A History of Anderson, South Carolina

The 1897 Anderson County Court House as seen in a 1908 post card.

Old Anderson County Court House - Anderson, SC (2008)

Anderson is known as "the Electric City" for pioneering long-distance power transmission, and is the county seat of Anderson County, South Carolina.

Anderson’s downtown Historic District comprises a sixteen-block walking tour that includes the Anderson County Court House, 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 Cannon), and the Anderson County Arts Center (once the Carnegie Library).

Nestled in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, skirted by lakes and rivers, Anderson County lies along the South Carolina Heritage Corridor in the state’s northwestern corner. Positioned between Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina on what was once Cherokee hunting ground, Anderson is studded with landmarks from its past. From pioneer log cabins to stately mansions, the area holds treasures for those wishing to explore its history. The county seat, Anderson, was heralded as the “City of Hospitality” for its gracious air and beautiful gardens. During the industrial revolution it was reborn as the “Electric City” for its pioneering use of hydroelectric power.

Today Anderson residents combine the strengths of a shared heritage with a positive vision as they plan for their future. This unique civic spirit has earned national recognition, as Anderson was named “All-America City” in 2000 by the National Civic League. The country’s smaller towns, spread around the rolling countryside, each bear a unique character and history. Together, they make Anderson County what it is: a beautiful haven for visitors and a source of pride for those who call it home.

Anderson County Court House - Anderson, SC (2008)

In the mid-1700s, Robert Anderson and Andrew Pickens, explored the Cherokee land that was to become Anderson. Settled by pioneering small farmers of Scots-Irish and English descent, the area’s agrarian economy did not include slaves. It was the spirit of innovation and self-reliance that prepared its residents for the manufacturing boom in the nineteenth 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.

Click Here to learn about the "Street Railways" that operated in Anderson from 1905 to 1934.
Established in Pendleton District (county) as Webb's Store, the town was granted a U.S. Post Office on July 5, 1823, and its first Postmaster was Mr. Thomas Webb. In 1826, Anderson District (county) was created out of Pendleton, and Webb's Store was officially named the County Seat, with a new name of Anderson Court House. As Anderson Court House the town was granted a U.S. Post Office on April 9, 1827 with its first Postmaster Mr. Micajah Webb. Around the year of 1895, the town was renamed to simply Anderson. Its Post Office has been in continuous operation ever since inception.
Click Here to view / download a 2018 map of Anderson, SC. Adobe PDF file - 9 pages. Fairly large file.

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