History of Greer High School
According to the Catalogue of Greer High School, in the mid-1870's Miss Sallie Cannon offered eight years of school in Greers in a small house near J.L. Green's residence. From that humble start, the Greer schools have had remarkable growth along with the town; in fact, there have been six different locations of the high school.
Greer High had its beginning in 1895 in a one-room log cabin on the property of J.L. Green. The furnishings for the school room were provided by W.A. Hill, one of Greer's first citizens. When student enrollment became too large for the log cabin, Mr. Hill donated to the school a large room over a cotton gin house on what is now Hill Street. By 1898, the school was well-established (tuition ranged from $1.50 to $2.00 per month) and helped attract new people to the area. The 1898 Catalogue of Greers High School stated that the "object of the school is to give boys and girls a thorough training in the Common and High School branches of learning, and develop them morally and mentally that they may make useful and patriotic citizens. The school makes a specialty in preparing boys and girls for college." From 1904 until 1922, students attended a three-story brick school building across the street from the old Greer Library on Hill Street.
Early to mid 20th Century
In 1922, Davenport High School was completed. It was named for Mr. D.D. Davenport who paid most of the $150,000.00 construction cost. The first yearbook, The Bantam, was published by the class of 1923; in the same year the eleventh grade was added, and Mr. Bill Gambrell was the coach of Greer High's first football team. The class of 1924 had four literary societies, which, according to former class member Edward C. Bailey , "studied journalism, writing, and poetry." They published Pep, a literary journal. In 1927, Elizabeth Jones won the school-wide competition for writing the best "Alma Mater, which is still being sung today. The school motto, "Parantes pro Civitate" (preparing for citizenship), the coat of arms (containing the State palmetto tree, the yellow jacket, the peach and first class ring were selected in 1935. In 1940-41, Greer High had its first band, and the first edition of the Greer High Times was distributed with a subscription rate of fifty cents per year. Also in 1940-41, the yearbook changed its name from The Reflector to Le Flambeau.
Davenport served as Greer's high school until 1953 when the building on North Main Street was completed. Davenport then became Davenport Junior High School until it was destroyed by fire in 1970. The auditorium was added to the North Main Street campus in 1955-56. Greer High School was renovated and enlarged in 1970 when the new library and additional air-conditioned science classrooms on the first floor were added. In 1974, the Piedmont Heritage Fund sponsored a school program to get students interested in the history and heritage of Greer. The result was a magazine, Clingstone. It was called "Clingstone" because to most of us, peaches are... "at the heart of Greer -- a kind of witness that the seeds of the past are still growing in the present. The flesh of the clingstone peach clings to the most important part of the fruit: the seed, which passes its lasting qualities on to succeeding generations. We want to do the same in this magazine" (Clingstone, Winter,1974).
The school won EIA Incentive Awards from the State of South Carolina in 1985, 1988, and 1996 for academics. The new football stadium was completed in 1986, and in 1987, the entire school was again renovated, including air-conditioning. Greer High School relocated to its new campus at 3000 Gap Creek Road during the summer of 1998.
In the new school, every classroom was wired for technology for up to eight computers, and had at least one computer. Every classroom is in excess of 800 square feet.. The auditorium seats 600 people. The athletic complex is fully equipped and the gymnasium will seat 2,100 people. In the spring of 2012 the school was "refreshed" by the district to update computers. Five computer labs as well as the media center were equipped with new computers.
Through the one hundred and more years of Greer High School, history has shown that the changes and growth have had a positive impact on this community-oriented school with its strong emphasis on educating students to be well-rounded citizens.