The first stagecoach lines started in South Carolina in the 1750s. The routes provided the first transportation systems for the British colonies. Because roads were rocky and bridges were often broken, transportation by coach was often slow and uncomfortable. Inns were built along the routes to provide food and lodging for travelers and care for the horses.
Stagecoach routes made their way through what is now Fountain Inn soon after the end of the Revolutionary War, likely following old Cherokee trading paths. A spring that was said to bubble up out of the ground several feet high was located on the stagecoach route and became a regular stop for the stagecoach drivers and their passengers.
In the days when a trip from Columbia to Greenville took two days, the spring, which the stagecoach drivers referred to as the “fountain,” offered a refreshing respite on the long ride. In the 1820s, an inn was built near the spring. The stagecoach drivers started referring to the new inn as Fountain Inn.
The name stuck and the community that grew up on the stagecoach route was chartered by that name on December 24, 1886. Fountain Inn is the only town by that name in the United States and possibly in the world.