This site is strictly a personal
memory. It is not intended to be a complete history or
even totally factual. It is my own memory and
impressions of Pacolet and Pacolet Mills, its people and the
locations that existed 60 years ago. As I got older, I
came to realize how unique and special Pacolet and the
surrounding area had been when I was a child. At the
same time, I realized that a great number of the places and
people that I remember existed only in my memory.
Almost all of the Pacolet Mills buildings and structures,
except the houses, have been torn down. It occurred to
me that if people my age did not write it down, then the
story of this rich blend of people, places and events
would be lost forever to today’s children and those to
come in the future.
I will be the first to admit that
these memories look at the past of Pacolet through rose
colored glasses. But, indeed, as a child that is how I saw
my world. It is almost trite to say it but Pacolet
Mills in the 1940’s and early 1950’s was almost like one
large and extended family. Back then, in my memory,
adults really were adults. They made things
happen. They were almost always kind to children and
other adults. They worked hard and made a world for
their kids that was safe, fun and to me, continuously
entertaining. These memories will not be a critical
analysis of the conditions of the times. They will be
the recollections of a small boy that at the time believed
that he lived in a southern version of the Garden of Eden.
This is not the official website of the Town of Pacolet.
That can be found at http://www.townofpacolet.com/.
It is hard to describe to a young person what the Pacolet
Mills community was like in the 1940’s and early to
mid-1950’s. It is all gone now. Never again will
the people go to work day and night – on three shifts – in the
Old and New Mill. The hum of
the mill machinery that could be heard almost over all
the mill village is gone and there is an unusual silence to
Gone is all the activity that took place in the Hall. Gone forever are the Skating Rink, Pool Hall, Company Store, Drug Store, the Movie Theater and the Girls Club.
Never again will the Ball Park
ring with the cheers for the Pacolet
Trojans home team and the crash of the bat as Red
Ellison hit one of this towering home runs.
There is no sound from the once very popular Swimming Pool. The Swimming Pool itself has
disappeared and has been replaced by trees and bushes. It is
hard to imagine the pool as it was and all of the enjoyment it
brought to an entire generation of Pacolet folks.
Hotel Hill is now just a hill
without its hotel. The remaining
bare stone foundations give a scant clue to the hospitality
and homelike atmosphere that once existed there.
Hundreds of Pacolet Mill’s children spent a great part of
their life in the Pacolet
Mills Elementary School, across the road and up the
hill from the hotel. It is impossible to estimate the
influence that the school had on countless Pacolet lives. It
had serious teachers with what they believed was a very
serious educational mission. Now, the school and those
teachers are all gone.
In Gone with the Wind, Margaret Mitchell describes a
way of life in Georgia that was swept away with the wind of
the Civil War. While not accompanied by the violence of war –
a way of life in Pacolet Mills was indeed swept away by the
Mill’s closing and the loss of most of its treasured buildings
Throughout the South, particularly the
Upcountry of South Carolina, a way of life has almost
disappeared within the short span of twenty five years. In
this time, the textile industry in the South has almost
ceased to exist. It has moved overseas to locations around
the world. The South Carolina towns and villages associated
with the textile industry have been seriously impacted. The
changes brought about by the disappearance of the cotton
mills have affected many small towns and their people almost
like wartime. The main industry in most of these towns has
been destroyed. Thousands of people have been
affected. Some changed to other lines of work at lower
salaries. Some moved to follow textile work at another place
as long as it would last. Some went back to school to learn
another skill. The hardest hit were those in their 50’s and
60’s that had never worked at anything but the textile
business. All were hit hard and almost all had a sense of
having been betrayed. Both the state of South Carolina and
the Federal Government were nowhere to be seen handing out
millions of dollars in “stimulus money” when the Upstate
textile industry was being destroyed.
There was much good and not so good about the textile
industry. There was also a great amount of misunderstanding
about life in and around the mill villages among those
outside the area even in South Carolina. The purpose of this
website is keep the memories of the Pacolet area alive and
to try to provide insight and understanding of one mill
town, its people and its institutions.
I invite you to send your own
memories, photographs and stories of Pacolet. The story of
how and why your ancestors came to Pacolet to live and
work is particularly solicited. An entire section of the
website will be devoted to the families of the area. I
also ask you to please send corrections and additions to
the information given. Much of this is based on my
memories after 60 or even 70 years and might not be
completely - or even partially - correct. Send information
to me via email at email@example.com
or by regular mail to the address given at the bottom of
Besides personal memories, I have relied on several very
interesting books for information about the Pacolet area. I
recommend these books to anyone wanting more detailed
information relating to Pacolet and the surrounding
vicinity. A list of these books can be seen at Reference Books.
The main subjects covered by this website are covered by
the broad categories below. Clicking on these links will
give you more detailed information about that subject
including additional links to sub-stories.
THE PACOLET AREA MUSEUM -
This important facility will help keep the memory of
Pacolet's past alive.
YOUR MEMORIES -
Send us your memories for the website and read what other
folks have sent.
RICK ROWLAND'S ART ABOUT
Efforts are underway to have each issue of The Neigh here. Now
complete through 1952.
THE HISTORY OF THE PACOLET AREA
PACOLET HISTORY BOOKS PRODUCED BY
THE CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE
THE SOAPSTONE QUARRIES
THE REVOLUTIONARY WAR AND THE
PACOLET AND GLENDALE AREA
THE PACOLET RIVER
THE TOWNS AND THE GOVERNMENT
BROWNS BRANCH AND BRIDGE
PACOLET STATION POST OFFICES
PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL AND OTHER
PACOLET STATION SCHOOLS
HELP ESTABLISH A PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL MEMORIAL READING
LIST OF ALL THE GRADUATES OF
PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL FROM 1929 - 1976
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE
CLASSES AND MANY INDIVIDUALS OF PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL FROM
LIST OF MOST OF THE FACULTY OF
PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL FROM 1929-1976
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FACULTY OF PACOLET
HIGH SCHOOL FROM 1949 -1957
PHOTOGRAPHS OF THE FACULTY OF
PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL FROM 1958 -1976
AT PACOLET HIGH SCHOOL
WHAT PACOLET STATION WAS LIKE IN THE
LIVING IN PACOLET STATION IN 1942
MAPS OF PACOLET STATION
MAPS OF CENTRAL PACOLET
THE BUSINESS HISTORY OF
THE MILL WHISTLE AND THE PASSING
IT WAS SO COMPLICATED!
PACOLET MILLS, THE BEST MILL
VILLAGE IN THE SOUTH - ARTICLE, OCTOBER, 1921
THE COMPANY PASTURE AND COW STALLS
THE PACOLET FLOOD
THE YMCA (THE HALL)
THE FLAT AND THE CAFE
PACOLET BOY SCOUTS
EAGLE SCOUT LIST
CUB SCOUT PACK 290
DR. HILL AND THE CLINIC
THE PACOLET MILLS SCHOOLS
PHOTOGRAPHS OF SOME OF THE
CLASSES AT PACOLET MILLS ELEMENTARY
THE BALL PARK
THE HOTEL AND HOTEL HILL
THE 4TH OF JULY BARBECUE
PACOLET MILLS' SITES
ON THE NATIONAL REGISTER OF HISTORIC PLACES
MAPS OF PACOLET MILLS
PHOTO ALBUMS - (New Feature)
AN UNUSUAL DRONE VIEW OF
PACOLET PLACE NAMES AND
VETERANS - An attempt is
being made to list every veteran that ever served from the
PACOLET FIRE DEPARTMENTS
MILLS RESCUE SQUAD
THE GOUCHER AIRPLANE CRASH
THE CRASH MYSTERY IS SOLVED.
WORLD WAR II
STORES AND COMMERCIAL ESTABLISHMENTS OF
THE PACOLET AREA IN THE 1940'S AND 1950'S
DO YOU KNOW?
Almost all of the
stories and articles on this website are listed as links
on the page, Contents. They
are all also listed as links in individual articles that
are listed above. However, the Contents
page shows links to all of the stories, including sub
- stories, in one place. The exceptions to this are some
"pdf" data files that still must be reached through the
link on the main subject page.
This web site has been started as a public
service to share the story of Pacolet. The web master and
person to contact about putting information on the web site
is me, Gerald Teaster. Contact me at:
or by telephone at (843) 873-8117. My
regular mail address is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485
See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster. If
you are interested, you can click on Work
Biography to see my work experience.
Help Preserve Our Textile Heritage
Join the efforts of The
Textile Heritage Center. This organization is
committed to creating greater awareness of the
contributions made by Southern cotton mill people.
Their current publication of "The Bobbin and Shuttle"
has two stories about Glendale. Information about
joining their organization and buying a copy of the
Bobbin and Shuttle is on their website at:
Cliffside Mill in North Carolina was much like Pacolet
Mills. Residents have started a fascinating website to
tell the story of their people, town and their past.
The site has movies taken in 1937 and 1940. These
movies tell an intimate story of the community and the
people as they went about their lives. Although taken
at Cliffside, life in Pacolet Mills was very similar.
The web site is:
TheStartex/Tucapau Historical Society has an
interesting website relating to the Startex mill and
community in South Carolina. It is :
Junior History Press also sponsors a website to tell
the story of our neighboring community of Glendale,
SC. It can be seen at:
The City and County of Greenville, SC were long at
the center of textile production in all of the South.
They are in the forefront of preseving our textile
heritage. Visit their interesting web site at: