Startex Tucapau News February 2022

A non-profit organization serving the Startex – Tucapau community.

Come on- Join In. We are “On the Move” for Startex.

Startex-Tucapau News Volume 2 Number 2 February 2022

Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation

Celebrates National Preservation Week

With Two Local Events

Mark Your Calendar….You don’t want to miss these events.

2 Weekends – 2 Huge Startex Events



Startex Community 

Clean-Up Day

We are extremely excited to announce our Startex Community

Clean-Up Day for the “500” area of our village.

This will take place on

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

from 8:00 am – 12 noon.

For those who may not be familiar, “500” is the area behind Startex Mill.

This area is sometimes overlooked and often times forgotten.

It has been neglected over the years and is in great need of our help.

We are looking for hands-on volunteers to help with this long overdue project.

We will be providing

Free Lunch to all volunteer workers and residents.

Volunteer jobs for 
providing lunch include:

> food preparation

> food and snack servers

> set up & break down

of chairs and tables

> general clean-up



Volunteers and Equipment needed for our
clean-up include:

> helpers to bag trash & debris

> helpers to get full trash

bags to dumpsters

> several pick-up trucks

with a bed for hauling

debris and trash

> chainsaws

> weed eaters

> brush cutters

> dump trailers

Getting a Head Start

We will have several dumpsters delivered in early March. Dumpsters will be placed on Hickory Drive near Hilltop Mission Church and at the old mill parking lot at the very end of Hickory Drive. We want to encourage “500” residents to

“Fill ’em up” with trash, rubbish, debris, and other unwanted items.

If “500” residents need help moving bags of trash or other items to the dumpsters, we would be happy to help. Just place bags or items at the edge of your property starting the first week of March and we will arrange pick-up. If you are unable to move items, please tag items in your yard with a note saying,

“For Dumpster”.

There will be an ample supply of trash bags available for area residents. These services are at no cost to “500” residents during this time period of

March 1st – April 23rd.

Dumpsters will be emptied as needed and will be removed at the conclusion of our event:



Startex Community

Clean-Up Day,

April 23rd, 2022. 

– – – – – – – – – – – – – –

Yes, I would like to volunteer for the Big “500” Clean-Up Day. Please contact us on how you would like to help.

Startex – Tucapau 

Mill Village Reunion 

and Historical Display 2022

Mark your calendars now to attend this special event on

Saturday, April 30th, 2022
from 12 noon – 4:00 p.m.

Some special announcements

are expected to be made at

2:00 p.m. that you will not

want to miss.

Come one, come all.

This is a drop-in type of affair where you can see old friends and meet new ones. Plus, you will see some amazing artifacts and photos from the past.

Light refreshments will be served.

If you or your family would like to reserve a table for displaying your Startex – Tucapau area artifacts, keepsakes, or photos, please let us know by clicking the brown box below and leaving your contact information.

There is no charge to reserve a display table.

Saturday, April 30th, 2022
12 p.m. – 4 p.m. 
Tucapau Baptist Church Family Life Center

The Old Startex-Tucapau Iron Bridge

She has remained steady in the same spot for over 120 years. She has majestically kept watch over our peaceful mill village. High above the Middle Tyger River she stands, as a landmark of a place that many have called home. Cars, trucks, busses, wagons, and bicycles have all crossed her long 250-foot span, not to mention all the countless children and mill folk walking across her outstretched arms to or from work or school. She now stands silent and pleadingly cries out for our help. Her paint is weathered and faded from the hot South Carolina sun. Her structure is weak from many years of wear. She is tired from the relentless stress of the steady increase of vehicles that traveled across her daily. Is the Startex Iron Bridge Historic? The Startex Iron Bridge was built in the early 1900s. The design is known as a “Double Span Pratt thru Truss” type bridge. You may be surprised to learn that our bridge is recognized as being one of a very few of this design in the entire country. Yes, our bridge is very historic and has been protected all these years from demolition because of the historical significance. The application process is well underway to have the Startex Iron Bridge and Startex Mill considered to be nominated for listing on the National Register of Historic Places. Hope for New Life for Our Beloved Bridge. Is there hope for new life for our bridge? How many of you would like to see our bridge preserved and possibly repurposed in some way? What could be some of the possible uses? Would you support preservation and repurposing of the Old Startex Iron Bridge? How would preserving, restoring and repurposing the Old Startex Iron Bridge benefit our area? We want to hear from you. Drop us a note and tell us what you think about this idea.

What are your thoughts about preserving and repurposing the Old Iron Bridge?

Startex – Tucapau Preservation Foundation

We are a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the Startex Community.

Our Mission Statement

To Serve, Revitalize, Preserve, Protect and Restore the Startex – Tucapau Mill and Village that is located in Spartanburg County, South Carolina. The Startex – Tucapau Preservation Foundation addresses numerous community issues including: Neighborhood Revitalization, Affordable Housing, Food Insecurities, and Historical Preservation and Restoration. All of these are funded by a combination of donations, grants, gifts, and various other fundraising efforts. We have partnered with several neighboring organizations and agencies. Among these are The Spartanburg County Foundation, Together S.C., and Spartanburg Area Opportunity Housing Collaborative sponsored by The United Way of the Piedmont. We are a “Group on the Move” for Startex. There are lots of great exciting things ahead for Startex. However, we need your help to get us there. We are in great need of volunteers to step up to help with our various projects. If you would like to see improvements, better looking landscapes, and better quality of life for area residents now is the time to step up and volunteer. If you would like to be involved with our group, please contact us. Let’s talk about how you could be involved in the “Rebirth and Revitalization” of the Startex-Tucapau area.

Donald Jones – 205-807-3548 –

Judy & Jeffrey Shelton – 864-901-3758 –

Trivia Questions 

1) Who was the first President of Tucapau Mill?

2) What is the meaning of “Tucapau”?

3) There are 3 Tyger Rivers, North Tyger, Middle Tyger and South Tyger? Why were they named Tyger River?

4) What is the origin of the “Startex” name?

Want to play along? Click the brown box at the end of this section to submit your answers. Answers will appear in next month’s newsletter.

Donald’s Corner

“What’s it worth?” What’s it worth….To see the Startex area preserved for future generations to enjoy?

 What’s it worth….To preserve and pass on the stories, memories, and legacies of the many fine folks that lived in the area and worked in the mill and other village businesses?

What’s it worth….To see the mill buildings, the old iron bridge, smokestacks, and other structures restored, repurposed, and reused to serve the Startex community for many, many years to come?

What’s it worth….To keep the identity of Startex alive and viable for future generations?

What’s it worth….To make sure someone in the future would not ask, “Where was Startex? “or“ How did Startex disappear?”

What’s it worth to you? We ask you… Is it worth a little bit of your time and talents? Is it worth a pledge or donation, no matter how small or large, to help keep us moving forward toward our goals and dreams?

Please consider volunteering or making a pledge or donation to help preserve Startex for future generations to come. The time is now. Together We Can Make a Difference.

Startex is Celebrating National Preservation Week

April 24th – April 30th

Upcoming Events

Big “500” Startex Community Clean-Up Day

Saturday, April 23rd, 2022

Time: 8 am-12 noon

Place: Hickory Drive

“500” Section of Startex

Startex – Tucapau Mill Village Reunion

Saturday, April, 30th, 2022

Time: 12 pm-4 pm

Tucapau Baptist Family Life Center

4 Chestnut Street

Startex, S.C. 29377

Upcoming Project

Refurbishing two local Startex houses to be used as affordable housing for 2 local families. The address is 124 Hickory Drive, Wellford, S.C. 29385.

Volunteers are needed for this project.

Fred & Lockie Jones by Donald M. Jones

Fred and Lockie Jones owned and operated a service station and country store located between Startex and Wellford at the intersection of Tucapau Road, Quinn Road, and Hickory Drive from the late 1940s until the early 1970s. The service station had two gas pumps out front, one for regular gas and one for Amoco “White Gas” or Hi-Test as some called it. Other services included oil changes and flat tire repairs.

The store featured milk, bread, eggs, cheese, fresh fruits and vegetables, crackers, peanuts, and ice-cold soft drinks. The six ounce “small” Coca Colas were extremely popular. Some claimed that the small Coca Colas tasted “better” than the larger 12-ounce size. Many customers liked to put peanuts in their Coca Cola or Pepsi. There was also a small icehouse or cooler separate from the store that provided refrigeration for the fresh produce for which Grandpa was well known.

Grandpa liked to give others more than what they were buying. He would always add an extra handful of green beans, squash, or other items that the customer was purchasing at no charge. What many didn’t realize is that this was one of his secrets to success. It wasn’t until later in life that I discovered this is a biblical principle known as “The Law of the Harvest”. He always had plenty of business.

Inside the store he had a clothesline on a pully system hung way up high from the front to the back of the store. Hanging from the clothesline were pieces of cardboard with toys attached. The children gazed up in amazement, in hopes that their parents would say yes to purchasing a new play toy for only a dime.

Grandpa Jones by Cindy Jones-Stewart

Oh! My dear Grandfather

How I miss you so!

You made my life a garden with a special seed to grow.

The seed is of humanity, and through my life it peers

And sometimes when it’s thirsty, I water it with tears.

In the eleven short years that our lives did meet

You taught me to stand on my own two feet.

By watching you work in your tiny little store

I learned the business of Love and

Oh, so much more.

I watched you give candy to poor little folk.

You sold eggs to the disadvantaged for the price of the yolk.

I watched you pump gas in all kinds of weather.

I watched you grow old

As your skin turned to leather.

But still you pressed on for twelve hours a day,

Running your life in your

own special way..

With Love from your heart,

you helped people in need

And people like me, who

needed a seed.

My memories of you are treasured and remain

fresh in my mind.

It seems like only yesterday – but the years are so far behind

And it always makes me sad, to think of the times too few,

When I sat on your lap to

talk and said, “Grandpa, I Love You!”

Cindy Jones (L) and her grandfather Fred Jones (R)

Cindy is pictured sitting on her grandfather’s knee in front of his service station (circa 1965).

– – – – – – – – –

About Cindy Jones-Stewart

Cindy and her daughter Anna currently reside in Greer, S.C.  Her paternal grandparents were Fred C. Jones & Lockie Phillips Jones. Cindy’s maternal grandparents were Millie Trammell Green & Wright “Shorty” Green. She is the daughter of Betty Jo Green Jones & Maurice Jones. Cindy is the sister of Pamela Ann Jones Barnhill and Donald M. Jones.

Growing Up in Startex / Tucapau
by  Richard L. Sanders

I was just 7 years old when my mama, Bonnie Sanders, moved us to Tucapau. Life in Tucapau for our family began near the railroad crossing up near the P & N (Piedmont & Northern) train station not too far from Highway 29. There were six members of our family when we moved into the little three-room shack on the lower side of the tracks. Our family and the other families on that side of the tracks were very poor. There was mama, me, sister Naomi, brothers Johnny, Red, and Robert all living in that small frame shack. We lived in this house for about a year before Mama managed to get us moved across the tracks to another house just one room larger than the old one.

Mama worked the second shift at The Mill (Tucapau / Startex Mill) in the spinning room. I started to school at age seven while living here. We kids would catch a bus up by the Community Cash Store and Jones Service Station and go to Tucapau Elementary School. I remember the big, majestic school building, as well as Tucapau Baptist Church, being up on that high hill. Further up the road was the Wesleyan Methodist Church.

One fellow, Frank Cooper, whose father Levy Cooper managed the Company Store, once persuaded me to play roll around. He had me crawl into an old tire. Darned if he didn’t push me and that tire down the steep hill and over the twenty steps of the old Tucapau School building. That tire, with me in it, went swiftly down those steps and crashed into the retaining wall across the road. Luckily, I was only bruised.

I attended this school from first grade until seventh grade. Our principal was Mr. Snow. Miss Sarah Boiter was my first-grade teacher. She also taught my little sister Naomi and all three of my brothers when they were in first grade. Other teachers who come to mind at that time are Miss O’Shields in fourth grade, Mrs. Sloan in sixth grade, and Mr. Tucker for seventh grade. Mr. Tucker was also the football coach when Pop Warner football was instituted in Tucapau .

About the time I was in third grade, Mama moved us again. This time it was down into the village at 20 Oak Street. I can still call the name of some of the kids I knew then: Hugh Freeman, Cecil Bentley, Red Shelton, and Betty Jo Lane along with her brother Michael. Betty Jo and Michael’s dad had a barber shop in the bottom level of the Community Building, which also housed the old movie theater, near the Company Store. Other kids I remember are Melvin Snow, Donald Snow, and Ross Hoard. There were many other kids I knew but some of the names slip my memory. However, I do recall Margaret Ochiltree. Her father had a shoe shop up the street from our house. I must also say I remember Faye Bridwell, Carolyn Bridwell, Linda Woodward, and Marie Stroud. I was sweet from time to time on a few of the girls, and for a time, I called several of them my sweetheart. I was madly in love with Carolyn Bridwell but too naive to ever tell her so.

We lived at 20 Oak Street when President Roosevelt died, and Harry Truman became president. At that time the roads were not hard surfaced but just covered with old cinders. I can also recollect that there were several community garages used by those fortunate enough to own a car. As I recall all of these were torn down when the new Tucapau Baptist Church was built there. Mama always took us to church at the Methodist church. I fail to remember who the preacher was when we moved to Oak Street, but I do remember that he had been there a long time. Later on, I can picture Preacher Hipp and that bullet-nose Studebaker he drove. Other folks who come to mind from the Oak Street area are Clint and Sarah Dobbins, who worked with the MYF (Methodist Youth Ministry) group at the church.

Mama moved us again over to 3 Ash Street, down by the pond.  We lived there at the time World War II came to an end. I can remember other friends from that area as well: Barbara Wilson, Virginia Stevens, Lanell Southern, Edith and Catherine Barnett, The Edge boys, The Quinn’s, and The Tess near boys. Unfortunately, I remember Harold Robbins losing some of his fingers in a fireworks mishap one Christmas, and another fellow who I think was named Kenneth Dobbins was injured as well. One of these two boys also lost an eye. All of this time we kids were attending the old Tucapau School.

We moved again down the street to 7 Ash Street. It was while living there we lost our little sister Naomi at age nine. Shortly after that, Mama married Lewis Wofford who worked in the bleachery and was also the projectionist at the town movie theater. Sometime after Naomi’s death, with the help of the Methodist Church, Mama placed me and my brother Johnny in Epworth Children’s Home in Columbia, S.C., where we stayed for about a year. After returning home Mama and Lewis moved us up to 12 Maple Street where I lived until I entered the Marine Corps. I enlisted in the Marine Corps in January of 1950. I lied about my age to get in and persuaded mama to sign papers. I would remain on active duty for over 30 years before retiring. Having served in the United States Marine Corps, United States Air Force, and United States Navy, I saw combat duty in Korea and Vietnam.

How Can You Help?

Several folks have asked,  “How can I help?”  Currently, we have several committees that need volunteers.

Reunion Committee

Helping to plan and organize our Startex-Tucapau Mill Village Reunion and Historical Display on Saturday, April 30th, 2022.

 Funding Committee

Helping to identify funding sources (grants, donations, sponsorships, and other sources) to fund various Startex projects.

Affordable Housing Committee

Helping to plan, organize and implement the refurbishment of two local Startex houses that were gifted to our organization. Once completely refurbished, these homes will be used as affordable housing for area residents.

Please let us know if you would like to volunteer for one of our committees, projects or programs.  Visit our Donation page to make a donation.

Startex-Tucapau Preservation Foundation

Donald Jones

2636 Shoemaker Street

Birmingham, Alabama  35235