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Green Hole, Greystone Boulevard: 1980s (access closed)   42 comments

Posted at 2:00 am in closing

I didn't know much about Green Hole back in the day. In fact I didn't even know where it was. I just knew that it was a place where the cool kids hung out and did cool things. Listening to some stories at various class reunions, I'm a little surprised that all the cool kids managed to live to grow up.. :-)

Since I started Columbia Closings, the topic of Green Hole has come up a number of times in the comments, and finally someone mentioned where it was and I was able to locate it on google maps. Apparently the hole itself is an old abandoned quarry pit, and is located between Greystone Boulevard and Stoneridge drive, bounded by Clear Channel Radio, Greystone Boulevard, Jim Hudson Hyundai, the old Stivers Lincoln-Mercury, and a condo complex.

Back in the 70s I think that the place was regarded as rather remote, and was just off in the woods, undeveloped. Nowdays, the condo complex has surrounded it and put boardwalks over parts of it -- I probably could have brazened my way onto those, but I decided to leave that for another day, and stuck pretty much to taking pictures around the edges.

OK, cool kids! Now is your chance to tell your stories in the comments. I gather that they mainly involve minimal adult supervision, maximal beer and deep, deep water..

UPDATE 8 March 2012 -- OK, I wasn't really happy with the way the pictures above came out. Actually looking down at the place, I could get the details, but in a picture it just looks like a bunch of clutter. To fix that, I went into the condo complex and got the much better shots below:

UPDATE 10 March 2012: Here is one woman's memory of Green Hole.

And here is a short video of some kids taking the plunge around 2010 (some nsfw language).

UPDATE 16 June 2020 -- Please check this comment for some of the very interesting history of this quary from commenter Paul Armstrong.

Written by ted on March 7th, 2012

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42 Responses to 'Green Hole, Greystone Boulevard: 1980s (access closed)'

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  1. The quarry opened sometime in the late 1800s. Contrary to popular legend, the granite for the State House did not come from here.


    7 Mar 12 at 11:12 am

  2. My old high school gang did a little hanging out at Green Hole. It always scared me because I am essentially a non-swimmer. But it was exciting to hike through the woods and have our own place to drink beer and act crazy. They would swing out on ropes and hit the green water in a way you could not do anywhere else. Of course there were tales of what was sunk in the absurdly deep water -- everything from moonshine runners' cars (with their corpses still at the wheel!) to freight trains (with the conductors' corpses still at the handle!) to jilted lovers' hot rods (with their corpses still at the wheel!).


    7 Mar 12 at 8:02 pm

  3. Dennis,

    I think I am sensing a theme..


    7 Mar 12 at 11:10 pm

  4. I enjoyed the greenhole in 1979-1981,guess I was 14 or 15,it would not have taken much of a mistake to lose your life or the use of your legs.It really could be treacherous right at the edges of the pit.There were several different ledges that you could jump off of.Ones near the surface of the water and graduating upwards.I remember it taking me about 2 hours to work up the courage,or the crazy to jump from the highest ledge there was,you had to get a running start and then jump.I know it was ninety feet down to the water.When you did finally hit the surface of the water,you smacked it hard.I have not cliff dived again since then.The old legends about what's down there on the bottom.I always heard that there were old steam engines down there.Forty feet down was deep enough for me,I usually had just enough air in my lungs to get back topside.Cool website y'all have here.

    a different Tom

    8 Mar 12 at 2:08 am

  5. Thanks Tom,

    Take a look at the "Alphabetical Closings" link at the top of the page, and have a look around!


    8 Mar 12 at 2:47 am

  6. Wow! I pass by here twice a day an didn't notice it til after reading this!


    12 Mar 12 at 10:06 pm

  7. We used to go out there when I was in high school in the mid 80's. We would drink beer and jump off rocks down into the water. It seems there was some pretty high cliffs down there too. I jumped off big drops a couple of times. I remember people talking about cars and trains being down at the bottom. The cops would bust people for going out there sometimes. We quit going and started doing the river.


    19 Mar 12 at 9:17 am

  8. My high school buddies and I would go there in the mid 70's. a different tom said it all, just the way I remember it.


    1 Apr 12 at 6:21 pm

  9. This spot came up in a discussion this morning, and of course I rushed back to Google it. Once again you've come through for me Ted!


    1 May 12 at 8:33 am

  10. I used to live in Quail Valley across from Irmo High School in 1974-1978. We used to hitch rides to Greenhole and stay all day. As we got older, Chuck got a mustang and we would pack in and-go to Greenhole all day or until we were booted out. I then moved-got older, joined the ARMY. On weekends from Ft. Jackson, I went to
    Greenhole-1983. These were good times!!! The rope swing is missing!!! By the way, if you climbed the rope into the pine tree, it was a few feet higher than the BIG cliff and it really did hurt when you hit the water-being fearless at 20 and assisted by beer, it was a no-brainer!!! By the way-at the bottom of the BIG cliff, there is a Jeep way down-Chuck brought up a trim peice from it in 1978. Long thread I know, but Greenhole was a magical place to teenagers....myself included


    12 Jun 12 at 4:30 pm

  11. While I was too young for the Green Hole, I had similar experiences at the end of Old Rapids Road, right off of 6. There was even a cliff. You can still access it, but you have to do it from the Saluda River. Anyone?


    12 Jun 12 at 5:00 pm

  12. I now live in the complex around Greenhole. Nice to see some info and stories about it. Though I would never jump in, it's great scenery.


    25 Oct 12 at 7:11 am

  13. In the late '70's this was a very remote spot. During the summer, there was nothing like cooling off here after a day of outside work. When I went back years later and saw the condos I almost started crying.

    Chris Rosenbusch

    15 Jan 13 at 2:28 pm

  14. Found this Googling the Greenhole and I even knew about this site but never knew it was listed! How awesome! I came here with my boyfriend at the time Marty Graves when I was 16, he was a football player I think for Irmo (hornets?) and I remember he said his sister Ginger whoworked with me came here often. Not only was there a knotted rope swing there was a rickity old canoe with a single oar that was left by the gazebo for common use and we went one night late out on the water sans lifejackets and canoed the Greenhole. It was magical with all the moss hanging down and undeveloped at the time so you could see stars above, very quiet except for millions of frogs! Truly a shame its developed, it was quite wonderful back in 1986 when I was there


    8 Feb 13 at 1:00 am

  15. I spent a lot of time there partYing day and night we would jump anytime day or night it's was a place we loved we never trashed it always took our empty beer cans our with us. Does anybody remember the guy that use to come every day and play the flute? Great times


    29 Sep 14 at 7:50 pm

  16. Maybe someone could get the guy who recovered the B-25 from Lake Murray or the crazy Ghost Hunter TV show who recently did a show on Lake Murray to come and find out definitively what is at the bottom.


    1 Oct 14 at 10:25 pm

  17. Circa 1980. We would park in the Restaurant parking lot off of Greystone and walk the winding paths through the woods passing gatherings of people drinking and smoking. The varied diving cliffs faced each other from across the quarry. The "Big" jump on the farthest side required quite a sprint (To clear the one below it). We would be careful to avoid the oil spots on our jumps that would percolate to the top which were caused by the numerous stolen motorcycles ghost driven off the cliffs. No one ever ventured to the "Evil" snake infested side which was home of the train boxcar wich was once used to lift stone from the quarry (No doubt it is further submerged out of view but still there today). I don't drink Busch beer to this day because I had my fill of it there.


    31 Oct 14 at 11:21 am

  18. OMG.
    We skipped school back in '74 and went to jump from cliffs into supposedly deep but definitely cold green water. God looks out for the stupid, it seems. Cool to see the videos. Like being in a time machine.
    Chris Greene

    chris greene

    30 May 16 at 6:53 pm

  19. What is the water depth?

    Lee Spence

    31 Aug 16 at 1:39 pm

  20. About 80 feet, I think I've heard. A lot deeper than where the Hunley sank! :D


    31 Aug 16 at 2:55 pm

  21. In the late forties and 1950 s we would go swimming in the greenhole frequently . during that time it was in the backwoods (no interstate or Greystone Blvd.). so naturally we would go skinny-dipping. I can remember when a stolen car that was involved in a murder was pushed into the Greenhole and a diver went down , attached a cable , and a wrecker from Powells garage pulled it up ~~~ it was said that the deep sea diver asked for the license number because it was more than one vehicle down there . I have lots of memories from that area

    ernest nichols

    9 Feb 17 at 5:15 pm

  22. Does anyone remember a train barely sticking out from the middle of the quarry? I used to visit there with my cousin in the early 80s. He told me srories about people ditching cars and motorcycles there.


    17 Jun 17 at 6:45 pm

  23. Having lived in Kingswood back in the 60s and early 70s, The Green Hole was our secret hide-a-way swimming hole. We started going in Middle School at St Andrews and continued on through HS when they built the new Columbia HS. I remember it being a long drop from the rock side, at least 15'-20', so judging from the pictures the water kept rising until it reached the top. I was a good swimmer and diver and I could never find bottom diving off the highest rock. We had always been told scare stories about bodies in there ... they always used to search the place when someone would come-on missing. Always heard there was a crane down there, and a couple of cars. Kids have drowned there over the years. Used to be a lot of weed smoked and a little LSD and stuff down there in the 60s ... mostly USC kids who grew up in the area and knew about it. I remember going over there once, just once, my Sophomore year at Carolina - that was '77. Oddly enough, sitting here watching Stranger Things with the grandkids and there was a scene in S1 Ep2 that reminded me of The Green Hole after all of these years - so this is where my curiosity led me. Dang we did some stuff there that we were lucky to survive.


    14 Jul 17 at 10:07 pm

  24. I'll have to find my news article, but my husband's uncle's dad was in charge of the hole. His name was John Jefferson Cain. Also built and owned the Jefferson hotel in Columbia.

    Linda Thompson

    26 Jan 18 at 9:13 pm

  25. I used to party there in the seventies. We could drive down dirt road off of Greystone blvd. back then. There was a rope swing and low cliff to dive from. On the other side was the high cliff and you were considered a bad ass if you dove from that side. My father would be 91 years old if still living and told me off swimming there also as a young man. I always here that the stone in the state capital came from there. I also herd that there is a train over where grass come out off water and that it flooded while worker were in there working. Jimmy Bonner is my name.

    Jimmy bonner

    24 Dec 18 at 4:52 pm

  26. I was a late comer to the Green Hole. My friend Brandon introduced me to it around 1993 or 94. We would tell our parents we were going midnight bowling, but would meet Brian, Chip, etc at the green hole and have smoking sessions. It was great. I never did jump off the cliffs or anything. Mostly because Im a wuss. Oh, and somewhat smart : )

    Still cool place. There was a gazeebo there we would hang out. Around the apartments. My friend Ed swore the sun was coming out one night around 1am. Good times.

    Chris Harley

    29 Apr 19 at 1:54 pm

  27. I used to go out there to eat Sylvia’s pussy. That’s all she’d let me do, and her pussy smelled. God old Sylvia. I miss her.


    1 Jan 20 at 12:35 pm

  28. Hey folks -- let's keep it PG-13!


    6 Jan 20 at 11:36 pm

  29. I went with some friends here back in September or October of 1979. We took some beer and went swimming. I remember close to the shore you could see the top of a train. Clear as day. It was s hot day and the cool dip felt good for s bunch of 17 & 18 year olds. I certainly wouldn’t do it now.


    9 Feb 20 at 2:33 pm

  30. I ran in to my old girlfriend, Sylvia and we went back to the Green Hole last week. It was like old times!! We had to jump a couple of fences, but it was great to be back!


    29 Feb 20 at 11:50 am

  31. Was the hole green?


    29 Feb 20 at 9:37 pm

  32. I used to swim here in the 70's


    24 May 20 at 6:49 pm

  33. Green Hole – aka Huffman Quarry

    The quarry now called Green Hole was originally known as Huffman’s Quarry which was owned by Joseph S. Huffman. It was excavated from 1897 to 1902 by Roderick G. Ross’ quarry company to supply the US government with rock for jetties at Georgetown during that city’s harbor improvement project. Ross’ government contract allowed him to employ 250 laborers for five years. The quarry excavation process opened a number of springs in the quarry basin. In 1903, the Huffman family proposed developing the flooded quarry into a water source for the City of Columbia. The proposal was declined, apparently because it was considered impractical, and the quarry has sat abandoned since.

    Notable events at Green Hole
    • 1902 Jan 6 – Pompey Mickins was fatally shot at Huffman’s quarry by Robert Burrell.
    • 1921 Apr 16 – Robert Williams, age 12, drowned in the Green Hole when he slipped and fell into the quarry.
    • 1941 Jun 11 – A 1941 Chevrolet owned by army Sgt R W Becker was stolen and driven into the Green Hole. Over 20,000 spectators went to the site to observe the car being raised on June 16. Four local men - Clarence Simon & Knowlton Windham of West Columbia, and Harvey Anderson of Olympia were arrested for theft of the automobile.
    • 1946 May 27 – Margaret Louise Rawlinson, age 16, drowned in the Green Hole after falling off a raft during a swimming party with five other teenagers.
    • 1948 May 23 – Wilton Troy Floyd, a 20-year-old USC student from Loris, drowned in the Green Hole while swimming with four other students.
    • 1954 Nov - A stolen Oldsmobile was driven into Green Hole by the thief. The water was drained to a depth of 10 feet in order to recover the vehicle.
    • 1966 Jul 26 – A safe stolen from Doug Broome’s Drive-In on North Main was dumped into the Green Hole by four Columbia area youths. The safe contained $530 in cash.
    • 1980 Jul 4 – Theodore Roosevelt Goins, age 22, of Ridgeway, drowned in Green Hole while swimming with friends.
    • 1981 Nov – A stolen MG sports car was recovered from the Green Hole by the Richland County Sheriff’s diving team.
    • 1983 Jul 9 – Charles Smith Jr, age 28, of West Columbia, drowned in Green Hole while swimming with friends.
    • 1998 Jul 23 – Neal Hardy, age 25, drowned in the Green Hole at 2:30 AM after jumping 25 feet into the water. He was swimming at the Hole with 13 friends.

    Paul Armstrong

    16 Jun 20 at 4:43 pm

  34. Fascinating Paul


    16 Jun 20 at 9:45 pm

  35. I remember going to the Green Hole on a regular basis during the summer of 1987. The first time I went was with a group of friends late at night running through the woods and almost ran right off a cliff if it wasn't for the bright moon bringing it to our attention at the last second. My heart raced for 45 minutes at the realization that I almost died. I also remember one time when this guy climbed up a pine tree on the edge of the highest cliff and got so freaked out he couldn't come down for 2 hours because the branch he was on was cracking under his weight hanging over the water. At the point when we all decided to call the Fire Department ... he finally got the nerve to come down. He would have died for sure if he would have jumped like he had planned after drinking a 12 pack of Busch Lights....


    18 Aug 20 at 2:35 pm

  36. if this is the same quarry that i suspect it is... my boyfriend and his friend live in that apartment complex and theres loads of security cameras but one good size hole in the fence.


    1 Oct 20 at 3:31 pm

  37. I’ve been meeting up with Sylvia twice a year and eating her out at the Green Hole. It’s been 41 years but I feel soon she’s gonna let me go all the way! And I got that goin for me. Which is nice.


    16 Nov 20 at 10:51 pm

  38. I met up with Sylvia at the Waffle House. Then we jumped some fences and went to the Green Hole. She let me hold her hands when I ate her out. She told me she’s thinking about letting me go all the way. I sure hope so. I’ve been waiting a long time.


    22 Mar 21 at 10:21 pm

  39. Swam in green hole in 1956 - 57. Luck to be alive!

    Jerry mosier

    16 Apr 21 at 9:00 am

  40. Wow, I'd forgotten about this place. Went there in the early '70s while a student at USC. It was cooler than the rapids, because not many people knew about Green Hole. The dangerous things we did there (especially the boys)! Thankfully, we all made it through this phase in one piece. I know first-hand of one thing in that quarry: leeches! And that was the last time this one went there.


    19 Apr 21 at 8:19 pm

  41. One Dead at the Greenhole Easter Sunday 2024. Story in the wltx link. The college kids walked from Tropical Apartments to the Greehole.
    My parents were Hippies so I was raised learning to swim T The Green Hole. We went every weekend. I'm glad to know it's still being used. Sad someone lost their life.

    Misty Snow

    1 Apr 24 at 8:24 am

  42. Before the zoo and all the development that area (Green hole and the Rapids) was quite the hangout for teens growing up in the 60’s and early 70’s. A lot of beer drank and pot smoked. It was always dangerous there. But it didn’t keep us from going. I was unaware of so much loss of life there but I did know that it was a drop off for stolen cars and other things. Would be interesting to find out what is on the bottom, maybe call in som ghost hunters.

    David R

    1 Apr 24 at 5:56 pm

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