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Message from the Mayor


If you stand on Trade Street and close your eyes, you may hone in on the sound of a car motor. Is it a 2011 Ford or a 1956 Chevrolet?

Take a deep breath and you’ll undoubtedly catch the scent of wonderful food drifting down the street. Is it coming from a lunch counter or one of our new restaurants?

Listen carefully as children squeal with joy as they head toward the candy barrels at Acme General Store – or perhaps they’re headed to the theater.

Now open your eyes and take a good look up at the buildings that stand like ancient sentinels. Notice the lettering shining in the afternoon sun.

The Leader.  Bailes-Collins.  W.K. Hill.

Some may call the sight ghosts from a time gone by, but those names remain a very tangible part of our downtown. We don’t have to search our memories to remember the buildings and businesses that once made up our central business district – now known as Greer Station.

The names are right there to greet us.

Take a look at the cover of this annual report and notice how easily the past blends with the here and now. It’s almost as if a mother could walk a child from those candy barrels at Acme General Store right across the street to the dentist’s office above the Rexall Drug Store.

What made downtown Greer so wonderful 70 years ago wasn’t simply the businesses that lined the streets. Like the fine establishments in Greer Station today, they certainly added to the quality of life in the city at the time.

But walking down Trade Street – then or now – it’s difficult not to smile at those passing by and offer a “good morning” to a neighbor or visitor.

It’s been more than a decade since we made a commitment as a city to learn from the past and recapture the excitement that once existed in our central business district.

It’s often said that those who do not learn from the past are destined to repeat it. In this case, our goal was to learn from the past and to repeat it.

Today, in the shadow of those historic business names, our downtown is once again a destination.

Modern cars now line on-street parking once occupied by early automobiles.

The aromas of pizza, steak, seafood, and good country cooking fill the air as couples stroll the storied sidewalks and, inevitably, wish a “good evening” to those they pass. Those are the values that, like our history, have never disappeared.

Walk a block and you’ll encounter Greer City Park and Greer City Hall. Those are amenities that our early city leaders wished would always be downtown. It’s where children could be found rolling a hoop a century ago... or walking their dog today.

We gather in the amphitheater to watch movies during the summer months and we celebrate our nation’s independence with music and fireworks. We choose to spend time with our friends and our neighbors because it’s what we do.

In the City of Greer, it’s what we’ve always done.

Learn from the past.

We have – and it’s very much a part of who we are as a city and as residents.


Mayor Rick Danner