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Where To Retire , Have you Considered Greenville, South Carolina?
Scenes from Downtown Greenville
My husband and I bought a home in Greenville South Carolina 33 years ago. During that time we have left twice but each time we longed to come back.
Greenville is a mid-size southern town. It is the sixth largest city in SC and has about 60,000 residence. It is about half way between Charlotte NC and Atlanta GA.
Originally the land of Greenville was occupied by the Cherokee Indians. In 1797 Thomas Brandon, a revolutionary soldier, purchased the land from the state and named it Pleasantburg. We still have a street named Pleasantburg Drive, a major thoroughfare. Later the village was changed to Greeneville and finally just Greenville.
It became a major trading center and also an escape for people from Charleston and other cities in the low country who had contracted malaria. Malaria is passed by mosquitos and would be prevalent in the coastal towns where mosquitos are rampant to this day.
My father, who grew up in the low country also contracted malaria and had a full recovery.
In 1850 Furman University was built in downtown Greenville. My late uncle told my 4 sisters and I stories of how he worked to pay tuition to be in the first graduating class of Furman by washing windows for 50 cents each. He lived to be nearly 100 years of age.
Early post Civil War Growth
The first railroad in Greenville was built in the West End area of town and today this area is a major tourist and visitors location with great restaurants and shopping.
In 1869, after the Civil War the SC General Assembly amended the village into the city of Greenville. The first real bridge in town was then built crossing the Reedy River. The Reedy River is famous to this day with beautiful waterfalls, buildings, a suspension bridge and picnic area where beautiful gardens have been added.
In the early 1900's Greenville was a major textile center with streetcars and the railroad. With this growth in wealth came new residential areas still bustling today. They include Pettigru, Pendleton and Overbrook street neighborhoods.
In the mid-20's the Poinsett hotel, still standing today although not without much controversy, was built as well as South Carolina's largest furniture showroom.
Growth and Heritage Green
With World War II Construction slowed and in the 1970's Donaldson Air force Base brought new prosperity to the city. Each year on the Fourth of July a huge celebration is held at Donaldson Base with music, hot air balloons and fun for all ages. It is fondly called Freedom Weekend Aloft.
Around the time my husband and I relocated to Greenville for the first time the arts were becoming very important in the city and Heritage Green was built with the Little Theatre, the Greenville County Library, the Greenville symphony association and the Greenville County Museum of Art. The Art museum was graced with many works of famous painter Andrew Wyeth.
For my little family this was a wonderful place to take the children for cultural activities.
The West End area had become run down and with it's renovation along with the reopening of the Westin hotel, the city received the National Trust for Historic Preservation of South Carolina Award.
In the early 2000"s art became a major part of the restoration of downtown Greenville and can be seen as you walk along the streets and see the many statues and historic venues. There are little mice statues up and down Main Street leading you from one side to the other.
The Peace Center of Performing Arts was built bringing off broadway shows, ballets and music to the city. Later the Bi-Lo Center was built bringing major musical groups and shows as well as the circus to Greenville.
The Reedy River area went through a major renovation as stated before and is a gorgeous area today. It is now known as Falls Park. The suspension bridge I spoke of earlier is called the Liberty Bridge. You will usually see large numbers of young couples and families along the river and falls edge on any given weekend.
A major baseball stadium was built in downtown Greenville modeled after Boston,s Fenway Park.
Not only is there beauty surrounding you in this area but there are many activities awaiting you. The Baseball Team ,the Greenville Drive has a new stadium centrally located in downtown Greenville.
Is Hockey you choice? The Greenville Road Warriors is a professional Hockey team located here.
You have Clemson Tiger football or Furman University Palladins.
Shopping continues to grow almost daily. The Bon Secour Center previously The Bi-Lo Center brings concerts, circus, home to the hockey team and many other pleasurable presentations.
The Children's Museum of the Upstate
This is a great place for retired grandparents to take their visiting grand children to. Yearly memberships are available and very cost effective.
The Greenville Zoo
This is another great place to take your children or grandchildren.
The Fountain Near Falls Creek
Downtown Greenville is a great place for young mothers to come. On hot summer days you may see children Playing in this refreshing fountain.
Baseball in Greenville
Why Greenville SC Is A Beautiful Place to Live
The nearby Smoky mountains feed the beautiful lakes nearby including Lake Jocassee with Duke Power Company's Bad Creek Resevoir Project with hydroelectric power and Lake Keowee and Lake Hartwell.
Clemson University is a close drive and a major draw for Greenville's college age youth. Football games on Saturdays are a major fall pastime and Lake Hartwell can be seen close by from the Stadium stands.
Greenville has some of the purest water in the country also fed from the mountains and with the lakes there is never an absence of things to do in the summer.
This city is truly a wonderful area to live.
The Furman Channel What the City Offers
The Mountains and Lakes
Falls Park in Downtown Greenville
References : GreenvilleSC.gov