Marker Logo HMdb.org THE HISTORICAL
MARKER DATABASE
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Greenville in Greenville County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)
 

The Touchstone House

“Falls Cottage”

 

—Reedy River Falls Historic Park —

 
The Touchstone House Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 4, 2010
1. The Touchstone House Marker
Inscription.
The small two-story stucco-covered brick house overlooking the Reedy River falls was built by W.E. Touchstone between 1894 and 1896. It was located in the "West End," a rapidly developing residential and commercial area across the river from Greenville's earliest development. Used as a rental property for about twenty years, by 1918 when the West End was fast becoming the city's first "motor mile," the house became Curry's Gasoline Station. Later it was People's Service Station. In 1972, the Carolina Foothills Garden Club acquired the property, renovated it and named the home Falls Cottage.
 
Location. 34° 50.683′ N, 82° 24.133′ W. Marker is in Greenville, South Carolina, in Greenville County. Marker is on South Main Street, on the right when traveling east. Touch for map. Marker is located on the north side of Falls Cottage. Marker is at or near this postal address: 615 South Main Street, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America.
 
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Chicora College (here, next to this marker); The Touchstone House "Falls Cottage" (within shouting distance of this marker); Harriet Smith Wyche (within shouting distance of this marker); History of Falls Park
Falls Cottage -<br>Northeast Corner<br>Marker Seen in Center Front image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 4, 2010
2. Falls Cottage -
Northeast Corner
Marker Seen in Center Front
(within shouting distance of this marker); Dr. Charles Hard Townes (within shouting distance of this marker); Tate Plaza (within shouting distance of this marker); Wilson Cooke (within shouting distance of this marker); Reedy River Falls (within shouting distance of this marker); Hunting Grounds to Mill Town (within shouting distance of this marker); Liberty Bridge (within shouting distance of this marker). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Greenville.
 
Also see . . .
1. Mary's at Falls Cottage. Located in Falls Cottage since 1995. (Submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

2. Reedy River Falls Historic Park and Greenway. The Reedy River Falls are not only the geographical but also the historical center of Greenville. (Submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

3. Falls Park, Greenville, SC. Official website of Falls Park. (Submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

4. Carolina Foothills Garden Club. Official website of Carolina Foothills
Falls Cottage -<br>Northwest Corner image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, January 4, 2010
3. Falls Cottage -
Northwest Corner
Garden Club. (Submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 

5. West End Commercial Historic District. The West End Commercial Historic District is significant as Greenville’s second “downtown,” with historic resources dating from ca. 1869 to ca. 1939, the majority of which date from the 1880s to the 1920s, a period of extensive development in the area. (Submitted on March 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.) 
 
Additional comments.
1. Falls Cottage
W.E. Touchstone and his wife Matilda built this two-story brick residence for their family to occupy in 1893.Touchstone was the superintendent of Camperdown Mills and in 1894 resigned and left for Alabama. His family remained in Greenville and his wife was made owner of the home. In 1897 Matilda Touchstone sold her home and eventually it was turned into a filling station by K.S. Conrad who bought the property in 1920. In early 1990, the house underwent renovations and opened as a combination art gallery and restaurant. (Source: Greenville County Historic Sites: Driving Tour by Greenville County Library System, pg 8.)
    — Submitted January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Touchstone House Rear -<br>From Falls Park image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, May 26, 2008
4. Touchstone House Rear -
From Falls Park

2. Touchstone House
One of the most charming buildings still surviving in the West End business district is the home found on the bend of South Main Street called the Touchstone house. The two-story stucco-covered brick house overlooking the Reedy River Falls was built in the last decade of the nineteenth century by W.E. Touchstone and his wife Matilda shortly after Chicora College was built across the street. Touchstone was the supervisor of the Camperdown Mill across the river, so the home's location was very convenient. The majority of other Camperdown workers lived in the mill village housing off Falls Street. Camperdown Mill closed just as his home was built and he moved to Alabama while his family stayed in the home for three more years. Right next to the home, Furman University students would cut over to Main Street for many years on a path that led up the hill from the school.

In the first decade of the twentieth century, Camperdown reopened and the Touchstone house had people moving in and out. A.R. Black lived in it from 1899-1900, I.C. Newton from 1901 and 1902 and G.W. Charlotte lived in the house in 1903. By the second decade of the century the house became Curry's Gasoline Station when auto-related businesses were taking over the majority of commercial buildings in the West End. Later is was People's Service Station.

In
Staircase Leading from Falls Park<br>to the West End and Falls Cottage image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott
5. Staircase Leading from Falls Park
to the West End and Falls Cottage
he mid-1970s plans were put in motion to begin revitalizing Falls Park as well as the touchstone cottage. The Carolina Foothills Garden Club took over the house in a state that would be unrecognizable today. Later the house was renovated to what is believed to be near its original look and housed the Metropolitan Arts Council. When the beautification of Falls Park was underway, the Touchstone house was an integral part of the plan as a "gateway" to the historic park site. The home is now known as Falls Cottage and for years has operated as a successful and charming restaurant with perhaps the best view of Falls Park. (Source: A Guide to Historic Greenville, South Carolina by John M. Nolan (2008), pgs 36-37.)
    — Submitted January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

 
Categories. Notable Buildings
 
Pre-restoration Falls Cottage image. Click for full size.
South Carolina Department of Archives and History, circa 1970
6. Pre-restoration Falls Cottage
Hessie Morrah Graham Marker<br>Located on the Walkway Leading<br>from Cottage Patio to Main Street image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 20, 2010
7. Hessie Morrah Graham Marker
Located on the Walkway Leading
from Cottage Patio to Main Street
In lovimg memory of
Hessie Morrah Graham
1912-1995
"And so make life, death and that
last forever, one grand, sweet song."
The Hessie Morrah Garden Club
Falls Park -<br>From the Hessie Morrah Graham Marker image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, March 22, 2009
8. Falls Park -
From the Hessie Morrah Graham Marker
National Register Medallion (Left)<br>City Restoration Marker (Right)<br>Located Near Falls Cottage image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, March 22, 2009
9. National Register Medallion (Left)
City Restoration Marker (Right)
Located Near Falls Cottage
Registered by
the City of Greenville
in Recognition
of
Historical Significance
Cottage Walkway<br>National Register Medallion on Left<br>Hessie Morrah Graham Marker on Right image. Click for full size.
By Brian Scott, February 20, 2010
10. Cottage Walkway
National Register Medallion on Left
Hessie Morrah Graham Marker on Right
 
 
Credits. This page was last revised on June 16, 2016. This page originally submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 762 times since then and 47 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on January 30, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   4. submitted on March 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   5. submitted on March 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   6, 7. submitted on March 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   8, 9. submitted on March 28, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.   10. submitted on March 27, 2010, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
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