Furman Lake and Bell Tower

When people talk about the “Furman” area of Greenville, they are generally talking about an area that extends from what is locally known as Cherrydale to the Roe Ford Road area. The area spans approximately a 5 mile radius and includes several different types and styles of real estate.

From single family homes built in the 1950s-60s to brand new town homes, there really is an option for everyone’s style and budget. A quick search reveals 114 properties available priced from $150,000 to $2,140,000. The area is rich in history and being within a short distance of Furman University is also a draw for most residents.

Furman University offers local residents access to 13 miles of walking trails, picnic areas and a multiple event opportunities. From Timmons Arena (home to the Furman basketball team) to Paladin Stadium (home to the Furman football team) to the wide variety of concerts, theater and performance arts, there is always something happening in and around the Furman campus.


The “Cherrydale” area, located about 5 miles from campus is a relatively new development full of national chains, restaurants and even a movie theater. The Cherrydale area offers students and residents the opportunity to shop, play and dine all very close to home.

The “Cherrydale” Mansion

The area got its name from the “Cherrydale” Mansion that once sat on the site. Cherrydale was the home of James Clement Furman, who served as head of Furman University from 1852-1879. The actual construction date of  Cherrydale is unknown but it is estimated to have been built in the late 1840s. First known as Green Farm it would not become “Cherrydale” until the late 1870s and was so named due to the abundance of cherry trees on the property. The Furmans lived in the home until 1939 when it was sold to the Stone family.

Stone Manufacturing Plant; “Cherrydale Plant” written on the reverse. Photo courtesy of the University of South Carolina. South Caroliniana Library

The Stone family built Stone Manufacturing Company  on the surrounding acreage of the Cherrydale Mansion. They modernized the home and would live it in for years until they turned it into a guest house.

Cherrydale was sold once again in 1999 with the thought that it would be returned back to the original owners – Furman.

“Cherrydale” Mansion gets a new home

In March of 1999 the Cherrydale house was moved, rather precariously, up Poinsett Highway the five miles to Furman University’s campus. The house was placed on the highest point on the campus and is now known as the Cherrydale Alumni House serving as the alumni office and is the venue of various events.

Furman University

Furman University is a private liberal arts college that attracts students from all over the United States. Furman was founded in 1826 and is named for Richard Furman – a very influential clergyman and Baptist leader before the Civil War.

Furman’s original campus was established in Edgefield, SC but after three different locations in thirty years  it arrived in downtown Greenville in 1851.

Furman University would break ground on its current location in 1953 and became an independent University in 1992, severing ties with the Baptist Convention.

According to the official school’s website, “Today, Furman’s 750-acre campus features an Asian garden, a replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin, the David E. Shi Center for Sustainability, a Florentine bell tower, a spring-fed lake, 13 miles of paved trails through the woodlands and an 18-hole golf course. It’s not just the school’s beautiful location that makes Furman a great place to learn. Throughout the years, the university has worked to strengthen its residential campus community, rich student life, and rigorous academics.”

Informally known as “The Country Club of the South,” Furman was named one of the 362 most beautiful places in America by the American Society of Landscape Architects.

Greenville Landmarks in the area

In between the Cherrydale Pointe shopping area and the Furman campus you will find several businesses that are considered “Greenville staples.”  Here are three of the Greenville landmarks not to miss:

Stax’s Original Restaurant

Photo courtesy of staxsoriginal.com

Stax’s bills itself as a “classic Greenville tradition” built in the early fifties they still use the original counters that were put in place at the opening of the restaurant. In the early seventies the restaurant changed owners and the Stathakis family continued the Greenville tradition. Serving a variety of items, they are most well known for home style food – meat & three style plates (we definitely recommend the mac’n’cheese) and a complete breakfast menu.  Location: 1704 Poinsett Highway, Greenville

To visit Stax’s Original Restaurant website, click here.

Peddler Steakhouse

The Peddler Train. photo courtesy of the peddlersteakhouse.com

The Peddler Steakhouse is typically described as one of Greenville’s most unique dining experiences. Housed in a nearly 100 year old building, nestled in the woods and sort of hard to see if you are not sure what you are looking for, The Peddler is considered a Greenville landmark. They offer a wide menu of items but are most  known for their steaks. Those famous steaks can be brought out to your table as a loin of beef where you can select the size of cut of your steak and then have it grilled on the famous Peddler’s grill to your specifications. Location: 2000 Poinsett Highway, Greenville

To visit The Peddler Steakhouse restaurant website, click here.

Tomatoe Vine

Photo courtesy of the Tomatoe Vine.

Yes, it is named Tomato’e’ Vine with the ‘e’. Open year round this Greenville landmark sells fruits, vegetables, jams, preserves, honey and more – with many of the items being locally sourced. Location: 4120 Old Buncombe Road, Greenville

To visit the Tomatoe Vine’s facebook page, click here.

Situated among these locations listed above are many new and long standing businesses that provide everything from groceries to oriental rugs to pet services to delicious food experiences. If you have not visited the Furman campus or area lately it is definitely worth a day trip to experience all the are offers.

The Furman area is a culturally diverse and rapidly growing area, located just five miles from downtown Greenville (on the south side) and just five miles from downtown Travelers Rest (on the north side) it is perfectly positioned for residents and visitors to experience the best of both cities.

History of Furman University:

1826: Furman University Founded

South Carolina Baptist Convention establishes the Furman Academy and Theological Institution in Edgefield, S.C.

Named for Richard Furman, a clergyman considered the most important Baptist leader before the Civil War.

1851: Furman campus moves to Greenville

Furman moves to the south of town on 25 acres purchased from Vardry McBee for $150 an acre.

1859-1879: James Furman President

James C. Furman, son of the university’s namesake serves as the University’s first president from 1859-1879.

1861-1864: Furman closes for Civil War

Furman closes during the civil war. Most students volunteering for service.

1881-1897: Charles Manly serves as president

Under his presidency the campus becomes residential, the curriculum expands, and non-academic opportunities became a bigger part of life at Furman.

1889: Football at Furman

Furman was involved in South Carolina’s first intercollegiate football game  on December 14, 1889.

1924: Named beneficiary of Duke Endowment

One of four collegiate beneficiaries

1935 : Merges with Greenville Woman’s College

Financial reasons create the merge

1953 : Breaks ground on the current campus location

The land was purchased under John Pyler, Furman’s longest serving president 1939-1964.

1954 : NCAA Record Set

Frank Selvy scores 100 points in an NCAA Division I basketball game. The record still holds today.

1964 : Alumni wins Nobel Prize

Charles H. Townes is awarded the Nobel Prize in 1964 for his role in the invention of the maser and laser.

1988 : National Championship

Furman becomes the first private institution to win the NCAA I-AA football national championship.

2015 : Furman strikes gold

Furman received a “Gold Rating” from the Association for the Advancement of Sustainability in Higher Education

Furman University

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