Anderson County is located along Interstate 85, midway between Atlanta, Ga. and Charlotte, N.C., and it’s county seat is the city of Anderson. The city of Anderson is also known as the Electric City. Other cities & towns in Anderson county are Belton, Centerville, Honea Path, Iva, Pelzer, Pendleton, Piedmont, Powdersville, Sandy Springs, Starr, Townville, West Pelzer and Williamston.
Anderson county offers a mild climate with four distinct seasons, a vast lake and a thriving economic and cultural community. Anderson County is home to 55,950-acre Hartwell Lake, a U.S. Army Corps of Engineers lake with nearly 1,000 miles of shoreline for residential and recreational use. Anderson is within sight of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains and is a morning drive from the Atlantic Ocean beaches of Myrtle Beach and the Grand Strand. Its communities have a small-town feel that make people want to stay. But the area, with one of the lowest costs of living in the United States, is a thriving industrial, commercial and tourist center. The two fast-growing metropolises (Atlanta and Charlotte) offer business opportunities, international cultural events and national sports teams just two hours away. Anderson County has a strong manufacturing base. Its retail businesses draw shoppers from throughout the region.
The city of Anderson is the county seat. The county covers 757 square miles. Clemson University is just 20 minutes from the city of Anderson, offering a wide variety of sports as well as cultural and educational opportunities. Clemson University is a selective, public, land grand university that focuses on research, public service and world-class teaching.The research conducted at Clemson is a tremendous asset to local industry. Anderson County is a progressive, growing community filled with friendly people who welcome newcomers with characteristic Southern hospitality.
The City of Anderson is located 113 miles from Columbia, SC and 217 miles from the port city of Charleston. From the City of Anderson, travel time is just under one hour to the Greenville-Spartanburg Airport, approximately two hours to Atlanta Hartsfield Airport and the Charlotte Douglas Airport. Anderson County’s strategic location enables overnight trucking service to most of the Southeast. Interstate 85 is the backbone of the Upstate manufacturing region. Passing through the Upstate, I-85 connects the South with the Northeast. Thirty-seven miles of I-85 frontage is located in Anderson County- more than any county in the Upstate. Anderson is only thirty minutes south of I-385- the major connector to the Port of Charleston and fifty miles south of I-26.
Anderson County is served by two major railroads, Norfolk-Southern and CSX, and two shortline railroads, Pickens Railroad Company and Greenville & Western Railway Company. All major metropolitan areas in the United States are accessible within three to six days by rail. The Crescent, an Amtrak passenger train, serves the area with stops in Clemson and Greenville. Due to our shortline rail partners, Anderson County is one of few areas that are capable of being dual-served adding to the flexibility and convenience of our rail service.
Anderson County South Carolina Population & Demographics
According to the census of 2010, there were 187,126 people, 73,829 households, and 51,922 families living in Anderson County South Carolina. There were 73,829 households out of which 333.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 51.1% were married, 14.5% had a female householder with no husband present, 29.7% were non-families and 25.4% of all households were made up of individuals. The average household size was 2.5 and the average family size was 2.98.
Anderson County SC Income and Employment Statistics
The median income for a household in Anderson County was $42,143 and the per capita income was $22,400. About 17.2% of the population were below the poverty line.
Anderson County South Carolina History
In the mid-1700s, General Robert Anderson, with General Andrew Pickens, explored the Cherokee land that was to become Anderson. This region was occupied by the Cherokee Indians until 1777, when it was ceded by treaty to the state. Anderson County was settled by pioneering small farmers of Scots-Irish and English descent.
A spirit of innovation and self-reliance prepared its residents for the manufacturing boom in the 19th century. When Anderson sparked the Industrial Revolution in the South with the first long-distance transmission of hydroelectric power, it was dubbed the Electric City. The county boasts the state’s oldest cotton mill in operation, Pendleton Factory (now La France Industries), built in 1838.
History buffs can begin their exploration at Hunter’s Store in Pendleton. It was the seat of government for the old Pendleton District, from which Anderson was created in 1826. The entire town of Pendleton is on the National Register of Historic Places and comprises one of the largest historic districts in the nation. Many wealthy coastal families had summer homes in the area. Graves of Revolutionary War heroes, statesmen, and important citizens can be found in surrounding cemeteries.
Anderson’s downtown Historic District comprises a 16-block walking tour that includes the Anderson County Courthouse, the Sullivan Building, the P&N Railroad Depot, the Confederate Monument on the square, the Anderson County Museum, the Anderson County Library, the Old Reformer (1764 Revolutionary War Cannon), and the Anderson County Arts Center (once the Carnegie Library).
Each Anderson County town has its distinct personality, but all share an up-close and personal small-town flavor. The county’s municipalities include:
Belton South Carolina
Long before Belton was chartered, it was an important stop on the wagon trail from the mountains to Hamburg, Georgia. The town was named Belton in honor of Judge Belton O’Neal who was instrumental in the construction of the Greenville-Columbia railroad and was its first president. The castle-like tower that rises above the town of Belton is the standpipe. It is used for water storage and has become a familiar landmark. It’s image is used as Belton’s logo in the town seal. Belton is now the home to the S.C. Tennis Hall of Fame and holds the annual Standpipe Festival.
Honea Path South Carolina
The smallest town in the U.S. to have a Carnegie Library, Honea Path crests the ridge between the Savannah and Saluda Rivers. The name of this town has been under dispute for centuries, spawning a number of legends. Some believe it is the result of misspelling Honey Path, while others believe that Cherokees named it after a great trail.
Iva South Carolina
Originally known as Cook’s Station, Iva was a shipping station for Seaboard Railroad, and was named after Dr. Augustus Cook. The town name was later changed to Iva, the daughter of Dr. Cook, after it was discovered there was another Cook’s Station in S.C. Iva’s town square, with its gazebo and well monument, has been renovated to reflect the town’s history.
Pelzer South Carolina
Pelzer was named for Francis Pelzer, who was one of the founders of the Pelzer Manufacturing Company that was built in 1881. The first electric generations ever made by General Electric Company were used in Pelzer.
Pendleton South Carolina
Pendleton was named for Judge Henry Pendleton, a Virginian who came to live in S.C., and made a name for himself as a jurist, a soldier and a legislator. Stately trees, old churches and cemeteries, antebellum homes, and quaint little shops characterize this charming historic town, still centered around the original village green. Pendleton is the host of the annual Spring Jubilee and Old Farm Days.
Starr South Carolina
Twiggs was the original name of this small town 10 miles south of Anderson until the Savannah Valley railroad was completed in 1884. That was when the name changed to Starr Station in honor of the first popular railway engineer by that name. For almost a century, the surrounding area was largely dominated by now disappearing cotton farms.
West Pelzer South Carolina
Separated from Pelzer only by railroad tracks, West Pelzer was chartered as Frankville in 1913, named after John Franks who made the original town survey, In 1918, the town name was changed to West Pelzer because of its location. Part of the town is still laid out as designed in the original street plan by John Franks.
Williamston South Carolina
Williamston was named for West Allen Williams, who discovered a natural mineral spring on his property. The town grew up around this mineral spring, whose water was believed to have healing properties and made the town a popular health resort in the early 1800s. The site where the mineral spring still exists is now Williamston Park, where the town celebrates the annual Spring Water Festival and the Williamston Christmas Park.
Recreation in Anderson County South Carolina
Anderson County offers more recreation options than most communities. The surrounding lakes offer thousands of acres perfectly suited for boating, fishing, swimming, kayaking, canoeing. The majestic Blue Ridge Mountains are an easy day trip for hiking, biking or climbing. Charlotte, North Carolina and Atlanta, Georgia are each only two hours away, while South Carolina’s coastal towns and beaches are three to four hours travel.
Lake Hartwell, Lake Jocassee, Lake Keowee, Lake Russell, and J. Strom Thurmond Lake collectively known as South Carolina’s Freshwater Coast comprise 3,000 miles of shoreline and provide year-round recreation: swimming, sailing, boating, canoeing, water-skiing, fishing or just picnicking along the shore. Largemouth and hybrid bass, rainbow trout, bream, catfish, crappie and walleye all live in their waters. In Anderson’s backyard, birdwatchers can find yellow warbler, swamp sparrow, wood duck, and waterfowl in their habitat at Beaver Dam Wildlife Management Area. The climate is also a plus when playing on the lake or playing on the more than 12 golf courses located in Anderson county.
The Anderson area offers camping, picnicking, swimming, and other outdoor activities at several State Parks such as: Devils Fork State Park at Lake Jocassee; Lake Hartwell State Park; Keowee-Toxaway State Park at Lake Keowee; Sadlers Creek State Park at Lake Hartwell; Oconee State Park; and Table Rock State Park.
Horse shows, livestock sales, and equestrian events are held at the T. Ed Garrison Arena, a $4.4 million, 100-acre complex just off Highway 76. The T. Ed Garrison Arena is recognized as one of the premier multi-purpose livestock facilities in the Southeast. The Arena is South Carolina’s only full service, public facility designed to promote the state’s billion-dollar livestock industry. Operated by the Cooperative Extension Service in the division of Public Service and Agriculture at Clemson University, the Arena provides opportunities for shows, sales, exhibits, and educational programs, which benefit those in agriculture and agribusiness and the youth of South Carolina. These events draw thousands of visitors to Anderson and South Carolina, boost tourism, and contribute to economic development not only in the upstate, but also throughout the entire state of South Carolina. Boasting both indoor and outdoor arenas, this facility is the largest of its kind in the Southeast. Rodeos are also hosted at the Anderson Civic Center. A number of riding farms and academies in the area provide further options for equestrians and horse fans. NASCAR fans can catch races at Anderson speedway.
A prized local attraction, the South Carolina Botanical Garden, contains 270 acres of nature trails, flower gardens, organic sculptures, outdoor classrooms, and historical sites. Next door, explore the Fran Hansen Discovery Center, a showcase of Heritage Corridor treasures, and the Bob Campbell Geology Museum, featuring one of the Southeast’s largest collections of gems and minerals plus rotating natural history exhibits.
Anderson’s most important resource could be the people that live here. We are well known to be good-spirited and down-to-earth. It is this spirit that helped Anderson become recognized as an All-America City for the year 2000. The National Civic League bestows this prestigious honor on communities that have found the most innovative solutions to problems through grass-roots bridges between public, business, nonprofit organizations and citizens at large. Anderson’s solutions included a beautiful new main library, large YMCA complex, and a community health initiative which offers free prescription medicines and health care to those unable to pay. Community dreams have been realized with the impressive new sports and entertainment complex and the KidVenture playground, which was designed and built as a labor of love by children, parents and friends.
Anderson’s Downtown Revitalization project is a dynamic example of breathing new life into old landmarks: charming shops, restaurants, and galleries line the historic heart of town. Here the old and the new intermingle. From sticky down-home barbecue to lathered cappuccino, from sweet antique memorabilia to cutting-edge artwork, the tree-lined streets of downtown Anderson bring the best moments of its memories together with innovative flair. In Anderson, we love to put old things to new use, to remember as we rejuvenate.
Business in Anderson County South Carolina
Anderson county has over 37 miles of Interstate 85 frontage, making it the perfect location for many different businesses. The top major industries in Anderson County include manufacturers of automotive products, metal products, industrial machinery, plastics, publishing and textiles. Anderson County offers a wide range of incentives, such as reduced property taxes and enhanced tax credits for job creation. Plus we are blessed with the skilled, trained, and available labor force needed for any business to succeed and as a member of South Carolina’s State Technical and Comprehensive Education Program, Tri-County Technical College offers specialty training through The Center for Accelerated Technology Training. This program focuses on the training needs of new and existing business and industry in South Carolina. Because of this, several hundred manufacturers, including international companies, have located in the county. Anderson has a thriving business climate with the potential for much more growth.
Anderson County serves as an important element in the overall Upstate retail market due to its location and regional appeal. Studies have revealed that with more than 1,000 wholesale and retail trade businesses, shoppers from at least eleven counties, in South Carolina and Georgia, visit Anderson regularly.
Anderson County SC Climate and Quality of Life
Anderson County South Carolina Schools & Education
Excellence in education is the focus of the five school districts in Anderson county, with many of our elementary, middle and high schools winning state and national awards. The districts operate thirty elementary schools, ten middle schools, eight high schools, and various career centers and child development programs. There are also several area private and/or parochial schools that feature day-care centers, preschools, and kindergartens. Anderson County’s public school system serves more than 27,000 students. With more than 15 universities and colleges within a 50 mile radius of Anderson, there are many premium higher education options for students. Anderson County has integrated resources available to help train and develop a highly skilled work force.
Anderson University is a private, co-educational, Christian liberal arts institution affiliated with the South Carolina Baptist Convention, which offers degree programs at the undergraduate level and post graduate level. Founded in 1912, Anderson University has an enrollment of more than 1,900 students. Anderson University offers 53 undergraduate and graduate degree programs in 29 fields of study on its 65-acre campus. Anderson is ranked one of the best universities in the South by both U.S. News and World Report and The Princeton Review. The Anderson University Trojans compete in 19 NCAA Division II sports. Anderson University’s ACCEL program offers working professionals the opportunity to complete or seek a bachelors degree. Courses are offered in the evening to meet their busy schedule.
Clemson University, a major research university and one of the country’s top public universities, combines the best of small-college teaching and big-time science, engineering and technology. Located only 18 miles from downtown Anderson, Clemson is a public land grant university with many recent honors. Named by Time Magazine in 2000 as “Best Public College of the Year”, Clemson offers 114 degrees in 75 undergraduate degree programs, 75 masters programs and 39 doctoral programs. Approximately 1,200 faculty, including 33 Fulbright Scholars, teach 17,000 students each year. The university is committed to world-class teaching, research and public service. More than $76 million is spent each year on research. Clemson is among the top 25 colleges in the U. S. in terms of revenues of intellectual property licenses. The Wall Street Journal cited Clemson as leading the Southeast in commercializing inventions in university laboratories. Clemson is one of only 25 NSF-designated Engineering Research Centers in the country. Clemson currently graduates more than two-thirds of all engineering degrees in South Carolina. Clemson provides educational and enrichment opportunities through research, outreach and public service.
Tri-County Technical College is a public two-year, associate degree awarding college. Since the creation of Tri-County Technical College in 1962, the College has responded to a three-tiered mandate to support the economic development of Anderson, Oconee, and Pickens counties. First, the college delivers free, customized employment training for any manufacturing employer who creates new employment opportunities. Second, the college provides a supply of manufacturing technicians with two-year college degrees and area-specialized certification. Finally, the college meets the life-long learning needs of employees through a comprehensive program of occupational advancement training. The College offers certificates in the following programs: Quality Assurance, Automated Manufacturing, Robotics, CAD, CAM, CNC, Machining Operations, Welding, Electronics, Microelectronics, Motor Controls, Instrumentation, and PLCs. Clemson University, well-known for its research, engineering and agricultural programs, as well as its sports, enrolls more than 17,000 students.
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