Before Greer was incorporated as a town, the area was a prominent hunting ground for Cherokees. In fact, before the Revolutionary War, it was a part of the “Domain of the Cherokees.” In the 1700s, it was settled by pioneers and then added to the state of South Carolina in 1777. One of these settlers was James Manning Greer, after whom the town was named.
The Beginnings of Greer
Greer was founded in 1876, thanks to 15 votes. However, it wasn’t always called Greer. Sources waiver between Greer’s Station or Greer’s Depot because the post office was located in a railroad station. Today, you can see where this building was when you visit Greer’s Depot in the Downtown Historic District. Eventually, the town’s name was shortened to Greer’s before dropping the extra “s”. As you could imagine, given the name, Greer was originally planned around the Southern Railroad, which was finished in 1873. Can you guess the first shipment? It was fertilizer!
In the 1880s and 1890s, Greer was quite prosperous, thanks to the cotton trade. In the early 1900s, Piedmont and Northern established a second railroad that helped to define the commercialization of the area. Along with railroads, the textile business was booming in Greenville County; there were 35 mills in the area that greatly affected Greer’s economic identity.
Fun fact: Greer found its name in grocery stores across the country thanks to the Jones Brothers canned peaches and tomatoes.
From the ‘50s to Today
Homelite came to Greer in the 1950s, bringing jobs and a whole new industry to the town. There were luxury retail stores and life in Greer continued to thrive with the addition of a new hospital and high school. In modern times, the addition of BMW has created many jobs and the Greenville Spartanburg Airport, along with I-85, has continued to aid growth. Still, Greer maintains its small-town southern charm, with bragging rights such as the winning of the 2007 9-10 Little League softball state championship.
Big city opportunities and a small-town community feel made Greer an obvious choice for O’Neal Village. Less than 15 minutes from downtown, and with an array of amenities and activities, O’Neal Village is the perfect place to soak up all that Greer has to offer.