Wandering around Glendale

Mill pond - 3 (sepia)
Back in May of last year, I followed an old trolley right-of-way from Spartanburg, South Carolina to Glendale, a small mill town near Lawson's Ford Creek in eastern Spartanburg County. I didn't have much time to explore the mill town during that trip, so I that adventure had to wait for another time.

Before coming back, I wanted to do some research to locate all the major the points of interest in Glendale typical to the insular mill towns of this area such as the company store, the office, schools, churches, businesses, and recreation areas. My "go to" resource for this information was glendalesc.com, a website of information collected by a former Glendale Mill worker, Mary McKinney Teaster. I also recently paid a visit to the Cyrill-Westside library near Spartanburg to read through Glendale: A Pictorial History which filled in a few more details.

Also helpful was a post to the Glendale Shoals Facebook group showing an interesting LIDAR satellite image of Glendale:
This image, along with aerial images from the South Carolina Digital Library, helped me refine the route of the trolley from Trolley Car Way through and beyond Glendale, and the route of Old Georgia Road. I used all of this information to produce a map of the Glendale area:
What particularly intrigued me was an area called the Boy Scout Swimming area, behind the Glendale Community Cemetery, and these steps leading down to the swimming area...
...among other interesting concrete ruins in the swimming pool area shown on glendalesc.com's Photos of the Swimming Pool page. Now this is something I'd like to see!

With all that research done, I made a trip out to Glendale last Wednesday. My first objective was this interesting swimming pool area.

I parked by the Glendale Post Office and headed down the Glendale Shoals Trail that runs near Lawson's Ford Creek, only to find "no trespassing" signs preventing my entry into the woods:
Glendale Preserve Trails - 2
I turned around and headed up another trail that follows the old trolley right of way, but the signs :
Glendale Preserve Trails - 7 Glendale Preserve Trails - 8 Glendale Preserve Trails - 9
This area is used by Glendale Hunt Club according to that fading sign. This would explain why the trail was so thoroughly posted. My internet searches turned up no information about a group with that name in this area though.

At least while I was here I could explore the old trolley right of way again. That never gets old for me.
Glendale Preserve Trails - 12 Glendale Preserve Trails - 14 Old trolley right of way
I had already visited the mill ruins and took plenty of photos, so I didn't feel the need to take many photos this time.
Glendale Mill ruins - 1 Glendale Mill ruins - 2
then by the Glendale Post Office and Glendale Masonic Lodge, the Glendale Mill store until 1958.
Glendale post office  and Masonic building - 1 Glendale post office  and Masonic building - 2
An old photo I spotted in the book Glendale: A Pictorial History shows the trolley line crossing here in front of the red fire pump station about where Glendale Avenue is now. Across the street is the old mill gymnasium, now home to Lawson Fork Auto.
Lawson Fork Auto
I continued following the old trolley right of way until it crosses Clifton Glendale Road, then I headed back to my car and up to the Glendale Community Cemetery. There I found the more no trespassing signs. Rats, foiled again!
Vernon cemetery plot
Even though I didn't take that many photos in the cemetery, I did notice the cemetery is well kept. While the knocked over flowers in this photo do look like vandalism, it's much more likely the gusty winds this day knocked them over.

Next door are the offices for Spartanburg County District 3, formerly Glendale Elementary School.
Spartanburg District 3 office - 2
This Glendale Elementary School served students from 1954 until 1979. Students were then sent to the the newly opened Cliffdale Elementary School off Heritage Hills Drive.
Spartanburg District 3 office - 3
Across the street from the Glendale Community Cemetery is the Pentecostal church recently renamed to New Life Worship Center.
New Life Worship Center
The church moved here in 1977 from it's original location to the south on Chaffin Street. The original church building, the fourth church established in Glendale, was constructed in 1937 on land donated by the mill and named Glendale Holiness Pentecostal Church.
Living Waters church - 2
When the church moved in 1977 to its current location, the name was changed to Ella Crocker Memorial Pentecostal Church to honor Ella Crocker, the organizer of the church. In 2014, the church was renamed again, this time to New Life Worship Center.

Living Waters Deliverance Center church currently occupies the original 1937 church building.
Living Waters church - 4
Continuing back south to Church Street, I stopped by Glendale Baptist Church. Glendale Baptist Church was organized in 1876, becoming the second church established in the town. The current church building is the third one to stand here.
Glendale Baptist Church - 2
Photos of the first two buildings can be found on glendalesc.com's church history page, and photos of the third's construction in 1960-1961 are available on different page. Across the street is the parsonage and the church office (the former parsonage).
Glendale Baptist Church - 4
Further down Church street is the first school in Glendale, possibly built sometime in the 1880s.
First Glendale school building - 1
This building used to stand across the street where the fire station is now, and was moved here to make way for a new two story brick schoolhouse in 1917. This schoolhouse was converted into a home.

As I was taking photos of the old schoolhouse, a loud, unpleasantly hostile fellow came out wondering why I was taking photos of his house. While it was tempting to educate this fellow what I was doing was perfectly legal, it just wasn't worth the effort and I moved on.

This schoolhouse would close in 1954, when a new elementary school opened, the very one I visited earlier, and took its place. This brick schoolhouse was torn down to make way for the Glendale Fire Station:
Glendale Fire Department
Walking down Wheeling Circle brought me to Glendale Outdoor Leadership School, or Glendale United Methodist Church until 2005. Glendale Methodist Episcopal Church, as it was originally called, was organized in the early 1840s. The mill donated land here in 1889 for a church, becoming the first church in Glendale. This church building dates from 1907.
Glendale Outdoor Leadership School - 1
Behind the church building is the former youth fellowship building, now an office for the school:
Glendale Outdoor Leadership School - 2
and the former parsonage:
Glendale United Methodist Church parsonage
At one time, the overwhelming majority of residents, including the founder James Bivings, were Methodists. The decline of the mill followed by decreasing population led to decreasing attendance. By 2005, attendance was so low the church was forced to close and the few remaining members transferred to another Methodist church.

On Broadway Street is the Glendale Wesleyan Church, the third church of four churches to organize in Glendale, but the fourth and last one on my visit.
Glendale Wesleyan Church sign
Glendale Wesleyan Church was organized in 1899, and the church built shortly after. The parsonage is now used for fellowship.
Glendale Wesleyasn Church and pastorage
The church remains active as of 2017, but I have to wonder for how much longer?

On the far end of Glendale Avenue is the Bivings-Converse house. Mill founder James Bivings built this house in 1836. Dexter Converse, first a mill superintendent then later part owner of the mill, bought the house sometime after 1859.
Bivings-Converse House - 2
Nearby at the intersection of Glendale Avenue and Douglas Street is the Albert Twitchell house. Albert Twitchell was the brother-in-law of Dexter Converse, and later part owner. Twitchell became President when Dexter Converse died in 1899. Albert Twitchell moved out his Glendale house in 1882 for one in Spartanburg.

I took no photo of the Twitchell house, not wanting a repeat of my earlier experience, but Bing maps has a decent view of the house available.

My last photo in this area is the water storage tank. This tank was built during a mill addition in 1902 to store water in case of fire. The only use this water tower serves these days may be the antenna.
Glendale water tower
Next I moved on to the other side of Lawson's Ford Creek to a parking area off Emma Cudd Road.
Mary Arrington Walter preserve
I walked a trail closely hugging the bank to a point where I could get a nice side view of the dam.
Glendale Shoals Dam - 2
Then up some stairs up to the road grade near the old Glendale Shoals truss bridge.
Glendale Bridge - 2
Work is expected to begin soon on renovating the bridge, perhaps this month, to improve its condition.

On the other side of Emma Cudd Road are ruins of businesses that once relied on the patronage of mill workers.
Glendale Businesses - 1 Glendale Businesses - 4
Businesses along this strip included a succession of grocery stores and barber shops. A few more businesses were scattered elsewhere in the area, most of those buildings are now gone. I briefly turned my attention to this historical marker...
Early Iron Works - 1
before exploring the trails behind the marker area.
Early Iron Works - 3
I took the trail past a take out for paddlers that ends underneath the Glendale Shoals Bridge.
Paddle Trail sign - 1
Then I walked over the bridge to a more interesting trail that begins near the post office.
Lawson's Creek trail - 1
This trail closely follows Lawson's Fork Creek toward another place I wanted to visit, Wofford's Iron Works, where a sluice from the old iron works is visible from Google Earth.
Along the this trail, I found a view of the Glendale Shoals Bridge I quite liked.
Mill pond - 3
This area was a park for the mill workers. A breakaway apron installed on top of the dam once raised the water level a few feet.

I kept going until I found this warning sign...
Lawson's Fork Creek trail - 7
...and this sign.
Lawson's Fork Creek trail - 7
It thought it highly unlikely any hunting was going on today, but not knowing if hunting was in season or not, and since I happened to be wearing dark clothes, I decided to hold off on visiting the sluice this time.

I still want to visit the old Boy Scout Swimming Pool area, and the old Iron Works sluice. A visit to the swimming pool area looks rather doubtful for now if the hunt club's contact info is nowhere to be found, but the sluice may be a possibility some other time with an orange blazed vest. I'd also like to explore the old baseball stadium area off Country Club Road, but I have to wonder if that area is used for hunting too. Also left to explore is the Lewis Chapel Baptist Church area.

Much of my historical information I've summarized comes from glendalesc.com. While the site could use a better index, it does have a lot interesting photos and other information about Glendale I haven't mentioned.

I've uploaded my trip photos to an album on Flickr.

The Picasaweb API my Lightroom plugin used for uploading Google Photos has shutdown with no replacement planned. Google strikes again! I found a workaround by turning on the "Google Drive" setting in Google Photos, and uploading my photos with the plugin author's Google Drive plugin. But now I have to load the desktop version of Google Photos to create an album manually by selecting the uploaded photos. This method is not very convenient but it works.


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