Chick Springs (as the area was once known) was first settled in the early 1800s.
Settlers were drawn to the natural healing powers of the spring waters. Dr. Burwell Chick, a resident of Charleston, purchased the land around the spring and built a resort community that operated on and off from the 1840’s until the 1920’s.
When the Southern Railway first came through the area in the 1870’s, the cultural center shifted from the springs to the property of a man named Alfred Taylor. A depot for the railroad was built on his land, and this depot, eventually turned into Taylor’s Station, earning the community its name.
The heart of Taylors existed near the present day intersection of Taylors Road and Main Street beginning in the early 1900’s. As civic life continued to shift up the road from Chick Springs, the pulse of the community beat much as always until development began on a new venture in the early 1920’s.
Beginning construction in 1922...
...and completed in May, 1924, the Southern Bleachery served as the backbone of the Taylors area from the time of its completion until its closing. Continually expanding, including the completion of the Piedmont Print Works in 1928 and the eventual merger of the two companies in 1938, the facility at its peak employed over 1,000 individuals, complete with its own mill village, company store, churches, baseball fields, and even golf course.
The Southern Bleachery and Print Works processed goods produced at other mills in the Greenville area. The bleachery portion of the operations, which was house in the west half of the complex, bleached and dyed fabrics while the printworks printed patterns onto materials while the print shop printed fabrics with various patterns.
1965 was a defining year at the Taylors Mill.
In January, the company was sold to the Burlington Corporation. Rumors began to spread, and in July, 1965, came to fruition as the facility closed its doors as the Southern Bleachery and Print Works for the last time. The closing of the bleachery had economic effects throughout the community, with many local businesses also closing in the following months and years. While JPS Automotive and a few other enterprises used the facility over the years, no major enterprise was ever found to fill the mill’s cavernous halls, and the building sat mostly empty, fading from memory for the better part of 50 years.
Jane Jacobs wasn't talking about us when she wrote that phrase, but she might as well have been.
Kenneth Walker purchased the property at the front of the Taylors Mill in 2006, consisting of a few outbuildings. In 2008, intrigued by the opportunity to provide affordable space, Kenneth acquired the main structure of the Taylors Mill. He envisioned renting spaces to small businesses looking for a low-rent options to run their businesses, but didn't foresee the demand among artists and craftsmen for space. Kenneth guided the process of redevelopment until the summer of 2015, when he sold the primary structure of the Taylors Mill to Caleb Lewis and Greg Cotton, who continue the work of providing space in Taylors. The Taylors Mill has continued to add new anchor tenants, including the Southern Bleachery Venue, 13 Stripes Brewery, and The Farehouse.