Historical Association Opens Privately Owned Historic Homes for Tours!

April 14, 2015 at 5:03 pm

Spartanburg, SC — Spend an afternoon resting and rejuvenating in Glenn Springs, “The Oasis of Health!” On Sunday, April 26, 1:30-5 p.m., join Spartanburg County Historical Association (SCHA) for a tour of four privately owned homes in the Glenn Springs area: Foster’s Tavern (c. 1807), Camp Hill (1835), the Moretz Home (c. 1900), and the Thornton Home (1911)! Calvary Episcopal Church (1850) will also be open for the tour. Throughout the afternoon, visitors will have the opportunity to learn about the history of Glenn Springs, the history of the houses, and the restoration work the buildings have undergone.

A thriving summer hotspot for South Carolinians during the 1800s, Glenn Springs once boasted an inn and spa where travelers could come to find rest and healing from various sicknesses and diseases. The healing waters, dubbed “Nature’s Formula,” were even shipped across the country in glass bottles via the trains that ran through the area! According to advertisements, Glenn Springs Mineral Water could cure “Dyspepsia, Liver Complaint, Chronic Hepatitus, Jaundice, Torpor of Liver and General Debility, Malarial Diseases, Dropsy, Dysentary, Constipation, Hemmeroids, Uterine, Renal, and Cystic Diseases… and Female Complaints!”

Camp Hill, located at 7215 Highway 215, was the site of a loyalist militia camp in 1780.  Benjamin Wofford built the Greek Revival home in 1835 for Dr. John Winsmith and his family.  The home has beautiful features including a porch pediment with fish-scale shingles, square pillars, wooden mantels with hand carvings, and a massive Boxwood garden, thought to the oldest in the Upstate.

Calvary Episcopal Church, located at 3865 Glenn Springs Road, was built around 1850. Dr. J.D. McCullough who, started the church, served recurrently until his death in 1902.  The current church building was built and consecrated on May 9, 1897. Though the original church building was torn down, the cemetery marks its location adjacent to the Spartanburg Boys Home.

The Moretz Home, located at 3590 Glenn Springs Road, was built between 1899-1910 by Paul Simpson, proprietor of the Glenn Springs Hotel, and his wife, Floride Cates Simpson.  Craftsmen came from Italy and New York to work on the details of the home.  The staircase, built in cupboard, and pie safe are all examples of this fine craftsmanship.

The Thornton Home, 3591 Glenn Springs Road, was built by Casper Simpson, brother of Paul Simpson, and an associate of the Glenn Springs Company and Hotel in 1911.  The front door and surrounding windows were imported from England.

Foster’s Tavern, 191 Cedar Springs Road, was a popular stop during the days of stagecoach travel.  Foster’s Tavern was the last stop for traveling en route to Glenn Springs.  The house dates back to 1807 and features a number of beautiful features including a fan-lit, pedimented entrance portico and twin “tied brick” chimneys. The large columns and second floor balcony were added in 1845 and the piazzas were added in 1915.

The cost for the tour is $25 in advance and for Spartanburg County Historical Association members or $30 on the day of the tour. Tour tickets may be purchased in advance at the Regional History Museum in Chapman Cultural Center, Carolina Farm and Wildlife in Pauline, Stafford Jewelers, the Hub City Bookstore, and via www.spartanburghistory.org. On the day of the tour, tickets may be purchased at any of the sites. A lunch to benefit the Glenn Springs Preservation Society will be held at Glenn Springs Presbyterian Church Family Life Center (6001 Highway 215) 1-2 p.m.  Lunch tickets are an additional $10 and must be reserved in advance by calling (864)596-3501 or purchasing online at www.spartanburghistory.org.  For more info, call (864) 596-3501 or email scha@spartanburghistory.org.
Prepared by Caroline Sexton, executive director , Spartanburg County Historical Association