The area was part of the Cherokee nation's protected grounds after the treaty of 1763 ending the French & Indian War. No white man was allowed to enter, though some families already had settled just within the boundary, and white traders regularly crossed the area. The first white man to settle permanently in the area was Richard Pearis, who settled at the falls of the Reedy River sometime after 1770. Paris Mountain, the mountain overlooking the city, is named for him.
During the Revolution, the Cherokee (and Pearis) sided with the British. After a campaign in 1776, the Cherokee agreed to the Treaty of DeWitt's Corner ceding territory that includes present-day Greenville County to South Carolina.
Greenville was originally called Pleasantburg. Greenville County was created in 1786, but was called Greenville District from 1800 until 1868. The area is probably named for American Revolutionary General Nathanael Greene.
Greenville is located at 34°50'40" North, 82°23'8" West (34.844313, -82.385428)GR1.
Due to the strict annexation laws of South Carolina, Greenville proper is relatively small in population and size. However, its metropolitan area compares well with most medium-sized US cities. Greenville is in the foothills of the Appalachian mountains and is, therefore, graced with many hills and knolls. The highest point in South Carolina, Sassafras Mountain, is nearby in the northern part of Greenville County. Paris Mountain is the second most prominent ridge in the area, it is also home to many of the area's television and radio stations' towers. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Greenville has a total area of 67.7 sq. km (26.1 sq. mi). 67.5 sq. km (26.1 sq. mi) of it is land and 0.2 sq. km (0.1 sq. mi) of it is water. The total area that is 0.23% water.
Since the Civil War, Greenville's economy has been based largely on textile manufacturing. Low wages and favorable tax benefits have lured foreign companies to invest heavily in the area: Greenville is the North American headquarters for Michelin and BMW (who also built a major manufacturing plant just east of Greenville in Spartanburg). These companies, and others such as General Electric, have contributed to the area's sustained growth. Recently, Clemson University, BMW, IBM, Microsoft, and Michelin have combined to create an International Center for Automotive Research (ICAR) in the Greenville area. Lockheed Martin has an aircraft maintenance facility located in Greenville.
Greenville is the regional medical center, with the extensive Greenville Hospital System, Saint Francis Hospital, and Saint Francis Women's & Family Hospital as the main facilities. Many pharmaceutical companies have offices and facilities in the area.
Greenville is located on the Interstate 85 corridor, linking it to Atlanta and Charlotte, and Interstate 26, which is in nearby Spartanburg, linking Greenville to the Midwest. It also is located at the northern terminus of the Interstate 385 corridor. The other freeways that converge in the area include Interstate 185 and U.S. Highway 123 (Calhoun Memorial Highway). Other major highways include U.S. 25, Business U.S. Highway 25, U.S. 29 and U.S. 276. Main Street is home to many of the downtown area's shopping and dining destinations.
Greenville is also served by the Greenville Transit Authority (GTA). GTA runs a bus system that serves the Greenville area and nearly all of Greenville County as well.
Amtrak's Crescent train connects Greenville with the cities of New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Washington, Charlotte, Atlanta, Birmingham and New Orleans. The Amtrak station is situated at 1120 West Washington Street.
Greenville is served by two airports, Greenville Downtown Airport (GMU) and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), located in nearby Greer. Greenville-Spartanburg International is the state's busiest airport, while Greenville Downtown Airport is the state's third-busiest.
Greenville is located in close proximity to the Great Smoky Mountains.
The Greenville News is the city's only daily newspaper and also the Upstate's largest daily newspaper.
Community Journals: Weekly newspaper with editions in Greenville, Anderson and Spartanburg. It has the highest circulation of any newspaper in the Upstate.
The Beat: Greenville's bi-weekly alternative newspaper. Formerly the award-winning MetroBEAT (and prior to that, Creative Loafing), the Beat is a locally owned paper published in oversized journal format that provides coverage and opinions on local politics, arts and entertainment, and business as well as comprehensive reviews for CD's, books, and even houses of worship.
Greenville is part of the much greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson-Asheville DMA which is the nation's 35th largest and is served by the following major network television affiliates:
WYFF 4 (NBC)
WSPA 7 (CBS)
WLOS 13 (ABC)
WHNS 21 (FOX)
WBSC 40 (WB)
WASV 62 (UPN).
Places of interest in Upstate SC
"Shoeless Joe" Jackson Memorial Park
West Avenue, Greenville
16th S.C. Volunteers Museum of Confederate History
15 Boyce Ave., Greenville
Anderson County Arts Center
405 W. Main St., Anderson
8 Bennett St., Greenville
Interstate 85 and State 101, 1400 Highway 101 South, Greer
Bob Jones University Museum of Sacred Art
1700 Wade Hampton Blvd., Greenville
Campbell's Covered Bridge
Campbell's Bridge Road near Tigerville off State 414, Greer
Cherokee County Veterans Museum
South Logan Street, Gaffney
3300 Poinsett Highway, Travelers Rest
Gardens of Park Seed Co.
State 254, north of Greenwood, Greenwood
Golden Creek Mill
Enon Church Road, Easley
Greenville County Museum of Art
420 College St., Greenville
Greenville Cultural Exchange Center
700 Arlington Ave., Greenville
150 Cleveland Park Dr., off East Washington St., Cleveland Park, Greenville
Hollywild Animal Park
Hampton Road, Inman
Irma Morris Museum of Fine Art
Hagood-Mauldin House, 104 N. Lewis St.,
James Dunklin House
544 W. Main St.,
560 N. Academy St., Greenville
Nippon Center & Yagota
500 Congaree Road, Greenville
Peace Center for the Performing Arts
300 S. Main St., Greenville
Five miles from Old U. S. Highway 25 north of Greer, Greer
Reedy River Falls and Historic Park
South Main Street and Camperdown Way, Greenville
Roper Mountain Science Center
504 Roper Mountain Road, Greenville
South Carolina Tennis Hall of Fame & Ruth Drake Museum
Old Depot, Belton
Spartanburg County Museum of Art
385 S. Spring St., Spartanburg
Spartanburg County Regional Museum
501 Otis Blvd., Spartanburg
Suber's Corn Mill
Suber Mill Road, Greer
Union County Museum
American Federal Building, Main Street,
Walnut Grove Plantation
U.S. 221 North, near Roebuck, Roebuck
U.S. 76, west of Pendleton, Pendleton
World of Energy
Duke Power, State 130 and State 183, Seneca
Greenville Quick Links
SC Governor's School for the Arts & Humanities
The Fine Arts Center
Peace Center for the Performing Arts - Entertainment stage and theare
Metropolitan Arts Council. Greenville's Art Council
South Carolina Lakes - Lake info for boating & fishing
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP)
As of the censusGR2 of 2000, there are 56,002 people, 24,382 households, and 12,581 families residing in the city. The population density is 829.4/sq. km (2,148.0/sq. mi). There are 27,295 housing units at an average density of 404.2/sq. km (1,046.9/sq. mi). The racial makeup of the city is 62.12% White, 33.94% African American, 0.14% Native American, 1.27% Asian, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 1.37% from other races, and 1.11% from two or more races. 3.44% of the population are Hispanic or Latino of any race.
There are 24,382 households out of which 22.3% have children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.7% are married couples living together, 15.5% have a female householder with no husband present, and 48.4% are non-families. 40.8% of all households are made up of individuals and 12.8% have someone living alone who is 65 years of age or older. The average household size is 2.11 and the average family size is 2.90.
In the city the population is spread out with 20.0% under the age of 18, 13.8% from 18 to 24, 31.3% from 25 to 44, 20.5% from 45 to 64, and 14.4% who are 65 years of age or older. The median age is 35 years. For every 100 females there are 89.9 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there are 86.8 males.
The median income for a household in the city is $33,144, and the median income for a family is $44,125. Males have a median income of $35,111 versus $25,339 for females. The per capita income for the city is $23,242. 16.1% of the population and 12.2% of families are below the poverty line. Out of the total population, 22.7% of those under the age of 18 and 17.5% of those 65 and older are living below the poverty line.
Greenville and Greenville County are served by the Greenville County school district.
Greenville is not a college town, but the students of both Furman University (in Greenville) and nearby Clemson University enjoy Greenville's downtown area for weekend entertainment.
Greenville is home to several colleges and technical schools:
- Destiny Bible College
- Bob Jones University
- ECPI College of Technology
- Furman University
- Greenville Presbyterian Theological Seminary
- Greenville Technical College - Founded in 1962, Greenville Tech is an accredited, state-supported institution of higher learning dedicated to providing affordable, quality educational opportunities to residents throughout the Greenville, South Carolina metropolitan area. With an annual enrollment exceeding 10,000 curriculum students, today's Tech is a large, dynamic, comprehensive community college with four convenient off-campus sites in addition to the Barton campus. Flexible scheduling and a number of venues make a wide range of courses easily accessible.
- ITT Technical Institute
- North Greenville College
- University Center of Greenville, a consortium of 7 senior universities (Clemson University, Furman University, Lander University, Medical University of South Carolina, South Carolina State University, University of South Carolina, and University of South Carolina Upstate).
- Webster University