Follow me on TwitterMy Tweets
A collection of photography and exploration focusing on Upstate South Carolina and beyond.
In my previous post I mentioned that I wasn’t able to find much information on Duncan Chapel online. Thanks to a bit of help from my friend Duckhunter, I was able to get some more info. Dr. A. V. Huff’s book on the history of Greenville mentions the area twice – once in reference to the church and once in reference to the general area. First on page 138…
Duncan [Mary Ann Wilks Duncan, the wife of Perry E. Duncan] built Duncan Chapel, a Methodist church, in 1847 on the Duncan place on the Buncombe Road. When a minister was not available, Duncan entered the pulpit, lined out the hymns, and preached…
Page 222 gives more information about the area, and specifically about the origins of “Thackston Road” which is now in such disrepair…
Typical of the large cotton farms in Greenville County was the one owned by James Edward and Ella Hawkins Thackston on Roe Ford Road, on the present site of Furman University. Besides his farm, Thackston operated a cotton gin and a country store.
Another source of information is the website for the current Duncan Chapel Elementary School, which has a page describing the history of the school. Included on the page are the recollections of Mr. J. Ford Thackston…
…who graduated from the eighth grade at Duncan Chapel in 1919, remembers what we can only imagine. He himself did not attend the first school in the neighborhood, which was built in 1878 on a knoll in what is now Northwood Hills. He began first grade in about 1910, after the school had moved to its second location, right next to Duncan Chapel, a little Methodist church whose cemetery still stands across Old Buncombe Road.
While this has provide some more background on the area, it hasn’t helped clear up the mystery of the foundations near the cemetery. The modern-looking shingles make me think that this was a more recent dwelling, rather than the ruins of the old church or of the old school. The grounds have more of a “homeplace” feel about them, but the foundation has unusually twists and turns, as mentioned previously. However, I’m not so sure I would want to build a house so close to a supposedly haunted cemetery.
A search of the Greenville County Tax Assessor’s map revealed the current owner of the 13.37 acres on both sides of Thackston, but nothing really on the history of the area itself. I guess the ruins will have to remain a mystery for the time being.