Spartanburg, South Carolina
City of Spartanburg
Top, left to right: Spartanburg skyline, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Wofford College, Daniel Morgan Monument, Chapman Cultural Center
Top, left to right: Spartanburg skyline, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium, Wofford College, Daniel Morgan Monument, Chapman Cultural Center
Official logo of Spartanburg, South Carolina
Nickname(s): 
The Hub City; Sparkle City; The Burg
Motto(s): 
"Always Doing."
Spartanburg
Spartanburg's location in South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°56′48″N 81°55′39″W / 34.94667°N 81.92750°W / 34.94667; -81.92750Coordinates: 34°56′48″N 81°55′39″W / 34.94667°N 81.92750°W / 34.94667; -81.92750
Country United States
State South Carolina
CountySpartanburg
Founded1787[1]
Incorporated1831
Government
 • MayorJerome Rice[2]
Area
 • City19.88 sq mi (51.49 km2)
 • Land19.77 sq mi (51.20 km2)
 • Water0.11 sq mi (0.29 km2)  0.47%
Elevation797 ft (243 m)
Population
 (2020)
 • City38,732
 • RankSC: 11th
 • Density1,891.99/sq mi (730.51/km2)
 • Urban
180,786 (US: 192nd)
 • Metro
327,997 (US: 159th)
 • Demonym
Spartans
Time zoneUTC−05:00 (Eastern)
 • Summer (DST)UTC−04:00 (Eastern)
ZIP Codes
29301–29307
Area code(s)864
FIPS code45-68290
GNIS feature ID1250982[4]
Websitewww.cityofspartanburg.org

Spartanburg is a city in and the seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States.[5] The city of Spartanburg has a municipal population of 38,732 as of the 2020 Census, making it the 11th-largest city in the state.[6] For a time, the Office of Management and Budget grouped Spartanburg and Union Counties together as the "Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area", but as of 2018 the OMB defines only Spartanburg County as the Spartanburg MSA.[7]

Spartanburg is the second-largest city in the greater Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,385,045 as of 2014.[8] It is part of a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate," and is located 98 miles (158 km) northwest of Columbia, 80 miles (130 km) west of Charlotte, North Carolina, and about 190 miles (310 km) northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.

Spartanburg is the home of Wofford College, Converse University, and Spartanburg Community College, and the area is home to USC Upstate and Spartanburg Methodist College. It is also the site of headquarters for Denny's. Spartanburg was ranked #24 on the "150 Best Places to Live in the U.S. in 2021-2022" by US News & World Report.[9]

History

Spartanburg was formed in 1785, after a deal was made with the Cherokee Nation in 1753, and was named after a local militia called the Spartan Regiment in the American Revolutionary War. The Spartan Regiment, commanded by Andrew Pickens, participated in the nearby Battle of Cowpens. In 1831, Spartanburg was incorporated, later becoming known as the "Hub City": railroad lines radiated from the city forming the shape of a wheel hub.

It became a center of textile manufacturing in the late 19th century, with around 40 textile mills being established through the early 1900s.

During World War I Camp Wadsworth was used to train 100,000 soldiers for the war. Camp Croft trained soldiers during World War II. The facility was transferred to the state and adapted as Croft State Park.

By the 1950s, the production in these mills began to decline as wages increased. Most textile manufacturing jobs were moved offshore by the companies.

Spartanburg in 1909.

Geography

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), of which 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.47%, is water and 19.1 square miles (49 km2), or 99.53%, is land. The most common soil series is Cecil.[10] The bedrock is mostly biotite gneiss.[11]

Climate

The city of Spartanburg has a humid subtropical climate with long, hot and humid summers, and cool to semi mild winters. The average annual temperature is 61.6 °F (16.4 °C). In the summer season from June through September, average highs are in the 80s °F (20s °C) to low 90s °F (30s °C), while in the winter months average highs are in the mid 50s °F (10s °F). Annual rainfall is spread fairly evenly throughout the whole year. Spartanburg sees very little snowfall, with the annual average being only 1.4 inches (3.6 cm). Average precipitation is 51.3 inches (130 cm) and the average growing season is 231 days.

Climate data for Spartanburg, South Carolina (1991–2020 normals, extremes 1983–present)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 79
(26)
82
(28)
90
(32)
94
(34)
96
(36)
102
(39)
106
(41)
106
(41)
98
(37)
99
(37)
84
(29)
80
(27)
106
(41)
Average high °F (°C) 54.1
(12.3)
58.5
(14.7)
66.0
(18.9)
74.8
(23.8)
81.0
(27.2)
87.0
(30.6)
90.1
(32.3)
88.3
(31.3)
83.4
(28.6)
74.4
(23.6)
63.8
(17.7)
55.8
(13.2)
73.1
(22.8)
Daily mean °F (°C) 42.8
(6.0)
46.1
(7.8)
52.9
(11.6)
61.1
(16.2)
68.5
(20.3)
75.8
(24.3)
79.3
(26.3)
78.1
(25.6)
72.5
(22.5)
61.7
(16.5)
51.1
(10.6)
44.7
(7.1)
61.2
(16.2)
Average low °F (°C) 31.5
(−0.3)
33.8
(1.0)
39.8
(4.3)
47.3
(8.5)
56.0
(13.3)
64.6
(18.1)
68.6
(20.3)
67.8
(19.9)
61.6
(16.4)
49.0
(9.4)
38.4
(3.6)
33.6
(0.9)
49.3
(9.6)
Record low °F (°C) −5
(−21)
6
(−14)
12
(−11)
22
(−6)
29
(−2)
37
(3)
51
(11)
46
(8)
35
(2)
23
(−5)
13
(−11)
0
(−18)
−5
(−21)
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.34
(110)
3.77
(96)
4.81
(122)
4.29
(109)
3.92
(100)
4.58
(116)
3.97
(101)
4.56
(116)
3.65
(93)
3.93
(100)
3.72
(94)
4.70
(119)
50.24
(1,276)
Average snowfall inches (cm) 0.4
(1.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.2
(0.51)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.0
(0.0)
0.2
(0.51)
0.8
(2.0)
Average precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.3 8.2 9.5 8.0 7.9 9.2 9.3 8.4 6.6 6.2 7.1 9.1 98.8
Average snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.1 0.0 0.1 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.2 0.4
Source: NOAA[12][13]

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
18501,176
18601,2163.4%
18701,080−11.2%
18803,253201.2%
18905,54470.4%
190011,395105.5%
191017,51753.7%
192022,63829.2%
193028,72326.9%
194032,24912.3%
195036,79514.1%
196044,35220.5%
197044,5460.4%
198043,826−1.6%
199043,467−0.8%
200039,673−8.7%
201037,013−6.7%
202038,7324.6%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]
2020 US Census[15]

See also: Demographics of Spartanburg County

2010 census

As of the census of 2010, there were 37,013 people, 15,989 households, and 9,721 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,066.3 people per square mile (799.9/km2). There were 17,696 housing units at an average density of 923.9 per square mile (356.8/km2). The racial makeup was 49.55% African American, 47.15% White, 0.18% Native American, 1.33% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 0.76% from other races, and 0.96% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.78% of the population.

There were 15,989 households, out of which 28.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.0% were married couples living together, 23.0% had a female householder with no husband present, and 39.2% were non-families. 34.0% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.33 and the average family size was 3.00.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 25.2% under the age of 18, 12.2% from 18 to 24, 26.6% from 25 to 44, 20.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 35 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $28,735, and the median income for a family was $36,108. Males had a median income of $30,587 versus $23,256 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,136. About 29.4% of families and 23.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.6% of those under age 18 and 15.4% of those age 65 or over.

2020 census

Spartanburg racial composition[16]
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 17,076 44.09%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 16,945 43.75%
Native American 67 0.17%
Asian 787 2.03%
Pacific Islander 64 0.17%
Other/Mixed 1,513 3.91%
Hispanic or Latino 2,280 5.89%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 38,732 people, 15,154 households, and 8,638 families residing in the city.

Economy

See also: Economy of South Carolina

Within the past decade, developers and community leaders have spearheaded an effort to revitalize Spartanburg's downtown commercial district. This has resulted in a remodeling of Morgan Square, the restoration of a number of historic structures and the relocation of several businesses and company headquarters to the downtown vicinity. These new developments include a nine-floor, 240-room Marriott hotel. .

Spartanburg is home to many large companies including Denny's, KYMCO, Smith Drug Company, Advance America Cash Advance, Southern Conference, Spartanburg Herald-Journal, RJ Rockers Brewing Company, American Credit Acceptance, and Upward Sports.

The economy of Spartanburg benefits from the BMW manufacturing facility located in the city of Greer, South Carolina, which is in Spartanburg County. As of February 2017, the plant employs around 8,800 people with an average daily output of about 1,400 vehicles.

Spartanburg is also home to the world headquarters and research facility for Milliken & Company, a textile and chemical manufacturer.

QS/1 Data Systems Headquarters
QS/1 Data Systems Headquarters

Top employers

According to Spartanburg's 2015 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[17] the principal employers in the city are:

# Employer # of employees
1 Spartanburg Regional 9,000
2 Spartanburg County 1,437
3 Spartanburg County School District 7 1,243
4 Walmart 925
5 American Credit Acceptance 597
6 QS/1 Headquarters 520
7 Wofford College 450
8 City of Spartanburg 438
9 Advance America 411
10 Denny's Corporation 285

Arts and culture

Panoramic view of the Chapman Cultural Center.

Spartanburg has, throughout its history, been a fruitful home to a creative community.[citation needed] Cultural events and institutions in the city include:

Points of interest

Early European settlers to this area included French fur trappers, English woodsmen, and Scots-Irish farmers. Few remnants survive from these early pioneering days, but traces can be found in the more rural areas of the county.

First established in the 1780s as a courthouse village, Spartanburg may have been named for the Spartan regiment of the South Carolina militia. The city was incorporated in 1831, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens, a pivotal fight of the American Revolution that took place only a few miles away. The city's streets and architectural record reflect the changes of the 19th and 20th centuries.

Cotton mills have abounded in the Spartanburg area since 1816, earning Spartanburg the reputation as the "Lowell of the South." Although there were few mills in the area before the Civil War, technological advances, northern capital, and out-migration from the poor farms that made white labor available, 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 region's 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.
The old bridge and millpond at Glendale. The mill itself (background) has since burned.

When the United States entered World War I in 1917, one of the sixteen divisional cantonments for the training of National Guard troops was Camp Wadsworth, which is located in the vicinity of Westgate Mall. Large numbers of New York National Guardsmen trained there in addition to many southern troops. 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.

Attractions

Sports

Quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers participate in training camp at Wofford College in 2011.
Quarterback Cam Newton and the Carolina Panthers participate in training camp at Wofford College in 2011.

Spartanburg is host to the NFL's Carolina Panthers training camp each year on the campus of Wofford College.

Historic Duncan Park Stadium was once home to the Spartanburg Stingers[34] in the Coastal Plain League[35] and the Spartanburg Crickets[36] in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League[37] and is the oldest minor league baseball stadium in the country. It was also once home to the Spartanburg Phillies, a minor league team of the Philadelphia Phillies. It now is the home stadium for the baseball teams of Spartanburg High School and the Spartanburgers.

The Shrine Bowl of the Carolinas is held each year at Wofford's Gibbs Stadium. It is a high school football all-star game played between the top players from South Carolina and the top players from North Carolina.

The USC Upstate Spartans, Spartanburg Methodist College Pioneers, and the Wofford College Terriers offer a variety of sports for both men and women. Converse College also offers NCAA Division II women's sports teams.[38]

The city hosts the Spartanburg Criterium. The criterium is a yearly event and is usually one of the events associated with Speed Week which is part of the USA Crits bicycle racing series. The event is billed as the “fastest night in Spartanburg.”

Upward Sports, a Christian-based sports organization for kids, is headquartered in Spartanburg.[39]

Government

The current mayor, Jerome Rice, was elected in 2021. Spartanburg operates under a city manager form of government in which the mayor and six city council members have equal votes. Council members represent districts within the city and the mayor is elected at large. The council appoints a city manager, who is responsible for the daily administration of city governmental affairs.[40] City Hall is located at 145 West Broad Street.

The Spartanburg County Administration Building (this is the old Sears building which was vacated in the mid-1970s when Sears moved to Westgate Mall and renovated in the late 1980s or early 1990s) is located at 366 North Church Street. It is across the street from the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium.

Education

Wilson Hall at Converse University.
Wilson Hall at Converse University.
Old Main at Wofford College.
Old Main at Wofford College.
USC Upstate's Johnson College of Business and Economics downtown.
USC Upstate's Johnson College of Business and Economics downtown.

Colleges

Spartanburg is a college town, with four institutions of higher learning:

In the area:

Public and private schools

Most of the City of Spartanburg's public schools are run by Spartanburg County School District 7, one of seven loosely affiliated districts located in Spartanburg County. District 7 students are zoned to Spartanburg High School. However, the westernmost part of the city is served by Spartanburg County School District 6,[41] which has two elementary schools within city limits. District 6 students are zoned to Paul M. Dorman High School in Roebuck.

The Spartanburg area is home to the main campus of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind, which is outside of the city limits in an unincorporated area. It has five Regional Outreach Centers throughout the state.[42] The city is also home to Spartanburg Preparatory School, a K-8 public charter school that is the only "brick and mortar" charter school in the Upstate.[43]

Spartanburg is also home to Spartanburg Christian Academy, a K-12 private school in North Spartanburg,[44] the Spartanburg Day School, a K-12 private school offering the International Baccalaureate in grades K-4, and to Oakbrook Preparatory and Westgate Christian schools, both K-12 private schools.[45] Located in Hampton Heights, the Montessori Academy of Spartanburg is a PreK-8 private school providing a Montessori educational approach.[46] The Meeting Street Academy in downtown Spartanburg is a branch of a Charleston-based private school and currently offers PreK and Kindergarten.[47]

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School is located in downtown Spartanburg. It is affiliated with the Diocese of Charleston and is K-8.[48]

Media

Spartanburg is part of the much greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson-Asheville DMA which is the nation's 35th largest and is served by the following major television affiliates:

Infrastructure

Transportation

Major highways

Public transit

A hybrid SPARTA bus at the downtown Passenger Center.
A hybrid SPARTA bus at the downtown Passenger Center.

Spartanburg is served by the Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency (SPARTA), covering the city of Spartanburg and the surrounding urbanized area with 8 routes leading to a wide variety of destinations. All SPARTA buses are equipped with bicycle racks. Two hybrid-electric buses were added to the fleet in 2012.[52] The SPARTA Passenger Center is located at 100 North Liberty Street and also serves Greyhound buses.

Mass Transit is provided to all citizens of Spartanburg County through Spartanburg County Dial-A-Ride. It is a door to door service that operates six days a week.

Airports

The Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) lies mostly in suburban Greer, and it serves Greenville as well as Spartanburg. It has become one of the busiest airports in South Carolina.

The Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport (SPA) is a general aviation/small craft airport owned and operated by the City, which lies southwest of town.[53]

Railroad station

Amtrak's Crescent train connects Spartanburg with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Greensboro, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 290 Magnolia Street.

Healthcare

Spartanburg County's healthcare is mainly provided by Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Spartanburg Regional is a public, not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system with several facilities in Spartanburg, including:

Notable people

Gallery

References

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  2. ^ Wen, Eva (January 11, 2022). "New Spartanburg mayor and council sworn in as the city gets ready for a new year". Spartanburg Herald-Journal. Retrieved January 11, 2022.
  3. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  4. ^ a b U.S. Geological Survey Geographic Names Information System: Spartanburg, South Carolina
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  6. ^ "2020 Census Results". Census Bureau. Retrieved October 28, 2021.
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Further reading