were (and probably still are) numbered, and I used to know the number of this gate, but can't now recall it. At any rate, my father was an Army Reserve member and then retiree, so my mother and we minor children had post access as a consequence. We would frequently go to one of the post theater (where they always played the national anthem before the show), or to the PX or library (which actually had a pretty good selection of SF books, many of which were not in the RCPL).

My memory is that at the top of the hill leading from Percival onto Jackson Boulevard and into the Fort, just past the gate to the left was an AFFES convience store, and a bit further down the road on the right was an AFFES fast food hamburger joint.

As some of you may recall, building I-77 took a *really* long time. Some wag wrote a letter to the editor at The State speculating that a troop of Boy Scouts with spoons could do it faster -- but finally it was done, and the new road cut through this entrance, which had by that point been closed for several years in anticipation of the event.

Looking at Google Maps aerial view of the site, apparently taken some while ago, I can see what appears to be a parking lot just before the I-77 barriers. I speculate that the convenience store was there, but it's possible that it was actually in the I-77 roadbed.

Several wars have been fought since this gate was closed, and Fort security is a good bit tighter now. The new gate comes out onto Percival over a bridge across I-77 east of Decker at Boyden Arbor Road, but I believe that access is somewhat restricted, and that the Forest Drive/Strom Thurmond entrance is now the main entrance for general traffic.

Let's take a walk:

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The old road is now blocked for cars at Percival, but it is not posted. Previously, I think it was so overgrown that no formal block was needed. It's a bit of an uphill grade.

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You see about what you would expect to see on a secluded road with no traffic..

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Hmm., here's what all the construction traffic is about, apparently..

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What's this? I do believe it's the old gate! Traffic without base decals would have to be waved through these. Decal traffic would pass by on the left of the median only having to slow down (and turn off their lights at night).

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Said median and a view of the gates from a bit farther back.

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The road clearing work goes right up to the I-77 barrier.

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Here's a look back at the earthworks. What are they doing? It looks like some sort of a ramp. Are they going to put another bridge across I-77, and if so, why?

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This google maps link should show the aerial view, pre-construction.

Written by ted on March 30th, 2017

7 Responses to 'Fort Jackson Gate, Percival Road: 1980s'

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  1. The burger joint was called Tiger's Den. My mom worked there for a while back in the late 70's or early 80's.

    Sidney

    31 Mar 17 at 10:08 am

  2. Who lived on Ft. Jackson and where? We lived at 5898-D Parker Lane from 73-84.

    Sidney

    31 Mar 17 at 10:11 am

  3. I don't believe there really was a gate there until the 80s. I remember in the 60s and the 70s we would cut through the fort to get from Dentsville to the Sumter Highway.

    Tom

    31 Mar 17 at 10:31 am

  4. Good pictures Ted. Living in Columbia for 60 years and on the east side of, I have traveled into, and out of, Fort Jackson through this gate many times. Before the world went nuts with 9-11 we "Cut" through Fort Jackson ALL the time. Living out in the Leesburg Road area, Fort Jackson was a nice short cut to most places beyond if heading west.
    Yea, they had gates and guards but up until the late 80's the guards would just "Salute" and "wave" us through.
    Boy... how times have changed.

    A interesting story about how much times have changed.
    In the 70's, while still in high school, my posse and I would ride around Columbia at night just doing whatever and having fun. One guy had an old Chevy Suburban that was owned by Southern Bell and he bought it at an auction. It was pretty ragged out but we could fit 7 or 8 of us in it. We would cruse around town having fun at anything that happened.

    One of the guys had a spot light that plugged into the cigarette lighter socket. The light was the size of a headlight and really bright.
    Back in those days convenience stores sold large balloons for 10 cents. I had the brilliant idea to buy a blue balloon, cut it in half and stretch it over the light my buddy had, tape the balloon on and we had a blue light. We would wave the light from side to side, back and forth through the front window.
    At night it looked like a cop cars flashing light pulling them over. We would do this from time to time, the car we flashed would pull over, after they pulled over, we kids, in an old truck full of teenagers would "Blast" by laughing and haul ass. In most cases a chase would ensue by the car we pulled over.
    It was so much fun when only 16 years old.

    One day we cut across Fort Jackson around midnight. We came up on a car near the main entrance at Jackson Blvd.
    We pulled out the light and flashed the car, the car pulled over and we blasted by laughing. The car we pulled over pulled back out, gave chase, and TURNED HIS BLUE LIGHT ON. We had flashed an unmarked MP. Oh shit. He was not very happy, he gave us a lecture about getting into trouble, going to jail, then complimented us on our ingenuity to have fun.
    He let us go with a stern warning not to do it again.

    That's what I mean about how times have changed. We were not out to hurt anyone back then, we were just having fun.
    It NEVER even occurred to us to rob somebody or steal something, that was against the law and not in our thoughts, if anything we helped more people than not.
    Many teenagers today are stupid, not out to have fun, carry guns and are only looking to see what they can get or steal.

    I blame it on the parents. The parents are stupid, they raise their kids to be stupid because they are not smart enough to teach them right from wrong, their kids turn out to be dumber than they are, the grand kids turn out to be dumber than their parents and it just keeps snowballing until one day, those idiots will be breading kids that are as smart as the Neanderthals back in stone age.
    Well, we do have a lot of unused caves in America.

    Rick

    31 Mar 17 at 12:14 pm

  5. ** Idiots will be BREEDING kids that are...

    Hmmm... it appears that being in close proximity to idiots is affecting my ability to spell.

    Like the old saying goes "it is hard to soar with eagles when one works with a bunch of turkeys"

    The saying should be amended to say.
    It is hard to increase ones intelligence when one must be politically correct and live/work side by side with idiots."

    Rick

    31 Mar 17 at 1:11 pm

  6. Rick you'll appreciate this: I used to work with a lady who grew up in Vermont in the same era you spoke of and she had several stories of being able to get in/out of the Canadian border and some of them were wild and crazy...

    Andrew

    31 Mar 17 at 7:31 pm

  7. I remember going through this gate a couple of times. I have no idea when it closed, but I was born in 77, and it was definitely closed by 84 when they started working on that section of I77.

    Mr Bill

    6 Apr 17 at 9:56 am

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