Reedy Falls

3792Reedy Falls, Greenville, South Carolina. CLUI photo.
These falls on the Reedy River are located in downtown Greenville, which around 1917 was referred to as the Textile Center of the World, when the falling water powered several mill complexes around town. At the time, Greenville was one of dozens of growing mill cities in the South that captured the industry from the older mill towns of the northeast, with cheap labor close to the source of cotton. While most southern mill towns simply dammed the region’s small rivers for power, Greenville was unique in that it had a natural waterfall. By the 1960s, though, the falls were a reed-covered ruin, along the industrial drain for the city, with a road bridge built over them. Restoration efforts were completed in 2004, with a reconstructed and reconditioned falls in the middle of the new Falls Park, anchoring one end of a redeveloped and rediscovered main street.