Spartanburg County, South Carolina

Spartanburg County, South Carolina

From a rude beginning in 1816 near Cross Keys on the Tyger River, the textile industry in Spartanburg County grew by fits and starts over the past two centuries.  The early mills up until the late 1800s were built on the rivers and larger streams.  As steam replaced water power, mills moved away from the river banks and could actually be located in towns high and dry away from possible floods.  A huge “freshet” or flood in 1903 swept away the mill at Pacolet.  The map to the right shows the approximate location of the old and newer mills in the county.

Textile Mills of Spartanburg County, Joann Mitchell Brasington.  Source: Textile Town

Textile Town, a project of the Hub City Writers Group is “One part historical narrative, one part scrapbook, one part encyclopedia, and one part oral history” a quote from the Introduction.  A distinguished group of historians and writers was assembled and each tells a story.  A fascinating read with 250 historic photographs placed throughout 350 large 9 x 12 inch pages – all for only $20.00.  

Visit the web site and order a copy:


  1. Teter, Betsy Wakefield, editor. 2002. Textile Town Spartanburg County, South Carolina Hub City Writers Project, Spartanburg ISBN 1-891885-28-6
  2. Accessed April 2, 2008.


Tucapau Mills

Peter Metzke, Melbourne, Australia has created a very nice story about the Tucapau Mills, Startex, Spartanburg County.


Pacolet Manufacturing Company, Spartan Mills

Pacolet No. 1 was one of the early mills in the county built by John Henry Montgomery. The first mill built on the site was flooded badly in 1903 and rebuilt.  This image may date to 1910 or later.   Image: Courtesy Peter Metzke


The caption reads “Pocolet Cotton Mills, Spartanburg, NC.”  Two typos in one line! This postcard shows the reverse side of the mill above left.  There appears to be construction as the men add rip rap to shore up the banks of the Pacolet River. Courtesy of Bill Wornall Postcard Collection 

This undated and untitled post card has “Pacolet Mill No. 2” written in pencil on the reverse side.  This appears to be an early grist mill and not a textile mill.  If you can help, please let me know. Perhaps this photo was taken during the flood of 1903?