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"P" is for Pacolet

South Carolina From A to Z
SC Public Radio

"P" is for Pacolet (Spartanburg County; 2010 population 2,690). Some people believe that “Pacolet” is a Cherokee word meaning “fast-running horse,” while others hold that it comes from the last name of an early French settler. In the 1880s, textile manufacturing pioneer John H. Montgomery purchased 350 acres and opened a three-story, 10,000 spindle mill in full operation. By 1895 there were three mills with a capacity of 53,424 spindles and 1,864 looms—making it the largest textile manufacturing complex in Spartanburg County. In 1967 Deering Milliken purchased the mills and operated them until 1983. Unlike many upcountry mill villages, the town of Pacolet survived, due in part to well-built and maintained mill housing that kept its value and a municipal government that continued to provide services to town residents after the mill closed.

Dr. Walter Edgar has two programs on South Carolina Public Radio: Walter Edgar's Journal, and South Carolina from A to Z. Dr. Edgar received his B.A. degree from Davidson College in 1965 and his Ph.D. from the University of South Carolina in 1969. After two years in the army (including a tour of duty in Vietnam), he returned to USC as a post-doctoral fellow of the National Archives, assigned to the Papers of Henry Laurens.