One of my favorite parts of the holiday season is the generous giving spirit we find ourselves in this time of year. Shopping local this holiday season is a wonderful way to give to those we love, while also supporting our neighbors and business owners in the Greenville community. Here is my holiday gift guide for everyone on your list this season!
$50 and Under: These fun and funky sunnies by Two Chic at Blossom Shoes & Such are only $20 a pair and are the perfect touch to complete any look on a sunny day!
$50-$75: Savvy Inc. has the trendiest pieces for winter and this Ultra Suede Drape Jacket by TCEC will keep her cozy and her style on point for $72.
$100 +: Give her the gift of relaxation and pampering this Christmas with a spa day at Kara Spa. They offer a variety of spa packages to fit her needs.
$50 and Under: For your favorite foodie guy, get him a cooking class through the Swamp Rabbit Café for $35.
$50-$75: The outdoorsman in your life would love anything from Orvis in downtown Greenville! Tip: they also offer many seminars and local events throughout the year.
$100 +: Give the gift of experience (for two!) to The Community Tap’s Sixth Annual Craft Beer Festival this coming spring. Tickets are selling fast!
For the kiddos:
$50 and Under: The Elephant’s Trunk offers a variety of toys, books and stuffed animals for every age.
$50-$75: Hit up downtown Greenville’s amazing O.P. Taylor’s for a unique and special toy for your little ones this Christmas.
$100 +: Get the sweetest holiday outfits for your little ones from Vann & Liv. Whether it’s a bow tie for your little man or a purse for your little girl, the options are endless.
$50 and Under: There truly is something for everyone at the Mast General Store in downtown Greenville. Whether you’re looking for some great outdoor gear or something special to South Carolina, the options are endless.
$50-$75: Help someone fill their home with the Christmas spirit with a beautiful arrangement from Roots off of Augusta Road. These arrangements will brighten up any space this season.
$100 +: Indulge the chef in your life with a gift from The Cooking Station! Whether it’s a customized gift basket or the latest and greatest kitchen gadgets, your present will be the favorite under the tree this year.
I hope you and your loved ones have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!
Looking for something unique and fun to do during the holidays? I’ve assembled a list of South Carolina’s best holiday home tours – great for a quick day trip or a weekend getaway with family or friends!
Upstate South Carolina:
Christmas in Olde Pendleton – Pendleton, SC – Dec. 9, 2017 (1 pm until 9 pm)
Enjoy the holiday season as you visit Ashtabula and Woodburn Historic Homes presented by the Pendleton Historic Foundation. These two antebellum homes will be dressed in their holiday finery, while you’ll learn more about life in the 1800s from guides dressed in period attire. Enjoy holiday music performed by local musicians and chorale groups. Ashtabula will be hosting the acapella group “Premium Blend” at 4 p.m., harpist Jamie Dean at 7 p.m., and the St. Andrew’s “ChoirChimes” hand bell group at 8 p.m. Refreshments will be served.
Tickets are $12.50 per person, per house OR $20.00 per person to enjoy both homes! Please call (864) 646-7249, email email@example.com to secure your tickets personally OR pay via Paypal on the Pendleton Historic Foundation’s website.
Midlands South Carolina:
Historic Columbia’s Holiday Tour Of Homes – Columbia, SC – (Nov. 17 – Dec. 31)
All historic house museums (Hampton-Preston Mansion, Mann-Simons Cottage, and the Robert Mills House) will be open for the traditional tour. Decorated in natural greenery in wreaths and garlands, cones of apple and citrus fruits and cedar trees, the houses sparkle with the glow of the holiday season. For more information, visit – https://www.historiccolumbia.org/events/annual-events
Homes for the Holidays – Columbia, SC – Dec. 7, 2017 – (2 pm until 6 pm)
Residents of the Shandon and Hollywood-Rose Hill neighborhoods will welcome visitors to the annual Homes for the Holidays Tour. This event, held in some of Columbia’s oldest neighborhoods, will feature seven unique homes decorated for the Holidays. Proceeds from the tour, which is sponsored by the Shandon Neighborhood Council and the Hollywood-Rose Hill Neighborhood Association, will benefit the neighborhoods’ four schools, A.C. Moore Elementary, Rosewood Elementary, Hand Middle School, and Dreher High School, as well as other neighborhood projects.
41st Annual Candelight Tour of Homes – Camden, SC – Dec. 9, 2017 – (3 pm until 8 pm)
The 41st Annual Candlelight Tour of Homes offers a rare opportunity to enter Camden’s finest private homes and historic sites and admire Christmas decor, music, and special furnishings seldom seen by visitors.
The self-guided tour begins at the Camden Archives and Museum, 1314 Broad Street, Camden, SC 29020, on December 9th, 2017. In addition to the walking tour, enjoy the exclusive hospitality stop for some of the best refreshments and hospitality the South has to offer.
Tickets are $20 in advance and $25 day of the Tour.
Christmas Candlelight Tours– Brattonsville, SC – Dec. 2 (3 pm until 9 pm)
Light up your family’s holidays with a tour of classically-decorated historic homes during Historic Brattonsville’s Christmas Candlelight Tours. Costumed interpreters will depict holiday life, from the practices of the settlers in the 18th century to those living on antebellum plantations, in family-friendly theatrical scenarios. Food available for purchase.
Please note that Brattonsville Road will be closed from 2:30-9:30pm. Follow the detour signs.
Cost: Adults $10; Seniors $8; Youth 4-17 $6; 3 and under and CHM members free of charge.
Christmas in Charleston
See how Charleston’s most storied residences deck the halls, discover holiday traditions passed down from the city’s earliest families and hum along with Gullah spirituals and holiday tunes. Immerse yourself in Charleston’s history and holiday spirit with a holiday tour.
Edmonston-Alston House – Christmas 1860 – (Dec. 1 and 8, 2017)
Experience a Charleston Christmas as it was in the antebellum years. Discover the Edmondston-Alston House splendidly decorated for the holidays as living historians in period clothing give candlelight tours while retelling the story of Charleston’s opulent Christmas of 1860.
Joseph Manigault House – Charleston, SC – Dec. 6 – 31, 2017
The Garden Club of Charleston decks the halls of this magnificent house with creative arrangements made exclusively with live, historically accurate plant materials that would have cultivated in Charleston during the early 1800s. Learn about the holiday traditions enjoyed by the Joseph Manigault Family during special tours of the Adam-style dwelling.
At the Nathaniel Russell House, the dining room table is laden with sugared fruits, syllabubs, cakes and sweetmeats — popular fare of the early 1800s, when religious services and family meals were the crux of holiday celebrations. Candelight tours are offered throughout December. Visit the website for more information.
By the mid 1800s, the Aiken-Rhett House was one of Charleston’s most fashionable residences, and its owners embraced the budding popularity of decorated trees, a trend born of the Victorian Age, which is artfully recreated today.
Holiday Walking Tour of Historic Neighborhoods and Mills House Hotel, Charleston, SC
Charleston Strolls invites you to enjoy the holiday spirit and seasonal decorations! Tour where carriages and motor coaches are not allowed and take a fascinating stroll with stories and traditions revealing Charleston’s rich history and colorful past.
A Definitive Guide to Architectural Lingo
Have you ever wondered what architectural style your current home is? Or that of your dream home? Is architectural lingo seen in real estate listings confusing? If so, read along for a breakdown of some of the most common architectural styles and where you can find them in Greenville County!
A very popular architectural style today, the original bungalow dates back to the early 1900’s, and is characterized by its low-pitched roof and large front porch. Also called Craftsmans, this style rose to popularity during the Arts and Crafts period and is known for its handcrafted details: hand cut wood, iron and copper work, and masonry. At one time, they were so popular that you could order a complete set from Sears!
Named after the dreamy New England vacation destination – Cape Cod in Massachusetts—where they first became popular, these homes were constructed modestly and economically by early Colonial settlers. Cape Cods have steep roofs that reach the first floor and second-story dormers. Original Cape Cods used unfinished cedar shingles which were perfect for weathering harsh East coast winters.
While there are no historically significant Cape Cods in Greenville, there are some beautiful examples of this architecture in most every neighborhood.
- Downtown Area Neighborhoods to scout: Augusta Road, North Main
If you love symmetrical architecture, then this maybe the architectural style for you. Mainly known for the symmetry, Colonials feature an entry door in the middle of the home with two windows flanking each side. The second-floor features five windows with one placed directly above the entry door. Arising in popularity in the 1700’s, Colonial and Colonial Revival architecture are still very sought-after styles. Primarily constructed of brick or wood and feature a simple, clean and boxy style.
The French Country/Provincial style is inspired by the rustic manors of northern and southern France built in the mid-1600’s. The Revival style that you see today first became popular in the 1920’s and 1960’s and is still common in new construction. These homes have a square, symmetrical shape with windows (often double and/or balconies) balanced on either side of the entrance, a steep hipped roof, and are most often constructed of stone, stucco and brick.
Mid-Century Moderns – sometimes referred to in real estate as “modern” or “contemporary” feature sharp angles and are void of ornamentation. These 20th century style homes offer flat or shallow-pitched roofs and lots of glass windows. Most often incorporate the surrounding outdoor space via decks and balconies. While these homes became most popular in the 1950’s, the timeless style has become quite popular today – especially among nature and art lovers as they offer a great backdrop for both.
- Notable Neighborhoods to scout: While this is a rare find in Greenville, you can find a few cool examples in North Main, Parkins Mill, Green Valley/Furman and Paris Mountain areas.
Ranch homes became popular when the rise of automobiles made it easier for families to move away from city centers and buy larger lots in “the burbs.” These spread-out homes allowed owners to take advantage of their sprawling tracts of land. Ranches or “ranchers” are one-story and often have an L- or U-shaped floorplan surrounding a patio, sliding glass doors and a carport or garage. This style home can be found in almost every neighborhood in Greenville County.
- Neighborhoods to scout: Green Valley/Furman Area, Gower, Parkins Mill and Pelham Road.
When you think of Spanish style homes, Florida and California immediately come to mind. These unique homes are built from the ground up to take up the heat. During the hot summer months, clay tile roofs cool and extend beyond the exterior to provide shade, while outdoor living spaces, columns and arched windows and openings take advantage of the breeze.
- Notable Greenville Homes: Drive down Jones Avenue and Augusta Road and see if you can spot the two super-cool Spanish style homes!
Inspired by the medieval architecture of 16th century Tudor England, Tudor-style homes are constructed of brick or stone on the first level and complementary stucco and timbering on the second level. Additional characteristics include deeply-pitched roofs and detailed covered entrances.
National Register of Historic Places in South Carolina
Think dollhouse and you’ve got it! Key features of ornate Victorian-style architecture include a complicated, asymmetrical shape with wings and bays in various directions, elaborate trim, shingles or patterned masonry, steep rooflines and a large wrap-around porch. They are often painted in bright, complementary colors to highlight this detailed craftsmanship. The style is quite whimsical and intriguing at the same time.
- Notable Greenville County Homes: Visit the Hampton-Pinckney Historic District for a whole slew of Victorian (primarily Queen Ann-style) homes, plus some Craftsman, Gothic Revival, Colonial Revival, Italianate and even Prairie (more on these styles to come.)
Greenville, South Carolina’s downtown – ranked by Forbes Magazine as one of “America’s Ten Best” – is widely known for its one-of-a-kind Falls Park and Liberty Bridge, renowned restaurants, quaint shops and world-class museums, galleries and theatres. Just steps away from Greenville’s bustling downtown are some of the city’s best kept secrets – there are seven, established, historic neighborhood districts full of southern charm, natural beauty and years of history!
Colonel Elias Earle Historic District
The Colonel Elias Earle Historic District was named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1982, becoming Greenville’s second National Register District. Architecturally, this district is important because it contains two of Greenville’s earliest landmarks: the Earle Town House at 107 James Street, built about 1820; and “Whitehall,” at 310 West Earle Street, built in 1813 as the summer residence of Governor Henry Middleton.
East Park Avenue Historic District
The East Park Avenue neighborhood received its Historic-Architectural Overlay Zoning protection in 1989 and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in October 2005. The city’s oldest public park, McPherson, is located on the southern boundary of the district and provides a buffer between the neighborhood and the downtown Central Business District.
Hampton-Pinckney Historic District
Vardry McBee’s son, Pinckney, built the first house in this area, prior to the Civil War. In the 1890s, part of the land McBee willed to his family was subdivided into residential lots. Fun Fact: The Hampton-Pinckney Historic District became the first “trolley car” neighborhood in Greenville!
Heritage Historic District
The Heritage Neighborhood is located in the West Park area to the northwest of downtown Greenville. City Council designated the neighborhood as a local preservation overlay in December 2001. The most prominent home model is the bungalow style, with peak construction occurring during the 1920’s.
Overbrook Historic District
The neighborhood of Overbrook was one of the first suburbs of Greenville, and attracted many people with its easy access by trolley. The popularity of the “Toonerville Trolley,” as it was called, continued despite the switch to bus transportation around 1928.
Pettigru Historic District
The Pettigru Historic District area is unique in the city for its evolution of styles from the Victorian era to 1930’s. Because of the wide variety of architectural styles, the large neighborhood was nominated to the National Register of Historic Places in 1981. It is the largest historic district in the city.
West End Historic District
Although settlement in the area (near the intersection of Main, Pendleton and Augusta Streets) began as early as the 1830’s, the real impetus for growth of the West End resulted from two events occurring in the 1850’s. Furman University was established in 1852 on 50 acres of land in the West End, where it expanded and remained until 1958; and the first train on the Greenville and Columbia Railroad arrived in the West End in 1853. These factors led to both residential and commercial development of the area.
Source: City of Greenville – www.GreenvilleSC.gov
Additional Resources for Greenville, SC History Information:
Greenville Historical Society
Upcountry History Museum
Greenville History Tours
Since I was a child, I’ve been fascinated by architecture, history and real estate, and my job as a real estate agent has been a great way to combine all three interests.
One particular entity that I’ve found most intriguing lately is the National Register of Historic Places. According to its website, the National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the nation’s historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service’s National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate and protect America’s historic and archeological resources.
Digging a little deeper, I found that there are 81 properties and districts in Greenville County listed on the National Register. The city of Greenville is the location of 43 of these properties and districts, while the properties and districts in the remaining parts of the county are listed separately. Another 4 properties in Greenville were once listed, but have since been removed.
How many of these 43 properties and districts did you know were on the list?
- Hugh Aiken House – 1 Parkside Drive
- Allen Temple A.M.E. Church – 109 Green Avenue
- American Cigar Factory – E. Court Street
- Fountain Fox Beattie House – N. Church Street
- Beth Israel Synagogue – 307 Townes Street
- Broad Margin – 9 W. Avondale Drive
- Brushy Creek – 327 Rice Street
- Carolina Supply Company – 35 W. Court Street
- Chamber of Commerce Building – 130 S. Main Street
- Christ Church (Episcopal) and Churchyard – 10 N. Church Street
- Davenport Apartments – 400-402 E. Washington Street
- T. Q. Donaldson House – 412 Crescent Avenue
- Downtown Baptist Church – 101 W. McBee Avenue
- Earle Town House – 107 James Street
- Col. Elias Earle Historic District – Earle, James, N. Main and Rutherford Streets
- East Park Historic District – Roughly bounded by East Park Avenue, Bennett Street, Harcourt Drive and Rowley Street
- First National Bank – 102 S. Main Street
- Gilfillin and Houston Building – 217-219 E. Washington Street
- Greenville County Courthouse – 130 S. Main Street
- Greenville Elks Lodge – 18 E. North Street
- Greenville Gas and Electric Light Company – 211 E. Broad Street
- Hampton-Pinckney Historic District – Hampton Avenue and Pinckney Street between Butler Avenue and Lloyd Street, and Hudson Streets and Butler and Asbury Avenues
- Imperial Hotel – 201 W. Washington Street
- Isaqueena (Gassaway Mansion) – 106 DuPont Drive
- Josiah Kilgore House – N. Church and Academy Streets
- Lanneau-Norwood House – 417 Belmont Avenue
- Mills Mill – Mills and Guess Streets
- E. W. Montgomery Cotton Warehouse – 806 Green Avenue
- Parker High School Auditorium – 900 Woodside Avenue
- Pettigru Historic District – Pettigru, Whitsett, Williams, Manly, E. Washington, Broadus, Toy and Boyce Streets
- Poinsett Hotel – 120 S. Main Street
- Reedy River Falls Historic Park and Greenway – Both banks of the Reedy River from the falls to Church Street; also roughly bounded by S. Main and Church Streets and Camperdown Way
- Reedy River Industrial District – Along the Reedy River between River Street and Camperdown Way
- Richland Cemetery – Hilly Street and Sunflower Street
- Springwood Cemetery – Main Street and Elford Street
- Stradley and Barr Dry Goods Store – 14 S. Main Street
- U. S. Post Office and Courthouse – 300 E. Washington Street
- John Wesley United Methodist Church – 101 E. Court Street
- West End Commercial Historic District – Roughly the junction of Pendleton, River, Augusta and S. Main Streets, and east along Main to Camperdown Way; also 631 S. Main Street
- Whitehall – 310 W. Earle Street
- William and Harriett Wilkins House – 105 Mills Avenue
- Working Benevolent Temple and Professional Building – Broad and Falls Streets
- C. Granville Wyche House – 2900 Augusta Road
For more information visit – National Register of Historic Places in Greenville, South Carolina