The Cherokee Indian Removal Memorial, located in downtown Greenville, honors the memory of the Cherokee people who were forced to leave their homes in the state and walk the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Spartanburg County, located in the upstate region of South Carolina, has a rich history that dates back to the prehistoric era. The area was originally inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Cherokee and Catawba, who peacefully coexisted with European settlers until conflicts arose in the 18th century.

In the mid-1700s, European settlers began to establish permanent settlements in what is now Spartanburg County. The town of Spartanburg was officially founded in 1785 and named after the Spartan Regiment, a local militia group that fought in the American Revolution. The county quickly grew, attracting settlers with its fertile land and opportunities for trade.

During the 19th century, Spartanburg County played a significant role in the development of the textile industry. The advent of the railroad in the 1850s spurred industrialization, leading to the establishment of numerous cotton mills in the area. These mills, along with the growth of agriculture, shaped Spartanburg County into a thriving economic hub. However, the county also experienced the social and economic challenges of the time, including racial tensions and labor disputes.

In the 20th century, Spartanburg County continued to evolve as industries diversified. The county played an important role in World War II, with several military training bases located within its borders. In the post-war years, Spartanburg became known for its automotive manufacturing, attracting major companies like BMW and Michelin. Today, Spartanburg County is a vibrant and diverse community, known for its strong economy, educational institutions, and historic sites, including Cowpens National Battlefield and Glendale Shoals.

This timeline provides a glimpse into the major events and milestones that have shaped the history of Spartanburg County, South Carolina.

  • 1785 - Spartanburg County is established as a county in South Carolina.
  • 1787 - Spartanburg becomes the site for the county courthouse.
  • 1850s - The completion of the Spartanburg and Union Railroad brings economic growth to the county.
  • 1861-1865 - Spartanburg County is deeply affected by the American Civil War.
  • 1870s - The textile industry begins to thrive in Spartanburg County.
  • 1890 - The city of Spartanburg is officially incorporated.
  • 1920s - Spartanburg becomes a hub for the automobile industry.
  • 1930s - The Great Depression impacts the county, causing economic hardship.
  • 1950s-1960s - Spartanburg County experiences significant growth and urban development.
  • 1970s - Spartanburg becomes a center for healthcare with the establishment of the Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.
  • 1990s - The county sees further economic diversification, particularly in manufacturing and healthcare.
  • Present - Spartanburg County continues to grow and attract new businesses and residents.