BATESBURG-LEESVILLE, SC (WIS) - The small community of Batesburg-Leesville is coming together to bring the sparkle back to the former downtown portion of Batesburg.
Instead of waiting on help from others, a group of community members decided to help themselves.
What Rachel Taylor sees in her downtown, you may not.
"It was something that just hurt my heart to see a building like that decay away," said Taylor, speaking about an older building.
Where you see boarded up buildings and buckled sidewalks, she sees opportunity.
"It was quite the bustling town," said Taylor.
Rachel raised her family here. Back then Batesburg hadn't merged with Leesville yet. Batesburg was thriving.
"This town was very good to my kids," said Taylor. "My kids could ride their bikes down here. I never had to worry about them. If they misbehaved, one of the storeowners would call me."
Rachel wants that downtown back. That's why she's a part of the effort to revitalize the old downtown with a fresh coat of paint and some new sidewalks.
All that work is getting done because of the Batesburg Business Association, a group of business owners that raised money to give the downtown a facelift.
"It's coming around," said Mike Faithful, owner of a corner cafe. "It's coming around."
Faithful is part of the revitalization. He does what he can in between his sandwiches at the cafe.
"It brought a lot of interest downtown to Batesburg which has brought a lot of business here," said Faithful.
That's exactly what Rachel and her group envisions.
Rachel and her partners will throw a party to celebrate and raise money. They invite you to downtown Batesburg for a fall festival.