- source: Getty Thesaurus of Geographic Names
- source: Family History Library Catalog
- the text in this section is copied from an article in Wikipedia
Spartanburg is the largest city in and the county seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States, and the fourth 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. 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.
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. It is part of a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate," and is located northwest of Columbia, west of Charlotte, North Carolina, and about northeast of Atlanta, Georgia.
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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, a tributary of the Pacolet River, was once known for its plentiful wildlife and crystal clear waters. Parks and woodlands line much of its banks (which lie entirely within Spartanburg County), and rocky shoals and natural waterfalls can be found throughout its course. It stretches from the northern end of the county to the eastern end, where it empties into the Pacolet.
- The Cottonwood Trail is a walking trail that runs along part of Lawson’s Fork located on the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve. The trail includes picnic areas, a raised path over an extensive wetlands area and access to sporadic sandbars. It is used frequently by cyclists, joggers and walkers and is located just east of downtown. Since the Lawson's Fork floodplain is not suitable for development, wildlife populate the area. Larger animals that can be found here include white-tailed deer, raccoons, wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers and snapping turtles.
- Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, located in the midst of an urban environment, is a welcome oasis of natural beauty. The project of a retired social activist, Hatcher Garden has transformed an eroding gully into a thick woods and flower garden and provides a haven for birds and other wildlife.
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.
- Walnut Grove Plantation, an 18th-century farmhouse, has been preserved by the Spartanburg County Historical Association. The site of a locally famous skirmish during the American Revolutionary War, it was the home of the Moore family. The plantation lies south of Spartanburg near the town of Roebuck and is open to the public for tours and during annual festivals.
- The Seay House, another 18th-century home, is a more typical representative of a pioneer home. Its single stone fireplace and simple construction were common traits associated with farmsteads from this period.
- The Price House, the third 18th-century home maintained by the Historical Association, is unique. Its sturdy Flemish-bond brick construction and three stories are less widespread for this area. By carefully examining the original inventory lists of the house, the Historical Association has been able to retrieve period pieces that approximate the original contents of the house.
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.
- Morgan Square, the city’s primary downtown hub, is the original courthouse village. It was founded adjacent to a small spring (now underground) on the western slope of a ridge, which forms the border of the Tyger and Pacolet River watersheds. The square's name derives from Daniel Morgan, the general who commanded the American forces at Cowpens. A statue of Morgan was placed in the square in 1881. The oldest existing buildings on Morgan Square date to the 1880s.
- The Magnolia Street Train Depot is one of the older buildings in Spartanburg and stands as a reminder of Spartanburg’s old nickname “the Hub City,” referring to the many transportation routes that connected Spartanburg with cities throughout the region. It is now the home of the Amtrak station, the Hub City Railroad Museum, and the Hub City Farmers' Market.
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.
- Glendale Mill is located off Lawson’s Fork Creek southeast of the city. Although gutted by fire several years ago, a few towers and smokestacks remain, providing a dramatic backdrop to the dam, shoals and waterfalls of the creek below. The former company store now serves as the home of the Wofford College Environmental Studies Center.
- Beaumont Mill, north of the downtown, has recently been renovated to house the NCAA Southern Conference headquarters. The adjacent mill village has been designated as a local historic district.
- Converse Mill is located east of the city along the Pacolet River. It has recently been purchased by a developer. The mill was reconstructed in 1903 after a huge flood washed away the original mill.
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).