The “Swamp Rabbit” was a railroad that went through more abandonment, lawsuits and name changes than there were letters in its name. Originally chartered as the Caroline, Knoxville & Western Railway in 1888 to build a line from Augusta, Ga., to Knoxville, Tn., to bring cheaper coal to the city, only a short route was developed. Approximately fifteen miles of track were laid along the swamp borders of the Saluda from Greenville to River Falls before funds were depleted. The railway’s second-hand rolling stock carried gravel, cordwood, coops of chickens, dynamite for Wing’s Quarry and the occasional passengers. It was a friendly little railroad.
The old supports the new! The concrete piers that form an integral part of the dam at RiverPlace, in Greenville’s West End, are the remnants of the train trestle, demolished in 1990, which the “Swamp Rabbit Rail” had used to cross the Reedy River. Today, in a vibrant and eye-pleasing setting, restaurants and retail shops abound and on the west bank of the Reedy River an art colony has been established. Known as Art Crossing, the colony has more than a dozen studios in which artists can be observed at work. The artists offer many unique gifts. There Greenvillians and visitors to their city interact with the artists who create art on many levels. Come visit the extraordinary art cluster in the heart of downtown Greenville.