In 1940, the Town of West Pelzer was established by ordinance as an official bird sanctuary, and in 2016 the town was able to further “spread its wings” after winning the Hughes Investments Elevate Upstate Grant. The grant allowed the town to enact our Expand Your Wings program, which is “both an educational venture and an art installation that will allow residents, visitors and passerby to West Pelzer to ‘Become like a bird, expand your wings, learn new things and fly high as you can'”. The program is also designed to highlight the vibrancy of our growing community and the connection to our local bird species. A key part of the program is the Expand Your Wings Walking Tour, which also draws attention to the accessibility of our Ada-compliant sidewalks and encourages our townspeople to take a walk and enjoy the aesthetics of West Pelzer.
West Pelzer Town Code: Article III. Bird Sanctuary
Editor’s Note. This article derives from general authority given to municipalities by Section 5-7-30 of the 1976 South Carolina Code of Laws, Question 20 of the West Pelzer Questionnaire and generally accepted municipal practices.
The entire area within the corporate limits of the Town of West Pelzer is hereby established and declared to be a wild bird sanctuary.
3.302. Killing, Injuring, Molesting Birds
The Town of West Pelzer is hereby declared to be a bird sanctuary, and it shall be unlawful to shoot, attempt to shoot, trap or molest in any manner any bird or to remove the eggs from or otherwise molest or disturb any bird’s nest in the town.
3.303. Birds Constituting A Nuisance. Action.
a. If starlings or similar birds are found to be congregating in such numbers in a particular locality that they constitute a menace to health or property, in the opinion of the Anderson County Board of Health, the Council shall meet with said health authorities to resolve the problem.
b. If no satisfactory course of action is found to abate such nuisance at such meeting, said birds may be destroyed in such numbers and manner as is deemed advisable by said health authorities under the supervision of such persons as may be approved by the Council.
3.304. Farm Lands, Swamps Excluded
The provisions of this article shall not apply to farms or swamp lands within the corporate limits.
Birdhouses were provided by Anderson School District One Career and Technology Center and painted by West Pelzer Elementary School GoalPOST students. Birdhouses are placed on private property and are to be viewed from the public rights-of-way. Please do not enter private property without the consent of the property owner.
Expand Your Wings Walking Tour
Town of West Pelzer Municipal Center
30 Main Street
Thirty-two years after Pelzer was founded, the Town of Frankville, west of Pelzer, was chartered. Chartered s a municipality that allowed for free enterprise, the story is told that Frankville was formed as a vehicle to assure that it became a town of law and order. The incorporated municipal name was changed to West Pelzer in 1918.
30 Main Street, formerly an automotive parts store and abandoned at time of purchase, was purchased in the fall of 2017 to begin the revitalization of the Main Street Business District.
O’Dell Community Center
3 Hindman Street
The O’Dell Community Center, constructed in 1958 originally as the first West Pelzer Town Hall, is named after Senator William “Billy” O’Dell, SC Senator from 1988 to 2016. Senator O’Dell was instrumental in the development of park and community facilities in West Pelzer. Senator O’Dell, serving as Chairman of the General Committee, tirelessly pursued state and federal grants that would allow West Pelzer to prosper throughout his term in the Senate.
Hindman Street is named after C.C. Hindman, Frankville’s first mayor (1913 – 1923)
34 Main Street
Formerly the site of Chapman’s General Store, Chapman Park was implemented in 2011 by Mayor Paxton. The property was generously donated to the Town of West Pelzer by the Chapman Family in honor of their late parents. Today, Chapman Park host the town’s many annual events, including the Fall Festival and Christmas Parade.
52 Main Street
Gray Mortuary had its beginning as the Welborn Funeral Home in the early 1990’s and was owned by Walter L. Welborn. The funeral home was operated from the back of the Welborn Furniture Company located in Pelzer. Samuel Lee Gray, a funeral director and embalmer from Anniston, Alabama, came to Pelzer to work at the funeral home and purchased it from the Welborn Family in 1934, changing the name to Gray Mortuary, Inc.
The business was moved to West Pelzer and operated from 45 Main Street for many years. In 1952, the establishment was moved next door to its current location. This new building is reported to be one of the first funeral homes in the area that was built from the ground up to be a funeral home. In 1985 a formal chapel was added and an additional expansion, which is mainly used for visitation, was constructed in 1999.
1889 House (Private Residence)
62 Main Street
This historic home has been in West Pelzer since 1889. Originally built as a one bedroom log cabin, this home is reportedly the oldest home in the Tri-City area (Pelzer, West Pelzer, Williamston) still standing.
Pelzer Library (Private Resident)
64 Main Street
The Pelzer Library, was originally a bicycle shop for the Pelzer Mill Company, and renovated as a specialty grocer, barber shop, and a jewelry shop. Rick Sanders purchased the building from the Town of Pelzer in 2010 and moved the structure, closing Main Street for an entire day, to it’s current location. The building has had additions over the years (1954 by Wesley Page) but remains original on the interior.
1913 House (Private Residence)
66 Main Street
This residence was one of the original homes built during the year Frankville was founded, later to be named West Pelzer. The wood siding house was originally built as a 3 bedroom home without the luxuries of today’s lifestyle. A well still remains in the crawl space with access to it via a cutout off the back porch, and fireplaces still exist in all four rooms. The roof remains original to 1913 and has been repaired and painted throughout the years.
Viola (Private Residence)
100 Main Street
The first school in the vicinity was founded in 1887. It was named Viola and served the school needs until the 1912-1913 school year. Pelzer organized a high school in 1916 and West Pelzer continued its high school until 1922 when its pupils were transferred to Pelzer. West Pelzer elementary school was consolidated into the Pelzer-Williamston School District in 1949. In 1952, it became School District One of Anderson County.
Welcome to the Town of West Pelzer
101 Main Street
Thirty-two years after Pelzer was founded, the town of Frankville, west of Pelzer, was chartered. Chartered as a municipality that allowed for free enterprise, the story is told that Frankville was formed as a vehicle to assure that it became a town of law and order. The incorporated municipal name was changed to West Pelzer in 1918.
West Pelzer Fire Department
101 Main Street
The West Pelzer Fire Department was founded in 1963 as a volunteer fire department. Supplemented by Anderson County, the West Pelzer Fire Department continues to be a 100% volunteer department with one of the highest ISO ratings in South Carolina for a full volunteer department.
West Pelzer Elementary School
10 Stewart Street
West Pelzer lost its third school building by fire in November of 1953. All pupils attended Gossett School in Williamston for the remainder of the term and during a part of the following term. In February of 1955, the West Pelzer Elementary School opened across the street from the old location.
Welborn House (Private Residence)
61 Main Street
Originally the house of Mr. Welborn, this home served as the mortuary for one year in 1931. Rumor has it that this home is haunted – perhaps confirmed in the book Ghost of Upstate South Carolina. Notice the full window on the front porch? This is where the gurneys were pushed through prior to embalming …in the kitchen!!
Welborn Street is named after W.L. Welborn Sr. W.L. Welborn, along with John W. Garnett and A.W. Crenshaw, issued the original commission on November 19, 1913 to form the town of Frankville. This effort empowered them to provide for the registration of all electors within the corporate limits and to certify results.
West Pelzer Baptist Church
29 Main Street
The West Pelzer Baptist Church was organized in March 1954 and is located on the southeast corner of Main Street (formerly Lebby Street Extension) and Dendy Street. Pelzer First Baptist church, organized in 1882, recognized a need in 1953 for a Baptist mission in West Pelzer. The church organized this work and placed Harry Padgett to lead the work as superintendent. On March 14, 1954, the church duly granted 51 letters to members of this mission and it was constituted into a Southern Baptist church. Rev. Glenn Owen, associate pastor of Pelzer Baptist, was called as pastor of the West Pelzer Baptist church. He served with distinction until his death in June of 1957.
Dolly Cooper Furniture
19 Main Street
Currently Design Depot, a local print shop of signs, banners, and other print material – the building’s previous owner has more history than perhaps the town itself.
M.J. “Dolly” Cooper, considered integral to the success of Anderson County and who championed military veterans and health care, formerly owned a furniture store in this location. Cooper was elected to the S.C. House of Representatives in 1974 on a platform of bringing more health care services to Pelzer, Piedmont and Williamston. Cooper served for 16 years in House District 10 and was a member of the Medical Military and Municipal Affairs Committee. He also received the Order of the Palmetto from Gov. Carroll Campbell in 1989. cooper was known for his World War II military service, where he served as a combat infantryman with the 30th Infantry Division. He saw 11 months f combat in Europe and was awarded the Purple Heart, Bronze Star, American Defense Silver Medal and the Combat Infantry Badge. Cooper saw military action at Normandy, at the Bottle of the Bulge, at the Rhine River, among others, and was involved with the capture of the last large German city, Madgeburg, which was 45 miles from Berlin. For his service at the Battle of the Bulge, he received the Belgian Forragere Award for his military service and support of veterans, the state General Assembly named the first veterans cemetery in Anderson after him.
9 Main Street
Opened throughout the 20th century as many retail and restaurant establishments, the most memorable is of the liquor store that was here in its early days. Frankville was founded in 1913 due to the Pelzer Mill Company controlling the number and type of stores in Pelzer. As the story goes, the Pelzer Mill Company did not allow alcohol or gambling, both of which would be allowed in the new town of Frankville. Old timers will tell you that the spirits that were sold here, led the owner to shut down the store and begin faithfully attending Living Water Church next door.
Living Water Church
7 Main Street
The Church of God of Prophecy was organized in 1924 and met in a building west of the Southern Railway Depot until 1953 when they built on Lebby Street Extention (Main Street), West Pelzer. Now called Living Water, this church as deep roots in showing and sharing their faith with everyone they come in contact with.
Greyhound Bus Stop and P&N Depot
2 Main Street
Formerly a Greyhound Bus Stop, this location was one of many hangouts. The P&N Railroad formerly had a full service depot nearby that served hundreds of people. Connecting Anderson to Greenville, if you follow this abandoned railway, you would connect to the Swamp Rabbit Trail at Bramlett Road in Greenville County.
Boots & Thelma’s
The Mill Town Place
18 Main Street
By owning all the store buildings and real estate in Pelzer, Pelzer Manufacturing Company controlled how many and who could do business in town. This put a limit on the number of merchants that could operate in Pelzer. Therefore, if a person wished to open a store but could not get a location in Pelzer, he would go to West Pelzer to do business and by doing so he catered to both towns.
Opening in the 1950’s as Boots and Thelma’s Restaurant, the Mill Town Place (Est. 2016) is stake hold in the Main Street Business District. Boots Durham remembers….His father advertising a promotion saying that Lum and Abner would be at his store at 3:00P.M. Friday. Friday came and a large crowd gathered waiting to see, in person, the nationally known radio personalities, Lum and Abner. At three o’clock Eddie Durham came out of his store, and looked down the street and announced, “Here comes Lum and Abner.” Walking up the street was Lum Day and Abner Garrett, both local Pelzer boys.
Snipes Drug Store
26 Main Street
Ansel Snipes, owner and operator of Dendy and Snipes Drug Store and council member in the 1940’s operated as a full service pharmacy and general store. Ronnie Trotter remembers…”You got your money’s worth when you took your prescription to Dendy and Snipes’ Drug Store. In addition to getting your prescription filled, you would hear one of ANsel Snipes; stories that did you more than the prescription. One that Ronnie remembers…John lived in Pelzer and owned a pig. The pig loved to bird hunt and John would always take the pig hunting with him. When the pig came upon a covey of quail, he would stop in his tracks and his curly tail would become as straight as an arrow – better than any bird dog you ever saw. Word got around about John’s pig. “Not for sale,” John said. The man offered John an unreasonable amount of money for the pig. John scratched his head and said, “Well, OK, but where do you live?” The man responded, “In Piedmont.” John replied, “In that case, I can’t sell you the pig because he also loves to fish and you would never get him across the river.”
Westy’s Antiques and Vintage Heirlooms
28 Main Street
Westy’s Antiques and Vintage Heirlooms is a new store in town and one that hasn’t specifically been here throughout the history of Frankville and West Pelzer. Owned and operated by West Pelzer residents, Westy’s is sure to provide you with memories of Upstate South Carolina through their vintage collection of antiques, signs, and unique finds.