Anderson, South Carolina

Anderson, South Carolina
—  City  —
Nickname(s): The Electric City
Anderson is located in South Carolina
Location in the state of South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°30′52″N 82°38′56″W / 34.51444°N 82.64889°W / 34.51444; -82.64889Coordinates: 34°30′52″N 82°38′56″W / 34.51444°N 82.64889°W / 34.51444; -82.64889
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Anderson
 – Type Council-manager government
 – Mayor Terence Roberts
 – City Manager John Moore
 – Total 13.9 sq mi (35.9 km2)
 – Total 26,242
 – Density 1,893.2/sq mi (731/km2)
Website Official website

Anderson is a city in and the county seat of Anderson County, South Carolina, United States.[1] The population was estimated at 26,242 in 2006,[2] and the city was the center of an urbanized area of 70,530. It is the principal city of the Anderson, South Carolina Metropolitan Statistical Area (population: 187,126, according to the 2010 census), (population: 184,901,according to the 2009 census), which is further included in the larger Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area (population: 1,185,534, according to 2005 U.S. Census Bureau estimates). Anderson is just off Interstate 85 and is 120 Miles from Atlanta and 140 miles (230 km) from Charlotte.

Anderson is the smallest of the three primary cities that makes up the Upstate region and is nicknamed "The Electric City" and "The Friendliest City in South Carolina." Anderson's spirit and quality of life has earned national recognition as Anderson County was named an "All-America City" in 2000.

Anderson is the home of Anderson University, a selective private comprehensive university of approximately 2,700 undergraduate and graduate students.



Anderson was named for a Revolutionary War hero, Robert Anderson. General Anderson and Andrew Pickens surveyed the land in the area. The Cherokees lived in the area until 1777. The land was then ceded to South Carolina by the Cherokee in a treaty negotiated by Pickens. This area was then called the Pendleton District for official purposes. In 1826, the Pendleton District was divided into two districts  — Anderson and Pickens. Because the town of Pendleton was at the top of the county, too close to the Pickens border, a new courthouse was built at the center of the county. A small town, named Anderson Courthouse, built around the courthouse, and this community eventually became known as Anderson. The original courthouse was built of logs, but 10 years later, a courthouse made of bricks was erected to replace it. A still-standing Anderson County Courthouse, built in 1898, now faces the current courthouse and is built on the site of the original.

The settlers of this area were mostly Scots-Irish who came from Virginia and Pennsylvania to farm. Farmers grew corn and raised hogs. Much later, cotton became the cash crop of the area. By the late 19th century, the Anderson area was filled with numerous textile mills. Due to the innovation of Anderson engineer William Whitner, electricity could be conducted by wire to mills throughout the county. Anderson was the first city in the United States to have a continuous supply of electric power, which was supplied by a water mill located in the high shoals area of the Rocky River in Anderson County. The first cotton gin in the world to be operated by electricity was built in Anderson County in 1897. Several areas of Anderson are named in Whitner's honor, including a downtown street. Anderson became known as "The Electric City," a nickname that it still holds today.

On November 14, 1931, famous aviator Amelia Earhart flew into the Anderson, SC airport in her Pitcairn PCA-2 Autogyro, attracting over 1,000 spectators. Mayor G.T. McGregor and other city leaders met her at the airport. She was piloting the Autogiro on a nationwide tour promoting Beech-Nut products. Earhart landed at the original Anderson County Airport, founded in 1928 on the highest land Anderson County owned. This "airport," a mere grass strip originally planned as an emergency landing field, later became a joint city county facility where planes delivering air mail landed. The field functioned until the land for the current airport on Highway 24 was purchased and developed in the mid 1930's [3] [4]


Anderson is located at 34°30′52″N 82°38′56″W / 34.51444°N 82.64889°W / 34.51444; -82.64889 (34.514506, −82.648944)[5].

Anderson is located in the northwest corner of South Carolina on the Piedmont plateau. At the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, Anderson is a 1-hour drive from the Appalachian Mountains, and a 4-hour drive from the South Carolina coast. Anderson lies roughly at the midpoint of the busy I-85 corridor between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 13.9 square miles (36 km2), of which 13.8 square miles (36 km2) is land and 0.07% is water.


Anderson's economy revolves around manufacturing. Anderson has over 230 manufacturers, including 22 international companies. In the county, Anderson has a thriving business climate. The top major industries in Anderson include manufacturers of automotive products, metal products, industrial machinery, plastics, publishing, and textiles. Two industries that many times interconnect are the plastic and automotive sectors. There are more than 27 BMW suppliers in the Upstate, which is recognized internationally as an automotive supplier hub. The plastic industry has a strong presence in the Upstate with 244 plastic companies located within the 10 counties of the state's northwest corner. Anderson County, in particular, has 11 automotive suppliers and is a major player in the plastic industry, with 27 plastic companies located within its borders. It has one unionized company in the area – Anderson is a growing area in the form of economics.


The city of Anderson is served by the Anderson County School System (specifically, Anderson School District Five). The school district has 11 elementary schools, three middle schools, and two high schools. A new middle school is to be built soon. The purpose for the new middle school is to relieve overcrowding at McCants Middle School. The school district is refurbishing Concord, Homeland Park, Centerville, Midway, and Varennes Elementary Schools.

Elementary schools in Anderson:

  • Calhoun Academy of the Arts
  • Centerville Elementary
  • Concord Elementary
  • Flat Rock Elementary
  • Homeland Park Elementary
  • Iva Elementary
  • McLees Elementary
  • Midway Elementary
  • Nevitt Forest Elementary
  • New Prospect Elementary
  • Starr Elementary
  • Townville Elementary (City of Townville)
  • Varennes Elementary
  • Whitehall Elementary

Middle schools in Anderson:

  • Riverside Middle School (City of Pendleton)
  • Lakeside Middle School
  • McCants Middle School
  • Southwood Middle School
  • Robert Anderson Middle School
  • Starr-Iva Middle School
  • Glen View Middle School

High schools in Anderson:

Private schools in Anderson

Early childhood schools in Anderson:

  • West Market
  • South Fant

Swim Centers

  • District 5
    • Sheppard
    • Hudgens, open until recently, has been condemned for destruction and closed

Higher education

There are five colleges and one technical college within a 30-mile (48 km) radius of Anderson:



Anderson is served by Anderson County Regional Airport (IATA: AND, ICAO: KAND). The airport is 3 miles (4.8 km) away from Anderson and has 2 runways; runway 5/23 is 6,000 feet (1,800 m) and runway 17/35 is 5,000 feet (1,500 m). The airport also has helipads. The airport has no control tower but is able to accommodate regional jet aircraft. In addition, the airport has a small terminal.

Roads and Highways

Anderson has five signed exits on I-85, currenty the city's only freeway. Several notable highways pass through the city, including U.S. Route 76 and U.S. Route 178 co-signed along Clemson Boulevard, also known as SC-Bus 28, and U.S. Route 29 leading to Hartwell to the south and Greenville to the north.

In 2011, construction began on a new east-west connector which is approximately three miles long between Clemson Boulevard and South Carolina Highway 81.[6] On August 16, 2010, the connector was voted to have four lanes with turn and bike lanes with a completion date set in October 2012.[7]

Public Transit

Anderson has four bus routes (Blue, Green, Red, and Gold) that travel to most major areas of the city, running every hour.[8] and also receives service from Clemson Area Transit (CATS) via the 4U route.[9] The city uses both newer hybrid buses and older style trolleys resembling Anderson's old streetcars. Inter-city bus travel is available through Greyhound Lines, located on West Whitner Street near downtown.

Anderson Mall

Anderson Mall is Anderson's largest shopping center. It opened in 1972 and has undergone many expansions. It currently has more than 76 specialty stores thanks to a renovation completed in 2008. The mall is owned by Simon Property Group and anchored by Sears, Belk, Dillards, and JC Penney. Dillards recently opened at the mall in the Fall of 2008 as part of the renovation project. The project also closed the Goody's outparcel store. The front of the mall was also remodeled with Books-A-Million relocating to this area, along with several other stores and Brioso Pasta.


Anderson is one of the premier shopping centers in The Upstate. Locally owned stores such as Grady's Great Outdoors [1] and McAuley's Boutique [2] as well as big box stores occupy Anderson, mainly on Clemson Boulevard. Midtown Park is a new shopping center which opened in 2008 that features Kohl's, Dick's Sporting Goods, Staples, AT&T, Hardee's, and Ulta. Other major shopping centers in Anderson include Anderson Mall, North Pointe Centre, Anderson Station, and two WalMart shopping centers.


As of the census[10] of 2000, there were 25,514 people, 10,641 households, and 6,299 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,843.7 people per square mile (711.8/km²). There were 12,068 housing units at an average density of 872.1 per square mile (336.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 63.12% White, 34.01% African American, 0.22% Native American, 0.78% Asian American, 0.04% Pacific Islander, 0.68% from other races, and 1.16% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.48% of the population.

There were 10,641 households out of which 25.4% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.9% were married couples living together, 18.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 40.8% were non-families. 36.0% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.22 and the average family size was 2.89.

In the city the population was spread out with 22.2% under the age of 18, 10.7% from 18 to 24, 26.3% from 25 to 44, 20.4% from 45 to 64, and 20.4% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 82.3 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over there were 77.5 males.

Anderson is the central city of an urbanized area with a total population of 70,530 (2000 census). This urban area is within the larger Greenville-Spartanburg metropolitan statistical area.


Anderson is governed using the mayor-council system. The Mayor is elected at-large. The city council consists of eight members. Six are elected from districts and the other two are elected at large.

Notable residents

  • James Lee Barrett: American producer, screenwriter, and writer. Won the Tony Award for the Best Musical, Shenandoah.
  • Guy Davenport: prolific novelist, poet, and scholar
  • Shaun Ellis: current professional football player
  • James Robert "Radio" Kennedy: subject of the motion picture Radio, there is now a statue of him in the town.
  • Rafael Little: Graduated University of Kentucky as a free Agent with the Tennessee Titans. He currently plays in the CFL.
  • Johnny Mann: arranger, composer, conductor, entertainer, and recording artist
  • Adam Minarovich: Film director and actor (The Walking Dead).[11]
  • Charles Murphey: (1799–1861), United States Congressman from Georgia.[12]
  • Larry Nance, retired NBA basketball player with the Phoenix Suns and Cleveland Cavaliers
  • James Lawrence Orr: former Governor of South Carolina and Speaker of the United States House of Representatives.
  • Lu Parker: Miss USA 1994
  • Wesley Quinn: Dancer/singer in popular boyband V Factory (Asher Book from the remake of Fame is also in V Factory), graduated from Wren High School in Piedmont, South Carolina.
  • Jim Ed Rice: former professional baseball player with the Boston Red Sox from 1974 to 1989. Member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame - Class of 2009
  • Jessica Stroup: Actress on the CW TV show 90210
  • Ben Taylor: former Negro League professional baseball player from 1908 to 1929 and Manager/Coach from 1929 to 1940. Member of the Major League Baseball Hall of Fame - Class of 2006
  • James Michael Tyler: actor who portrayed Gunther on the NBC sitcom Friends, alumnus of Anderson University
  • George Webster: former AFL and NFL football player. two time All American at Michigan State University, 1965-66. ABC television's Defensive Player of the Decade. elected to College Football Hall of Fame, 1987. 1967 AFL Rookie of the Year. selected to AFL All Time Team. three time Pro Bowl linebacker.

Sister cities

Anderson has one sister city, as designated by Sister Cities International.


External links

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