About Travelers Rest

TRAVELERS REST, S.C. (WSPA)- A small town nestled at the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, welcome to Travelers Rest.

Also commonly known by its nickname, “TR.”

The name Travelers Rest relates back to the 1800s when travelers and livestock drovers would come to town, rest for the night and then pick back up on their journey the next day.

It’s been around for a lot of years, 300 to be exact.

“Our Main Street, it was a pass-through, so people would pass through here to go to the mountains or go to Greenville,” Travelers Rest Mayor, Brandy Amidon said.

In its early days, there wasn’t much to keep people in town for more than one night.

There were a few hardware stores, and a restaurant or two.

Amidon said, “Sidewall Pizza for example was an old auto store where you could get your tire changed over here where Farmhouse Taco is, was a warehouse…”

However, fast forward a few decades.

“There’s really not much that looks the same,” the Owner of Leopard Forest Cafe, Adam Kelley said.

Main Street has transformed from a place to pass by, to a place to stop and enjoy.

Kelley said, “Now things are actually coming to TR, it’s a destination, not a drive-through like it used to be.”

The evolution began about 30 years ago, when the train tracks, were changed to what we know now as the Swamp Rabbit Trail.

“It was really just smart for them to think about, if we’re going to do this transformation and have an asset like a trail, let’s do it with a main street at the same time,” Amidon said.

The repurposing of the rail line sparked an economic resurgence, bringing more shops, restaurants and tourism.

Amidon said, “I think we’re looking forward to additional growth. That’s also true about Greenville and South Carolina, everyone is moving here.”

However, there’s always going to be a part of TR that nods to its past, remembering how it started and the people that make the city so special.

“We’re going to continue to have people that want to live here, but how do we keep that sense of TR, with a strong community, having people come together and recognize your neighbors, and that sense,” Amidon said.

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