Spartanburg, South Carolina

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Spartanburg, South Carolina
City of Spartanburg
Clockwise from top: Spartanburg skyline, Daniel Morgan statue, Chapman Cultural Center, Morgan Square, Main Building at Wofford College, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Clockwise from top: Spartanburg skyline, Daniel Morgan statue, Chapman Cultural Center, Morgan Square, Main Building at Wofford College, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Official logo of Spartanburg, South Carolina
Nickname(s): The Hub City; Sparkle City; The Burg
Motto: "Always Doing."
Spartanburg's location in South Carolina
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
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
 • MayorJunie White
 • City19.2 sq mi (49.9 km2)
 • Land19.2 sq mi (49.6 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.47%
Elevation807 ft (246 m)
Population (2013)[1]
 • City37,647
 • Density2,066.3/sq mi (399.9/km2)
 • Urban180,786 (US: 192nd)
 • Metro318,999 (US: 152nd)
 • DemonymSpartans
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes29301-29307
Area code(s)864
FIPS code45-68290
GNIS feature ID1250982[2]
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"Spartanburg" redirects here. For other uses, see Spartanburg (disambiguation).
Spartanburg, South Carolina
City of Spartanburg
Clockwise from top: Spartanburg skyline, Daniel Morgan statue, Chapman Cultural Center, Morgan Square, Main Building at Wofford College, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Clockwise from top: Spartanburg skyline, Daniel Morgan statue, Chapman Cultural Center, Morgan Square, Main Building at Wofford College, Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium
Official logo of Spartanburg, South Carolina
Nickname(s): The Hub City; Sparkle City; The Burg
Motto: "Always Doing."
Spartanburg's location in South Carolina
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
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
 • MayorJunie White
 • City19.2 sq mi (49.9 km2)
 • Land19.2 sq mi (49.6 km2)
 • Water0.1 sq mi (0.2 km2)  0.47%
Elevation807 ft (246 m)
Population (2013)[1]
 • City37,647
 • Density2,066.3/sq mi (399.9/km2)
 • Urban180,786 (US: 192nd)
 • Metro318,999 (US: 152nd)
 • DemonymSpartans
Time zoneEastern (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST)Eastern (UTC-4)
ZIP Codes29301-29307
Area code(s)864
FIPS code45-68290
GNIS feature ID1250982[2]

Spartanburg is the largest city in and the county seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States,[3] and the twelfth largest city by population in the state. Spartanburg has a municipal population of 37,013 and an urban population of 180,786 at the 2010 census.[4] The Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, corresponding to Spartanburg County and Union County had a population of 316,997 as of the 2012 census estimate and Revised Delineations of Metropolitan Statistical Areas.[4]

Spartanburg is the second-largest city in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area which had a population of 1,266,995 at the 2010 census.[4] 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.


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 natural features.

Lawson's Fork Creek is located downstream from the Cottonwood Trail.

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.

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 (1/2 metal tube structures).

The American Legion Building, Anderson's Mill, Arcadia Mill No. 2, Bon Haven, Central Methodist Church, Church of the Advent, Cleveland Law Range, Converse College Historic District, Converse Heights Historic District, Drayton Mill, Bishop William Wallace Duncan House, Frank Evans High School, Evans-Russell House, Evins-Bivings House, Foster's Tavern, Fremont School, Golightly-Dean House, Hampton Heights Historic District, Hotel Oregon, Montgomery Building, Walter Scott Montgomery House, Daniel Morgan Monument, Nicholls-Crook House, Palmetto Theater, Schuyler Apartments, Jammie Seay House, Spartanburg Historic District, Walker Hall, Walnut Grove Plantation, Wofford College Historic District, and Mary H. Wright Elementary School are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8][9][10][11]

Geography and climate[edit]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles (50 km2), of which 19.1 square miles (49 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2), or 0.47%, is water.

The city of Spartanburg has a humid subtropical climate with long hot and humid summers, and modestly cool to semi mild winters. The average annual temperature is 60 °F (16 °C). In the summer season from June through September average highs are in the 80's to low 90's F, while in the winter months average highs are in the mid 50's 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. Average precipitation is 51.3 inches (130 cm) and the average growing season is 231 days.

Climate data for Spartanburg, South Carolina
Record high °F (°C)79
Average high °F (°C)54.6
Average low °F (°C)30.0
Record low °F (°C)−5
Precipitation inches (mm)4.1
Snowfall inches (cm)1.1
 % humidity56.565.


The current mayor, Junie White, was elected in 2009. 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.[12] 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.


QS/1 Data Systems Headquarters
BMW Spartanburg factory

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. Some of these new developments include a nine-floor, 240-room Marriott, the headquarters of Advance America, and the headquarters of QS/1 Data Systems. The world headquarters of Denny's restaurants is also located in downtown Spartanburg. Numerous other smaller businesses such as RJ Rockers Brewing Company have also moved downtown as a result of this community-wide effort.

The economy of Spartanburg benefits from the BMW manufacturing facility located in the western end of Spartanburg County. Manufacturing began in 1996 with certain types of the 3 Series (from the E36 platform) and with the Z3 roadster. However, a year later when the newer 3 Series (E46) platform emerged, BMW decided not to build it at the Spartanburg plant, but instead exclusively manufacture variants of the popular Z3. The plant currently manufactures the X5 SAV and X6 SAC for the world market. As part of an expansion project announced in March 2008, the plant will add about 1,200,000 square feet (110,000 m2) of assembly space, and it will become the home of the next-generation X3 SAV.

Spartanburg is also home to the world headquarters and research facility for Milliken & Company. With over 12,000 associates located at more than 60 facilities worldwide, Milliken is one of the largest privately held textile and chemical manufacturers in the world.

Top employers[edit]

According to Spartanburg's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[13] the principal employers in the city are:

#Employer# of Employees
1Spartanburg Regional5,719
2Spartanburg County1,450
3Spartanburg County School District 71,210
5American Credit Acceptance750
6City of Spartanburg492
7Wofford College483
8QS/1 Headquarters428
9Denny's Corporation278
10Spartanburg County Social Services253


Wilson Hall at Converse College.
Main Building at Wofford College.
USC Upstate's Johnson College of Business and Economics in downtown Spartanburg.


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

Public and private schools[edit]

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. However, the westernmost part of the city is served by Spartanburg County School District 6, which has two elementary schools within city limits. Spartanburg is home to the main campus of the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind. It has five Regional Outreach Centers throughout the state.[15] 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.[16]

Spartanburg is also home to Spartanburg Christian Academy, a K-12 private school in North Spartanburg,[17] 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.[18] Located in Hampton Heights, the Montessori Academy of Spartanburg is a PreK-8 private school providing a Montessori educational approach.[19] The Meeting Street Academy in downtown Spartanburg is a branch of a Charleston-based private school and currently offers PreK and Kindergarten.[20]

St. Paul the Apostle Catholic School is located in downtown Spartanburg. It is affiliated with the Diocese of Charleston and is K-8.[21]


Spartanburg County’s healthcare is mainly provided by the Spartanburg Regional Healthcare System. Spartanburg Regional is a public, not-for-profit, integrated health care delivery system based in the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, a 588-bed teaching and research hospital. SRHS provides healthcare services to a five-county area in North and South Carolina, serving an Upstate medical population of more than 300,000 people.

In 1925, Dr. Hugh Ratchford Black opened a 35-bed facility named in honor of his wife, Mary Black. The current Skylyn Drive facility opened in 1968, and today, the campus features a 353,690-square-foot (32,859 m2) modern medical facility. The medical staff consists of more than 350 physicians representing all specialties. Mary Black Physician Group has over 100 employed physicians in more than 30 locations.


Other attractions include:


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[28] in the Coastal Plain League[29] and the Spartanburg Crickets[30] in the Southern Collegiate Baseball League[31] 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.

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 BMW Charity Pro-Am is a golf tournament on the Nationwide Tour held each year in May at three courses in the Upstate, including the Carolina Country Club in Spartanburg.

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.[32]

The Southern Conference of the NCAA is headquartered in Spartanburg.

Spartanburg is located an hour away from the Clemson Tigers and about an hour and a half away from the University of South Carolina Gamecocks.

The Spartanburg Parks Commission hosts several travel baseball and softball tournaments each year, helping brand the city as one of the Southeast's most reputable tournament locations. Tyger River Park, a 13-field mega baseball/softball complex, opened in 2012.

Upward Sports, a Christian-based sports organization for kids, is headquartered in Spartanburg.[33]

Arts and culture[edit]

Panoramic view of the Chapman Cultural Center.

Spartanburg has, throughout its history, been a fruitful home to a creative community. Cultural events and institutions abound in the city and county and consistently draw large crowds.


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:

  • WYFF 4 (NBC) - Broadcasting from Greenville, SC
  • WSPA 7 (CBS)- broadcasting from Spartanburg
  • WLOS 13 (ABC) Broadcasting from Ashville, NC but also from Anderson, SC on WMYA DT-2 (a digital subchannel)
  • WGGS 16 independent/Christian Television Station
  • WHNS 21 (Fox) Licensed to Ashville but transmitting from Spartanburg
  • WMYA 40 (My Network TV) Transmitting from Anderson, SC but also on WLOS DT-2 a digital subchannel of Channel 13 out of Ashville, NC
  • WYCW 62 (The CW Network)- Licensed to Ashville but broadcasting and transmitting from Spartanburg


Major highways[edit]

Public transit[edit]

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.[45] All SPARTA buses are equipped with bicycle racks. Two hybrid-electric buses were added to the fleet in 2012.[46] The SPARTA Passenger Center is located at 100 North Liberty Street and also serves Greyhound buses.


Railroad station[edit]

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.


Historical population
Est. 201337,6471.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[48]
2013 Estimate[49]
Logo of the City of Spartanburg

As of the census of 2000, there were 39,673 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 19.4% 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.

List of neighborhoods[edit]

  • Andrews Farm
  • Arkwright
  • Beaumont Mills
  • Ben Avon
  • Camelot
  • Cedar Springs
  • Cleveland Heights
  • Cleveland Park
  • Converse Heights
  • Creekside
  • Cypress Creek
  • Drayton
  • Duncan Park
  • East Spartanburg
  • Fernwood
  • Forest Hills
  • Hampton Heights (National Register of Historic Places district)
  • Highland
  • Hillbrook
  • Hillcrest
  • Hilltop
  • Park Hills
  • Rock Spring
  • Saxon
  • Summerhill
  • The Oaks
  • The Towns
  • Westgate
  • Woodburn Hills
  • Woodland Heights
  • Woodridge

Notable people[edit]



  1. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". 2013 Population Estimates. U.S. Census Bureau, Population Division. June 3, 2014. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b c USA. EXECUTIVE OFFICE OF THE PRESIDENT. OFFICE OF MANAGEMENT AND BUDGET. February 28, 2013. Comp. Jeffrey D. Zients. 01st ed. Vol. 13. Washington, DC: US GOV, 2013. OMB Bulletin. EXECUTIVE DEPARTMENTS AND ESTABLISHMENTS. Web. 19 Jan. 2013. <>. Lists of Metropolitan Statistical Areas, Metropolitan Divisions, Micropolitan Statistical Areas, Combined Statistical Areas, and New England City and Town Area Delineations: This bulletin and its appendix that provides the nine lists of statistical areas are available electronically from the OMB web site at -- under "Bulletins;" of note, this update, historical delineations, and other information about population statistics is available on the Census Bureau's web site at:
  5. ^ Spartanburg Area Conservancy – Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  6. ^ Spartanburg, City and County, South Carolina. Spartanburg Board of Trade. 1888. p. 5. 
  7. ^ Beaumont Village Local Historic District. Retrieved on 2012-01-29.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. 2010-07-09. 
  9. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 10/22/12 through 10/27/12. National Park Service. 2012-11-02. 
  10. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 5/23/11 through 5/27/11. National Park Service. 2011-06-03. 
  11. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 6/25/12 through 6/29/12. National Park Service. 2012-07-06. 
  12. ^ City Council. City of Spartanburg. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  13. ^ "City of Spartanburg CAFR" (PDF). Retrieved August 29, 2012. 
  14. ^
  15. ^ South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  16. ^ "Spartanburg Preparatory School". Spartanburg Preparatory School. Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  17. ^ Spartanburg Christian Academy. (2010-12-06). Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  18. ^ Oakbrook Preparatory School. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  19. ^ Montessori Academy of Spartanburg. Retrieved on 2014-6-7.
  20. ^ Meeting Street Academy - Spartanburg. Retrieved on 2014-6-7.
  21. ^ St Paul the Apostle Catholic School Spartanburg SC. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  22. ^ "The Spartanburg Museum of Art". Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  23. ^ "The Spartanburg Regional Museum of History". March 22, 2011. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  24. ^ "The Spartanburg Science Center". The Spartanburg Science Center. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  25. ^ "Ballet Spartanburg". Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  26. ^ "Hub City Railroad Museum". Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  27. ^ "Spartanburg Music Trail". Retrieved July 20, 2012. 
  28. ^ "Spartanburg Stingers". Spartanburg Stingers. Retrieved September 1, 2011. 
  29. ^ Coastal Plain League[dead link]
  30. ^ Crickets
  31. ^ Collegiate Baseball League
  32. ^ Athletics | Converse College. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  33. ^ Upward Sports – Providing the best sports experience for every child. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  34. ^ Welcome to the Chapman Cultural Center. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  35. ^ Welcome to the Chapman Cultural Center. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  36. ^ Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  37. ^ Welcome to. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  38. ^ TEDxSpartanburg - Together: Creating A New Vision. Retrieved on February 4, 2012.
  39. ^ Converse College. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  40. ^ Wofford College. (2007-10-22). Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  41. ^ Spartanburg County Public Libraries. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  42. ^ "". Retrieved April 13, 2012. 
  43. ^ Do you think the TSA has gone too far with security checks?. Hometown News. Retrieved on 2010-12-12.
  44. ^ Upstate Link magazine
  45. ^ Spartanburg Area Regional Transit Agency
  46. ^ [1] Retrieved June 6, 2013.
  47. ^ Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport
  48. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  49. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2013". Retrieved June 3, 2014. 
  50. ^ "Ted Alexander". Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  51. ^ "Stephen Lamont Davis". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  52. ^ "Art Fowler Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved November 10, 2012. 
  53. ^ "Lowery Featured Speaker for Oklahoma Baptist University Chapel Service, February 14, 2000". Retrieved June 16, 2012. 

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]