Milling Around Greenville, South Carolina

The Making of a Chimney & Mill Town

Milling Around Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina 29617, United States

Created By: Seeking Abraham Project

Tour Information

There is no denying Greenville’s attraction; from beautiful parks to rushing rivers to bustling coffee shops, the city lives a vibrant life. But how did Greenville become what it is today? And what problems could still be living under the surface? To discover the answers, we’re going to travel back in time and explore Greenville as it used to be--a mill town.

If you'd like to take the tour on your bicycle (or save on your gasoline bill), feel free to just read about sites 1-3, and return to site #3 (downtown Greenville) at the very end of the tour. Site #1 gives you the view from the top of Paris Mountain and the second stop is the oldest industrial mill in the area, the Conestee Mill, followed by the second oldest, where Vardry McBee established himself and a new planned-city named Greenville. Both are quite a distance from the core of this tour--the famous "Mill Crescent" that stretches only a few miles from San Souci down to City View, Judson, Dunean, and ending just south of downtown Greenville.

Tour Map

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What You'll See on the Tour

Atop Paris Mountain, you can tell why this city and county became a legendary place for mills--fast moving water off this mountain and the "Blue Wall" of the Appalachians to our north, cooler climate compared to the rest of the state, and r... Read more
  The historic Conestee Mill was originally called the “Reedy River Manufacturing Company” and was founded in the early 1790s, about time Richard Pearis was passing away, his land taken and self-exiled to the British Bahamas. The loc... Read more
Main Street, Liberty Bridge, Falls Park--all the staples of the thriving downtown atmosphere are around you. You might wonder how this all got here, and you’ve come to the right place - Camperdown Mill, the Unsung History of Downtown Gree... Read more
Looking around today at the makeshift ramps and graffiti engineered by local skaters, it might be hard to imagine the four room houses and bungalow schools that once made up the Poe Mill community. Once referred to as “The Governor’s Hi... Read more
American Spinning, formally known as Sampson Mill, was the first mill of the "mill crescent" that makes up the remainder of this tour.  As you stand in front of Sampson Mill, you will notice that it is still fully intact, constructed of b... Read more
    While this site may not look like much today, it was once one of the most robust and successful mills in the upstate. As you scroll through the photos on the right side of the page, you will find one of the mill in its prime, before ... Read more
Lewis Wardlaw Parker and Thomas Fleming Parker founded Monaghan Mill in 1900, three years later than Poe Mill. This mill stayed opened until 2001, unusual for a industry that faded decades earlier, but keeping intact this beautiful place... Read more
As you take the few blocks from Monaghan Mill to Woodside Mill, the community mirrors the transition from the newly renovated lofts to the older, faded historic district. But don’t let appearances fool you, around 100 years ago, Woodside ... Read more
As you head south from Woodside Mill, Brandon Mill is only a mile away. The old factory is now replaced by a modern, 5-story building called the West Village Lofts. Back when it was first built in 1901, Stephen Greene, the president of the ... Read more
701 Easley Bridge Road is home to Greenville County’s once largest textile mill. In March of 1912, J. Irving Westervelt opened the mill in West Greenville. South Carolina’s Historic Properties Record states that by October 1913, the m... Read more
Less than three miles southwest of downtown Greenville, at 30 Emery Street, stands a monstrous rustic frame of what was once a booming cotton mill known as the Dunean Mill. In its heyday the Dunean Mill housed over 50,000 spindles, employe... Read more
See the stunning brick building at the corner of Guess Street and Mills Avenue? This development (The Lofts at Mills Mill) of luxurious condos, was once a much grimmer place. According to Archie Vernon Huff, Jr., author of the book Greenvi... Read more


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