Pacolet Mills Baseball Park
One of the most important places to
the Pacolet Community during the 1940’s and 50’s was
the Baseball Park. It was the home of the Pacolet Trojans baseball
teams, both Black and White. It was at the end
of Brewster Street right beside the Dummy Line Railroad tracks.
I’m not sure when it was built but I think it was
sometime during the 1930’s.
The ballpark itself was large. The distance to
the fence in left, right and center field was
probably close to that of major league fields of
The main feature of the park, besides
the playing field, was the large wooden grandstand.
This was an enclosed structure behind home plate
with maybe 8 to 10 elevated rows. The front of the
grandstand was covered with wire screen to protect
the spectators from foul balls.The
grandstand is shown in the background of this Fourth of July photo
made about 1948 or 49 of an unidentified boy
with his bicycle. He is in right field of the
ballpark and the grandstand is in the
distance. The home team dugout is to the right
of the grandstand.This picture shows the size of the
crowd that attended.
Another view of the grandstand is this photo
of Pacolet Mills Girl
Scout Troop 17, and a few boys, standing in
front of it.This picture was made about 1953.
The entire park was
surrounded by a high wooden fence. The fence
around the outfield was built differently than
that around the rest of the park. There was a
sloping dirt bank that was probably 4or 5 feet
higher than the level of the playing field. The
fence, about 8 feet high, was built on top of
this bank. The way the fence was made meant that
an outfielder had to play long fly balls
differently than in most parks. When chasing a
ball, he encountered the slope to the fence 10
feet or so from the fence. To get to the ball he
had to run up this slope. This slope was
probably a confusing factor to the outfielders
of visiting teams. Part of the outfield fence
and slope up to it is shown in the photos below.
Notice that the fence was mostly covered with
signs of local companies advertising their
business. My Dad, Fred "Doog" Teaster, had a
sign on this fence advertising his well drilling
. The first photo
shows contestants in a fourth of July sack race
with the fence in the background.We don't know
if it is before or after the event. This
picture was taken from around the third baseline
looking towards right field. The man on the
right, in the sack, is Wade Sullivan. Mr. Herb Jones, the Pacolet
policeman, is standing toward the back,
on the right side. More
photos of the ballpark are shown in Album No. 9 - More About
A closer look at the fence and the
slope going up to it is in this photo of the Girl Scouts raising
the flag on a pole in center field in about 1953.
There were long uncovered bleachers built along both
the first and third baselines in the late 1940’s.
There were probably 10 rows or so and they had no
shade from the sun. They also did not have a wire
screen to protect against foul balls. If you sat in
these bleachers you had to pay attention to the game
or risk being hit with one of the frequent foul
There were two covered concrete
“dugouts” for the players. The home team dugout was
on the third base side and the visitors on the first
base side. The photo below was made from inside the
home team dugout looking toward the grandstand.
There was a concession stand located behind
the first base bleachers that sold soft drinks
(“dopes”), candy, etc. If I remember correctly, Mr.
Brownie Trent ran the stand during regular Pacolet
Trojan games. I think, also, that he was the manager
of the YMCA (The Hall).
The concession stand was a popular place with all
the young boys.
It is believed that the following photograph
was made just after WWII around
1946 or 1947. The background gives some clues as to
its age. The picture was taken
before the bleachers along the first and third
baselines were built and lights installed for night
games. Spectators watch a
"pick up" baseball game before the regular teams
play. It appears that one of the regular teams is in
uniform in the visitor's dugout waiting to play.
This photo was taken from left field in foul
territory looking towards home plate and the
grandstand. The dugout shown was replaced when the
new bleachers were built. Also, the scoreboard shown
on the extreme left was replaced with one on the
fence in center field at about the same time.
The main entrance and ticket office for the
park was at the end of the first base line and the
end of Brewster Street. There was a parking lot just
off Brewster St. beside the outfield fence. Upon
entering the gate at the ticket office you were
actually in a grove of big oak trees. These covered
the area almost all the way to the end of the first
base bleachers. The shady area under these trees was
a popular place in the summer time even if no games
were being played. There were several horse shoe
pits and “stobs” that had frequent players. I
remember that there were several men that played
that were extremely good. If you played with them
and did not throw a ringer almost every throw you
would likely get beat.
Another wonderful use for the area under the
trees was cooking the barbecue for the annual Fourth of July Celebration.
Long pits were dug under the trees and entire hogs
would be cooked over the coals in the pits. Also,
huge iron pots of hash would be cooked to be served
with the barbecue on the fourth. This cooking took
place the night before the Fourth and you could
smell the appetizing scent for a long distance away.
You can read more about the celebration by clicking
on Pacolet Fourth of July.
You can also see more photos about the
celebration by clicking on Photo
For a long time, all of the games
had to be played in the daytime. However, after WWII, about 1948, lights
were installed around the park. These were not
lights on short poles that you see today on softball
fields or playgrounds. These were some serious
“Industrial Strength” towering poles that held
powerful lights. The poles must have been 70 or 80
feet high. You can see photos
of the lights and the ball park at Photo Album 9.
The following photograph was taken from in
front of the home team dugout looking out to right
field. Notice the tall light pole on the left. This
picture also shows the grove of trees just behind
the ticket booth. The score board can be seen in
right center field where it was moved at about the
time the lights were installed.
I remember an occurrence one night during one
of the Pacolet Trojan games that involved the
lights. The lights on the poles were connected by an
electric line that ran between them almost at the
top of the poles. The wire was a long way off the
ground, maybe 60 feet or so. The wire that was the
farthest from home plate ran between 2 poles in left
center field. Mr. Red Ellison was the center fielder
for the Trojans and a powerful hitter. One night,
Red came up to bat and hit an incredible home run.
The towering hit struck this cable between the poles
in left center. This would have been a home run in
any Major League Park and probably would have gone
completely out of the stadium in many of them. It
was an awesome display of power hitting.
During the Trojan games there was something
that happened that for some of the fans caused
almost as much excitement as the game itself. There
were frequent foul balls that went over the
grandstand. Every one of these generated a wild
scramble by a pack of boys - and sometimes men - to
recover it. The area behind the grandstand had trees
and a small creek and was well lighted. There was
usually a free for all for the ball. Evidently, the
scramble for the ball was just for sport because the
recovered ball had to be returned to the Trojan's
Other Uses for the Park
At about the same time that the lights were
put in place in the park, organized youth baseball
came to Pacolet. I think that today it would be
called the Little League but it was not called that
then. The teams practiced and played in the
ballpark. The mill company, Pacolet Manufacturing
Company, paid for this program and for the
coaches. As far as I can remember, the first coach
for the youth teams was Mr. James "Pee Wee" Lambert.
I think at the time he was still a student at
Wofford and had also just started playing for the
Pacolet Trojans as a catcher. My brother, "Dink",
and I and several of our friends played in this
program for a few years. We sometimes traveled to
other towns, such as Woodruff, to play their team.
One of my teammates during this time was George Banks who
went on to play in the major leagues.
We were fortunate to have Mr. Lambert for our coach.
He taught us about many things other than baseball
such as sportsmanship. He had infinite patience with
us. I never once heard him raise his voice and
scream at us in the way that seems common with
coaches of youth teams today. Involvement in the
youth baseball program was just the beginning of his
many years of service to the Pacolet Community. He
went on to become the principal of Pacolet High School
and was one of the town's first Water Commissioners.
The photo below was made about the time he started
to be in charge of the youth league in the late
The ballpark use was not limited to regular
Pacolet Trojan baseball games. Several other groups
used it also. Just after the lights were put in
about 1948, the Pacolet High School football team
played their home games at night in the ball park.
Part of the layout for the football field included
the baseball infield that had no grass, only hard,
packed earth. Tackling and blocking on that hard
ground must have been a painful experience. One game
I remember seeing there was when the PHS team played
the Cedar Springs School for the Deaf. All of the
Cedar Springs' signals were done in sign language.
This certainly did not seem to slow them down as
they trounced the Pacolet home team.
There was actually more at the ballpark that just
athletic activity. One of the deep wells that
supplied water for the town of Pacolet Mills was
located near the end of the third base line.
The ballpark is now only a distant memory. I
understand that there is little evidence that it was
ever there. But once upon a time, it was a wonderful
place and full of excitement for many, many Pacolet
If you have any stories or photos about the
ballpark, please Share
Them With Us.
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 adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485