1. The Hunter House, 201 E. College Street
Built in 1906 of hand-picked virgin pine lumber, this structure was home to Arthur Ralph Hunter. He was a general practitioner and, later in life, a cotton broker. In 1987 Warren and Violet Ward opened a flower and gift shop there, and began renovations and restoring the house, keeping as many of the original fixtures as possible, the double oak front doors have glass inserts and stained glass on each side. Today the Hunter House is inhabited by a hair salon.
2. The Cemetery, 100 Park Drive
This was a family cemetery until 1889, when it was donated to First Baptist Church. One of the five original graves is from 1842. Church graves now surround the five which are near the middle of the present cemetery. The cemetery is now known as the Simpsonville Municipal Cemetery.
3. The Potato House, 105 Park Drive
Built in the 1930s, the Potato House was a storehouse for farmers’ sweet potato crops in the winter. Today the shed serves as an event venue, having been renovated by the City of Simpsonville in 2021. Known colloquially as the “Tater Shed,” the updated building and surrounding area is designed for small concerts and community gatherings.
4. Simpsonville Elementary School, 110 Academy Street
The old Simpsonville Elementary School was built in 1939. The first high school was a two-story frame structure located roughly where the latter building is now. A South Carolina Historic Marker was installed on the site in 2017 by the Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce. The building underwent a massive renovation that was completed in 2022, and is now the Simpsonville Arts Center.
5. The Chapel, 106 Church Street
Simpsonville Baptist Church began with a Sunday School class organized by B.M. Moore in a small frame school building on this property in 1887. The first brick of the current chapel at First Baptist was laid on April 23, 1913, and the building was finished May 2, 1914. Both a wedding and a funeral service were held between these dates, in the unfinished building. The two large stained glass windows area major feature, and contributed to the name, “The Friendly Church with Beautiful Windows.” The chapel was added to the National Historic Register in 1992.
6. Music Dormitory, 111 Church Street
This structure was built in 1911 by the Goodwin Manufacturing Company on land donated by F.D. Hunter for use as a dormitory for the Music College. It was used for that purpose until music became part of the Simpsonville High School curriculum in 1918. From 1919 to 1971 the building served as a private residence. It has since been used by the YMCA and a local restaurant, and is now used by First Baptist Church.
7. “Balancing Act” Mural, 106 N.E. Main Street
This low-relief mural was commissioned by Provident Community Bankin 2007 and created by artist Tom Stanley. It represents tradition and change in Simpsonville. The train and wheels stand for work and progress, and Simpsonville’s history as a nineteenth-century center for transportation. The bell is associated with the textile industry, the anvil with the blacksmith, the geometric forms of basketry with Cherokee tradition, and the pointed arch with Simpsonville’s faith. All are carefully balanced as Simpsonville moves forward into the 21st century.
8. First Brick Building, 101 E. Curtis Street
The oldest brick building in Simpsonville was completed in 1886 by builder Sidney J. Wilson. He called it Wilson’s Store — and there he carried a line of dry goods, groceries, and feed and seed. Three pharmacists used the building from 1913 to 1969 and over the course of time the upstairs was used as a hat and watch shop, a law office, and apartments. An addition was made in 1924, and a distillery currently occupies that space. There you will find a soda fountain back-bar which was (as story has it) shipped from Atlanta shortly before the city was burned in 1864 by Union Major General William T. Sherman.
9. Burdette Building, 100 E. Curtis Street
B.W. Burdette established a bicycle shop on this corner in 1899 which eventually became Burdette Hardware. The original building burned down and was replaced with the existing yellow brick “fire proof” building in 1921. A number of businesses have occupied parts of the Burdette Building including the first manufacturing plant in Simpsonville — a shirt plan on the second floor. Others included dry goods, a grocery, and the Star Café. Mr. Burdette died in 1965, but the building and surrounding property remained in the family for many years. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and today serves as a bustling area with businesses like 1885 Taproom, Run In, CocoBon, and more.
10. Clock Tower, Intersection of Main Street and Curtis Street
The Clock Tower was built in 1986 by Waldrop Construction Services, owned by current Mayor, Dennis Waldrop and was funded by a donation from Ralph Hendricks. A group of downtown business leaders and property owners commissioned it in order to enhance and invigorate the city’s central business district. The tower was engineered with a rigid steel inner structure to withstand wind speeds up to 200 miles per hour. It has become an iconic part of Simpsonville.
11. Howard’s Pharmacy, 102 S. Main Street
Howard’s Pharmacy is the oldest existing drug store in Simpsonville. It has been in business since 1934, and the first floor of the building dates back to 1912.
12. The Royal Theater, 116 S. Main Street
The 1907 building was originally used as a hardware, woodworking, and wagon-making shop. A movie screen and seats were installed in 1934. According to William Godfrey Kirby, who ran the projector back then, movies cost about 35 cents. He proudly remembers how Simpsonville got quality movies –sometimes even before Greenville’s Carolina Theater. The building has most recently been used as a hair salon, but burned in 2020 and is currently undergoing a renovation.
13. Train Depot, 125 S. Main Street
The train depot building was built in 1960 by SAL Railroads. The present building replaced an old Victorian wooden train station. The Simpsonville Area Chamber of Commerce was located here from 1980 until 1998. It was later renovated and is now a popular ice cream shop known as the Ice Cream Station.
14. Residential Home, 208 S. Main Street
This house was built around 1910 for Jonathan Dial Armstrong by the contractors George and Henry Goodwin. It is also known as the Todd House, and currently serves as the business office of B Encouraged.
15. Residential Home, 302 S. Main Street
This beautifully maintained home started out as a one-story house in 1905, the home of the Simpsonville Mill’s first president, Edward F. Woodside. After many renovations and additions, it became the three-story building seen today with five bedrooms and as many bathrooms. It most recently served as the Garden House Bed & Breakfast and is currently a private residence.
16. Residential Homes, 213, 316, 326 S. Main Street
213 was Simpsonville’s first brick home, built in 1901. It was originally owned by the Rice family. The outside walls are 14 inches thick. 316 was built in 1912 by Mr. Cox, who owned the sawmill and cut wood for the house. It’s said that there are no knots in the wood. The house was remodeled in 1999, but as much original material as possible was retained. 326 was built in 1904. L.L. Richardson, one of the city’s first Doctors of Medicine and a longtime Mayor, lived here.
17. Woodside Mill, 300 South Street
Built in 1907 at the corner of West Curtis and South Streets, the Simpsonville Cotton Mill later became the Woodside Cotton Mill Company. The water tower was built in 1908. It brought much residential and commercial growth to Simpsonville, employing 622 people early by 1988. In 1989 the mill closed. It was named fourth most significant building in the county’s history by the Greenville County Historic Preservation Commission. It was converted into commercial space and loft condominiums and is called Cotton Mill Place.
18. Woodside Mill Gym, 310 W. Curtis Street
The Simpsonville Senior & Activity Center contains the Woodside Mill Gym. Textile basketball tournaments with area mills were held here. The foundation floor, wall structure, and roof trestle are original and visible. The facility is currently a bustling center of activity among Simpsonville’s 50+ community.
19. Farmers Bank, 100 E. Curtis Street
Farmers Bank, built in 1914, was one of the few Greenville County banks which did not fold in the Great Depression (1929-1941). This brick building currently serves as the business office for Allstate Insurance –Cornell Sweeney Agency.
20. Statue of Dr. Lawrence Lafayette Richardson, Intersection of S. Main and W. College Streets
This statue was commissioned in honor of Dr. Lawrence Lafayette Richardson. Richardson was a physician for 64 years, Mayor of Simpsonville for 38 years, and Chairman of the Simpsonville School Board for 20 years. He was responsible for bringing natural gas to the city, and led efforts to develop City Park.