Section of Hwy. 11 dedicated to ‘Squire of the Dark Corner’

Published 11:31 am Monday, September 11, 2023

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

New byway named in honor of Dean Campbell unveiled Sunday


GOWENSVILLE—A local historian who passed away last year had a section of Highway 11 renamed in his memory over the weekend.

Sign up for our daily email newsletter

Get the latest news sent to your inbox

On Sunday, September 10, friends, family and collaborators joined together to dedicate a one-mile stretch of the highway to Dean Campbell, the “Squire of the Dark Corner.”

Campbell, a long-time resident, author and historian, passed away in December of 2022. The dedication included the unveiling of two commemorative road markers in Campbell’s memory. 

Dean Campbell had many careers over the years, from naval aviator, horse trainer, actor, writer, and tour guide, but in recent years, he was known as a primary historian of the Dark Corner. 

The Dark Corner, an area in northeastern Greenville County, is well-known for many reasons, including its popularity with moonshiners. Over the years, Campbell had written for numerous publications relaying the area’s stories which may have been lost if not for his love of the Dark Corner’s unique history. Campbell was also a long-time contributor to the Tryon Daily Bulletin.

Bill 628, the resolution to rename the one-mile stretch of road, was introduced by State Senator Tom Corbin on March 14 and adopted by the S.C. Congress on April 6. Now known as the “Dean Stuart Campbell, Squire of the Dark Corner Scenic Memorial Byway,” the designation begins at the intersection of Hwy. 11 and Hwy. 14 and ends at the intersection of Hwy. 11 and Tugaloo Rd. The two commemorative road markers are now on display across from Campbell’s homestead and near the Junction Restaurant. 

“Senator Corbin and I had a race to see who could get this resolution passed,” joked Rep. Mike Burns. “We are both honored to be here today to commemorate a friend to so many in Dean Campbell.”

The ceremony was led by Campbell’s godson, Jennings Gresham, and was attended by S.C. Rep. Burns and Sen. Corbin, Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis, and Fire Chief Robert Staples of Glassy Mountain Fire Department. Reverend Drew Hines spoke the invocation, followed by the presentation of a plaque to Campbell’s niece, Marie Turner Helle.

“We want to thank Dean for his contribution to the area and for preserving the history of the area,” Sen. Corbin said.

The Greer Heritage Museum will unveil the Dean Campbell Memorial Dark Corners Exhibit on Saturday, September 16.