Greenville SC

lake facing camp

What is now known as Greenville County was, as is most land in this area, Cherokee hunting lands as far back as is recorded history. The arrival of the white man from the European countries changed the lives of the native Indians forever.

The first major settlement, in what is now known as Greenville County, occurred at Reedy River Falls. In 1773, Richard Pearis, one of the first white settlers in the area, purchased land along the Reedy River from the Cherokee chiefs so that he could operate his grits mill and a trading post. After he and the Cherokee sided with the British in the Revolutionary War and after their defeat, Mr. Pearis retreated to a secluded island to live out the rest of his life.

Several years passed until Vardry McBee, sometimes called the father of Greenville, established a major plant at the Reedy River Falls location. He placed a sawmill, ironworks, brick yard, and stone quarry along the banks of the river. As a result, a thriving society was started.

A few years later, Greenville became known as a major manufacturing community. Plants were developed in the area. Greenville adopted the mill community which consisted of stores, entertainment such as golf courses and community events, established churches and put city leaders in place to mollify the workers. Once manufacturing started into full swing, other parts of the area fell into neglect like the Reedy River Falls location where everything began. Several classes of people fell into place to support the mill worker community and it worked well for years.

In the 1970's, Greenville started moving away from the Manufacturing community into the modern age. Many businesses flooded the area. Falls Park, home of the original Reedy River Falls location, was cleaned up and is now a pleasant place to visit. There are many other attractions in Greenville and you can drive down, just a short drive, from Rocky Bottom. Annual events also occur there and you can become engrossed with a part of history.

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© April 29, 2019