Greenville, South Carolina

Nestled at the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains along the Reedy River in Upstate South Carolina is the bustling resort city of Greenville. It lies halfway between Atlanta, GA and Charlotte, NC. Columbia, the state capital, is approximately 100 miles away. Also nearby is the Sassafras Mountains, the highest point in South Carolina. Greenville is the seat and largest city of Greenville County. It is a moderately sized city is graced with knolls and hills. Population is around 58,000. The combined metropolitan area, which includes Spartanburg and Anderson, has an estimated 1.2 million population.

Greenville's central location and proximity to the Appalachian Mountains has been a defining factor in its development. It began as a trading post and mail delivery station in the 18th century, then as a resort town for plantation owners during the antebellum era, and progressed into the "textile capital of the world" in the 1820s. Today, Greenville is also an outstanding example of town revitalization - an effort recognized by the National Trust for Historic Preservation by granting Greenville the Great American Main Street Award in 2003. Over 100 Fortune 500 companies have headquartered here. Greenville is also the seat of Furman University and Bob Jones University.

Greenville is an attractive city for both local residents as well as tourists. There are intriquing options in entertainment, education, affordable living and many other benefits the city offers its residents. People of any age or any profession will surely find the city exciting and vivacious to their own liking.

Greenville History

The city of Greenville is founded on a region that was formerly a Cherokee Nation's Protected Ground. A trader, Richard Pearis, was the first white man to make a permanent settlement in the area. In the 1770s, Pearis built his mansion in the area complete with a trading post, a slave's quarter, a smoke house, a blacksmith shop, a saw mill, and a grist mill, but these were destroyed during the Revolutionary War.

After war, South Carolina opened the region to Revolutionary soldiers for occupation. In 1797, eleven years after Greenville County was created, Thomas Brandon and Lemuel Alston platted the village. Alston named the village Pleasantburg and would remain called as such until 1831, when the name was changed to Greenville District.

The most important figure in the early history of Greenville, South Cario was Vardy McBee, a businessman from North Carolina. McBee was instrumental in the growth of Greensville from village to town. He built a cotton factor, wool and paper mills, two flour mills, and a general store. McBee donated lands for the first and female colleges and churches. He also helped bring the first railroad to the town. In 1831, Pleasantburg became Greenville.

Mid-1800s was a period of rapid growth. Furman University and the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary established their campuses here. The Greenville Female College and various grammar schools were founded. The Greenville and Columbia Railroad opened its terminal in the West End area. A carriage and wagon manufacturing plant, the largest in the South, brought more jobs and revenues for the town. In 1869, Greenville was chartered as a city.

The years following the Civil were a period of challenges as well social and economic changes. The city quickly recovered. In 1872, a second railroad was built in the city, followed by a horse-drawn street railway, and a bridge crossing the Reedy River.

The 1870s also birthed Greenville's core industry: textile. By 1894, the city boasted of eight cotton mills. This number increased to fourteen, bringing prosperity and progress to the city. Greenville became known as the "Textile Center of the South". The industry slowed during the Great Depression. The economy did not take off again until after the Second World War.

In the late 1970s, a downtown revitalization project was initiated. Streets were narrowed from four lanes to two and were lined with trees and light fixtures. Parks and plazas were built throughout the town. Historic buildings were restored including the Coach Factory and the Huguenot Mill.

In the 1990s, attention was turned to the West End District. $70 million was spent on the renovation of the Reedy Falls Park. The beautification efforts paid off. The city received the National Trust for Historic Preservation Award. The new image also attracted new businesses into Greenville.

About Greenville, South Carolina

Greenville, South Carolina brings the best of Southern hospitality, small town charm, and the vibrancy of a big city. The city offers panoramic views of the Blue Ridge Mountains, diverse museums, restored historic buildings, exciting festivals, and countless outdoor and indoor recreation.

The centerpiece of Greenville's revitalized downtown area is the spectacular Falls Park. Falls Park is the perfect of combination of green space and breathtaking architecture. The Park includes gardens and the gorgeous Reedy River and its impressive series of waterfalls. Spanning the park is a curved, 355-foot long pedestrian walkway. Called Liberty Bridge, the walkway features one-of-a-kind geometry. The bridge gives visitors a panoramic view of the landscaped flowerbeds, nature trails, and the waterscape. Falls Park also holds a historical value, as this is where Greenville was born.

Greenville, South Carolina has fewer golf courses than most tourist towns like Myrtle Beach. However, it has the only 18-hole par 3 golf course in the world with each hole designed by a different designer. Other popular golf destinations are the Bonnie Brae Golf Club and the Verdae Green Golf Course.

The city also has a wealth of cultural activities. The Warehouse Theatre on Greenville's Historic West End offers an eclectic mix of performances from Broadway to off-Broadway shows, late-night comedies. The Warehouse Theater also plays an active role in cultivating young artistic talents. Another institution, the Greenville Little Theater, has been staging productions like To Kill a Mockingbird, A Chirstmas Carol, and Fiddler on the Roof since the 1920s. It is the oldest volunteer-based theater in the city. Circuses, sporting events, pop or rock concerts, and other entertainment shows often take place at Bi-Lo Center, a 6,090-seat state-of-the-art facility located in Greenville's historic downtown.

Museums take visitors to a fascinating trip down history lane. The Greenville Country Art Museum offers a rich repertoire of American art that dates back to the 18th century. There are collections of works by Jasper Johns, Andrew Wyeth, Andy Warhol, Georgia O'Keeffee, and many more. The Bob Jones University Museum and Gallery, on the other hand, houses religious arts.

Greenville hosts a number of festivals that add to its appeal. The annual Greek Festival is a summer celebration hosted by Greek Orthodox Church members and includes Greek food, music, and dance. Fall for Greenville is a 3-day music and food festival that takes place on the streets of Greenville every first weekend of October. Arts in the Park is a 3-day festival held at the Reedy Falls Park. In September, artists from all over the southeastern part of the country gather in Greenville to showcase their handmade artworks during the Indie Craft Parade.

About Greenville County, South Carolina

Greenville County, the most populous county in the state of South Carolina, is located along the foothills of the Appalachian Mountains. It is part of the Greenville-Maudlin-Easley metropolitan area. The county is composed of six cities: Fountain Inn, Greenville, Greer, Maudlin, Simpsonville, and Travelers Rest. The county seat is Greenville.

Green Country stretches from Blue Ridge Mountains bordering North Carolina to the plains of Piedmont in the east. The region offers a wide range of elevation. There are long stretches of knolls and hills as well as mountains more than 3,218 feet high. Caesar's Head is here as well as Hogback Mountain and Paris Mountain.

History: It is nit clear how the county got its name. One theory suggests it was named for Revolutionary War hero Nathanael Greene. Another attributes the name to Isaac Green, an early settler. Greenville County was the territory of the Cherokee Indians until 1777, when Cherokee ceded to the territory to South Carolina as part of the Treaty of Dewitt's Corner. Soon, English and Scots-Irish immigrants began settling in the area. In 1786, Greenville District was created from Spartanburg District. In 1868, the name was changed to Greenville County.

Greenville's county seat was originally named Pleasantburg. In 1831, the name of the county was adopted, and Pleasantburg was changed to Greenville.

Industries: With the Blue Ridge Mountains providing backdrop, Greenville County became a popular resort town for plantation owners. Today, Greenville remains a popular vacation destination for people of all ages. The county's major industry, however, is textile manufacturing. Greenville County produces more fancy silks, cottons, rayon products, clucks and other clothing more than any other county in the nation.

Greenville County's role as major textile producer took place following the Civil War. Other economic activities in Greenville County are farming, dairying, and poultry-raising. Cotton is the principal crop.

Notable Citizens: Greenville County had been a home for some of the greatest figures in American. One was Jefferson Jackson, who was nicknamed "Shoeless Joe". Jackson played Major League Baseball in the early 1920s. Another was Nobel Prize-winning physicist Charles Townes. Civil Rights leader Jesse Jackson also hailed from Greenville, South Carolina.