South Carolina Picture Project
South Carolina Picture Project

John C. Zimmerman House — Glenn Springs, South Carolina

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John C. Zimmerman House

The John C. Zimmerman House in the former resort village of Glenn Springs is a testament to the alleged healing properties of a spring that once drew people from far and wide. This community in Spartanburg County once contained a mineral spring (now dry), called Sulpher Spring or Powder Spring, which for decades was believed to cure almost any ailment. Between 1825 and 1827 John B. Glenn purchased 723 acres here, including the spring, and built a small inn and a few log cabins on the property, naming the area Glenn Springs.

John C Zimmerman House

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2010 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

In 1838 the Glenn Springs Company took over the property and built a large hotel and spa based on the spring’s growing popularity among the curious and those genuinely seeking the water’s healing benefits. However, the business faltered, and Orangeburg County native John Conrad Zimmerman, a planter who owned a nearby plantation on Fairforest Creek, bought the property in 1844 and ran it successfully until selling it in 1853. Under Zimmerman’s leadership, people traveled from across the state and even up and down the eastern seaboard to visit the Glenn Springs Hotel.

John C Zimmeran House

Mark Elbrecht of Greenville, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

After selling the hotel, Zimmerman built his Greek Revival mansion in 1854 on a three-acre lot on Glenn Springs Road. The home possesses two two-tiered porticoes with Doric columns on each tier, impressing upon the community the significance of the owner. In 1856 Zimmerman became a part-owner of Bivingsville Mill, a cotton manufacturing plant that he operated along with John Bomar and Dexter Converse. Under their ownership the mill became known as Glendale Mill.

John C Zimmerman House

Ann Helms of Spartanburg, 2008 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Glenn Springs continued to thrive as a resort village which included a store and a post office through the early twentieth century under various owners until the addition highways in South Carolina, which diverted traffic away from the landmark.

The John C. Zimmerman House is listed in the National Register as part of the Glenn Springs Historic District, which says the following about the area:

Glenn Springs Historic District is located in the community of Glenn Springs, which is situated in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. The history of the community focuses around the reputation of the mineral springs for their medicinal value and the related development of a popular resort hotel. The district contains nineteen properties, including several residences, two boarding houses, the ruins of a residence, two churches, a store, a post office, a pavilion, a cemetery, and the site of the Glenn Springs Hotel. Historically, the district represents the nineteenth and early twentieth century (ca. 1840-ca. 1940) development of Glenn Springs as a health resort and the community that grew up around it. Several buildings in the district are of local architectural significance as well, representing various vernacular and high styles of the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries such as Greek Revival, Gothic Revival, Queen Anne, and Bungalow.

John C. Zimmerman House Info

Address: Glenn Springs Road, Glenn Springs, SC 29374
GPS Coordinates: 34.815642,-81.831320

John C. Zimmerman House Map

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4 Comments about John C. Zimmerman House

Jane aratterree says:
January 27th, 2019 at 2:19 pm

I rode through Glenn Springs a couple years ago and appreciated so much what a lovely place it is. The history of the place is interesting. I remember the Spartanburg Boys Home was there before it became Glenn Springs Academy.

Dr. B. E. Pettit says:
April 20th, 2017 at 7:39 am

Great pictures and interesting history – my wife Geneva West grew up the third house below this home. Her home was across from the Post Office and entrance to the Old hotel. She continues to own the property. Her grandfather owned the old Glenn Springs Jail. It was directly behind his house. Glenn Springs is a wonderful community.

Maxine Appleby says:
April 19th, 2017 at 9:39 am

Thank you for sharing this! This is one of the most beautiful and historic homes in the upstate. I sometimes ride down and park across the road and just look at it. I love it , the history and the fine family it belongs to!

Janie Smith says:
December 15th, 2015 at 3:46 am

Jason this is the house


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