Greenville is so easy to love at first sight, but there's so much more than meets the eye. Here's a list of fun facts about this lovely, vibrant city on the water.
1. You’d be forgiven for thinking that Greenville is named after the lush green hills surrounding the city. But it’s actually named after Nathaniel Greene, a Revolutionary War hero. Greenville was called Pleasantburg until 1831, and you’ll still see the old name used for streets and businesses, so keep your eyes open for that glimpse of the past.
2. Greenville is located in what was originally Cherokee land.
3. Greenville began in 1768 as a grist mill and trading post as the foot of Reedy River Falls. So when you’re relaxing in the grass in Falls Park right off of Main Street, you’re actually sitting where the whole city began.
4. It seems amazing in retrospect, but the stunning 28-foot-tall Reedy River Falls, the jewel of downtown and centerpiece of gorgeous Falls Park, was once almost completely hidden underneath the Camperdown Bridge, a huge concrete highway overpass built in 1960. The bridge began to be taken down in 2001, and the beauty of the falls was visible for everyone once again.
5. Even though it’s in hot and steamy South Carolina, Greenville averages 5 inches of snow each winter.
6. Greenville’s Mice on Main has been delighting visitors—children and adults alike—since 2000. But did you know that the whole idea for the whimsical and wildly popular public art installation/scavenger hunt, in which tiny bronze mice hide up and down Main Street, came from a teenage boy? Jim Ryan was a senior in high school when he developed the idea and raised money to make it a reality.
7. Greenville is the hometown of one of the saddest and most enduring of baseball mysteries: Shoeless Joe Jackson. Was one of the greatest baseball players in all of history really involved in the greatest scandals in baseball history, the 1919 Chicago Blacksox cheating ring? Shoeless Joe Jackson’s Greenville home has been turned into a museum exploring that very question. Greenville’s minor league team originally wanted to call themselves the Joes, after Jackson, but MLB refused, because Jackson is still banned from the sport.
8. There’s a Green Monster in Greenville. No, not the supernatural kind, though. The baseball kind. The Greenville Drive is a Red Sox affiliate and their home stadium, Fluor Field, is a mini-Fenway, right down to the big green wall in the outfield.
9. The Children’s Museum of the Upstate is the only children’s museum in the US that is a Smithsonian affiliate, an incredible honor and opportunity for this fantastic museum.
10. The Children's Museum isn’t the only amazing museum in Greenville. Greenville County Museum of Art holds the largest public collection of watercolors by famed American artist Andrew Wyeth.