Sketches of South Carolina
by Gustavus Memminger Middleton
Press of Walker, Evans & Cogswell Co., Charleston, SC, 1908
Transcribed for South Carolina Genealogy Trails by D. Whitesell


In full view of the Blue Ridge, which skirts the northwestern border of the State and which, with its undulating outline wrapped in snow, presents a striking picture from the tower of Furman University, especially when reflecting the splendor of sunshine on a winter's day, stands the picturesque City of Greenville, the third in order of importance and population in South Carolina. In the days of stage coaches, when it was the terminus of the railroad from Columbia, which was built in the early fifties, it was the resting point of travellers in both directions across the mountainous region extending through North Carolina to Tennessee. Many years earlier, in 1839, a survey under John C. Fremont the first Presidential candidate of the newly formed Republican party in 1856, shows that the original design was to extend the railroad from Greenville through Saluda Gap to Asheville, N. C. The war intervening, the project of a railroad through the mountains was not revived until the early seventies, when a shorter and more easily graded line from Spartanburg was adopted. Whatever losses accrued from this change of plan were more than compensated by the construction of the Air Line from Charlotte to Atlanta, which has assumed the proportions of a trunk line between the North and South. Though not among the mountains, like Asheville, nor the water of its springs1 as cold, the atmosphere is balmier in summer than the sun-baked clay and sand of the middle and low country, and for those who do not aspire to higher altitudes, such as western North Carolina offered, Greenville and its neighborhood became the favorite resort of inhabitants of the lower sections1 of the State in the summer season. The Reedy River skirts the town on the south, but being quite shallow, vehicles are driven over its rocky bed in approaching the main street, accompanied by the agreeable sounds of a water fall and the busy hum of cotton factories. Besides the Baptist or Furman University which is situated on a hill across the river but on line with the main street which rises to about the same height, there is a Female College of the same denomination, a Military Academy and a good system of graded schools. Its manufactures are not confined to cotton, being diversified by factories of furniture, wagons, carriages, cottonseed oil, flour and lumber. Besides being the highest city in South Carolina, nature has added to its attractions the beautiful resort of Paris Mountain, seven miles distant, commanding an extended view reaching beyond the confines of the State to its billowy wall of mountains—among its interesting features, distinctly visible, being that curious work of geological ages, Caesar's Head, gazing, as it were, over the plain below.

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