Taylors Mill - 50 years later festival

More peeking

For the past several weeks, the owners of Taylors Mill have been promoting their big celebration, Taylors Mill - 50 years later, through social media and television. I had already scheduled the last of my vacation days several months ago for this week, so when information about the event came out I was to happy to learn I was already available.

The Taylors Mill - 50 years later event page on Facebook explains the purpose the celebration
In 1965, the Southern Bleachery closed the doors on its makers. In 2015, we celebrate a new generation of makers, artisans and craftsmen in Taylors.
On April 22, 1965, the Spartanburg Herald-Journal reported the news that Southern Bleachery and Printworks, in business since 1924, will wind down operations over the next few months leaving about 1000 people out of work. J. P. Stevens bought the mill two months later, and would own the mill until 1998, but the number of jobs didn't replace all the ones lost. Taylors Mill is now listed in the National Register of Historic Places for its part in developing the textile industry in Greenville County.

The mill's history could have ended there, but the current owners were determined to make the mill an important member of the community once again. The event on June 5 commemorated the closing of the mill and celebrates the mill's rebirth as a home to artists and other makers.

The mill is located near the end of Mill Street in Taylors, SC. As many times as I pass by the entrance, I've never really been to the mill before except to take some quick photos. I showed up about 5pm, when there was still plenty of parking, and began exploring the area around the park first.
Taylors Mill sign - 2 Road closed over bridge Enoree River Trestle Grafitti - 2 Park at Taylors Mill - 2
Then I went over the exterior of the mill.
Taylors Mill - 16 Taylors Mill - 13
As I worked my way back toward the entrance along a sidewalk, I heard a familiar voice. Tom Taylor, an fellow outdoor adventure loving friend I first met at Pinckneyville back in 2011, had pulled in to attend the festival. I had sent Tom an e-mail the day before asking if he was coming, and he was, making his greeting not unexpected.

He arrived while I was pondering going inside this interesting building well covered with vegetation and trees:
Taylors Mill - 11
I didn't go in, but perhaps another time.

I waited for Tom to park and walk back, then we headed to the festival.
Nomadik Few Due South Roasters
The festival area was filled with craft vendors.
More peeking
One vendor was a former student of Tom's, Jorie Browder of JBJ Artisan Designs Jewelry:
JBJ Designs jewelry
They talked for a few minutes, then we went inside the mill.

I took a lot of photos inside, these are just a sample. I selected a few of my favorites to share here.

An antique wagon:
Antique wagon - 1
An antique Indian motorcycle:
Antique Indian motorcycles - 1
This VW van:
VW Van - 1
Handmade zithers:
Zithers for sale
Shelves of old film equipment:
Old film equipment
I spotted a few Kodaks and Poloroids in there. Neat!

A painted window:
Painted window
If I could "favorite" my own photos, this photo of Tom walking away would be one:
Moving on
I found these drawers of old type fascinating:
Skivers - 8
A record player was playing a Frank Sinatra album. The current track was the rather melancholy It Was A Very Good Year, one of my favorite Sinatra songs.

My photo didn't turn out well, so I'll use Tom's far better photo:
Taylors Mill First Friday-46
photo by Tom Taylor
This part of the mill was not well lit making it challenge to take a photo that didn't end up being blurry with my slow lens.

We would have both liked to have seen more of the mill, including the "ballroom" area, but caution tape warned us off from forbidden zones:
More off limits
Next we toured Ally Coffee's headquarters. The place was almost empty at the time except for ourselves and the staff.
Ally Welcome to Ally Headquarters
Tom was informed about a "homebrew" coffee class was starting in 15 minutes. Tom likes coffee and decided to attend the class. I avoid coffee, tea, or anything else with caffeine in it because it can give me headaches, so I had to make a decision.

I was already becoming sleepy from being woken up at 6-something-AM because of a neighbor's barking dog they never have a problem letting howl that early, so my drowsiness made the decision for me. We said our goodbyes and I headed to my car.

It was on the way out I realized how packed the place had become. I should have taken a photo to show how packed the place was, but did Tom did thank goodness:
Taylors Mill First Friday-90
photo by Tom Taylor
I had great time and it was great seeing Tom again as always. I'd very much like to go paddling with him some time.

Looking ahead, the Taylors Mill Facebook page is hinting at another interesting event in mid-July:
Just a little teaser on the next event for mid-July....Photographers challenge! Will be open to all Greenville photographers. Details next week!
Posted by Taylors Mill on Sunday, June 7, 2015
Don't know if I can make it, but this one has my interest.

Tom posted his thoughts on his blog, and his photos in a Flickr album.

All of my photos are on an album on Flickr and an album on Google Photos, whichever one you like more.

You can also view the entire Flickr album below if you have Adobe Flash:


  1. Great write-up, as usual! It was great seeing you there and rambling through the mill. I'm working on my blog post now, and I did put the photos in an album. Trying to get that post out the door before leaving for Ireland tomorrow.

    1. Thanks for the compliment! It's no shame to say you're a much better writer than I am. Producing these stories doesn't come easy for this introvert, it takes a lot of effort for me, but I do try.

      I updated the story to add your links, and also fix some typos and a missing


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