Ponder House

The Ponders brothers lived in Greer at the dawn of the 20th century. Ponder's Brothers Grocery stood at 100 Trade Street by 1904.

Ponders Ice Cream first occupied 107 Trade Street, then moved to the larger store and factory located on East Poinsett. There, they made high-quality ice cream and also ran a bottling company that made a range of sodas, including a "knock off" of Coca-Cola; but they were famous for Ponder's Ginger Ale. They also made ginger ale for Chick Springs. Through the 20th century Ponders was a destination and bright spot for many Greer residents.

On February 24, 2016, the Greer Citizen ran a special letter to the editor: "A Salute to Mr. Ponder," by Norma Jean Nesbitt Givens. She "fondly remember[ed] Ponder’s as one of Greer’s treasurers." She reminisced about the ice cream flavors, and about the kind service given by Mr. Ponder himself; but the point of her letter was something quite different. She wrote:

During this month of Black History when we commemorate the contributions of African-Americans, I am going to be unorthodox and salute Mr. Ponder for recognizing our humanity. Posthumously, I honor and thank Mr. Ponder for not robbing African-Americans of their humanity. He provided a front door entrance for us. Thanks be to God he attempted to incorporate ethical practices in his business. He was courageous and he dared not to support the systemic hideous ideals of this country, since its inception, to deprive us (African-Americans) of our dignity. This was the only food establishment that I remember that allowed black folk to come in the front door. There were two separate doors and facing the building we came in on the right side and whites came in on the left. On our side were long benches and on the White side there were a few tables and chairs and a bench.

Periodically, just for fun as a kid, I would come in on the left side to test the system and to see what would happen--nothing happened, no guns drawn.

Mr. Ponder nor his staff did said anything, but “may I help you.” It was a joy to walk in Ponder’s.

Item Details

Title

Ponder House

Subject

Building history

Street Address

401 North Main

Description

The Ponder House stands at 401 North Main

Item sets

Other Media