Big Rowan Ackison (greensh) wrote,
Big Rowan Ackison

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My Town

I live in Watts Mill SC. This is a community bordering the city limits of Laurens SC.  Established in 1902, Watts Mill was a company-built village that appeared around the Watts Mill textile mill to provide housing for employees.  The Watts Mill cotton mill was named JPS Apparel at the time of it's 2001 plant closure.

The community of Watts Mill is an odd place.  The houses were cookie-cutter built with a small number of available floor plans.  The most common type house had two front rooms with a small kitchen and bathroom.  My house is of this type, but in my humble abode there have been four rooms and a small bathroom added.  This brings my total square footage to about 900 sqft.  I suspect the original floor plan was about half of this.  The area is sliding from private owner homes to rental properties.  The overall small size of the homes means that the average house value is low. 

I toured the area on a Saturday morning with my camera in hand.  I took pictures of typical buildings, the demolished mill, and the original "downtown" of Watts Mill.  At one point I was on the street a block behind my house.  A resident asked me what I was doing and I responded I was taking pictures of the neighborhood.  The resident said, "welcome to the ghetto".  I was a little taken back, saying that I hoped it was not as I lived in the area.  A query of the internet brought up the housing statistics below with these bearing out that the area is depressed in comparison to average numbers. 

My original Flickr set from July 2007 was of the JPS demolition. The pictures below are part of a 46 picture Flickr set.

Population (year 2000): 1,479
Males: 777  (52.5%)
Females: 702  (47.5%)
Median resident age:  31.1 years
South Carolina median age:  35.4 years

Estimated median household income in 2005: $20,800 (it was $25,046 in 2000)

Watts Mills  $20,800
South Carolina:  $39,316

Estimated median house/condo value in 2005: $37,400 (it was $45,600 in 2000)
Watts Mills  $37,400
South Carolina:  $113,100

Sign of past timesThis is where some of the mill has goneRemaining Structures
Original small mill house floor planMill housesMill Houses
This house has a room addedThis house has been heavily modifiedLarger style of mill house
Gutted building near mill.  It was last used as a TV repair shopOriginal style of chimney coverWatts Mill "downtown"
Larger style mill houses adjacent to "downtown"Another view of Watts Mill downtownView down block behind my house
Tags: hometown

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