Pelzer – History

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Town of Pelzer SC
Population: 97
Incorporated: Chartered March 17, 1952
Website: www.townofpelzer.com

City Offices:

103 Courtney St.
PO Box 427
Pelzer, SC 29669
Phone 864-947-6231
Fax 864-947-6266

City Government / Elected Officials:

Non- partison. Elected officials serve two-year terms with terms expiring on alternate years. Pelzer town council meets on the first Friday of each month.

Mayor:
Kenneth Davis
Telephone:  (864) 947-6231

Town Council:
Donna Ide
Stephen K. McGregor
Sandra Ragsdale
Tony M. Riddle

Appointed Officials:
Clerk/Treasurer – Lyle K Watkins (864) 947-6266
Public Works –  (864) 947-6266
Police – Anderson County Sheriff
Fire – West Pelzer Fire Department
State officials:
SC Senator: William H. O’Dell
SC Representative: Michael D. Thompson, Daniel T. Cooper

Brief History:

Pelzer is located along the Saluda River in eastern Anderson County. The incorporated portion of the town is only a small  part of the two mill villages, upper and lower, that make up what is commonly known as Pelzer.
The town was founded in the 1800’s along with the Pelzer Manufacturing Co. A pioneer in the use of electricity, the company bought the first power generators made by the fledgling General Electric Co., to run its two mills, one of them the largest in the United States at the time. A consolidated hydro station with two dams still generates power on the Saluda River.
The two mills have been torn down and only a few buildings and debris mark the sites of the upper and lower mills around which the town was built.
At one time, the Southern Railroad tracks separated Pelzer from West Pelzer.
Pelzer was chartered as a town on March 17, 1952.

(See Pelzer History link for more Pelzer History)


Clubs & Organizations

Pelzer Heritage Commission

 

Formed in 2010

 

A group of local “Pelzerites” as they call themselves, originally formed the Pelzer Pride Committee in 2010 and began planning what they called “A big reunion.”
The committee became the Pelzer Heritage Commission in October 2010 and received approval of Pelzer Town Council, making their efforts official.
The commission is made up of local people, all of whom were either born in Pelzer and/or lived in Pelzer from a very young age, according to spokesperson Margaret Jamison, who serves on the committee along with eleven others.
One of their goals is to preserve the town and village, as well as to restore the pride in the town. Their first event was “Come Home to Pelzer – A Blast from the Past.”
The event was planned as a big reunion. Anyone who lived in Pelzer or attended Pelzer grade school or high school at any time was invited to attend.
The event was held on Saturday, November 13 with tours of the Pelzer Auditorium, the Pelzer School and Pelzer Presbyterian Church. Tours of the church were accompanied by music played on the one hundred year old church organ by Lee Gray.
Following the tours, a large group gathered at the Pelzer Gym for food, entertainment pictures, memorabilia and fellowship. The Pelzer Heritage Commission had commemorative Christmas ornaments, T-shirts and throws for sale.
Anyone interested in purchasing a Pelzer souvenir item or wanting additional information is asked to contact Dianne Lollis at 847-5743, Linda Lee Lozano at 947-2683 or Larry Coker at 243-9120.
The Pelzer Heritage Commission meets at the gym.
Founding members of the Pelzer Heritage Commission include: Pelzer Mayor Kenneth Davis; Dianne Lollis, President; Linda Lee Lozano, First Vice President, Secretary/Treasurer; Larry Coker, Second Vice President; John Kelly, Pat Kelly, Jimmy Harrision, Tina Mackey, Eunice Williams, Eckie Jordan, Margaret Jamison and Gilbert Garrett.

Pelzer Historic Society

Formed in 2008

There is for the first time in the one hundred plus years of Pelzer, South Carolina history, a historical society dedicated to preserving, restoring, and publishing when advisable its history.

From the Pelzer Manufacturing Company’s inception in the minds of those honorable men from Charleston, South Carolina to this present day of March 17, 2008, the Pelzer SC area was and still is a unique point of history in the use of electricity. It was the first place in the world to ever have electricity generated at a distance specifically for manufacturing purposes. It was this history that inspired us to initiate the beginning of a National Historic District for the Pelzer, South Carolina area in November of 2007, thanks to the assistance of the Town of Pelzer and the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

We also initiated a preservation project of preserving sports photographs in the Historic Pelzer Gym. The product we recommended and proceeded to implement included none other than the best frames from our preservation company resource Light Impressions. We also initiated a continuous oral history project for our archives. We participated in the Pelzer Christmas Holiday Fair of 2007 among other celebrations and historic functions. Our latest preservation building project includes the Historic Pelzer Library on Courtney (Courtenay) ST Pelzer, SC.

Research on Pelzer history was initiated since before our beginning and continues to unfold to this day. We understand, just like fellow history buffs or preservationists understand, the magnitude of work involved in preserving history and the importance of milestones in those efforts. We take this moment, this day, to recognize and celebrate the reason for this letter.
It is with great pleasure that we announce the Community of Pelzer Historical Society as officially incorporated.

We received special assistance from Nick Gambrell, Curator, of the Oconee Heritage Center, Jackie Reynolds, the President of the Pendleton Historic Commission, Brad Sauls of the Department of Archives and History and those of the Second Presbyterian Church of Charleston, SC. I personally thank one who inspired our early efforts and provided words of encouragement: Mr. Ben Hornsby Jr. Thank you. I also personally thank those who have been a continuous source of inspiration: the Smyth descendants of Captain Ellison Adger Smyth, the listed President and Treasurer of the Pelzer Manufacturing Company.

For More Information contact:
Beth Rostron
President
Community of Pelzer Historical Society
Pelzer, SC 29669
864.947.8817 
email: brostroncphs@gmail.com