How Much Do You Know About Pelham Mill Park?

Local mom Liene reviews Pelham Mill Park in Greer, SC. For more park reviews, see our Parks in Greenville page.

This historic site in Greenville has somehow flown under the radar of the majority of locals, even those living and working nearby. However, with its old mill ruins, river shoals and couple of acres of bottomland forest, Pelham Mill Park could be considered one of the more interesting parks in Greenville County.

About Pelham Mill Park

Home to the one of the first textile mills in Greenville County, there are scenic and historic elements that liken it to Falls Park downtown. The Upstate was largely shaped by the textile industry, and just as Falls Park contains the ruins of a grist mill, Pelham Mill Park contains the remnants of a cotton mill. Evidence of a complex series of stone and brick foundations span the floodplain, shoals and terrace that overlook the Enoree River. These ruins are accessible to visitors, though be warned – with steep, muddy footpaths, tall grass and an unfortunate abundance of trash & poison ivy, extreme caution should be exercised when exploring the site.

The Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission donated the thirteen acres to Greenville County in 1988. Seven acres have been added through a partnership with Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority, and the master plan for the park includes interpretive signage, picnic sites and a walking bridge spanning the river that would provide access to trails along the Enoree River. One aspect of the plan which has been completed is the dog park, and a second that is currently in the works is restoration of the former Pelham Mill Post Office.

The building was built in 1870 as Pelham Mill’s office until the textile plant closed in 1930. It became a post office until it was closed in 1996, and when Highway 14 was widened in 2002 it was moved to its present location. Greenville Rec is restoring the historic structure for use as a community building with help from Western Carolina Regional Sewer Authority and Greenville County.

Other features of the park include a paved path leading to the historical 19th century stonework dam. An overlook provides a view of the dam, architectural remains of the mill and shoals on the Enoree River. Crumbling walls, foundations and depressions give evidence to what used to stand on the site: two steam smokestacks, underground pipes, drains, turbines, nine brick pilings, the mill’s main powerhouse and steam generator, and finally the large mortared stone dam with six sluice gates spanning the Enoree River. The Mill burned down in 1943 (except for the mill office), as the only fire trucks available had to come all the way from Greenville and Greer.

Pelham Mill is recognized by the Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission as one of 11 historic sites in the County.

On a related note, the Enoree river served another important purpose a few hundred years earlier. In 1766 NC/SC negotiated a boundary with the Cherokee between ‘Indian land’ and their new settlement. This line extended from Honea Path across the Reedy River all the way to Virginia, but today there is nothing to remind us of this aspect of southern history except a few historic markers like the one nearby on Highway 14. If you do make a stop at the marker, make sure to also find the nearby geocache…

Plan a visit to Pelham Mill Park

2770 E Phillips Road
Greer, SC 29650
Visit the website here.

This article was originally published on Femme au foyer.

Have you explored Pelham Mill Park?

Meet Liene
Mother of three young boys, Liene is constantly on the move since returning to Greenville in 2012. Whether she’s exploring the state parks and natural areas of the Carolinas or teaming up with other moms to organize activities for the kids, she’s always searching for the next adventure in the Upstate. For everything from hiking, travel, cooking and crafts to multicultural & global education posts, visit her blog, Femme au Foyer.
Liene
About the Author
Mother of four young boys, Liene is constantly on the move since returning to Greenville in 2012. Whether she’s exploring the state parks and natural areas of the Carolinas or teaming up with other moms to organize activities for the kids, she’s always searching for the next adventure in the Upstate. For everything from hiking, travel, cooking and crafts to multicultural & global education posts, visit her blog, http://FemmeauFoyer2011.blogspot.com.

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