Anderson is named for General Robert Anderson, a Revolutionary War hero, who came to South Carolina to assist his good friend, Andrew Pickens, in surveying land that had been given previously to the English Colony by area Native Americans. The City was founded in December 1826 and incorporated by an Act of Legislature in 1833.
The population was 25,514 at the 2000 census, 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: 165,740, according to the 2000 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).
The Electric City
Why is Anderson called the “Electric City”? In the late 1800s, Anderson boasted numerous textile mills. Anderson engineer William Whitner produced a way for electricity to be conducted by wires to these mills using hydroelectric power. Anderson was the first city in the United States to have a continuous supply of electric power and the first in the world to create a cotton gin operated by electricity. Mr. Whitner has several places of distinction in Downtown Anderson, including a statue in front of the Anderson County Courthouse and a street named in his honor. Also, at the corner of McDuffie and Whitner Streets, you will find Generator Park. On the grounds of this 10,000 square-foot park stands the century-old generator that was operated by Whitner at the Portman Power Plant.
Anderson is located in the northwestern corner of South Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains on the shores of beautiful Lake Hartwell in an area commonly known as “The Upstate.” It is located along the South Carolina Heritage Corridor right off Interstate I-85, being about 2 hours from both Atlanta, Georgia and Charlotte, North Carolina.
Lake Hartwell is one of the largest and most popular lakes in the Southeast and is home to a number of state parks, public campgrounds, boat ramps and marinas.
Several state parks, three dozen waterfalls and countless recreational areas are within reach, many of which are less than an hour’s drive from Anderson.
The town of Pendleton boasts an entire district on the National Register of Historic Places. The charming community offers visitors the opportunity to dine, shop and step back in time with guided tours of the nearby antebellum plantations such as Woodburn & Ashtabula.
The South Carolina National Heritage Corridor passes through Anderson County, South Carolina on its scenic 240 mile journey to the Atlantic Ocean. History buffs will also enjoy a trip to the Anderson County Museum, whose priceless artifacts and fascinating exhibits give a glimpse of our storied history. We’re also home to museums covering diverse subject, ranging from tennis to geology.
A short trip down SC-29, the 65-acre Jockey Lot provides bargain shoppers a chance to wheel-and-deal with 1,500 dealers at the largest flea market in the Southeast. Have fun down on the farm at our varied agritourism attractions.
With 10 year-round golf courses Anderson is a great place to tee it up.
Of course, whether you’re planning to stay a while or are just passing through, Anderson offers more than 1,400 hotel & motel rooms along with several charming bed & breakfasts from which to choose. We also have several campgrounds on Lake Hartwell and vacation rental homes. From fine dining to popular chains to the ever-popular “meat and three” restaurants, you’ll find menus for every taste.
Because of our unrivaled spirit and unparraled quality of life Anderson County, South Carolina was named an “All-America City” in 2000 by the National Civic League.