History of the Museum

From Eggs to Exhibits!

The Flat River Historical Museum sits where Greenville founder John Green first settled in 1844! A stable was built to house the horses that hauled lumber from nearby sawmills to storage areas across the river. The foundation of that horse barn is now the lower level of the museum.
James T. Ridley was a wholesaler of butter and eggs in the 1890s and purchased the barn in 1902 to house his growing business. In 1904, fire destroyed the building leaving only the foundation. Ridley rebuilt what is now the present museum building and resumed operations by 1905.
After several uses over the years, the building was eventually owned by the City of Greenville and used to store parks equipment until the Flat River Historical Society finalized a lease in October of 1971 and the museum was born.
The front of the building has changed over the years - with an upper window being replaced by the installation of a historic 1912 clock saved from a local school being demolished.
One hundred years later, the clock was returned to the school district for its new athletic fieldhouse and replaced by a custom-built stained-glass scene of John Green surveying his land and river.
In 1981, the former Eureka Township Hall was moved to the museum property and renovated somewhat to be used for additional display space and/or storage.
Despite being closed during 2020 due to the corona virus pandemic, we continue our off-site and behind-the-scenes projects as we look forward to a “rosy” future of providing an exciting experience for our visitors as they learn more about the history of Greenville and area.

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We appreciate the support of our community throughout our past history. As we head into the next 50 years, we need YOUR support to take us into the future!