The Hall


There was one place that probably was the center of the Pacolet Mills community for both adults and children alike. Most residents came into contact with it almost weekly and some daily. It was usually referred to as “The Hall”. Officially, it was known as the YMCA or the Community Building.

It was a massive, three story brick structure and it was ahead of its time. Some have called it “South Carolina’s first mall.” It was built around 1920 and it served a vital function for the town.

The best way to get a feeling of what was in the Hall is to take an imaginary visit in time and take a walk through the building. Let’s imagine that we get out of a taxi that has just parked in the taxi area out in front of what is now the Pacolet town hall. We walk to the wide expanse of steps that will take us up to the top story of the Hall. As we approach the steps going up, we also see another pair of steps going down on the right side. We will come back to these steps later.

Climbing the steps, we come to a wide open area closed off on both side with iron railing. This was a favorite place to sit and talk where you could be out of the weather. Leaving this “veranda” and going up two or three more short steps, we pass through big doors that take us into a large, mostly empty space. In the hot summer, this was always a nice cool escape from the direct sun.

Letting our eyes adjust to the dimmer light, we can see that the opposite end of the room, away from the big entrance doors, is a Post Office. We will go to it later. Still standing just inside the entrance and looking to the left we see a door that leads to Paul Brown’s barber shop. Looking to our right, about half way down the big room is another door. That door leads to the Skating Rink. On the left side of the room, almost all the way down to the Post Office is still another door. It leads to the Pool Hall and still more rooms.

We will eventually explore all these doors but first let’s go to the Barber Shop.  Click on this link to read more about the Barber Shop.

After our visit to the Barber Shop, let’s walk across the large room to go into the Skating Rink. As we get up close to the door we can already hear the sound of many people skating on the hardwood floors. We can also hear the loud rock and roll music coming from the speakers inside. Click on this link to learn more about the Skating Rink.

After leaving the Skating Rink, let’s go down to the Post Office at the end of the big room. Click on this link to learn more about the Post Office.

Leaving the Post Office area, we go through a big set of doors leading off to the left. We go through these doors and see other large rooms. This is the Pool Hall Area and a room with a display of athletic trophies and mementoes of Pacolet Mills sports teams. Click on this link to read more about these rooms.
 
We tour the Pool Room and the Trophy Room and continue our walk toward the other end of the entrance room. We pass Mr. Trent’s office and counter on the right and continue until we come to another set of big doors. In my youth, this room was called the Gymnasium. Click on this link to read more about the Gymnasium.

We leave the Gymnasium and go back into the room beside the Pool Hall. On our right, as we come out, is a set of steps leading down to the Men’s Restroom and a large shower facility. Click on this link to read more about the shower area.

We leave the showers and climb back up the stairs to retrace our steps back to the outside of the Hall. On our way in, we had seen a set of steps leading down off on the right side. Let’s go down those steps. At the bottom of the steps, we find ourselves facing the doors to the town’s Movie Theater. For a child in the 1940’s and 50’s, this was a magic place. Going through those doors, you could be transported to other worlds and to other times.
Click on this link to find out more about the Movie Theater.

Leaving the Theater, we turn to the left and walk down the sidewalk to go to the Drugstore. We come to a very large covered portico or porch on our left. To our right, a set of steps go up to the Taxi Stand area. If we continued on the sidewalk straight ahead we would come to the Mill office- now the Pacolet Town Hall. We turn to the left on to the covered porch. This was a cool place to wait, out of the sun in the summertime. The doors to the Drugstore and the Company Store next door, both lead out to this large porch. Click on this link to learn more about the Drugstore.

Just inside the door to the Drugstore, to the right, there was an opening into the Company Store from the Drugstore. Let’s go through it. Click on this link to visit the Company Store.


Leaving the Company Store, we go down a long set of concrete steps to our left to the lowest level of the Hall. That is where we find a unique place known simply as the “Girl’s Club”. Click on this link to visit the Girl's Club.

Visiting the Girl’s Club ends our visit to all of the activities that were located in the Hall. The Hall was a fabulous place for its time and served the Pacolet area for many years. The Hall and its activities were victims of the final Mill closing in 1983. In some ways, the closing of the Hall meant that the town lost much of its center of focus and shared experiences. A distant shopping mall, no matter how big, can never give the sense of community that the Hall gave to Pacolet Mills.

I’m sure that my little description of all the activities in the Hall only touches the surface and leaves many stories and details unsaid. I ask that you let me know of any errors, corrections and memories of the Hall that you might have. Please send them to me at gteaster@pacoletmemories.com.


In Summary: Click on the following links to visit:
Barber Shop
Skating Rink
Post Office
Pool Hall and Trophy Room
Gymnasium
Shower Facilities
Theater
Drugstore
Company Store
Girl's Club




Return to Pacolet Mills

Return to Pacolet Homepage

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.