Conestee in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
Reedy River Factory
The mill supplied the news print for the papers of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Charlotte. When J.W. Grady and David O. Hawthorne took over the mill in
Erected 1972 by Conestee Historical Society.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Agriculture • Industry & Commerce • War, US Civil. A significant historical year for this entry is 1820.
Location. 34° 46.167′ N, 82° 20.817′ W. Marker is in Conestee, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on Conestee Road, on the right when traveling south. Marker is mounted on Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Conestee SC 29636, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. McBee Chapel (approx. 0.4 miles away); McBee Chapel / McBee Methodist Church (approx. 0.4 miles away); Lake Conestee in Transition (approx. 0.7 miles away); Beaver at Lake Conestee (approx. 0.7 miles away); Donaldson Air Force Base / Captain John O. Donaldson (approx. 1.3 miles away); a different marker also named Donaldson Air Force Base / Captain John O. Donaldson (approx. 2.3 miles away); Mauldin United Methodist Church (approx. 2.4 miles away); The History of the Gosnell Cabin (approx. 2.4 miles away); Mauldin (approx. 2½ miles away); Laurel Creek Church (approx. 2.7 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Conestee.
1. McBee's Conestee Textile Mill
Vardry McBee's textile mill at Conestee on the reedy River was a small, but significant, part of his holdings in the Greenville District. He first built a yarn mill to which he added wool carding. At first McBee hired experienced superintendents to operate his mill. Colonel Leonard Allen was a skillful manager, but he died about 1843 and was replaced by "first one and then another incapable man," according to a young worker. Then in
— Submitted June 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
2. Vardry McBee
Vardry McBee was perhaps the most pivotal figure in the history of our city and Greenville County as a whole. thanks to his business acumen and impressive foresight for how the community could grow
A product of the Carolina frontier, McBee was born in 1775 on the eve of the American Revolution, a conflict that would prove formative in his early years. Both his father and older brother fought with the Patriots, at King's Mountain and the Battle of Cowpens. McBee himself never fought for American independence, but instead used his considerable fortune to improve the lives of his fellow citizens, appropriating his land and fortunes to public projects.
McBee opened the first textile mill on the Reedy River, but he saw value in a diversified economy. In his private business life, that meant he owned two flour mills, a cotton factory, and wool and paper mills. Publicly, even as he approached his 80s, it led him to champion the construction of a railroad line that connected Columbia and Greenville. In 1853, this line became the first rail to serve the community, and it would eventually become a turning point in the economy of the town. (Source: G: The Magazine of Greenville, Jan/Feb 09, pg 66.)
— Submitted July 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on February 2, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 6, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 1,948 times since then and 45 times this year. Photos: 1, 2. submitted on October 6, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 3. submitted on June 27, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. 4, 5. submitted on October 6, 2008, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.