The state of South Carolina has fostered the birth of many textile mills. Spartanburg County listed elsewhere on this web site was home to many. Other counties where early mills flourished include Cherokee, Greenville, Oconee and Pickens in the upstate. Mill engineers were employed by prospective mill owners to design mills according to the latest technology available. These firms left an indelible imprint on textiles and other industries.
Cherokee County. Hamrick Mills is both an historic company and a current company. The web site http://www.hamrickmills.com/History.html tells a bit of the history of the Limestone Mills dating to the organization of a mill in 1900 by Dr. Wylie C. Hamrick in Gaffney, SC. Two modern mills operate today.
Greenville County. Piedmont Manufacturing Company Mill Number 1 was built beginning in 1876 in the small town of Piedmont near Greenville, SC along the banks of the Saluda River. The site has been entered in the National Registry. The mill burned in 1983. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Piedmont_Number_One
Kershaw County. The Kendall Mill was built 1899 and the surrounding mill village shortly thereafter.
Oconee County. The Courtenay Mill was built in 1893 by William Ashmead Courtenay in Newry, SC. Courtenay was a veteran of the Civil War and served as mayor of Charleston, SC for two terms 1879-1887. A web site devoted to his history and ancestry can be found: http://18.104.22.168/wac.htm
“The new era began with the opening of the Piedmont Mill in the upper part of South Carolina in 1876. Sixteen years later there were fifty-one mills in South Carolina alone, making the State first in the nation in power looms and second in spindles. It was not many miles away from Piedmont that William Courtenay built his cotton mill and a village of workers’ houses to which he gave the name of Newry, in memory of the original family home in Ireland. He also built a house at Newry which he called Innisfallen and lived there until he moved to Columbia, the state capital, where he spent the last years of his life.”
The small mill village today is isolated along the banks of the modern Lake Keowee, created by Duke Power in the 1960s to provide cooling water for the power station built nearby.
The following web site has many historic photos and a few typographical errors including the spelling of the name.