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 there.
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
Until the coming of Camp Croft,
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
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
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
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
Taxi fleet disappeared. I don’t remember who had the last
cab or when they
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:
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telephone at (843) 873-8117. My regular
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