JONESVILLE, S.C. (WSPA) – An explosion echoed, rubble rained and dust clouds plumed as crews demolished Jonesville’s iconic smokestack. The smokestack had been part of the town’s mill, which first opened in the 1800s.

“It was 18 seconds. I timed it,” Jonesville native Sue Kendrick said.

“It’s very sad for people that’s lived here all their lives, that worked in this mill, had family members who worked here,” Kendrick continued.

Town leaders tried to save the landmark structure, but engineers determined it was structurally unsound. The repairs would have been too expensive for the town, so it was destroyed Friday morning.

The town now plans to convert the old mill site into a large park, complete with picnic areas, athletic amenities, an amphitheater and more.

“We really want to have activities for our youth,” Town Administrator Michael Tyler said. “We don’t have a lot in our small town, but we want a good place to live and amenities.”

Phase one of the three-part conversion process is scheduled to wrap up once the rubble is cleared. The town has worked with the EPA and SCDHEC to clean the area over several years.

The town next will look to name its upcoming park. Tyler hinted the public will be involved in the naming process.

“The mayor and council here in Jonesville see that if we want to survive another hundred years, we have to move forward,” he said.