Pelham Road (F. W. Symmes) Branch History
Before the American Revolutionary War, everything west of the present Spartanburg County line belonged to the Cherokees by treaty. However, two enterprising and less than scrupulous businessmen, Richard Pearis and Jacob Hite, obtained title to thousands of acres in Greenville County from the native occupants. They began building their own farms and selling land to other settlers. Pearis, the fortunate one, gave his name to Paris Mountain. Hite, who owned some 61,000 acres in the eastern part of the county, was savagely murdered along with his family when the Cherokees attacked in 1776 and as a result, is largely forgotten.
The early settlers of eastern Greenville established farms and mills, especially along the Tyger and Enoree Rivers. Some of this farmland still belongs to their descendants. When Dr. Burwell Chick built nearby Chick Springs Resort in 1840, they were able to sell their produce locally to Charleston residents who spent their summers in the upcountry. For those indisposed to farming, several textile mills came to provide employment, most notably Batesville and Pelham in the 1800s and Southern Bleachery in the twentieth century. Today the fields of crops have given way to housing subdivisions and department stores. The Eastside is a rapidly developing region of business activity and attractive homes, with no end in sight.
When the Vaughn's At East North Street shopping center opened in the fall of 1978, the library leased 5,000 square feet of space for a new branch. It immediately became the branch with the highest book circulation, placed as it was in a high traffic mall in a well-to-do and well-educated community. The steady rise in use demanded a new building, which was opened October 7, 1990. Named for Frederick W. Symmes, a founder of the Greenville County Library and chairman of the board for thirty years, it features a 100-seat meeting room and over 12,000 square feet of space.
- Flynn, Jean Martin. An Account of Taylors, South Carolina 1817 to 1994. Spartanburg: The Reprint Company, 1995.
- "'More' Best Description for New Library," Greenville News, Oct. 7, 1990, p.2B.
- "New Branch," Greenville Piedmont, Oct. 23, 1978, Part IV, p. 1.