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,
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485