A Walking Tour of Anderson, South Carolina
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Anderson, South Carolina is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions. More
There is no better way to see America than on foot. And there is no better way to appreciate what you are looking at than with a walking tour. This walking tour of Anderson, South Carolina is ready to explore when you are. Each walking tour describes historical, architectural landmarks, cultural sites and ecclesiastic touchstones and provides step-by-step directions.
Every tour also includes a quick primer on identifying architectural styles seen on American streets.
Anderson is named for General Robert Anderson, a Revolutionary War soldier, 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 Cherokee Indians. The City was founded in December 1826 along the “General’s Road,” the dirt highway used by Pickens when traveling from Abbeville County to his “Tamassee” home in Oconee County. Anderson was incorporated by an Act of Legislature in 1833.
With a trading area extending over South Carolina’s Piedmont section and into Georgia, commercial and manufacturing enterprises in Anderson developed rapidly from the time of its founding until the Civil War. The majority of the early commercial structures were wooden, several of which were destroyed or damaged by fire in 1845. Following Reconstruction after the Civil War, Anderson’s textile-based commerce and industry once again began to prosper. Growth continued throughout the 19th Century into the 20th, climaxing between 1898 and 1907, with one of the greatest periods of building activity in the town’s history. It was during this era of prosperity that a large number of the structures comprising the downtown district were built. Store buildings and hotels were rebuilt, but it was following the period of Reconstruction that Anderson experienced a period of major construction.
Anderson’s greatest notoriety came during that time, in the 1890s, when a bold engineer, an Anderson native named William Church Winter created one of America’s first hydroelectric power plants on the Seneca River. His new plant transmitted electricity 11 miles, the longest line in the country at the time. Flooded with the new “white fire,” Anderson was dubbed “The Electric City.”
Present-day Anderson, still a trade center for the county and surrounding area, in many ways resembles its appearance during the early 20th Century. Although new structures have been built and facades have been altered, the town retains much architectural integrity. Our exploration will start at one of the main buildings from a century ago and our walking tour will take in civic buildings, churches, glorious homes and even one of those old generators...