In colonial times, roads were almost
non existant and much travel was done by water. Even
though it had several shoals,
the Pacolet River was an attraction for early settlers.
The river rises
on the slopes of the Blue Ridge in North Carolina. The two
the river join in northern Spartanburg County. It then
flows in a southeastern direction for a distance of
about 50 miles until it empties into the Broad River in
Union County. Grindal Shoals
is on the river. The shoals or fords where
people and wagons could cross were very important places.
In addition to Grindal Shoals there were several others.
Skull Shoals is on the River in
Cherokee Counties. It is about seven or eight
downstream from Grindal
Shoals. A church and community was started here before the
Easterwood Shoals or Ford is on the
about five or six miles upstream from Grindal Shoals. The
ford is also
about two or three miles downstream from the present town
of Pacolet Mills.
Tarleton and his army crossed at this ford in the early
morning of January
16, 1781, the day before the battle of Cowpens. The
Pacolet River was used
for transporting farm products, particularly cotton, down
to Columbia in
the period between the Revoutionary War and the Civil War.
Long, flat bottomed
boats were used. The Mills Atlas map of 1825 shows
Easterwood Shoals as
being the upper limit of navigation of these boats on the
Trough Shoals (Troft Shoals) was
the Pacolet River about eight or nine miles upstream from
A town was established here when a textile mill was built
at the shoals
about 1882. The name of the town was changed to Pacolet Mills in 1930.
Hurricane Shoals is on the river in
what is now Spartanburg County. The Georgia Road crossed
the river here. Later
became the site of the town of Clifton.
The Bridges across the Pacolet River have been very
important to the people of the Pacolet area. Click on this link
to read about these bridges.
In 1903 a devastating flood happened on the Pacolet River.
It killed many people and did incredible damage. Click on this link to read about this
There was a place in the river at Pacolet Mills known
simply as "The Island" that was
very important to many of the boys of the community. Click
on that link to read more.
There are two important initiatives about the river that
have been proposed. Both of these would help develop
tourism in Pacolet and stimulate the economy. Click on the
links below for more information.
Scenic River Proposal
Information and photos have been received about building a
railroad bridge across the Pacolet River in 1909. Click on
this link Rail Road Bridge
to read more.
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