Joyce Harmon Garner grew up in Pacolet Mills and lived on Milliken
Street. Joyce graduated from Pacolet High
School in 1971. Joyce has
many fond memories of her childhood in Pacolet Mills. She remembers
being able to hear the juke box at the swimming
at her house on Milliken St. She also remembers the chain
gang working in the area with their striped uniforms and chains.
Joyce’s mother is Virginia Henderson Harmon. She worked at Pacolet
Mills for over 25 years. She was working in the main office when she
left to work for the state. She retired from the state some years
later. Both Virginia and her sister, Pearl Henderson McIntyre, remember
riding the Pacolet Textile Bus to work in the mill when they were just
out of high school. The bus traveled throughout the area to carry
people to and from work. See photo below. When the photo was made, both
the sisters were still "Hendersons". Virginia still lives in Pacolet.
Pearl and her family lived in Fair Haven, New York. She recently
passed away in February, 2012.
Joyce’s Aunt Pearl was pleased when she was able to show her
Pacolet High School Class of 1944 photo to her family which live in New
York. The picture is on the Pacolet Memories Website at Class of 1944.
Joyce’s father was William Earl Harmon (July 14, 1925- July 16, 2006).
He worked for Pacolet Mills for a number of years as a loom fixer. He
also was a training instructor for employee classes that were held in
the Girl’s Club. William obtained at
least one patent, and maybe two, when he was working for Milliken.
(This was a rare event.) When the Timken Bearing Company came to
Gaffney, William left the mill to work there. He was the third person
hired by Timken and retired from there. There is a possibility that he
also received a patent while at Timken.
As a young man, William played on the Pacolet
Mills Baseball Team. He remembered before the roads in Pacolet
Mills were paved. We don’t notice it today but there is a considerable
incline on many of the Pacolet Mills Streets. William remembered that
some of the early cars would go backwards up the hills because they had
more power that way.
When William Harmon and Virginia Henderson were first married they
lived in the Pacolet Mills Hotel.
Joyce is married to Rick Garner who is employed by Timken. Rick’s Aunt,
Thelma Brown, is in her 90’s. She can remember when she and her sister
rode a horse to work in the mill. There was a stall at the mill where
her horse was kept.
Joyce worked at Timken for 37 years. Now, she is going back to school
to try a new career.
Joyce has given us a picture of a group of mill employees that was
taken about August, 1952. An article using this photo was in the Pacolet Neigh of that month but the people
were not named. Some few of these folks have been identified, including
Joyce's Mom and Dad, but most have not. If you know any of the people
in this picture, please let us know. (One of the women that is
identified was my maternal grandmother, Mattie Brown Fowler.) See the
picture at 1952 Pacolet Mills Group.
This picture will open in the
Adobe Reader that will allow you to zoom in and see the individuals.
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