Graniteville, Horse Creek Valley
Along the tree-lined back roads of Aiken County is the peaceful valley of Horse Creek. Southern mill villages have graced this area for centuries and southern industry was born. Native American crossroads, southern food, Dave the Potter, Blue Row houses are just a few of our favorite stories of the Horse Creek Valley.
Graniteville is a historic little town started by William Gregg and is listed on the national registry of historic places. Gregg described his town in a letter to Freeman Hunt in October of 1849. “The village covers about 150 acres of ground, contains two handsome Gothic churches, an academy, hotel, 10 or 12 stores and about 100 cottages belong to the company and occupied by persons in their services. The house is varied in size from 3 to 9 rooms each nearly all built after the Gothic cottage order.”
The first inhabitants of Graniteville were the Westo Indians and from them came the name Horse Creek. Later it became one of the world’s most model industrial villages. Graniteville furnished material for southern military purposes during the Civil War which enraged Sherman and he ordered the mills destroyed along with a paper mill in the valley.
Gen. Joe Wheeler held Shermans Army away from Graniteville in the battle of Aiken. Today new industrial businesses flourish here such as Bridgestone, MTU Diesel, along with new residential communities like the prestigious Sage Valley Golf Club.
Graniteville Mill & The Blue Row
In 1845 the original Graniteville Mill was the 1st cotton mill in the South and it survived Sherman’s March. Buildings were constructed of blue granite, which gave the town its name. Examples of the Blue Row Homes, originally painted with a light blue wash, can still be found in town. Mr. J.W. Reardon, known as “The Grand Ole Man” holds the world record for the longest continuous employment in one company. His record is 87 years!
1 Hickman St., Graniteville, SC
High on top of a hill overlooking the village, founder, William Gregg, dedicated this land for burials. Gregg was originally buried in the cemetery, but his wife had his body moved to Magnolia Cemetery in Charleston, SC. His marker was returned and rests at the original grave site. The older wooden markers have been lost to time. Oldest stone: 1852.
Horse Creek Midland Valley Veterans Park
US Hwy 421, Bath, SC
US Hwy. 421, Bath. The park has paved walkways, night lighting, granite benches, picnic tables and a gazebo. The focus is the circle of honor inscribed with 900 veterans’ names from World War I to the present of the Midland Valley area.