REID STREET – NORTH CONFEDERATE HISTORIC DISTRICT – SHOWS EARLY GROWTH OF ROCK HILL
In 1992, the Reid Street-North Confederate Avenue Area Historic District was placed in the National Register of Historic Places. The district includes the White House, which had been placed in the register as an individual property in 1969. East Main Street, Reid Street and Confederate Avenue developed as one of the first residential neighborhoods surrounding the downtown area of Rock Hill. By the 1870s, houses were being built along East Main Street several blocks from the originally platted area of the community. In 1888, the first public graded school was built nearby on Black Street. Central School served the community for many years, and today the site of the school is occupied by the Central Child Development Center. A street was opened between Main and Black which terminated at the school. Originally called Academy Street, the name was later changed to Confederate Avenue. Reid Street was opened just after the turn of the century, and the entire area rapidly filled with houses.
The families who moved into this neighborhood were largely middle class business or professional families. Most worked in the downtown area, only a two to three block walk away. Several of the early home owners were employed as teachers or government workers. Merchants included R. W. Cranford, who operated a department store, Arthur Patterson (wholesale grocery), James Huey (pharmacy), John Good (stable), and the Barnes and Workman families (telephone business). Dr. W. R. Blackmon lived on Main Street and other residents of the area included the superintendent of the Highland Park Mill (Charles Steed), and a railway conductor (Ernest Guntharp). R. E. Tomkins moved his family from Kershaw to East Main Street so that his children could benefit from the new school.
Most of the earliest houses in the neighborhood were in Late Victorian Styles, including one-story cottages and two-story homes. Several excellent Victorian homes remain on North Confederate Avenue and Reid Street. The John Good House (c. 1895), located at the corner of East Main and Confederate, is an exceptional Late Victorian home. Later houses were built in the emerging Classical Revival style. Just after 1900, some of the earlier Victorian houses on East Main Street were moved to Reid Street. These one-story Victorian cottages were replaced by larger classical revival homes. Apparently, East Main Street was becoming more fashionable, and the cottages had gone out of style and were too small for the area.
This neighborhood is still largely intact and represents one of the best collections of historic homes in Rock Hill. We are indebted to the property owners who have maintained and restored these beautiful houses.
See a map of the contributing buildings within the district under the More Information link.
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