I made my way to Greenwood intrigued by the trails-to-rails path near downtown. Being more familiar with the towns of the lowcountry, I found Greenwood quite different with its wide main street and multi-story buildings.
It was chartered in 1857, but was first a small village that sprouted up around the summer home of John McGehee, Jr. His wife gave their summer home the name ‘Greenwood’ and the name later transferred to the village.
The railroad came through in 1852. To consolidate the commercial area, city leaders moved the ‘downtown’ area to the area around the depot. The wide main street where the railroad line ran through is called the ‘widest Main street in the world’. Now the railroad tracks are gone, but not its heritage. The Railroad Historical Center is located on South Main Street. When I visited they were refurbishing one of the locomotives. The Railroad and Mill Village Heritage Trail is located near the museum.
I toured downtown and its historic structures, starting at the visiting center near the old cinema. I’d hoped to find a pamphlet with a walking tour, but they didn’t have one, which was disappointing because there was one building on Main Street near the courthouse, that I wanted to know more about. Had it been a been a mill building?
The library is nice. I stopped to get directions to the rails-to-trails path. As I drove over, I passed the old Greenwood High school with its Georgian Revival architecture. It’s on South Main Street and you can’t miss seeing it. Built in the 1920’s it is now apartments. What a great way to let it live on.
One place I wanted to visit, but didn’t since I thought it was on US178, was Dr. Benjamin E. Mays Historic Site. Here you can get a feel of how African-American sharecroppers lived and be amazed how one boy came from this background to be become a doctor, president of Morehouse college and a Civil Rights leader. While I did miss this, I did see his birthplace. The house has been moved to the historic site.
How to get there:
Greenwood is located in Greenwood county along US25/US178/US221 and SC34
Lake Greenwood S.P.
Park Seed Company Gardens