Have a seat….or maybe a sunflower

Published 9:30 pm Monday, August 22, 2016

Megan Wilkerson and Sammy Rogers

Megan Wilkerson and Sammy Rogers

If you’ve been to the Landrum Farmer’s Market, and noticed someone carrying out an attractive wood bench with black wrought iron, you might have wondered where it came from and who made it. Today I’m headed out to the country to visit with Sammy Rogers and his wife, Megan Wilkerson, to learn about their creations.

As I pull in the driveway, I notice their log cabin and recognize it as one of cabins built by Green River Log Cabins. Having written a feature article on the company several months ago, I was interested to see how this couple has adapted to living in a so-called “tiny house.” I’m welcomed by Flake, their rescue dog, an important member of the household. With four acres of land, a chicken house and a barn for crafting benches, I can see that tiny house living is perfect for this couple.

Sunflowers made of rebar and horse shoes.

Sunflowers made of rebar and horse shoes.

Sammy and Megan met about ten years ago. Sammy is a welder and grew up in the Upstate, graduating from Boiling Springs. Megan is from Charleston, but says she’s not a city girl and prefers this area. She works in a restaurant in Spartanburg, which is where the two of them met.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

Sammy remembers, “When I was a kid, my grandparents always took me to Hendersonville and Brevard to pick apples. I remember driving this way and I wanted to live here. We looked for two years before we found this lot and knew it was perfect for us.” Megan adds, “Living in the country, I always feel like I’m on vacation.”

Sammy learned to be a welder at 16 when he went to trade school. Recently a friend had some cedar logs and they needed to figure out what to do with them. They had the idea of making benches but didn’t want traditional wood legs. Sammy explains, “Wood legs can get loose and wobbly or become uneven. So we had the idea of crafting them with iron legs. When people saw them, they immediately wanted to order one. So then we had the idea of bringing them to the market.”

They started making the benches late winter. “We always bring at least two to the market and will sell one or both on a Saturday, and take orders if someone needs a certain size.” Sammy smiles. “And now I’ve been teaching Megan to weld so she can help me keep up with orders.”

Megan tells me about another project they’ve been successful with. “We take horseshoes and make decorative items like flowers and sunflowers. Now that fall is approaching we’re making pumpkins, and at Christmas we plan to make wreaths.” They show me some photos of boot racks and wine racks they’ve constructed out of horseshoes.

We drive through the field down to the barn to see what they are currently working on. Before entering the barn, chickens and a small rooster come running to greet us.

The rooster came from a friend who works at the Biltmore. Megan tells me, “He’s small and chickens were picking on him so he needed a new home. His name is Bowie, after David Bowie, because of his big hair,” she giggles.

They’re free range during the day, but always return to their coop at night. “The coop is locked at night,” Sammy says. “It’s on a light sensitive mechanism and locks up at dark.” One time they found a seven foot black snake in the chicken house. Megan was the bold one to pick it up and tuck it in a large Tupperware container. “We drove around and found a peach orchard and let it go.” Megan laughs, “ I don’t mind snakes. Just don’t let me near a little spider!”

In the barn they show me a large, special order, cherry table they’re working on. It will feature the same wrought iron legs that work on the benches. Seating on each side will be a long bench. There’s a flag made out of sheet metal displayed on the floor. Sammy shows me how they will put bolts in for the stars.

Megan and Sammy had a unique situation develop when selling their home in Inman before moving into their present home. Megan relates, “Our house sold quickly and we knew that we would be selling most of our belongings, since we were moving into this smaller cabin. The people buying our house admired our furnishings and asked if they could buy some things. As it turned out, they bought everything, even pictures on the walls, linens, everything. We didn’t have to spend time packing up anything.”

It’s been fun chatting with this enterprising couple on a beautiful, sunny day. But it’s time to head home. Presently some of their items are being carried at Down To Earth Garden Center in Tryon. Starting in September, they’ll have Booth #307 at Old Mill Antiques, next to Architectural Warehouse in Tryon. Email them at snrwelding@yahoo.com.