The Pacolet River Flood of 1903
On June 6, 1903, a great disaster
the entire Pacolet River valley.
killed many people and did massive
damage to the mills and the community. Click
on this link, Pacolet Flood, to read more details.
This account is
based on Volume 1
of The History of Pacolet and articles
There is another interesting account of the flood that
the February, 1980, issue of Sandlapper magazine. The
article, written by William M. Branham, can be read at The Great
Freshet of 1903.
We want to
express our thanks to Sandlapper for
the use of this article. Thanks also to Jim
Turner for bringing this
article to our attention and furnishing us a copy.
The following two photographs were taken looking towards
the area of "The Flat". They
were taken from two different
and at slightly different times. The photos were taken
the vicinity of where the Pacolet
the Rescue Squad building
River often flooded before the Great Flood. The
photo below shows the high water in1901, only two years
before. Note the covered bridge and the houses and
structures near the people. All of these were
destroyed in 1903. The picture below was made in the
same general vicinity as the two photos above.
Some of the stories
about the flood proved to be inaccurate. One such
story stated that Mary Ernest Massey was lost along with
four of her
children. Her grandaughter, Bobbie Mikesell, has written
us to set
this story straight. Read her
account at Mary Ernest Massey.
After a period of
years, there is finally a monument to those lost and
affected by the
flood. On November 15, 2011 a monument to the
victims was dedicated.
The monument is located near the bridge that goes
over the Pacolet
River on Highway 29 near the former site of the
Converse textile mill.
The idea for the monument started with Gary
Henderson, a former Spartanburg
Journal reporter. His grandfather
flood when he was 9 years old. Henderson had written
about the flood. The actual monument was built by
artist Ron Longsdorf.
Read the article on the monument from the Spartanburg
Flood Monument Article. See more photographs
at Flood Monument.
Bob Johnson has
recently photographed parts of Converse and
Clifton that were affected
by the flood as they look today. See his photos
This web site has
started as a public service to share the story of Pacolet.
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
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485