Fountain Inn, South Carolina
South Carolina Fountain Inn
The Upstate City of Fountain Inn is proud to be the home of Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates, born in 1907.
Despite losing a leg in an accident when he was young, Bates had a successful career – and earned his nickname – as a vaudeville tap dancer. He performed for the King and Queen of England in 1938, and later appeared multiple times on the Ed Sullivan Show.
From 1951 through 1987, he owned a night club in New York's Catskill Mountains, making him the first black resort owner in the famous Borscht Belt of Jewish resorts and bungalow colonies. He was said to be able to "dance better with one leg than anyone else can with two!"
Until his death at age 91, he sought out opportunities to speak to young people and tell them they could do anything they wanted. He would say "look at me."
In 1998 Peg-Leg received South Carolina's highest civilian honor, the Order of the Palmetto award. There is a life-size statue of him in front of city hall in Fountain Inn.
Fountain Inn is located in both Greenville County and Laurens County. The City of Greenville is the largest nearby city. Laurens is the largest city in Laurens County. Here are maps of the Greenville area and the Laurens area.
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