It is hard to believe now, but
before and during World War II, most folks in Pacolet did
not own a car. Taxi cabs played a big part in transporting
people, particularly to Spartanburg.
If people were going somewhere else in the mill village,
they generally walked. The town’s excellent system of
sidewalks made this convenient. Also, most people walked
back and forth to work at the mills. As far as I can
remember, there was never a school bus to transport
students over to the Pacolet
Mills Elementary School at the top of Hotel
Hill. Students from both sides of the river walked
The real need for a car was when you had to “go to town”
for any number of reasons. This meant the town of
Spartanburg. The downtown part of Spartanburg, along lower
Main Street and Morgan Square was the major destination.
There were no Shopping Malls or Shopping Centers and
downtown Spartanburg was where things happened. There were
Department stores, several dime stores, drug stores, movie
theaters, and restaurants including some in the hotels
To go to town from Pacolet, you usually had to catch a
taxi. The taxi “stand” or area to get a taxi was in front
of the Hall (YMCA) and in
front of the bank or Company personnel office. This is the
Pacolet Town Hall today. The
waiting taxis were parked along the sidewalk in this area.
The taxis were owned and driven by private individuals.
They must have been marked as taxis in some way but I do
not remember how it was. They were not painted any
different than a regular car and I don’t remember the word
“taxi” or “cab” written on them. I might be wrong, but
looking back on it, I think that the people just knew who
was driving a taxi.
I’m not sure of how many taxis there were but it seems
that there might have been ten or so. There were some cab
drivers that I do remember like Mr. Harvey White who I
will talk about later. Also, Mr. Herbert James and
Mr. J.B. Manis owned and drove taxis. These cars are parked in the
general area of the "taxi stand" in front of the Hall. They may or not be
taxis because spaces were not reserved for the taxis
and the general public parked there also. The picture
must have been taken around 1940, judging by the model
of the cars. The house at the right side of the
building served as Dr. Hill's
The Pacolet cabs were not like you see on TV and in the
movies at places like New York. They did not drive around
up and down the street and you did not go to the curb and
hail them. The cabs waited on their passengers in their
area. If you were going to Spartanburg, you went to where
the cabs were parked and picked out the driver you wanted
or else joined one that already had some passengers but
was not full. If you were the first passenger, you would
usually have to wait until he got a full load of
passengers. When the driver had what he thought was a full
load, he would leave for the trip to town.
Until the coming of Camp Croft,
the main road to Spartanburg went up through Whitestone and then on to
Spartanburg via Union Street. When Camp Croft was built, a
new road was built that connected to Pine Street in
Spartanburg and bypassed Whitestone and Camp Croft. Some
of us old folks still refer to this 65 year old road as
“the New Highway”.
The taxi driver took his passengers to a taxi stand at the
intersection of Liberty Street and Main Street and let
them out. You went back to this same place to catch the
cab back home.
I remember Mr. Harvey White because of an incident that
happened when I was about 9 years old. My family had
recently moved back to Pacolet after being in Charleston
during the War. We lived about half way between Pacolet
and Pacolet Mills. It was in the middle of the summer and
it was very hot. My brother “Dink” was 7 years old and we
had walked down to the movie
theater at Pacolet Mills to see a movie. It very
likely was a western movie which we loved.
When it was over, we left the cool theater and came out
into what seemed to be the white heat of summertime. I
remember dreading that long walk back home that was all up
hill. It was then that I saw Mr. Harvey White and his
waiting taxi and had what I thought was a wonderful idea.
We would hire us a taxi and not have to walk! Acting like
we did this every day, Dink and I went up to Mr. White and
told him that we would like to hire him to take us home.
His first reaction was that we were two monkeys that had
fallen from a tree and accosted him. I doubt that he had
ever been hired by two little skinny boys that were alone
by themselves. After his initial shock, he was very nice
and we got in the cab and he took us home. I explained
that we did not have the money with us but our Mama would
pay him when we got home.
We gave him the directions and he took us straight home.
It was much better than walking. I left him waiting and
ran inside to get his money from our Mom. Her reaction
when I told her what we had done and that a taxi was
waiting outside for his fare was about as incredulous as
Mr. White when we had approached him. She gave me the
money and I went out and paid him and thanked him for
bringing us home.
When I got back inside, my Mom made it very clear to us
that had better be our last cab ride home from the movie.
If we could not walk both ways, we could just
After the War, many more families got cars and eventually
the Pacolet Taxi fleet disappeared. I don’t remember who
had the last cab or when they stopped running.
As a child, it seemed to me to be a very convenient and
pleasant way to get back and forth from Spartanburg - and
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:
firstname.lastname@example.org or by
telephone at (843) 873-8117. My regular
mail adress is:
1311 Jahnz Ave.
Summerville, SC 29485