Please find attached Newspaper Stories and TV News Stories about Startex all in one email. I encourage you to share this information with your friends & neighbors and anyone else
that may be interested in the AWESOME THINGS happening in Startex.
(I think folks are beginning to take notice, what do you think?)
Also, help us get the word out about our Startex Clean-Up Day on Saturday, April 22nd from 9 until 12noon. We will be including North Main Street, Jackson Drive, Startex Drive, Quinn Road & Upper Hickory Drive.
T- Shirts – Prizes – and Free Lunch for Everyone….( Last year, Leland Calzada won a $100 Bill !!!!)
Please Share & Help Us Spread the Word…..
P.S. There will be an update on our progress and a little birdie told me that some special announcements may be made….
Be sure to wear your shades….The future is so bright in Startex...You’re going to need them.
WSPA News Story
Fox Carolina New Story
Startex Mill And Historic Startex Iron Bridge Redevelopment Plans Announced
By Chris Lavender Post and Courier
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 brand 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 Middle Tyger River. The bridge was recently deeded to the foundation, which plans to transform it into a pedestrian bridge which will also double as an entertainment and music venue. Fundraising efforts are planned for 2023 with the total cost to refurbish the bridge at about $1.2 -$1.7 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 by developing walking trails along the Middle Tyger River from the mill area all the way to I-85.. 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. The Spartan Shield and the Startex Mill logos will once again be on proud display. Overall, Jones said the proposed redevelopment of the site would take several years to complete.
“We think we absolutely 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, some office space, and maybe a small cafe’”
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. We are hopeful that homeowners will ix up some of the mill village houses.
It’s a very exciting time for this community.”