Created By: Brandon Inabinet
The squawking of swans greets you as you make it over to iconic and majestic Furman Lake and Bell Tower. On the path is a not-so-photogenic, rickety, old structure. This is “the Shack,” the last building from the Greenville Women’s College. The Shack was built in 1937 and originally served as an on-campus soda shop. The Furman Archives account, “The Story of the Shack,” written in 1965, reveals that this social hub came complete with a stone fireplace, a counter, and pine tables, creating the perfect place to pop open a sweet bottle of soda.
Over time, this soda station was renovated to accommodate more people and was converted into a snack bar for students. The Shack quickly became an icon on campus. It was a popular hangout where students would go to take a break from studies and to socialize with friends.
In 1961, the Shack was moved to Furman University’s current campus from the Greenville Woman's College (which is today Heritage Green, home of the Upcountry History Museum, Greenville Art Museum, Children's Museum Library, and Little Theatre).
It now serves as a part of the EcoVillage, with the Shi Center for Sustainability behind them. The EcoCabins are a part of Furman’s Engaged Living program, where students can live and learn together.
The current building is not sustainable, as air easily creeps in around its clapboards. It's slated for demolition in the coming years, although there are hopes to mimic its architecture in the new buildings to come.
The marker at your feet, black with gold trim, might remain, but the Greenville Women’s College gets further and further from campus memory.
This point of interest is part of the tour: Hidden Histories of Furman University: Lake Walk