Discover the History
of the city you love
So Many Stories to Tell
Help keep Greenville’s history alive through our membership program. As a member, you get access to all the Historical Society publications, receive discounts in the shop and on various photo collections, and become a part of preserving Greenville’s history.
NOW AVAILABLE FOR PURCHASE
We are pleased to announce the release of the newly published Proceedings and Papers of the Greenville County Historical Society. Covering years 2015-2020 of GCHS presentations to our members, the history within its pages tell so many important and great stories. Limited quantities available.
Available for purchase on this website or at our retail shop located at 100 Lavinia Ave., Greenville SC 29601. Get yours today!
ANNOUNCING THE MILDRED EDWARDS WHITMIRE / VARDRY MC BEE COLLECTIONS
The Mildred Edwards Whitmire Collection is significant for its books and files collected and compiled by Mildred Edwards Whitmire in the course of her research, for its original primary documents, and for its materials associated with Vardry McBee and the McBee family. Mildred Edwards Whitmire was a charter member of the Greenville County Historical Society. Her research focused on early settlement and settlers in the Upcountry environs, and their antecedents in Virginia, North Carolina, and adjacent states prior to settlement in South Carolina. The collection’s primary documents include deeds, plats, leases, receipts, notes, letters, and more dating from the 1780s to the late 1800s. Many of these documents are relevant to early settlers and settlement of Greenville County, others to little-known aspects of Greenville’s history.
Of special interest are the many primary documents associated with Vardry McBee and family. Vardry McBee is commonly called the “Father of Greenville” and is the subject of Roy McBee Smith’s biography Vardry McBee: Man of Reason in an Age of Extremes. McBee was a prominent landowner who owned and operated various mills on the Reedy River, and donated land for churches and educational institutions. He encouraged agriculture and business, and pushed hard to bring the first railroad, the Greenville & Columbia, to Greenville. He also operated stores in several towns, and gold mines in northern Greenville County. Among the collection is a transcription of Vardry McBee’s Diary for the year 1851, and digital images of the original diary’s pages. In recording a year of Vardry McBee’s life, the Diary affords insight into his many pursuits and the building of the railroad to Greenville. Other documents that are contained in the collection are original surveys of land parcels McBee acquired from Lemuel Alston; related deeds, plats; accounting books; maps; first edition books and so much more!
Take a trip back in time and view Greenville through the ages. We house the largest collection of historic Greenville photography — 5,000+ images that span all the way from the 1890s through the mid 20th century.
Wondering about the history of a historic home, business or person? Explore our archives dating back to the 1880s, and stop by our 100 Lavinia Avenue location for even more maps, directories, photos, and research papers.
Volunteers are the driving force behind the Historical Society. We have a dedicated volunteer base that comprises our office staff, board and committee members.