If you are traveling through South Carolina, and you are at a loss about where your next stop should be, you cannot go wrong with Greenville. Rated by CNN Money as one of “The 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the US,” this small town is an oasis of rich history and a major cultural center in full development.
Here are some interesting facts about Greenville, SC that will make your visit there worthwhile:
Greenville sits on ancient Cherokee hunting grounds
Walking through downtown Greenville nowadays will present you with modern architecture and glass-paneled buildings. However, just little over 250 years ago the same area was covered in lush vegetation where the Cherokee would hunt for the tribe’s meals.
It took the efforts of pioneer Richard Pearis and the outcome of the American Revolutionary War to see the lands enter under US jurisdiction. Pearis had received around 100,000 acres on what is today’s Falls Park from the Cherokee, who later joined him in the war against the Patriots. After losing the war, the Native American tribe had to give up the lands to the newly-established US government.
Greenville County was established in 1786, and some believe that the settlers gave its name for the luxuriant vegetation that covered the area and the horizon-covering Paris Mountain. Others consider that the town’s name is an homage to the Revolutionary War hero Nathaniel Greene. The jury is still out on this debate.
The long reign of Knox H. White
Greenville has one of the longest-serving mayors in the US in the person of Knox H. White who has been in the position since December 1995. The 64-year old Republican politician seems to have won the hearts and admiration of the local community that shows its support on every election. His major achievements so far include reduced noise pollution, architectural modernization, and the establishment of neighborhood associations.
Greenville’s never-ending love for music
Greenville is one of the most passionate communities in South Carolina when it comes to music, and especially country, rock, and jazz. Several music festivals and concerts take place here every year, and the local Greenville Symphony Orchestra is one of the most appreciated symphonic ensembles in the entire state.
Greenville is also the birthplace of death metal band Nile and the last venue that saw the original lineup of Lynyrd Skynyrd play a live show. The famous country rock band was involved in a plane crash on October 20, 1977, just one day after playing at the Greenville Memorial Auditorium.
The unfortunate event saw the death of three of the band members, their assistant road manager, and the crew die on impact, and the rest of the band severely injured. In spite of several attempts of reviving Lynyrd Skynyrd, the band never managed to regain its former charm and success.
Birthplace of famous people
Greenville, SC is the birthplace of notable people who succeeded in various domains and industries, and later gained national and even worldwide recognition. Among them are Jesse Jackson (civil rights activist and Baptist minister), Shoeless Joe Jackson (MLB player), Bo Hopkins (actor), and actresses Joanne Woodward and Jaimie Alexander.