Lifes pretty great here in Spartanburg. And its getting greater every day. Expanding. Evolving. Melding into a community that’s both rooted in the past and excited about the future. Back in the 19th century, Spartanburg was dubbed the Hub City because we were a railroad center. Today were the center of so much more an arts revival, historic preservation, becoming an active lifestyle city the list goes on. Upon first glance, youll see that Spartanburg is a beautiful city with southern charm. Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, our moderate climate encourages year-round tourism. History buffs enjoy Cowpens National Battlefield, which marks the site where Gen. Daniel Morgans troops defeated the British. Were home to international businesses like BMW Manufacturing Corporation, Milliken & Co., QS/I, Extended Stay America and Dennys Corporation. And our new Chapman Cultural Center is just one of the many performing arts venues here.
Spartanburg is the largest city in and the county seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States. It is the second-largest city of the three primary cities in the Upstate region of South Carolina.
Spartanburg is located 98 miles northwest of Columbia, 80 miles west of Charlotte, and about 190 miles northeast of Atlanta.
This region of the Carolina Piedmont was for centuries a cherished hunting ground of the Catawba and Cherokee tribes, which occupied land east and west of this area, respectively. This distant heritage can be glimpsed in some of the remaining natural features, often neglected and in need of help, that dot the landscape.
Lawson’s Fork Creek just downstream from the Cottonwood Trail
Hatcher Garden in winterLawsons Fork Creek, a tributary of the Pacolet River, was once known for its plentiful wildlife and crystal clear waters. Parks and woodlands line much of its banks (which lie entirely within Spartanburg County) and rocky shoals and natural waterfalls can be found throughout its course. It stretches from the northern end of the county to the southern end, where it empties into the Pacolet.
The Cottonwood Trail is a walking trail that runs along part of Lawsons Fork. The trail includes picnic areas, a raised path over an extensive wetlands area and access to sporadic sandbars. It is used frequently by cyclists, joggers and walkers and is located just east of downtown. Since the Lawson’s Fork floodplain is not suitable for development, it has remained home to much of the wildlife for which this entire area was once known. Larger animals that can be found here include the white-tailed deer, raccoon, wild turkey, pileated woodpecker and snapping turtle.
Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve is located in the midst of an urban environment, but is a welcome oasis of natural beauty. The pet project of a retired social activist, Hatcher Garden has been transformed from an eroding gully into a thick woods and flower garden and serves as a haven for birds and other wildlife.
Early European settlers to this area included French fur trappers, English woodsmen, and Scots-Irish farmers. Few remnants remain of these early pioneering days, but traces can be found, particularly in the more rural areas of the county.
Walnut Grove Plantation, an 18th-century farmhouse, has been diligently preserved by the Spartanburg County Historical Association. The site of a locally-famous skirmish during the American Revolutionary War, it was the home of the Moore family. One of the Moore daughters, Kate Barry, famously warned American troops of the British advance immediately before the Battle of Cowpens, contributing greatly to the American victory. The plantation lies south of Spartanburg near the town of Roebuck and is open to the public for tours as well as during annual festivals.
The Seay House, another 18th-century home, is a better representative of the typical pioneer home. Its single stone fireplace and simple construction were common traits associated with farmsteads from this period
The Price House, the third 18th-century home maintained by the Historical Association, is unique. Its sturdy Flemish-bond brick construction and three stories are less widespread for this area. By carefully examining the original inventory lists of the house, the Historical Association has been able to retrieve period pieces that approximate the original contents of the house.
Morgan Square. First established in the 1780s as a courthouse village, Spartanburg is thought to have been named after the Spartan regiment of the South Carolina Militia. The city of Spartanburg was incorporated in 1831, when the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens, a pivotal battle of the American Revolution that took place only a few miles away, was celebrated. The citys streets and architectural record reflect the changes of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.
Morgan Square, the citys primary downtown hub, is the original courthouse village. It was founded adjacent to a small spring (now underground) on the western slope of a ridge, which forms the border of the Tyger and Pacolet River watersheds. The square’s name derives from Daniel Morgan, the general who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Cowpens. A statue of Morgan (visible atop the pillar at right in the photo) was placed in the square in 1881. The oldest existing buildings on the square date to the 1880s. It is now a thriving center for daytime commerce as well as nightlife.
The Magnolia Street Train Depot is one of the older buildings in the city and stands as a reminder of Spartanburgs old nickname the Hub City,Â referring to the many transportation routes that connected Spartanburg with cities throughout the region. It is now the home of the Amtrak station, the Visitors Bureau and the Hub City Farmers’ Market.
Hampton Heights Historic District is the city’s oldest downtown neighborhood, located a couple of blocks south of Morgan Square. Architectural styles in this neighborhood range from large Queen Anne and Neo-classical homes to cozy early-twentieth century bungalows. Although neglected for many years, this neighborhood is undergoing a renaissance thanks to active residents and the Preservation Trust of Spartanburg, a non-profit organization that is slowly restoring the neighborhood.
Cotton mills have abounded in the Spartanburg area since 1816, earning Spartanburg the reputation as the “Lowell of the South.” Although there were relatively few mills in the area before the American Civil War, new technological advances that simplified the work, northern capital, and out-migration from the poor farms created a wave of postbellum mill development here and in much of the piedmont South. Additionally, the abundant streams and rivers in the area are just beginning their descent towards the lower-lying Midlands region. In many places, these waterways descend abruptly, providing a source for plentiful waterpower. Cotton mills were built along these rivers to harness this power and so began the regions servitude to King Cotton. These mills, their owners and their laborers dominated the politics and economy of the region for nearly a century. Although nearly all abandoned, many mills remain along the riverbanks, the Piedmont equivalent of Gothic ruins.
The old bridge and millpond at Glendale. The mill itself (background) has since burned.Glendale Mill is located off of Lawsons Fork Creek southeast of the city. Although gutted by fire several years ago, a few towers and smokestacks remain, providing a dramatic backdrop to the dam, shoals and waterfalls of the creek below.
Beaumont Mill is located just north of downtown and has recently been renovated to house the Southern Conference headquarters.
Converse Mill is located to the east of the city along the Pacolet River and has recently been purchased by a developer whose exact plans for the site have yet to be revealed. The mill was reconstructed in 1903 after a huge flood washed away the original mill.
When the United States entered World War I in 1917, one of the 16 divisional cantonments for the training of National Guard troops, Camp Wadsworth, was established near the town in the vicinity of present Westgate Mall. Many of South Carolina’s troops were trained there in addition to large numbers of troops from New York state. During World War II Camp Croft south of the city trained Army recruits. This is now a South Carolina State park with the same name. Some portions of the park contain the original quonset huts (1/2 metal tube structures).