Travelers Rest has always been a stop-over for travelers.
Into THE 1700’S
Native Americans travel the rivers and foot trails to hunting grounds; early trading posts
Drovers drive livestock (cattle, hogs, and even turkeys) through the area, all the way from the Tennessee Valley and North Carolina across the mountains toward the low country of Charleston and Augusta.
Stage coaches bring wealthy families through from the low country to the cooler temperatures of Western North Carolina to spend the summer away from the heat and mosquitos.
1808. The first Travelers Rest post office is commissioned and Thomas Edwards, a Revolutionary War soldier, is appointed postmaster.
late 1800’s to mid 1900’s
1888 – Coming of the railroad. The Carolina, Knoxville & Western (later the Greenville & Northern – nicknamed “The Swamp Rabbit”) travels through Travelers Rest bringing tourists, local passengers, supplies for local businesses, as well as mail and packages. Regular passenger service continues until the early 1920’s after which the railroad operates for freight only.
1891. The Town of Travelers Rest is first officially incorporated.
1893. The adjoining town of Athens is incorporated to last until about 1903.
1921. Travelers Rest incorporation expires
mid to late 1900’s
1959. Travelers Rest is incorporated for a second time with a mayor and city council. George Coleman, Sr. is elected the first mayor and serves from 1959-1965. With the age of the automobile, national highways connect Florida, Georgia and lower South Carolina through Greenville and Travelers Rest to North Carolina and beyond. Two major highways divide and travel north from Travelers Rest: U.S. 25 to Asheville; U.S. 276 to Brevard.
2009 and Beyond: The Greenville & Northern Railway, now out of use, is converted to the Swamp Rabbit Trail for walking, running, and biking. The repurposing of the rail line sparks an economic resurgence with even more shops, restaurants, and increased tourism.
2020-21: Spring Park Property donated to the TR Historical Society; home restoration begins
Thanks for coming to travel – and rest a while – in Travelers Rest!
The Travelers Rest Historical Society
“Preserving our history for a brighter Future”