Probate Lawyer in Startex, SC

About The CDH Law Firm Difference

As seasoned probate lawyers in South Carolina, we understand that Estate Administration often involves sensitive family dynamics as much as it does the legal minutia involved in probate law. After all, a person's estate not only affects their generation but the generations that follow.

But when your loved one passes, their assets must be managed and distributed correctly. When mismanaged, disputes often arise between parties like the Beneficiaries, Trustees, Heirs, or Executors of a Will. Even when everything is managed the right way, arguments and misunderstandings can still occur, and even evolve into bitter legal battles necessitating probate litigation.

It stands to reason, then, that you should hire a probate lawyer in Startex, SC to help. But the truth is, many attorneys don't have vast experience with probate and trust work. If they do, they aren't usually seasoned trial attorneys. That's what separates probate attorneys at CHSA Law, LLC from others - we have the ability to help plan your Estate and litigate estate disputes if they arise.

We are keenly familiar with local probate judges, courtroom staff members, and the related procedures involved with South Carolina probate law. Our intimate knowledge and experience help us successfully navigate the probate process to complete our client's cases quickly and efficiently.

But that's just one aspect that sets CDH apart from other firms. Understanding the importance of personalized attention, we also make an intentional decision to limit our law firm's overall caseload. This allows us to better focus on individual clients, many of whom remain with us for generations. We do not pass off cases to paralegals or junior associates but rather prioritize the attorney-client relationship. We value compassion and integrity, and our practice reflects those values.

Moreover, trust is one of the most important aspects of the attorney-client relationship. We work to create an open, friendly environment in which you can feel comfortable. After years of experience, we boast the skill and experience necessary to earn that trust - and that's a priceless commodity when it comes to probate cases in South Carolina.

Understanding The Probate Process in South Carolina

When a loved one passes away, it's natural to go through a time of emotional adjustment. However, it's crucial for the family of the loved one to face the financial realities of their estate. That reality includes the probate process, which involves distributing assets and settling the estate. A probate attorney in Startex, SC is often recommended to assist during this time. This process isn't just recommended - it's often a legal responsibility in South Carolina.

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Steps to the Probate Process in South Carolina

01

Delivery of Will Upon Death: During probate, the first step involves having a will delivered to an Estate Administrator or to the probate court. The deadline to accomplish this task is 30 days.

02

A Personal Representative is Assigned: This individual is often named in a Will and should be appointed officially by the court.

03

A Notice is Sent to Intestate Heirs: If these heirs feel that they should inherit, they have a right to challenge this step.

04

The Estate is Inventoried and Appraised: This process must occur within 90 days of opening an estate. In some estates with valuables like jewelry, art, and property, professional appraisers may be needed.

05

Settling Accounts: During this step, the estate must pay any applicable taxes, ongoing expenses, or outstanding debts. Should the estate not have enough money to pay these debts, creditors must be paid according to South Carolina code.

06

Distributions: If there is money in the estate after debts are paid, those funds are given to heirs of the estate, according to the Will or the State.

07

Discharge: As soon as any claims are paid, the personal representative of the estate will file documents to close the estate. To make this official, the court will issue a Certificate of Discharge.

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Avoiding Probate in South Carolina

Though most estates in South Carolina must go through probate, it is possible to avoid. This happens when a decedent's assets are placed in a Living Trust prior to their death. In this scenario, beneficiaries must be designated in order to inherit the estate. Suppose there are funds that have been promised to beneficiaries via life insurance policies or bank accounts with "payable upon death" designations. In that case, those funds do not have to go through probate.

Assets subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Interest in an LLC, Partnership, or Corporation
  • Real Estate Held as a Tenant in Common
  • Property Held in Only the Deceased's Name
 Probate Attorney Startex, SC
Probate Lawyer Startex, SC

Assets that are not subject to probate in South Carolina include:

  • Assets Placed in a Trust
  • Assets Which Are Already Tied to a Beneficiary
  • Pension Plan Assets
  • Insurance Policies with Beneficiaries
  • Beneficiaries of Retirement Funds
  • Real Estate or Property with Right of Survivorship
  • Real Estate or Property with Joint Tenancy
  • Accounts That Are Transferable or Payable Upon Death
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Avoiding Probate: Yes or No?

Though it's not always possible, some families go out of their way to avoid the probate process in South Carolina. Doing so can help save money in the long run and also expedite the distribution of funds to heirs. By avoiding probate, you're also keeping personal matters private.

Because every person has different estate and probate complexities, it's hard to say whether avoiding probate is good or bad. Whether or not you should avoid probate depends on your unique situation. As a general rule, it's always best to consult with a probate lawyer in Startex, SC, for honest feedback and probate assistance.

Typically, having a Living Trust or a Will in place will make transferring assets easier. A little prep ahead of time will make a world of difference when your loved one passes away. After all, nobody is ever prepared for a relative or family friend's death, but a compassionate, trustworthy probate attorney can make the process easier.

FAQsSouth Carolina Probate FAQs

For many families, "Probate" is a dirty term that involves heartbreak and headaches. And while the probate process in South Carolina can be complex and stressful, having answers to some of the most common probate questions can help put your mind at ease.

Q.

My family member recently passed away, and we're considering their estate. How long will the probate process take?

A.

The time it takes an estate to go through probate in South Carolina varies depending on a number of questions, including:

  • Does the deceased have a valid will?
  • Is the Estate complex or large?
  • Is the Will contested?
  • Have any lawsuits been filed?
  • Is the personal representative of the estate efficient?

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

My loved one mentioned opening a Trust to protect my assets. What is a Trust, and what Trusts should I consider?

A.

As is the case with most probate decisions, opening a Trust should be based on your unique situation and guidance from your probate attorney in Startex, SC. With that said, a Trust is meant to hold property for your loved one's benefit. When a Trust is created, assets are transferred into the said Trust and managed accordingly. Though there is a common misconception that Trusts are reserved for the wealthy, just about any family can benefit from opening a Trust.

The most common types of Trusts used in probate include:

  • Living Trust: These trusts are opened and controlled by you while you're still living. When you pass away, the assets in the trust are distributed to the beneficiaries you choose. Typically, these trusts do not go through the probate process.
  • Testamentary Trust: These trusts are usually established after you pass away and are included in your will. These trusts must go through the probate process in South Carolina, though they allow for the distribution of property within a certain time frame.
  • Special Needs Trust: This type of trust gives financial support to your loved one if they are disabled.

When conditions are good, a small or simple estate usually takes about a year to close. More complicated estates may take longer.


Q.

What happens when somebody dies without a will in South Carolina?

A.

When a person passes away without a Will in South Carolina, the state decides who gets their decedent's assets. This is also called passing intestate. When this happens, usually only spouses, blood relatives, or registered domestic partners can inherit property according to intestate succession laws.

Relatives who receive the probate property of the deceased are usually chosen in the following order:

  • Living Spouse
  • Children or Grandchildren
  • Parents
  • Brothers or Sisters
  • Grandparents
  • Uncles and Aunts
  • Extended Family

If you're in need of a veteran probate lawyer in South Carolina, look no further than CDH Law Firm. With years of experience in Estate Administration and probate cases, our team is ready to serve you with excellence and protect your interests. Have additional questions? We're here to help. Contact our office today to learn more about Estate Administration in South Carolina.

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Law is complicate matter. It can cause you a big problem if you ignore it. Let us help you!

A Caring, Confident Approach to Probate in South Carolina

Planning your estate is the first step to take if you want to protect your family, your assets, your well-being, and the fruits of your hard work.

At CHSA Law, LLC, our team of experienced probate lawyers in Startex, SC, can help you navigate the entire Estate Administration process. Through creative legal strategies and a clear understanding of your goals and desires, we work together to make your asset and estate visions a reality. It's never too early to get your estate in order. In fact, estate planning is important for everyone, whether you're single or married, young or old, with or without children. If you're ready to protect your assets and be prepared for probate, contact CHSA Law, LLC, today.

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phone-number 843-936-6680

Latest News in Startex, SC

Former Startex mill in Spartanburg County to be redeveloped into housing, retail

A $30 million mixed-use development is being planned at the former Startex mill site along the Middle Tyger River in Spartanburg County near Wellford.The mill stopped operations in 1998 during the decline of the textile industry and most of the buildings were later demolished. What remains at the site includes buildings that once housed the administrative offices, company store, warehouses and a finishing room.John Montgomery, Montgomery Development Group CEO, told The Post and Courier he in under contract to buy the 60-acre si...

A $30 million mixed-use development is being planned at the former Startex mill site along the Middle Tyger River in Spartanburg County near Wellford.

The mill stopped operations in 1998 during the decline of the textile industry and most of the buildings were later demolished. What remains at the site includes buildings that once housed the administrative offices, company store, warehouses and a finishing room.

John Montgomery, Montgomery Development Group CEO, told The Post and Courier he in under contract to buy the 60-acre site. Redevelopment would begin in summer 2023 and include renovations to convert the existing building into residences, office space and retail.

Montgomery said he plans to clear an area near the river to make it public open space with a connecting trail to a steel bridge built in 1932 that crosses the river. He anticipates having at least 100 apartment units in the existing mill space.

“There is a lot of opportunity for single and multi-family housing to be completed in a multi-year process,” Montgomery said. “I expect to have phase one done by the end of 2024.”

The mill has a family connection. Montgomery’s great-great grandfather John H. Montgomery was on a fishing expedition on Sept. 7, 1893 when he first saw the site and thought it would be a great site for a mill. Donald Jones, Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation founder and president, said the site was later surveyed and a mill was constructed in late 1894 and early 1895. Production at the mill began on June 1, 1896.

Jones said the mill’s ownership changed hands in 1923 at a time when the mill was called the Tucapau Mill. In May 1936, Walter Montgomery Sr., purchased the mill and changed the name to Startex Mill.

“The name of the mill was changed to reflect the name of the cloth that was made there,” Jones said.

When the mill started, there were 35 mill village houses. The number of houses increased to 350 until it closed. The mill thrived in the 1960s, employing up to 1,200 workers over three shifts. There were 600 workers still at the mill during its final year of operation.

The Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation, formed in 2016, has collected more than 3,000 photos and 600 documents on the history of the mill.

Jones said the redevelopment of the former mill site would not only help preserve history but also attract visitors to the area. Plans are also being made to refurbish the 250-foot long steel bridge crossing the river. The bridge was recently deeded to the foundation, which plans to transform it into a pedestrian bridge and music venue. Fundraising efforts are planned for 2023 with the total cost to refurbish the bridge at about $1.2 million. A engineering study will be conducted first, Jones said.

It’s the third bridge built at the site. The first bridge was washed away by a June 6, 1903 flood that also damaged the mill’s bottom floor.

The Tyger River Foundation is partnering with the Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation on the bridge refurbishing project. The area of the smoke stacks once used at the mill will be converted into greenspace and the former water towers used at the mill will be painted. Overall, Jones said the proposed redevelopment of the site would take several years.

“We think we have the right partner (John Montgomery) who has a good vision of what he wants to do,” Jones said. “He is still developing plans but it’s going to be reconfigured into some housing, some retail.”

Former mill employees Jeffrey Shelton and Larry Hood are excited about the mill site’s proposed redevelopment plans. They are also involved in working to have the bridge refurbished. They were born and raised in the Startex community.

“I worked at the mill in 1973 and 1974,” Shelton told The Post and Courier. “I worked in all the departments of the mill so I got a good knowledge of the mill.”

Red Shelton, Shelton’s father, worked at the mill for 50 years before he retired in the late 1980s. Hood and Shelton visited the site on Nov. 4 and recalled how the mill shaped the community. There was a school and hotel once at the site. Shelton said he would usually park his vehicle on a side lot and enter the gate through a turnstile door. The door still exists, however, it’s become overgrown with weeds and brush.

Hood’s father Jack also worked at the mill as a supervisor. While the mill has been closed for more than 24 years, its former workers are hopeful it will be remembered through preservation.

“The mill will be back in Montgomery family hands,” Shelton said. “I think it (redevelopment) will inspire people, homeowners to fix up some of the mill village houses. It’s a very exciting time for this community.”

Some questions about South Carolina community's brown water answered but concerns remain

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. —2 p.m. UPDATE:SJWD Water District released this official statement on Facebook:"Recently, due to dry weather conditions, SJWD had to adjust how we draw water from our main reservoir, Lyman Lake. This led to the water containing higher-than-normal levels of iron and manganese and the discoloration of our treated drinking water. SJWD has taken action to mitigate this issue,...

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. —

2 p.m. UPDATE:

SJWD Water District released this official statement on Facebook:

"Recently, due to dry weather conditions, SJWD had to adjust how we draw water from our main reservoir, Lyman Lake. This led to the water containing higher-than-normal levels of iron and manganese and the discoloration of our treated drinking water. SJWD has taken action to mitigate this issue, including the increased use of our secondary water source. We expect to see continued improvement and a return to normal conditions over the next few days. However, the lack of forecasted rain could lengthen the duration of this event. While the discolored water may not be aesthetically pleasing, testing confirms it meets all drinking water regulations for safety. It is safe to drink. People with additional health concerns may wish to contact their health provider about consuming the water. Boiling the water will not provide any added benefit. The water can also be used for showering, flushing toilets, household cleaning, etc. However, SJWD does not recommend using it for laundry. If clothing is stained during a wash, customers should not let the clothes dry and immediately wash clothes again using a rust stain remover. We regret this inconvenience and will continue to inform customers if there are any changes."

The company appeared to be monitoring Facebook comments and was answering questions about laundry stains made by the water, saying in a separate Facebook post:

"This discoloration is affecting approximately one third of our customers. If your water is clear, there is no residual discoloration and laundry will be fine as well. To remove discoloration from light clothing, non chlorine laundry additives such as OxyClean or Rit will work. If you need assistance sourcing these additives please DM your account number and we will work with you."

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A water district in South Carolina is asking its customers for patience after reports of brown water coming out of spigots over the weekend.

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WYFF News 4 has received several requests from customers in the Startex Jackson Wellford Duncan Water District to look into their concerns over the discolored water that users say is district-wide.

"They're telling a lot (sic) of us it's safe to drink," one viewer wrote.

"The water taste terrible and looks terrible as well," another viewer said.

Some viewers complained they were getting a recording when calling the SJWD Water District offices.

"They won't answer questions about it," another viewer wrote.

On Sunday, SJWD Water District took to Facebook with this statement:

"SJWD is aware some customers may see slightly discolored water. We are aware of the issue. Our primary Raw water source has experienced a seasonal upset. We have transitioned to our secondary raw water source. The water may be may have brown appearance but it is safe to drink. we are working to correct The issue as soon as possible."

More news (story continues after links.)

Then on Monday morning, they released this statement:

"A reminder that we experienced a seasonal upset in our treatment yesterday that resulted in some slightly discolored water entering the system. We identified and remedied this issue, and the water is safe for consumption. We anticipate the discoloration to clear within the next 48 hours. Thank you for your patience! If you have reached out to us on any media platform or by phone, we will respond to you in time."

An hour later, they released this statement:

"Discolored water is the result of an accumulation of iron and manganese in the source water. This accumulation is caused by drought or other seasonal patterns. Again, the water meets all DHEC regulations and is safe for consumption. No boiling is required. Thank you."

The company now says it will release more information about the discolored water before noon, including an updated timeline, guidance and information about the water's effect on "appliances, laundry, etc."

As of 12:30 p.m., no new information was released to the media or posted on the SJWD Water District page.

Updates to this story will be posted here when we get it.

Spartanburg development update: 5 lots at Startex Mills sold. Goodwill opens fifth store.

Spartanburg County area companies are planning projects to increase manufacturing, prepare for needs with electric vehicles and selling former textile buildings to convert the space for other uses.It's all part of the economic growth across the area.Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, chairman of the county's economic development committee, said the county had a record year last year for economic growth with $4 billion in investments and 2,145 new high-paying jobs. And, the goal is to continue the progress...

Spartanburg County area companies are planning projects to increase manufacturing, prepare for needs with electric vehicles and selling former textile buildings to convert the space for other uses.

It's all part of the economic growth across the area.

Spartanburg County Councilman David Britt, chairman of the county's economic development committee, said the county had a record year last year for economic growth with $4 billion in investments and 2,145 new high-paying jobs. And, the goal is to continue the progress.

Here are some of the projects area companies are working on this year.

Goodwill to open its fifth store in Spartanburg County

A new Goodwill retail store and Job Connection will open at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Feb. 22, at 2316 Chesnee Highway, Spartanburg.

The location is Goodwill's fifth in Spartanburg County. The store and Job Connection will stand as one of Goodwill’s flagship locations, providing donations, retail, and employment assistance services all in one location.

The new 18,000-square-foot building features new décor that has been rolling out across all Goodwill stores in the Upstate and Midlands of South Carolina.

The mission of Goodwill Industries of Upstate/Midlands South Carolina is to provide access, information, and resources to help people improve their lives through the power of work.

Spencer Hines announces Startex Mills transaction

Spartanburg-based Spencer/Hines Properties announced the recent sale of five lots of Startex Mills in Startex for $1.5 million.

The lots total 27.9 acres, with 120,000 feet of industrial space.

The buyer is Banker Exchange as QI for Startex Mill LLC, and the seller is R4 Corporation.

Agents Guy Harris Sr., Guy Harris Jr. and Robbie Romeiser handled the transaction.

Spencer/Hines also announced the sale of an 11,100-square-foot office building on 2.18 acres at 206 Parker Drive, Spartanburg.

The buyer is Church of Grace, and the seller is Drayton Mills Church of Christ.

Michael Tanbonliong and Robbie Romeiser handled the transaction.

Proterra celebrates EV battery production

Proterra Inc. announced it has produced the first Proterra Powered EV battery at its new Powered 1 battery manufacturing plant in Greer.

Proterra is expected to begin deliveries to customers of Proterra Powered™ battery systems from the new battery factory in the first quarter of this year.

In addition, Powered 1 has started production of drivetrains and other systems incorporated into electric medium- and heavy-duty electric vehicles and equipment, such as high-voltage junction boxes.

Powered 1 is Proterra’s first purpose-built, high-volume battery production plant in the eastern U.S.

Proterra already has created more than 100 new jobs at the 327,000-square-foot battery plant, with roles including engineering, production, quality, and other positions within the company’s Proterra Powered & Energy business unit.

See Spartanburg downtown projectsWhat you need to know about development projects underway in downtown Spartanburg

Milliken expands in Cherokee County

Spartanburg-based Milliken & Company, a diversified global textile manufacturer with more than 70 locations worldwide, announced plans to expand operations in Cherokee County. The company’s $27.4 million investment will create 75 new jobs.

Located at 157 New Milliken Road in Blacksburg, Milliken’s Cherokee County expansion will include newly added production lines to increase manufacturing capacity. Known as the Magnolia Finishing Plant, the facility specializes in workwear, military and flame-resistant apparel.

The expansion is expected to be complete by year-end. Those interested in jobs at Milliken should visit the company’s careers page.

Milliken is a materials science expert with a diverse portfolio serving the textile, flooring, specialty chemical and healthcare industries. South Carolina is home to more than 25 Milliken locations, including textile and chemical manufacturing facilities, showrooms and the company’s corporate headquarters in Spartanburg.

BMW XM to arrive at dealers worldwide this spring

Spartanburg-based BMW Manufacturing announced the start of production of the first-ever BMW XM vehicle, a high-performance car with an electrified drive system.

It is being produced alongside the BMW X5, BMW X6, and BMW X7 on the same assembly line at Plant Spartanburg.

The BMW XM. features a plug-in hybrid system with a V8 gasoline engine and a powerful electric motor.

The BMW XM will arrive at dealers worldwide this spring. The United States, China, and the Middle East will be key sales markets.

3 companies plan to create 200 jobsSpartanburg County growth: 3 companies plan to invest $20 million, create nearly 200 jobs

Last year, the U.S. Department of Commerce noted that BMW Manufacturing led the nation in automotive exports by value for the eighth consecutive year. Plant Spartanburg’s 257,876 exports in 2021 had a total export value of more than $10.1 billion.

Since 1992, the BMW Group has invested nearly $12 billion in its South Carolina operations. BMW Manufacturing Spartanburg is the largest BMW Group plant in the world, producing more than 1,500 vehicles each day

Gov. McMaster announces launch of EV hub

Governor Henry McMaster announced the launch of scpowersev.com, a virtual hub highlighting South Carolina’s growing electric vehicle (EV) industry and the state’s capacity for further industry expansion.

The site, created by the S.C. Department of Commerce, provides a one-stop-shop for the EV industry to learn how South Carolina is evolving the future by powering EV.

NAI Earle Furman breaks ground on Cowpens spec building

NAI Earle Furman announced the groundbreaking of a 1.2-million-square-foot industrial building being built in the multi-county Upstate Corporate Park. The facility will be one of the most significant speculative buildings ever built in Spartanburg County.

The Class A building is on a 106-acre site off Mount Olive Road, across from Dollar Tree’s Southeast Distribution Center, and is being constructed by Evans General Contractors.

The cross-dock facility is a concrete tilt-wall project that will include a 40-foot minimum clear height, 50-by-56-foot column spacing, 70-foot speed bays, and a 200-foot truck court with ample trailer parking. The Upstate Corporate Park and site are located one mile off Exit 83 in the Interstate 85 industrial corridor.

The project is slated to be delivered in early 2024.

CBRE obtains financing for Gaffney warehouse

CBRE Capital Markets’ Debt & Structured Finance has secured $55.5 million in acquisition financing on behalf of LRC Properties for Gaffney Distribution Center, a 1.03 million-square-foot warehouse in Gaffney.

LRC Properties acquired the warehouse for $80.5 million in a sale-leaseback transaction within three years of the term. The tenant was not disclosed. CBRE secured a four-year floating rate loan with an option to extend through a life insurance company.

CBRE’s Brian Linnihan, Mike Ryan, Richard Henry and Taylor Crowder represented LRC Properties in the financing, which includes future funding.

Located at 34 Commerce Drive, Gaffney Distribution Center was built in 1996 and is located a mile off I-85. It is fully leased to a single tenant. In 2021, the building was expanded by 486,486 square feet.

Inman earns honor for downtown master planning

The City of Inman was awarded the Rural Outstanding Project Award for its downtown master planning efforts from the S.C. Chapter of the American Planning Association.

Mayor Cornelius Huff, City Manager Joe Lanahan, City Planning Director April Williams, and master planning partner Irene Dumas Tyson with BOUDREAUX and Larry McGoogin with Toole Design Group received the award.

Inman's downtown master plan documents projects to propel downtown revitalization.Inman will host town hall meetings to gather community input on the city's revitalization process.

The first meeting will be at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 28, at 12 Mill St. Then at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 1, at 10 S. Main St., the Main Street Resource team will present the next steps, according to Williams.

Michelin gearing up for electric vehicle tire needs

Greenville-based tire maker Michelin North America recently announced its plans to meet the challenges of the electric vehicle revolution.

“For 130 years, Michelin has been obsessed with mobility that maximizes the customer experience,” stated Alexis Garcin, president and CEO of Michelin North America, Inc. “We are passionate about innovation, and that has positioned us to accelerate the EV transformation.

"Our research and development teams continue to launch new technologies that improve rolling resistance, maximizing performance and minimizing the environmental impact of mobility.”

Subscribe to the Herald-Journal7 benefits of a Spartanburg Herald-Journal digital subscription

According to the Global EV Outlook 2022 report, sales of electric vehicles could represent 50% of the market by 2030.

For more details on Michelin's efforts to optimize EV tire performance, visit here.

Efforts underway to revitalize former Spartanburg Co. mill community

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — Efforts are underway to revitalize a former Spartanbur...

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, S.C. (WSPA) — Efforts are underway to revitalize a former Spartanburg County mill and historic iron bridge.

“It was a very important part of this community,” said John Montgomery, a developer working on the Startex Mill. “The whole community was built around this mill.”

Montgomery said Startex was once a booming community, but in the late 1990s, the Startex Mill closed.

“This little town was kind of forgotten, and so it’s really important to me to see new life breathed into this community,” said Montgomery.

Now, Montgomery is restoring this old mill.

“My plan is to take these old buildings and do a historic renovation to convert them into apartments, into housing for people in the community, as well as taking some of the old store buildings up front for office, retail, maybe a restaurant or coffee shop,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery said the original mill was built in 1895 by his great-great-grandfather. Today, the bleachery, company store, office buildings, and post office still stand.

“A lot of people who live here used to work at the mill, have grown up here, and have seen this place sitting idle for so many years, so already we have seen a lot of public support for this project,” said Montgomery.

Down the road, members of the Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation are fixing up an old iron bridge, which was once used by people in the mill community.

“When we first started the bridge project, it was completely covered in vines, heavy, heavy, heavy overgrowth,” said Richie Solesbee, a member of the foundation.

Soon, the group hopes the bridge can be used again.

“Our goal is to keep it as a pedestrian bridge, clean it up, get it back very structurally sound,” said Solesbee.

Both groups believe their revitalization efforts will create a destination for people in the area.

“With the work that I’m going to be doing on this property and down along the river and around the bridge, I think it all goes hand in hand to create a really nice public space for people to come and enjoy the river, enjoy access to the water,” said Montgomery.

Montgomery said he hopes to have construction start later this year and said the entire project to redevelop the mill could take three to five years to complete.

STARTEX: Picking up pieces of history

Most of Startex's historical landmarks exist only in memory.The only thing left of the Startex Hotel, where unmarried teachers and mill workers lived, is a flight of steps leading from a Main Street sidewalk to a parking lot above.A community building that once housed everything from laundry facilities to a barbershop to a restaurant is long gone.Much of the mill also has been demolished.Now the Startex Tucapau Historical Society, which had its first meeting in December, is trying to hold on to what...

Most of Startex's historical landmarks exist only in memory.

The only thing left of the Startex Hotel, where unmarried teachers and mill workers lived, is a flight of steps leading from a Main Street sidewalk to a parking lot above.

A community building that once housed everything from laundry facilities to a barbershop to a restaurant is long gone.

Much of the mill also has been demolished.

Now the Startex Tucapau Historical Society, which had its first meeting in December, is trying to hold on to what's left.

One member of the group is collecting stories, photos and artifacts, and another member has plans to purchase two historic Startex buildings. Community cleanup days are planned this month, and a reunion will take place May 15.

"I just want people to take pride in what we have and what we used to have, and not let it go down to nothing," said Startex native Carolyn Downing, 65.

"We can't let the community die."

There is no shortage of history in this unincorporated community, which sits just southwest of the point where I-85 and Highway 29 intersect.

The area was originally known as Tucapau, named after the mill that was built there in 1896. In 1936, Walter Montgomery Sr. bought the mill and changed its name to Startex -- the brand name of household textiles produced at the plant.

The mill ceased operations in 1998 and was mostly dismantled in 1999. Parts of the structure -- the former bleachery, company store and offices -- still stand.

Mill intertwined with history

The mill was the site of bitter union clashes in the 1930s, and in 1980 President Jimmy Carter came to Startex for a campaign stop.

To preserve these memories, Downing has collected hundreds of photos and artifacts from the mill village, and she has gathered stories from more than 50 residents.

Last year, Downing's efforts attracted the notice of Donald Jones, 46, who grew up in Startex and now lives in Birmingham, Ala.

While browsing online one day, Jones learned that the remains of Startex Mill had been sold at auction to an out-of-state owner. He also found a newspaper story about Downing's historical efforts.

After reading the items, Jones decided to try to buy the mill, and last fall he contacted Downing.

Jones said he's now in negotiations to buy what's left of Startex Mill. He wants to stabilize the aging structure, get it listed on the National Register of Historic Places and put a local history museum in the portion that used to be the old company store.

Jones hopes to convince private donors to help fund the project.

Another part of Jones' plan is to buy the old Startex Elementary school on Chestnut Street. Startex United Methodist owns the crumbling building, which is vacant except for a day-care center that occupies the lower portion of the school.

Jones is not prepared to say what he might do with the old school.

"There's a multitude of ideas," Jones said.

Though he no longer lives in Startex, Jones still has family here, and he said he felt compelled to help preserve the community's heritage.

"If we don't do it and we don't do it now, it will be just a memory and a little dot in the road and everybody will just forget about it," Jones said.

More efforts to preserve past

Startex's efforts are an example of growing interest in recent history, according to a local history expert.

Doyle Boggs, president of the S.C. Confederation of Local Historical Societies and director of communications at Wofford College, pointed to Clifton, which has published two books on its history; Pacolet, which recently had its town hall added to the National Register of Historic Places; and Beaumont Mill in Spartanburg, where plans are underway for a statewide auto racing museum.

One of the biggest challenges in such efforts, Boggs said, is finding new uses for old buildings.

"Every historic building cannot be a museum, and you've got to be really creative and find some other ways to use it," Boggs said.

Finding money for such project can also be a challenge.

"To put together a financial package that will work is difficult and takes time," Boggs said.

But in the end, Boggs said such projects are well worth it.

"A sense of place is an important part of who we are, as individuals and as a community," he said.

" 'It happened right here' is a real important statement."

Susan Orr can be reached at 877-3225, 574-5980 or susan.orr@shj.com.

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