|Camp Burgiss Glenn’s Hill Top Cabin has
board-and-batten siding and a stacked stone chimney.
By the 1880s Transylvania County had recovered sufficiently
from the Civil War that people were once again coming to the area to enjoy the
healthy, natural environment and cool summers.
Unlike the resort areas around Sapphire and Lake Toxaway, Cedar Mountain
was primarily a summer community for South Carolinians who came back year after
year. Families pass their homes on to
the next generation and continue the tradition of summering in the mountains.
The cottages are relatively small and tucked in among the
woods providing a cool and peaceful environment. A true summer colony, the homes are located
close to one another along the Greenville Highway and winding side roads. Many are one or one-and-a-half-story, weatherboard
or board-and- batten frame houses with gable roofs and shaded porches.
Transylvania County did an architectural survey of
significant historical structures in the early 1990s. More than 20 of the Cedar Mountain cottages were
included. Architectural descriptions and
photographs can be found in Transylvania: The Architectural History of a
Mountain County, with additional photographs and information
available in the architectural survey files at the library.
One of the largest of the Cedar Mountain summer homes is The
Lodge, built around 1934 by Ted Snyder for the McKissick family. The Lodge is spread out over one and two story
sections nestled in the woods but with open lawn areas and a pond nearby.
Ted Snyder was a land-surveyor and self-taught contractor
who designed and built many of the Cedar Mountain summer cottages. Snyder’s son, John, has written a fascinating
memoir, Hill of Beans : Coming of Age in the Last Days of the Old
South, of life in Cedar Mountain and later upstate South Carolina.
|The Lodge is a rustic, split-oak shingled two-story house,
with stonework throughout including the fireplaces and chimneys.
Snyder also built the Robin Hood Inn in 1938. The Inn which included a swimming lake &
tennis courts, opened in 1939. The first
year was a success with solid bookings for 1940 as well. Then on April 19, 1940 the Inn burned to the
ground. Although the fire was ruled as
arson no one was ever charged. The
Snyder family moved to South Carolina shortly after.
Another aspect of the Cedar Mountain summer community is the
many summer camps. Over the years camps
in the area have included Camp Burgiss Glenn, the Elks Camp, Harmony Farm—a
summer riding school, Camp Socareda, Eva Good Presbyterian Conference Center, Camp
Greenville-YMCA, High Rocks Camp, Summit Camp and various textile mill camps. Only Camp Greenville and High Rocks Camp are
still in operation today.
The textile mill camps offered an escape from the heat and
humidity of upstate South Carolina for millworkers and their families. Victor Monaghan Mills operated Camp
Reasonover on Reasonover Rd.; Piedmont Mills had Piedmont Camp just north of
the present day Cedar Mountain Post Office; and Judson Mills ran Judson Camp
where Sherwood Forest is today.
Ted Snyder also built Piedmont Mill Camp, including the dam
and lake, the roads and summer houses.
Piedmont Mill Camp closed in 1950 but for many years the Elks Club of
Greenville leased it for a children’s camp.
Camp Reasonver was sold to the South Carolina Education
Association in 1954. They operated it as
Camp Socareda, a summer camp for teachers and students. It was the Eva Good Presbyterian Conference
Center from about 1969-1992.
and information for this column are provided by the Rowell Bosse North Carolina
Room, Transylvania County Library. Visit
the NC Room during regular library hours (Monday-Friday) to learn more about
our history and see additional photographs. For more information, comments or suggestions
contact Marcy at [email protected] or 828-884-3151 X242.
|The one-and-one-half story Liberty Lodge, built about 1880,
is one of the earliest summer cottages.
It was weatherboard on the gable ends with board-and-batten below.