Less Traveled 2012

Ernie Wiggins

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Ram Cat Alley bustles again in Seneca

Posted 8/12/2011 7:42:00 AM

Ram Cat Alley in Seneca is a short walk from the Upcountry town’s train depot and therein lies a story.

According to town legend, trains carrying produce for Main Street merchants were unloaded onto carts that were then wheeled the two blocks to the shops on Main. So many cats would gather around the carts piled high with meat and fish that one clever wag once quipped: “You couldn’t ram another cat into the alley.”

Main Street was not officially renamed Ram Cat Alley until the mid 1990s, when then-Mayor Johnny Fields imagined restoring Seneca's once busy thoroughfare to its former glory – hopefully without the felines. Stripping away years of age from the storefronts and repaving the street’s worn surface soon made believers of townsfolk and merchants, and before long the street was bustling again.

Today, retail shops, galleries and boutiques, restaurants and cafés, a radio station, attorneys’ offices and other businesses sit under colorful awnings while trucks pull up out front to deliver produce and supplies.

Every Thursday the street is closed between 6:30 and 9 p.m. for Jazz on the Alley, which offers visitors live music and late shopping at the stores on the street.

On Friday, Sept. 16, Seneca will host Downtown Go-Round from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m., an event which includes live music, gallery openings and family entertainment.

If You’re Going:

From Atlanta
Take Interstate 85 to S.C. Exit 2 (S.C. 59) to Seneca. Turn right onto Railroad Street,
turn left onto North Fairplay Street, turn right onto Ram Cat Alley.

From Greenville
Take I-85 to Exit 19B, turn right on U.S. 76, turn left onto U.S. 123, turn left onto S.C. 130, turn left onto North Townville St., turn right onto Ram Cat Alley.