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The Legend Of Nell's Pond

By Roger Jewell

History gives us names of communities around northern Greenville County. Some of those place names have faded away through the years. Such is the community of Nell's Pond.

The Nell's Pond community was, or is, located near the present day intersection of Old White Horse Road and Keeler Mill Road, according to old newspaper reports. It is a place where a pond appears on rainy days and vanishes when the weather clears. It is a place where odd accidents and deaths have happened countless times since the Civil War. In the early 1900's an explosion at the old mill resulted in the death of a man. In more modern times pedestrians have been hit by vehicles, a dead man was found inside his car in the middle of a pasture, a woman died in her home when a car in her garage caught fire, a hunter that was resting in a barn was shot and killed when other hunters thought he was a giant deer. Local live time residents attribute those strange events to a woman named Nell who died in the 1800's and continues to haunt the woods of that area. It is said her ghost jumps on top of vehicles as they travel area roads on certain nights, causing drivers to wreck as she spreads herself across their windshields.

Nell, according to actual newspapers stories from several decades ago, was either an elderly slave or a young slave girl, depending on which version you read. She was owned by one of the few families in the area that could afford to own slaves in northern Greenville County. Local historian, Mann Batson once wrote, "Nell was somewhat more cultured than the common slave and was placed inside the family's home to care for the children. At some point in time, prior to the Civil War, she was punished for reason's unknown and she developed a deep hatred for her master. One day, Nell was left to care for the children by her self while other members of the family and slaves were absent. She murdered the family's baby girl and after cutting off the child's hands, hid the body in a large holly tree near a spring on the family property. "

When the family returned home and discovered the child missing, a large search of the area was conducted. The baby was found. Nell confessed to the crime and according to the custom of that time, was taken to the nearest road fork and was hanged which happened to be near Old White Horse and Keeler Mill near a low lying piece of ground where a pond formed whenever it rained and evaporated in better weather. The community became known as Nell's Pond from that day forward. The local residents claim Nell haunts the roadways and woods of Nell's Pond, South Carolina."

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