One my posts that seems to get the most hits and generates the most discussion is the one on the Ghost Towns of South Carolina. In that post I mentioned that probably weren’t many true ghost towns, but only near-ghost towns — towns with a dying city center, but a thriving community around it. Monday I think we found a true ghost town at Chappells.
Dave, Alan, and I had just finished a great trip down the Saluda River from Buzzards Roost to the Highway 39 bridge. However, our adventures weren’t quite done for the day. After parting ways with Dave, Alan and I rode on over to Chappells. I had always thought this little wide spot only consisted of a quick shop at the intersection of highways 34 & 39. It turns out that there once was a town here.
We found the road marked “Old Main Street” and turned down it. The road heads down toward the river for about a half mile before ending. Along the way, tucked back into the woods, are the ruins of the old town.
There were several brick structures that looked like they could have been stores,. etc. Some even looked like they might have been joined, much the same way you see stores in a town center.
I can guess what happened. When the main highway was built with a bridge over the river traffic went that way instead of through the town. The town eventually died out, leaving a ghost town in its place.
I’ve been trying to find some history of the area, but there doesn’t seem to be much online. I wish there was a photo of this place in its heyday. However, I’m afraid we’ll just have to use our imagination as to how it might have been.