THE OFFICIAL SITE OF SOUTH OF THE BORDER.

Posts Tagged ‘History’

Big Bad Border Bumpers

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

At South of the Border, America’s Favorite Roadside Attraction, in Dillon South Carolina there are a lot of larger than life things to see. We have a 200 foot high observation tower that soars above the grounds. You can reach the tower in a glass elevator to enjoy the scene on your way up to the top. Standing over the shops and hotel lobby is our 97 foot tall Pedro mascot and South of the Border neon sign. And in our new Reptile Lagoon, you can find of the largest Burmese Albino pythons in America. Daisy is an astounding 22 feet long.

But maybe one of the most memorable things about South of the Border is only a few inches long and a couple of inches high. Our bumper stickers are an American icon that can be found on front and back of millions of traveler’s cars over our 60 year history. No matter where you go in the U.S., you can find a car or RV with that instantly familiar logo. You know right away that those people are veteran travelers with great taste!

While doing some research for this post about the South of the Border bumper sticker, we ran across this little gem. A vintage bumper sticker for sale on Ebay for an amazing $29.95. That’s quite a good price for something that probably was free or cost maybe a penny in its day. If that is a little too rich for your blood, we found another classic sticker from the 70′s for half that on arts and crafts site Etsy.

We found some Flickr photos of more recent South of the Border bumper stickers from user Jason Liebig. This one was from the 1980′s and has that classic 80′s neon color scheme and the over-lapping letters look really nice. His next photo shows a more modern look and design from the 1990′s.

So next time you swing through to see Pedro, make sure you pick up a bumper sticker by the checkout register at any of our shops. And if you need some help putting it on just right, we even found a Youtube video to show you the right way (NSFW-language). You can follow Pedro on Twitter for fun and information, join our Facebook fan page and read all the latest happenings and news from South of the Border on our blog.

Border History Revealed

Tuesday, December 7th, 2010

South of the Border tourist attraction has been a landmark in Dillon, SC for over 60 years. With such a long rich history, there have been many cards, posters, trinkets and memorabilia associated with Pedro and The Border. Many people have collected these items over the years, and occasionally the drop us a line or email to share their treasures with us. We have some great photos on our website that reflect the changes and growth of South of Border over the years. But that is only a small fraction of the images out there in cyberspace.

We recently received a picture of a 1957 post card on our Facebook group from a person who collects memorabilia about Hwy 301. This highway is the original location for South of the Border, and was the way all our travelers came to us. This changed when Interstate 95 became the main north/south highway in the area years later. He has quite few more photos and post cards on his profile and we thank him for sharing them with us. Here is a collection of early billboards from our Facebook group too. We believe these are from the late 50’s and early 60’s as well. And this shot of the motel lobby and giant Pedro sign is from the 60’s too, judging by the sweet, sweet rides in the parking lot.

Speaking of sweet rides, check out the photo album that showcases all the Mustangs from the car show held every year on the grounds of South of the Border. It has pictures of Mustangs and Fords from several decades. The Round Up at the Border event raises money for charity every year, and continues to attract more and more muscle car enthusiasts from across the country.

To stay connected to all the events, news, photos and fun at South of the Border, subscribe to our Twitter feed, join our Facebook group and follow our blog.

South Of The Border’s 60 Year Anniversary

Friday, January 1st, 2010

history_donkeyThis year South of the Border, America’s favorite roadside attraction located near Dillon South Carolina along Interstate 95 at the North Carolina and South Carolina border, marks its 60th year of operation and our plans are to get bigger and better than ever before. Pedro has seen a lot of changes in the world and a lot of changes here at South of the Border over the years, and Pedro has many new projects and renovations in the works.

South of the Border began as a 600 square foot stand selling beer to thirsty patrons from dry counties north of the border in North Carolina and has developed into a 300 acre complex with such diverse features as a motel and campground, six restaurants, a theme park, mini-golf, fireworks store, gas stations and more than a dozen gift shops with everything from Mexican jumping beans to antiques. In the beginning Mr. Alan Schafer worked the stand by himself and now SOTB is run by the third generation of the Schafer family and hundreds of employees, making it the biggest employer in Dillon County, S.C.

The people used to come to in a few at a time in American made Chevys and Fords traveling along Highway 301. Now Pedro greets millions of cars, made all over the world, traveling from New York to Florida on Interstate 95, and now some of those cars even run off of electricity. And now, people can travel on jet planes from one side of the U.S. in only a few hours instead of having to drive for days. Speaking of traveling, Pedro has even seen people take voyages in rocket ships from the Earth to the Moon and live in space stations circling high above our planet.

Communicating has changed immensely in the last 60 years. Back in 1950, telephones weighed a few pounds and their use was limited by how long the cord that was attached to it would reach. The sound traveled over wires stretched from coast to coast, and operators transferred calls by switching plugs to make the connection. Now the phones weigh only a few ounces and are wireless so that you can carry them with you on your trip to give Pedro a call if you need to reserve a room at the South of the Border Motor Inn. The cell phone signals now bounce off satellites orbiting the earth and can reach nearly any point on the planet. The satellites themselves are another creation that has happened in the last 60 years, with Russian putting the Sputnik 1 in orbit in 1957. Floating high above the earth and circling the globe, they now carry every type of communication one can image. Television, phone calls, global positioning signals (GPS), surveillance cameras and outer space research are all carried by satellites today. GPS has become a vital part of modern communication and travel. The satellites send signals to small devices, cars, and cell phones that are equipped to guide people to their destination with on-board maps that are displayed on the screen or by a voice that speaks to you.

The computer might be the biggest change in world since South of the Border opened all those many years ago, followed closely by the invention of the internet. In the 1960’s computers were so large that each one would take up space equivalent to the average living room just to do the simplest of calculations. Now smart cell phones that fit in the palm of your hand are able to pack the power of dozens of those computers, and they can connect to the internet so you can surf the web while away from home. The internet has become ingrained in everyday life, with people doing their shopping, paying bills, learning, playing games, watching movies and using social media sites to connect with their friends who might live far away.

Other notable inventions, events and milestones since South of the Border opened are:

  • Microwave oven- Pedro thinks microwave burritos should be on here too!
  • The Snuggie- Pedro has been wearing one for 60 years, we call it a serape in Mexico
  • The Polaroid camera and digital camera- Pedro looks very handsome right?
  • E-mail- Lets Pedro stay in touch with his many friends and visitors all over the world.
  • Remote control- If Pedro can ever find his, have you seen it?
  • Automatic Teller Machines- Made getting more money to spend with Pedro VERY easy
  • Salsa takes over as #1 condiment- Pedro thinks plain old ketchup never stood a chance!

We know there are so many more events, inventions and important happenings in the last 60 years and we invite you to share your memories of anything that was important to you and your family, or simply tell us your favorite memory of South of the Border and the changes you have seen to our complex here in Dillon, SC.