LYMAN, S.C. (WSPA) – The town of Lyman dates back to 1923 and when it was built it was brand new and attracted many workers.
“People wanted to work here,” Stephen Batson, a former Photographic Engraver, said. “This was the place to have a job.”
It all started with Pacific Mills who bought the land and created a place to work and raise a family.
Batson said, “They bought enough to build a village and to build a cotton mill and the bleach house and expanded it to the printing and finishing company.”
What Pacific Mills did was build the most modern village and mill anyone had seen at the time.
“We had the best of everything. All the amenities in the houses. The families were just so happy because they had something new,” according to local historian Hilda Morrow.
Pacific Mills meant so much to the people of Lyman when it was still here. They said it was more than just a place to work it was the foundation of a strong community.
“Virtually everybody in the village itself knew each other,” Batson explain.
While Pacific Mills was constructing factories to work in, they were also creating a place for leisure.
“They were building the cotton mill and bleach house first and right along that another crew was building the community building,” Batson said. “It was a meeting place, you can have meetings there, you can have games there, you can have all kinds of stuff there.”
Pacific Mills thrived and so did Lyman but in the ’50s they sold practically everything and at the turn of the century the mills that started it all closed their doors for good.
“It made tears in my eyes,” Batson said.
He recalls driving by the mills for the first time when they were being torn down and being devastated.
“It was a big loss and it’s still a loss.”
Some parts of the old mill still stand but instead of a bustling industry, they sit empty as a distant memory of what once was.
Surrounding the mill is where you’ll see places and things that give you a glimpse of what life was like back then.
“There’s an old spring and it’s built in an amphitheater style,” Morrow said. “That spring tells all the stories about Lyman.”
A lot happened in the spring.
It was used as a freshwater source when the new pipes in the homes gave the water a “metal” taste.
It was also the first gathering place for the first church and even a stop for drifters hopping from train to train.
Morrow said, “It was a busy place in the ’20s and ’30s.”
The town was a busy place, and even though it’s slowed down, if you ask those who grew up there, they’ll tell you there’s no place like Lyman.
“I like this better than any little town around here,” Batson added.
Learn more about our special guest:
- Town of Lyman
- First Responder Friday: Tyger River Fire Department, Lyman Police Department
- B.A.S.I.C. Community Center
- Big Ben’s Desserts
- Casa Carrion Mexican Restaurant
- Middle Tyger Community Center
- Rita Allison, Former State Representative
- SEW Eurodrive
- SJWD Water District
- Spartanburg School District 5
- The Bryant Center