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Classic Home Mortgage Providing Trustworthy Mortgage Guidance for Over 30 Years

Buying a home is one of the most significant investments that you will ever make. Like most good things, finding the perfect home comes with a lot of work. From your initial search online to your home tour and finally closing, there are many difficult decisions to make along the way. The bottom line is that the entire home buying process can be very stressful, especially when it comes to finding the right mortgage broker and loan for your new home. Since market conditions and mortgage programs change frequently, you have a lot riding on your broker's ability to provide quick and accurate financial advice. Whether you're a first-time homebuyer or own several residential properties, you need a mortgage broker in Valley Falls, SC, who can educate you on mortgage rates and provide trustworthy guidance to help you make an informed decision.

My name is Dan Crance - Valley Falls's most trusted mortgage loan officer with more than 30 years in the mortgage industry. I bring unparalleled insight and decades of experience into your home loan process. If you're looking for a new home loan, are interested in refinancing your current mortgage, or need information regarding FHA, VA, or other types of loans, Dan Crance is Your Mortgage Man.

Unlike some mortgage loan officers in Valley Falls, my primary goal is to help you make the right mortgage choice for you and your family. Mortgage lenders have a horrible reputation for turning over clients quickly to expedite cash flow and make the most money possible. While some mortgage brokers come off as pushy and impatient, I encourage my clients to take as much time as they need to ask questions and review their mortgage agreements. I'm here to help answer those questions and provide you with easy-to-understand advice so that you can rest easy knowing you made the right choice. I could say that I strive to provide service that exceeds your expectations, but I'd rather show you. In the end, I want you to leave feeling confident in the loan you've selected, as well as in your choice of broker.

Service Areas
Mortgage Broker Valley Falls, SC
 Refinance Valley Falls, SC

Why Choose Dan Crance As Your Mortgage Lender in Valley Falls, SC?

Clients choose my mortgage company because I truly care about helping them navigate the often-confusing landscape of the mortgage process. I am fiercely dedicated to my clients and make every effort to provide them with trustworthy advice and an open line of communication.

In my business, I work for two different customers. On one hand, I have the buyer: the person entrusting me with the responsibility of guiding them through one of the most important decisions ever. Serving homebuyers is not a task that I take lightly. I work with them daily to help them through the process and provide timely updates and news on their mortgage status. On the other hand, I have the realtor: the person who works with my client to find their dream home. Since their commission is in my hands, working with realtors is also a very important task. I update these agents on the status of their customers weekly. Only when I take care of both parties can I say my job as a mortgage loan officer is complete.

As a mortgage broker with more than 30 years of experience, I pledge to give you the highest level of customer service while providing you with the most competitive loan products available. That way, you can buy the home of your dreams without second-guessing your decision.

 Conventional Mortgage Valley Falls, SC

Home Financing in Valley Falls, SC

At Classic Home Mortgage, our team works diligently to close on time without stress or hassle. Whether you're a seasoned homeowner or are buying your new home in Valley Falls, we understand how much stress is involved. Our goal is to help take that stress off of your plate by walking you through every step of the home loan process. Because every one of our clients is different, we examine each loan with fresh eyes and a personalized approach, to find you the options and programs you need.

With over 30 years as a mortgage professional in Valley Falls, Dan Crance will help you choose the home loan, interest rate, term options, and payment plans that fit your unique situation.

 FHA Mortgages Valley Falls, SC

When you work with Classic Home Mortgage, you can always count on our team to:

  • Put your needs first.
  • Work efficiently and quickly. Many of our home loans close in 30 days or less.
  • Offer you a variety of home loans to choose from, and help you make an informed decision.
  • Provide you with competitive rates that make sense for your budget and lifestyle.

While no two loan terms are the same, a few of the most common loan types include:

30-Year Loan - This loan is often considered the most secure option to choose. With a 30-year loan, you can lock in a low payment amount and rest easy knowing your rate won't change.

FHA Loan - If you're not able to make a large down payment, an FHA loan could be the right choice for you. With an FHA loan, many of our clients have successfully purchased a home with less than 4% down.

VA Loan - This loan is reserved for military veterans and active-duty men and women. Those who qualify may be able to purchase a home with no down payment and no Private Mortgage Insurance (PMI).

Choosing a home loan is an important step in the home buying process. At Classic Home Mortgage, we are here to make choosing a loan as easy as possible, so you can focus on the joys of being a homeowner. Contact our team of experts today and ask how you can get pre-qualified for your home loan in Valley Falls, SC.

Refinancing in
Valley Falls, SC

Because home mortgage rates in the U.S. have been so low over the last year, many current homeowners are opting to refinance their home loans. Simply put, refinancing is replacing your existing mortgage with a different mortgage under new terms. Homeowners who refinance their homes enjoy lower interest rates, lower monthly payments, and even turn their home's equity into cash. If you're interested in refinancing your home, it all begins with a call to your mortgage broker in Valley Falls, SC - Dan Crance.

Here are just a few reasons why more homeowners in the U.S. are taking advantage of lower rates and refinancing their homes:
 Home Ready Mortgages Valley Falls, SC
Shorter Term Loan

Shorter Term Loan

Refinancing from a 30-year to a 15-year mortgage might seem counterproductive on the surface because your monthly payment usually goes up. However, interest rates on 15-year mortgages are lower. And when you shave off years of your previous mortgage, you will pay less interest over time. These savings can be very beneficial if you are not taking the mortgage interest deduction on your tax returns.

Do Away with FHA

Do Away with FHA

FHA loans are notorious for paying premiums for the life of the loan. Mortgage insurance premiums for FHA loans can cost borrowers as much as $1,050 a year for every $100k borrowed. The only way to get rid of mortgage insurance premiums is to refinance to a new loan that the Federal Housing Authority does not back.

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Switch to Fixed Rate or Adjustable-Rate Home Loan

Sometimes, borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages refinance so they can switch to a fixed rate, which lets them lock in an interest rate. Doing so is beneficial for some homeowners who like to know exactly how much their monthly payment is each month. Conversely, some homeowners with fixed rates prefer to refinance to an adjustable-rate mortgage. Homeowners often go this route if they plan on selling in a few years and don't mind risking a higher rate if their plans fall through.

 Mortgage Banker Valley Falls, SC

Common Questions About Home Loans

Finding the right loan can be a difficult proposition, even if you have been through the process before. This is especially true since mortgage rates and market conditions change frequently. If you're like most of my clients, you probably have questions about interest rates, refinancing options, and a litany of other topics. To help alleviate some of your stress, here are just a few common questions with answers so that you can better educate yourself as we work our way to securing your loan.

Generally speaking, you should consider refinancing when mortgage rates are 2% lower than the current rate on your home loan. For some homeowners, refinancing makes sense when there is only a 1% difference. Reducing your mortgage rate is a great way to save money or apply your savings to a home upgrade. The money you save on your refinanced loan depends on your loan amount, budget, income, and charges from interest rates. It's crucial that you work with a trusted mortgage loan officer in Valley Falls, SC, to help calculate your refinancing options.
This is one of our most frequently asked questions at Classic Home Mortgage. In simple terms, points let you make a tradeoff between the upfront costs of your loan and your monthly payment amount. Points are essentially costs that you have to pay to your mortgage lender to get financing under specific terms. A point is defined as a percentage on your loan amount. 1-point is equal to 1% of the loan. So, 1 point on a loan worth $100,000 is equivalent to $1,000. When you pay some of the interest on your home loan upfront, you use discount points to lower your interest rate.
If you plan to live in the property for a few years, it makes a lot of sense to pay points to lower your interest rate. Doing so will help lower your monthly loan payment, which you can use to save money. Paying points may also increase the amount of money that you can borrow. If you do not plan on living in the property for at least a few years, this strategy might not make financial sense because you might not be able to make up the amount of the discount points you paid up-front.
In short, yes, your mortgage lender will need to know your credit score. Credit scoring is a system that creditors use to decide whether they will give you credit. Your credit score helps creditors decide how creditworthy you are or how likely you will repay your loan. In most circumstances, creditors will use your FICO scores during the loan process. Your score will fall between high risk (350) and low risk (850). Your credit score plays a big role in the loan process, and as such, your score must be accurate before submitting a credit report when applying for a loan.
The answer to this question depends on how money you choose to put as a down payment on your home. On a conventional loan, if your down payment is less than 20% of the price of your home, your mortgage broker in Valley Falls may require you to get Private Mortgage Insurance or PMI for short. This insurance protects your lender in the event you default on your mortgage. The best way to avoid paying for this insurance is to make a down payment of 20% or more of the purchase price of your home.
 Mortgage Company Valley Falls, SC

Trust Dan Crance

Your Mortgage Lender in Valley Falls, SC

Whether you're selling, buying, refinancing, or building the home of your dreams, you have a lot riding on your home loan specialist. When you need a mortgage broker who works tirelessly for you, answers your questions, provides guidance, and does so with a genuine smile, Dan Crance is your mortgage man. Contact Dan today at 843-478-5612 to get pre-approved and discover why Valley Falls loves Classic Home Mortgage.

After hours by appointment only. CONTACT DAN

Latest News in Valley Falls, SC

Class 4A prep baseball: SC East falls to Valley in 4A substate first round


It just wasn't the Sioux City East High School baseball team's day.

East entered as the No. 3 seed in Class 4A Substate 3, but fourth-seeded West Des Moines Valley jumped out to an early four-run lead and rode good pitching and good defense to an 11-0 win in six innings in Saturday's 4A first round game at East High School.

"Valley just hit the ball well, and starting out four in the hole is a tough way to start," East head coach Trevor Miller said.

Hopes of a second round game somewhere in Sioux City crumbled on two fronts Saturday as midway through the Stars-Tigers contest word made its way around that SC North was upset by Council Bluffs Lincoln, 5-4. North, the No. 2 seed in 4A Substate 3, ended the season 26-13 after winning the Missouri River Athletic Conference.

"We were fortunate to get some hits early," said Valley head coach Ryan Cooley. "Once that happened, even when (East) got runners on, we could still attack and didn't have to pitch around anybody, then turned a couple of double plays that kept (East) from scoring."

Valley will host Lincoln on Monday, with the winner drawing top-seeded Johnston in the substate final.

"It'll be fun to be back at home. This is my last season, so it's awesome that we get one more home game," Cooley said.

East stands to bring a good majority of its lineup back in 2024. East had five hitters in its lineup on Saturday that are sophomores this season or younger. Also, freshman Bohdy Colling started at second base and was hit for by sophomore designated hitter Jax Theeler.

Despite being one of the MRAC's youngest teams, the Black Raiders won 25 games and finished the campaign 10 games over .500.

Freshman catcher Logan Cherkas went 2-for-3 with a walk in the loss.

For Valley (15-20), junior Zach Byrne finished the game 3-for-4 with five RBIs and a run scored.

Senior leadoff hitter Ty Plummer and senior designated hitter Luke Christensen each added three hits for the Tigers, and Plummer chipped in an RBI. Charlie Krueger drove in three. The Valley junior left fielder doubled to right-center in the first inning to start the scoring and put the Tigers up 2-0.

Byrne then followed with his own two-RBI double, one of Valley's 16 hits for the game to East's seven.

"We knew we could do this all season long," Byrne said. "It meant a lot to us to come out hot and get up early. We've had a bunch of energy all week. On the bus coming up here, we just knew we would do well.

"I just tried having the same approach as always, and that's to go up (to the plate) and hit strikes."

Junior Jeff Rose pitched all but the final out for the Tigers and got the win. It took reliever Brenden Scoonover two pitches to get the third out of the sixth after being called upon.

East senior Lincoln Colling (5-3) took the loss as starter.

"Lincoln came out and threw in the zone. They were just hitting him," said Miller. "That's the tough part about baseball. I'd be upset if he walked guys and was out of the zone."

To their credit, a pair of East seniors extended their careers, if only for a few minutes, by reaching with two outs in the seventh when left-fielder Kelynn Jacobsen walked and center-fielder Brecken Schossow singled. Nonetheless, Valley ultimately got the one out needed to end it in six.

The Black Raiders' exiting seniors are Colling, Jacobsen, Schossow, Austin Sheppard and Jacob Denker. East has won over 100 varsity games since that group's freshmen season.

"A couple of kids from that group started for three years," said Miller. "It's really hard to say bye to that class. They all had really big parts in this program. We have to replace a lot of pitching from them. Kelynn Jacobsen and Brecken Schossow have been with our defense for three years, so we'll have to find guys to replace those roles."

Colling and Theeler ended with the season tied for the RBI lead on East with 37 each. Theeler ended with a Black Raiders-best 68 total bases for the year.

"We were young this year, which is exciting," said Miller. "(Freshman) Cal Jepsen is an awesome player. Jax is great. Bohdy Colling is a freshman with a live arm. We had Kason Clayborne hitting cleanup for us as an eighth-grader.

"He's years away from even being able to drive to our games, but came out here and played in this big game against 18-year-olds. So there's some excitement for the future, but it doesn't take away from the pain we're feeling today."

These Are The 10 Most Less-Crowded US Destinations You Should Visit This Fall

While summer is when many tourists visit different places, fall might just be the best time to explore the United States, and there are plenty of spots to choose from. The cooler temperatures and numerous leaf-peeping opportunities make autumn a magical time to visit some of America’s most beautiful towns and cities. The season comes with endless fun outdoor adventures, ranging from apple picking to hay rides to taking train rides t...

While summer is when many tourists visit different places, fall might just be the best time to explore the United States, and there are plenty of spots to choose from. The cooler temperatures and numerous leaf-peeping opportunities make autumn a magical time to visit some of America’s most beautiful towns and cities. The season comes with endless fun outdoor adventures, ranging from apple picking to hay rides to taking train rides through the countryside.

The Berkshires, Acadia National Park, and the Blue Ridge Parkway are some of the most popular spots to visit in the season. However, being incredibly famous spots, these places can have massive crowds, and spending a holiday in such a spot isn’t exactly the definition of having a good time. So, why not opt for less-crowded U.S. destinations for this fall?

Related: Art Lovers: These Are The Best Small Art Towns In The U.S.

Carson Valley, Nevada

Northern Nevada, at the base of the gorgeous Sierra Nevada Mountains, is one of the least crowded spots to visit in autumn. Carson Valley turns into a magical wonderland with its beautiful plant species, such as Maple, aspen, and cottonwoods, painting the pathways and river banks in brilliant reds, yellows, and oranges. At this time, tourists will enjoy picking orange pumpkins on various farms, including the Corley Ranch in Gardnerville, where families can create some memorable experiences. The easy ways of enjoying the autumn colors in Carson Valley include hiking and biking. Carson Valley Inn is a perfect spot to base oneself if staying in Minden.

Julian, California

While Southern California is known for its beautiful beaches, a vacation to the region doesn’t have to be all about sun, surf, and sun. In autumn, Julian is one of the best autumn destinations not to miss in the U.S., especially for tourists looking to experience a crowd-free holiday. Only about thirty minutes east of San Diego, home to one of the most beautiful city parks in the U.S., this town is famous for its incredible orchards, where families can engage in apple picking and maybe have a chance to taste some of the most delicious apple pies. Julian is always surrounded by gorgeous autumn colors that travelers can see even from the window of a local eatery. Stay at Olde Julian Farmhouse, a three-bedroom, two-bath rental property offering an epic stay for fall visitors in Julian.

Denver, Colorado

From some of the best U.S. fall festivals to incredible autumn colors to fun outdoor adventures, Denver shouldn't miss on a traveler's bucket list in the fall. Whether looking to experience traditional fall activities like apple picking and pumpkin patches or want to explore some haunted places, the city will never disappoint. Some of the top activities to enjoy in the season include biking along Cherry Creek, attending the Pumpkin Harvest Festival, or engaging in pumpkin picking. One can also explore the city's art scene, especially during Denver Arts Week, which allows travelers to explore the city's impressive art districts, watch fascinating films, and visit art museums. One of the best hotels to stay in Denver in the fall is the Renaissance Denver Downtown City Center Hotel.

Montauk, New York

While Montauk is one of the best summer destinations in the U.S., there is much more to enjoy in the charming town, especially in autumn. Vacationers get to enjoy the place without crowds and when temperatures are cooler. There are plenty of fun activities to enjoy at Montauk in the fall, including taking sunrise and sunset strolls along the beaches, surfing (the town gets swells in autumn, making it a great time to surf or watch others do it), fishing, and drinking a pumpkin beer. Putting guests near the beach, Montauk Beach House can never disappoint when it comes to offering incredible accommodation.

Mackinac Island, Michigan

Mackinac Island is a favorite summer spot in Michigan, but travelers who prolong their trips into autumn are rewarded with breathtaking fall foliage as cooler temperatures replace the summer heat. Early October is the best time to catch some of the most spectacular autumn views. This is also a perfect time to enjoy kayaking at sunrise or visit Arch Rock to explore the magnificent rock formations. Taking a carriage tour, picnicking at Marquette Park, and horseback riding, and biking are must-dos in autumn. Staying at Mission Point Resort puts vacationers near a golf course and some of the best things to do on Mackinac Island, like the Richard & Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum.

Hilton Head Island, South Carolina

Hilton Head Island is one of the best hidden gems in the U.S. in the fall, and while visitors love to enjoy the island’s pristine beaches, biking, and boat rides in the summer, autumn is a very special time to explore it. The island is surrounded by brilliant autumn colors that vacationers can explore through biking and taking sunset and sunrise walks. Birdwatching, golfing, and shopping are other fun activities to enjoy during a visit to Hilton Head Island in the fall. This island is known for its incredible seafood scene, which provides shrimp, oysters, seabass, crabs, and more. Book a room at Coral Sands Resort by Palmera for a memorable stay on Hilton Head Island in the fall.

Related: 10 Things To Do On Hilton Head Island: Complete Guide To South Carolina's Charming Coastal Getaway

Brooklyn, New York

The gorgeous parks and plenty of green spaces in the Big Apple attract millions of tourists every year. However, the city is most spectacular in autumn, thanks to the color transformation of different species of trees, which give it a breathtaking look. Brooklyn is one of the best secret spots to see fall foliage in the U.S. at its most impressive. Watching the trees turn into vibrant oranges, reds, and yellows against the backdrop of the borough’s beautiful buildings. This is the perfect time to stroll through Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Prospect Park. Stay at the Beekman, a Thompson Hotel, which puts tourists in the middle of the city.

Flagstaff, Arizona

Flagstaff is located at the highest elevation in Arizona and is surrounded by lush forests, which create a wonderful autumnal show in the fall. While not many people think of this city as an autumn destination, its colorful environment in the season rivals those of the most loved spots, like New England’s Stowe in Vermont. One of the best ways of enjoying the colors is driving up to the Arizona Snowball and hiking the Aspen Nature Loop Trail. A walk through the Historic Downtown Flagstaff, one of the most beautiful downtown areas in the U.S. Book a room at High Country Motor Lodge, a roadside motel inspired by the natural beauty of northern Arizona’s deep forests, gorgeous mountains, and beautiful highways.

Fort Payne, Alabama

Places in the Deep South aren’t as blessed as other spots in the U.S. when it comes to fall foliage. However, Fort Payne offers beautiful autumn colors that locals and visitors can enjoy without having to drive or board an airplane to other popular destinations in the country. Bordered by the iconic Appalachian Mountains, Fort Payne is among the least-crowded destinations to visit in the fall. Fall Color Trail has incredible state parks and scenic drives that travelers can explore to take in the breathtaking autumn views. At Hampton Inn Fort Payne, vacationers have 56 stylish rooms to choose from, and they guarantee maximum comfort.

Related: 10-Day Trips In Alabama That Are Just As Unique As They Are Fun

Greenville, South Carolina

Located in the Upstate, Greenville is one of the most beautiful towns in South Carolina and among the best less-crowded U.S. destinations to visit in the fall. The season comes with fun outdoor activities, including quiet hikes, beautiful picnics, and attending autumn festivals. Fall for Greenville, one of the most popular festivals in South Carolina, which takes place in October in the downtown area, is a must-do! The festival features live music, wine, delicious food, and plenty of family-friendly things to do. Oktoberfest in NOMA Square is another festival not to miss in the fall. Only about 20 minutes from downtown, Cambria Hotel Greenville offers an amazing accommodation experience for autumn travelers.

Wren High School soccer team loses season due to ineligible player

PIEDMONT, S.C. —The Wren High School boys' soccer season has come to an end early, due to South Carolina High School League ineligibility of one player.Ethan Gilstrap, a standout player for the program, has played with the Wren High School soccer team all season, despite not being enrolled at the high school.Ethan is dual-enrolled, one with Silicon Valley High School which is an all-virtual private school, and with Anderson Christian School which is a private in-person school.A meeting was h...


The Wren High School boys' soccer season has come to an end early, due to South Carolina High School League ineligibility of one player.

Ethan Gilstrap, a standout player for the program, has played with the Wren High School soccer team all season, despite not being enrolled at the high school.

Ethan is dual-enrolled, one with Silicon Valley High School which is an all-virtual private school, and with Anderson Christian School which is a private in-person school.

A meeting was held with the team by coaches and administration on Thursday at the school to further discuss the ending of their season. A handful of parents decided to show up as well, including team mom Anna Steele.

Steele said parents and players are frustrated, disappointed and are having a hard time finding the words to describe what it means for the season to be taken away.

"Now to have this happen and to know it was based off of a basically clerical error, or discrepancy in the by-laws," Steele said. "Vague by-laws. The information we were just given is that your high school athletic director submits the eligibility from their end, and then the high school league there's no confirmation back from them. You just assume if you don't hear back from them then everyone on your roster is eligible."

Steele said the above statement is what she learned in the meeting from the school's athletic director.


Upstate deputies investigating domestic situation in Greenville County

In a video obtained by WYFF News 4 from inside the meeting, the athletic director can be heard telling parents and students, "I thought it was a charter school, because all of the information given to me didn't list that it was a private school."

South Carolina High School League commissioner Jerome Singleton said the SCHSL adheres to state laws.

"There's nothing that speaks to the private school part of it," Singleton said. "Our basic rule is that you must be in attendance of the school you represent. The state legislature put in a piece that addresses homeschool. The membership rule is that you've got to be a student at the school that you represent."

In the SCHSL's by-laws, Section 6 was presented by parents during the meeting as the reason the ineligible ruling was unfair.

Section 6, A, states:

"A student must be enrolled in the school at which he/she practices or

"participates; except, home schooled students and/or charter school students,

"and/or virtual school students, and/or Governor’s schooled students subject to

"certain conditions, are eligible at the public school in the attendance zone of

"their residence. Governor’s schooled students, subject to certain conditions,

"are eligible at the public school in the attendance zone of which the

"Governor’s schools' physical plants are located."

"Private is not listed," Steele said. "However, the Silicon Valley School is a virtual school, and it [by-laws] does not say virtual public school. It just says virtual school."

Steele, speaking on behalf of Ethan and his mother, said private virtual schools are not specifically listed, which is what she said Silicon Valley falls under, therefore she says it should fulfill the eligibility requirement.

"The by-laws discriminate against having a private Christian student playing for this public school that he is zoned for,” Steele said.

Ethan and his mother, as well as other parents, have been told there not able to appeal the decision, according to Ethan's mother. She goes on to say she does not plan to change her son's school due to their religious beliefs, so she fears he won't be able to play his senior season.

In a statement from Wren High School, it said:

"Wren High School accepts responsibility for allowing an ineligible player to participate with their Boys Soccer team during the 2022 season. Unfortunately, an error was made by the Athletic Department in the interpretation of eligibility requirements for Charter School, Home School, and Private School students during the eligibility process for spring sports. This was a simple mistake. We apologize to our student athletes for this mistake but take responsibility for it and the consequences."

An additional statement from Wren High School states:

"According to the South Carolina High School League by-laws, “all contests in which the ineligible player dresses may be forfeited.” As a result of this by-law, the Wren High School Boys Soccer team forfeited all contests where the ineligible player dressed, resulting in the team not qualifying to participate in the AAA playoffs."

Wren High School soccer students returned their uniforms Thursday evening.

Return of whitewater: Chester County, SC town hopes new park, rapids bring needed growth

More than 115 years have passed since two dams were built on the Catawba River in the sleepy town of Great Falls to power three textile mills.The mills in this Chester County, S.C., town closed deca...

More than 115 years have passed since two dams were built on the Catawba River in the sleepy town of Great Falls to power three textile mills.

The mills in this Chester County, S.C., town closed decades ago.

Residents still live in the mill villages. Historic store fronts along the town’s main roads have been shuttered for years.

Residents have one grocery store, the Great Falls IGA, once a Piggly Wiggly. One of the town’s remaining restaurants, The Flopeye Diner, has a sign on the porch with the word “hope.”

Now, town and state leaders are hoping restaurants, shops, hotels and tourism-based companies will flood the town and wash away its economically-depressed status with the completion of Duke Energy’s wide-scale project on the Catawba River.

Duke officials said the Great Falls-Dearborn project, which will create new recreational channels along the river for kayaking, is about 70 percent complete.

The project was scheduled to open this summer, but additional work was needed, said Michael Brissie, manager of generation project engineering for Duke. Brissie said the facilities will open in spring of 2023.

The project has many components — public to access channels on the river, a state park with hiking trails, an historic visitor’s center, a pedestrian bridge, a 3,000-foot hiking trail on an island, parking and restrooms — all within three miles.

“This is a game-changer, obviously for Great Falls,” said S.C. Sen. Mike Fanning.

Duke started construction on the project at the Great Falls Reservoir more than a year ago. As part of a new license for the Catawba-Wateree Project in 2015, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission requires Duke to provide recreation, enhancement to water quality and quantity, fish and wildlife habitat protection and land conservation along the river.

The main focus of this project is to bring water back to two channels, or bypasses, that were cut off more than a hundred years ago. Those channels made up the 50-foot Great Falls of the Catawba, the town’s namesake.

One channel will be the long bypass, a 2.25 mile stretch for leisure kayaking and canoeing. The long bypass will have Class II and III rapids, which are appropriate for families and individuals wanting a leisurely trip down the river, said Duke spokesman Ben Williamson. The short bypass will have faster water flowing over three-quarters of a mile that will have Class III and IV rapids and is geared more to experienced kayakers, said Christy Churchill, recreation planner for Duke.

Duke can control how much water it releases into the channels. Tourists will be able to check the flow schedules online, or through an app, when planning trips.

To date, Duke has built the Nitrolee Access Area with restrooms and parking for 100 vehicles. Nitrolee will be the primary public hub for access the Great Falls Reservoir and the long bypass. Adjacent to the parking lot on property owned by the Catawba Valley Land Trust is the Arc Building that was part of the Nitrolee plant in the early 1900s. The historic building will become the visitor’s center.

Within a year of the project’s completion, the site will be connected to the Carolina Thread Trail, a regional network of “connected greenways, trails and blueways that reaches 15 counties,” according to the trail’s website.

Another component of the project will be a state park on Dearborn Island. Duke is providing money to the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism to help the state develop a park on the 600-acre island with trails, Churchill said. Construction on the park, which will have a campground area, will begin once the lease with Duke and SCPRT is finalized, she said.

Duke also will build a pedestrian bridge from a kayak launch to provide access to the island.

Fanning said ideas are floating to offer a unique camping experience, including “glamping,” or glamorous camping, where campers stay in modern-day yurts. He said Dearborn Island will be the third state park in Chester County, which is rare in S.C.

“We have plenty of regular camping and so this island is going to be a way for you to spend time on a campground and have a different form of camping,” Fanning said.

Duke also will create a trail, roughly half a mile, on Mountain Island at the Cedar Creek Reservoir that will allow kayakers to hike back and put their kayaks back in the water.

Churchill said the Dearborn project is unique.

“I would bet in the country, it’s pretty one-of-a-kind,” Churchill said. “It’s like an engineered system to enhance the natural experience.”

Glinda Price Coleman, executive director of the Great Falls Town Home Association, said the return of the water is a “game changer” since the mills closed in the 1980s.

“And since then, there’s been several attempts to do something to punch up the economic structure here in town,” she said.

The Great Falls Home Town Association is a community and economic development nonprofit that has rallied to have nature-based tourism brought to Great Falls and the surrounding community since 2000, Coleman said.

Coleman said developers and businesses are looking into the area, but could not elaborate on specific plans. The plan now is to bring opportunities for local entrepreneurship and attract businesses to set up shop, Coleman said.

Coleman said an array of business would “be another layer of what will bring people here, not only the natural beauty that we have in the area and outdoor recreation opportunities that we have with the trails and the whitewater and the state park.”

Data produced by the nonprofit, American Whitewater, estimates that whitewater activities alone will bring $3.1-$4.6 million to Great Falls annually. Coleman has said it will likely exceed that.

“I think it’s providing (Great Falls) a catalyst to begin work from their perspective and from their point-of-view building back their town,” Churchill said. “We’re building the recreation and then from there, hopefully they can build up interest in the general public and tourism to come down to this area and go rafting, go to the park on the trails, and hopefully bring some economic benefit to the area.”

Fanning said Chester County has been “looking for that next big thing and the timing is perfect.”

He pointed to California-based wine giant E&J Gallo, which is building its first East Coast facility in Fort Lawn, a small town in Chester County.

Fanning said the Dearborn project “will be the single largest development, economic development, dollar amount that we’ve seen in a project that was not a business in the history of Chester County.”

Fanning said 53 business leaders, residents and town officials from Chester, Lancaster, York and Fairfield counties meet every month to discuss the project.

“I don’t want it just to have water that comes down at a high speed,” Fanning said. “We’re looking to promote this as a destination for people to come and spend their time and just take advantage of spending time outdoors.”

Fanning said community members have met with investors to promote the area. The discussions have centered around Great Falls but Fanning is touting Eastern Chester County as the “outdoor recreational capital of the Southeast.”

He said the experience will be “phenomenal.”

“You think about the fact that people have been doing indoor whitewater rafting in Charlotte forever,” Fanning said. “Meaning we know there’s a demand, we know that we’re going to have people coming from all over and it’s going to be spectacular.”

Kayakers can visit the U.S. National Whitewater Center in nearby Charlotte, but the Great Falls project is not an event venue or center, Churchill said.

“They are totally different animals,” Churchill said.

The Great Falls whitewater experience comes from a free-flowing channel.

“Obviously the structures that we’re building to help manage the flow is man-made,” Churchill said. “However, the channel itself and all the features, the scenery, it’s all nature.”

Fanning said a year ago, locals were “rolling their eyes and saying here’s another promise that will never come to pass.”

But now you can drive down S.C. 21 and you can see the work, he added.

“This is going to happen,” Fanning said. “It will happen within the next year and it will be phenomenal.”

Here's a list of road projects planned in Spartanburg County for this year

Many road and bridge projects are planned this year in Spartanburg County by state and county transportation departments.Spartanburg County projectsFunded projects on county-maintained roads this year include:? Intersection improvements at 4th Street/Hanging Rock and Valley Falls roads in Boiling Springs; Lightwood Knott and South Hammett Roads at Reidville Road; Willis Road at U.S. 29; and the installation of a traffic signal on S.C. 290 at Draexlmaier in Duncan.Also, the county will continue to ...

Many road and bridge projects are planned this year in Spartanburg County by state and county transportation departments.

Spartanburg County projects

Funded projects on county-maintained roads this year include:

? Intersection improvements at 4th Street/Hanging Rock and Valley Falls roads in Boiling Springs; Lightwood Knott and South Hammett Roads at Reidville Road; Willis Road at U.S. 29; and the installation of a traffic signal on S.C. 290 at Draexlmaier in Duncan.

Also, the county will continue to resurface roads, replace and repair bridges and large culverts on county-owned roads.

More:Spartanburg County roads see greater need than road projects planned

Projects planned on county-maintained bridges and culvert replacements include:

? Calvary Road Bridge, Miller Town Road Bridge, Gate Road Bridge, Rabbit Moffit Road Bridge, Reidville Sharon Road Bridge, Beardon Road Bridge, Waspnest Road Bridge, Frey Road Bridge, and Settles Road Bridge.

More:A look at some of the key Spartanburg County, state road improvements planned for 2021

Spartanburg County Public Works Director Travis Brown said county road projects such as improvements in Boiling Springs near Highway 9 are often done in tandem with state Transportation Department projects.

Other local projects

At the recent Spartanburg County Transportation Committee, comprised of state lawmakers who represent all or parts of Spartanburg County, these new projects were approved:

? Highway 14 East paving; widening of Robinson Road from Fulmer Drive to Highway 290; paving of Sloan Road/Mill Gin Road, from Jordan Road to Mt. Lebanon Road; paving of Shiloh Church Road, from Highway 358 to Wasp Nest Road; paving of Westmoreland Road in Greer; paving of East Church and Savannah streets, Tumbler Rock Road and Pebble Court in Cowpens; Edwards Lane in Duncan.

Also, Woods Chapel and Victor Hill Road intersection project; and curb, gutter and storm drainage improvements to Preston Street in Spartanburg.

South Carolina DOT projects

S.C. Department of Transportation projects planned in Spartanburg County this year include:

? Lyman Traffic Triangle, $6.5 million. Construction is expected to start this fall. Improvements to main intersection areas in the town of Lyman: U.S. 29 at Pine Ridge Road; S.C. 358/Holly Springs Road at Pine Ridge Road; S.C. 129 at Holly Springs Road and U.S 29. at S.C. 292. Nearby in Lyman, left turn lanes on U.S. 29 at Pine Ridge Road will be lengthened and left turn lanes added on Pine Ridge Road.

? Chesnee Highway and Old Post Road intersection. A traffic light will be installed, and a right turn lane added on eastbound Chesnee Highway, as well as left turn lanes on all four legs of the intersection.

? Old Post Road and Hyatt Street intersection. A traffic light will be installed and the intersection will be reconfigured to allow for through traffic to and from Interstate 85 along Hyatt Street, construction of a right turn lane on eastbound Old Post Road, and a left turn lane added on northbound Hyatt Street.

? Farmington Road will be extended a short distance to align with Old Post Road after the Old Post Road/Hyatt Street intersection is modified. The project is needed due to anticipated growth in the Gaffney area and the corridor’s proximity to both I-85 and the Gaffney Premium Outlets.

? Country Club Road corridor. The existing corridor is primarily a two-lane roadway that connects the City of Spartanburg at Union Street and South Pine Street to Glendale. The $6 million project is near the trailhead of the Mary Black Rail Trail and trails near Glendale Shoals and is expected to start this spring. The road will be widened, drainage improved and safety upgrades at key intersections for a multi-use pathway.

? A roundabout at S.C. 11 and Paris Bridge Road.

Planned paving and widening projects included in DOT's 10-year plan in Spartanburg County include:

? Holly Springs Road (SC 358), 3.3 miles; Bryant Road, 1.15 miles; Southgate Drive; 0.35 miles; Brice Road, 1 mile; Old Georgia Road, 2.65 miles; Lawson Road, 1.68 miles; Freeman Farm Road, 0.33 miles; Walnut Grove Road, 1.69 miles; Greenpond Road, 3.5 miles; S.C. Highway 101, 11.3 miles; S.C. 14 (East Rutherford Street), 1.45 miles; S.C. Highway 14 East, 0.54 miles; S.C. Highway 417, 2.3 miles.

? Also, Waddell Road, 1.83 miles; Fairfield Road, 0.9 miles; Fairfield Street, 0.51 miles; West Georgia Road, 2.69 miles; West Georgia Street, 0.89 miles; S.C. 292 (Inman Road), 2.59 miles; S.C. 292 (Lyman Road), 2.61 miles; South Pine Street, 0.52 miles; U.S. Highway 176 Bypass, 2.93 miles; S.C. Highway 14 West, 3.7 miles; S.C. Highway 14 (West Rutherford Street), 0.86 miles; S.C. Highway 56, 22.73 miles.

Meanwhile, state lawmakers from Spartanburg County are allocated state funds to designate for road projects in their districts.

Is there a road or project in Spartanburg County you want us to check on? Email Bob Montgomery at bob.montgomery@shj.com.


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