Janice  Davis

My name is Janice Teaster Davis, my parents Jake (Foy) and Pauline Fowler Teaster met while working on the 2nd shift in the new mill at Pacolet Mills. They married and moved in with his parents, Ransom and Laura Teaster, who lived on Limestone Street, just above the Methodist Church. I was born in that house two years later. We were given our own house on Pine street. We did not live there long because 11 months later brother, Don, was born. We were then given a house on Green street.

This house holds the most memories for me. It was what we would today call a duplex. We lived in one end of house and an elderly couple Mr. and Mrs. Fisher lived in the other end.

I remember walking to school from there and we had to walk down to the Flat and then up Hotel Hill, cross the bridge and on to school. When it was cold some of the kids would stick their tongues on the bridge rail and it would freeze on to the bridge. I never tried that, I guess I was too scared.

I remember playing outside in warm weather until after dark. All the kids would get together and play kick the can, soft ball and all the games of youth. I do not remember any fights or hard feelings.I remember walking to the drug store for my mother when I was about 6 or 7. I  loved to walk up those wide steps. You had to take 2 steps to go up one step. I always thought that the school at Pacolet Mills was a special place with the river running below it and the outdoor theater being beside the school.

Green street was on a hill and we had many good times sliding on cardboard pieces down the hill. We thought we were rich if we had a cardboard box. I remember our house was only three rooms, but large rooms, we did not have a living room, but did not miss it.

When I was about five years old, Daddy was drafted into the World War II. I can still see him leaving. A taxi picked him up and I stood on our porch thinking about how our life was changing and who was going to take care of us. Most of the men were gone to war also so my mother had to go to work in the mill. She worked second shift and hired a young black girl named Frances who lived near Whitlock's store in Kegtown. She was so scared we spent half our time covered up over our heads.

An elderly couple named Jennings lived in front of us and behind them lived a family named Rollins. The oldest girl helped me with my homework. I will never forget one afternoon, when the mill whistle started blowing and went on for a long time. Someone came by and told us that the war was over! People were in their yards shouting and laughting. I thought my Daddy would be home soon, but it was almost a year before he returned to our house. He spent his entire time in Germany.

Nine months later, I had another brother, Mike, one of the thousands of war babies that we call baby boomers.In 1949, my Daddy was fired from the mill for talking to a union rep that was standing on the bridge, talking to workers going to work. This was the end of his textile working.

I remember so many good people who lived near us, there were the Snapps across the street, my mother's friends Ruth Mabry and Arrie Padget. We had a good clean growing up at Pacolet Mills, I wish the same for Kids today. I walked by myself to the Baptist Church at Browns Chapel. Never with any problems.You never had a thought that someone would hurt you. I remember the Junk and pool rooms where lots of men spent their time.

Talking about Pacolet Mills would not be complete without mentioning Norman Brown's store. We would walk up the path behind our house on Green Street and come out on Tightwad Street, at the water tank. Then, we would walk to Brown's store to spend our pennies. There was a beauty shop in the basement. A beauty operator came from Spartanburg to do hair. I used to dread getting a perm with that machine that looked like something from outer space. 

Norman Brown owned a lot of land, behind and beyond the store. He had a dairy, and lots of cattle. Once, Daddy took us to walk thru the pastures to the river. We came out of the trees on the river bank up above the dam and mill. I remember how muddy and fast the water was running. Mr. Brown had steps built over the barbed wire fence, and we went over one way and down the other side. We, had a good time climbing up and down over the steps. I don t think I have seen steps like those since. 

Sometimes, when Mother would let us, we would go up to the water tank on Tightwad Street and walk the brick wall around the tank.

It seems funny now but most of the people walked, very few had a car. I also remember having to go to the Fisher's house to get a switch from the bush in their yard, so mother could whip me.

 
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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:
gteaster@pacoletmemories.com or by telephone at (843) 873-8117.  My regular mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485

See more information about my Pacolet connection at Gerald Teaster.