PIEDMONT, S.C. (WSPA) – Efforts to save a historic house in the Upstate are underway.
Years of history and stories are woven into the walls and rafters of this Piedmont house. It’s been unused for about four years, but now, it’ll soon serve the community in a new way.
There’s more than meets the eye for the rustic white home.
Standing tall since 1908, it was built as the first Young Women’s Christian Association shelter in the state of South Carolina.
YWCA’s were built to house single women who worked in mills.
Then in the 50’s a lot of mills shut down, including the Piedmont Manufacturing Company.
“The mills sold all of the houses and stopped using the YWCA,” Chairwoman of Piedmont Historical Preservation Society, Anne Peden said.
An Upstate family then bought the house.
“This one was purchased by the Oliver family in 1954, and the children were raised here, the 4 children were raised here,” Peden said.
Members of the family lived in the home until 2018.
For four years the building has been sitting there, empty, slowly deteriorating.
However, the Piedmont Historical Preservation Society saw the value of the home.
“This is our story, this is the story of the Upstate,” Peden said. “It’s such a historic building.”
Using grant money and funds from a private donor, Steve and Susan Bichel, the preservation society bought it.
The intention is to turn it into a museum that will showcase the history of textile mills in the area, and their contribution to the local economy.
“We’re going to be able to pull all of this together and continuously have rotating displays,” Peden said. “It’s not going to be a stagnant thing.”
It will also teach younger generations about what made the Upstate what it is today.
“We’re going to bring in school groups, we’re going to open it up to Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts to learn about textile history in the Upstate,” Peden said.
The preservation society said they’re aiming to finish the house by next summer.
Preservers are still looking for private donors to help fund the project. Click here to give.