South Carolina has several towns where the structures from their heyday are slowly decaying.
Preservation South Carolina executive director Mike Bedenbaugh told South Carolina Radio Network that the organization want to try and prevent more ghost towns. “Every place can’t be turned into a museum,” he said. “We need to put bodies and commerce back into these places.”
He said “ghost towns” happen mainly due to economic conditions.
“The economy has changed so much in this state over the past 60 years and unfortunately that change has drawn capital away from our rural communities,” Bedenbaugh said.
He said another big reason a ghost town may occur is because of changing transportation habits such as the decline of passenger trains as a means to get from one place to another. The construction of interstates can also change major routes that once went through rural towns.
Bedenbaugh said that some of the towns across the state that are in decline can be saved because they have something to offer. “They’ll thrive. People will drive half an hour, 45 minutes to go and enjoy things like that. So we think there is an opportunity to bring capitol back to these places if we organize it and highlight the possibilities.” For example, the Greenville County community of Traveler’s Rest was revitalized after putting an increased effort on tourism once the popular Swamp Fox bike trail opened.
Preservation South Carolina is a non-profit organization operating in South Carolina since 1990, dedicated to preserving and protecting the historic and irreplaceable architectural heritage of South Carolina.