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Greer, South Carolina

Greer, South Carolina
Downtown Greer, South Carolina
Downtown Greer, South Carolina

Motto: "A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play"

The official mark for the City of Greer, SC
Location of Greer, South Carolina
Location of Greer, South Carolina
Country United States
State South Carolina
Counties Greenville, Spartanburg
Founded 1876
 • Type Council (weak mayor)
 • Mayor Rick Danner (Current Term Expires: December 31, 2015)
 • City Administrator Edward Driggers
 • Number of City Council members 6
 • Total 21.76 sq mi (56.36 km2)
 • Land 19.99 sq mi (51.78 km2)
 • Water 1.77 sq mi (4.58 km2)
Elevation 1,024 ft (312 m)
Population (2013)
 • Total 27,167
 • Density 1,200/sq mi (480/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29650-29652
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-30985[1]
GNIS feature ID 1245847[2]

Greer is a city between Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the US state of South Carolina. The population was 27,167 as of 2013 and is projected to reach 30,000 within four years. Each day, more than three times that number of people pass through the city on the two highways which run through the city. The Greenville County portion of Greer is part of the GreenvilleAndersonMauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area, while the Spartanburg County portion is part of the Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area. The city is additionally part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area in Upstate South Carolina.

Greer is adjacent to Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP), which serves Greenville, Spartanburg, and the Upstate. Greer is also the site of the only BMW manufacturing facility in North America. According to a June 2005 article in The Greenville News, BMW's Greer plant employs about 4,600 workers, and has attracted dozens of suppliers in South Carolina, providing jobs for more than 12,000 workers. Greer also is home to the South Carolina Inland Port, an intermodal facility that receives and sends containers by rail to the Port of Charleston.


  • Geography 1
  • History 2
  • Demographics 3
  • Recreation 4
  • Transportation 5
    • Airports 5.1
    • Railroads 5.2
  • Freeways 6
  • Notable people 7
  • References 8
  • External links 9


Greer is located at (34.930304, −82.225052).[3]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 16.1 square miles (41.8 km²). Greer has three lakes: Lake Robinson, Apalache Lake and Lake Cunningham. The South Tyger River runs through Greer.


Greer was founded by James Manning Greer, a man from the Clan McGregor whose ancestry traces from Scotland, through Ireland. Many of his descendents still reside in the region. James Manning Greer was a descendant of John Greer who arrived in Charleston aboard the ship The Falls in 1764. The Greer family settled at Duncans Creek which eventually became Greer Station.

The commonly accepted origin of the Greer name is that it is derived from the Clan Gregor – the MacGregors or sons of Gregor. Note there is no distinction between McGregor and MacGregor, both being anglicized versions of the Gaelic name.[4]

Located in the picturesque foothills of the Upstate region of South Carolina, Greer enjoys a distinguished past, from its days as a hunting ground for local Cherokees, to its settlement by pioneering families in the 1700s, to the advent of the railroad in the 1800s. Today, Greer possesses a combination of small-town charm and big-city opportunities, attracting a wide variety of businesses and people from across the country and the world.

The area now known as Greer was once part of the “Domain of the Cherokees” prior to the American Revolutionary War. In 1777, the area was added to the state of South Carolina. Development toward the birth of the town occurred in 1873 when the Richmond and Danville Air Line Railway (now the Norfolk Southern Railway) established a line between Atlanta and Charlotte. A station was built on land that belonged to James Manning Greer, and was named Greer’s Station. The first post office was located in the new depot, Greer’s Depot. That depot was a beautiful, red brick, Victorian structure with a slate roof and a cupola. It was located immediately adjacent to the current Norfolk Southern rail line between Trade Street and Depot Street, facing toward Moore Street. It was demolished in 1976 by its then owner, the Southern Railway System, in order to avoid property taxes. When the town was incorporated in 1876, it was named Town of Greer’s. One hundred years later, the name was officially changed to the City of Greer without an “s” on the end.

Merchants, blacksmiths and physicians set up shop in what is now the downtown area of Greer. In 1900, Greer’s first bank, the Bank of Greer’s, opened. The Piedmont and Northern Railway laid a second railroad line through Greer in 1914. With two active train lines, Greer became an attractive site for commerce. The railway meant big business for local farmers, enabling them to ship their crops, mainly cotton and peaches, out of state. Greer also became a textile-manufacturing center, with flourishing mills that included Victor, Franklin, Apalache and Greer Mills. The communities that grew up around the mills were as close-knit as the outlying farming communities.

After World War II, the city began to grow and diversify its industrial base. A new hospital and high school were built. People came to downtown Greer from Spartanburg and Greenville to shop. In the early 1960s, Interstate 85 was opened, as well as the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport. Foreign imports derailed the textile industry in the 1970s and threatened to turn Greer into a ghost town, but the citizens of Greer worked together to recruit new industry.[5]

The Arthur Barnwell House, Davenport House, Gilreath's Mill, Greer Depot, Greer Downtown Historic District, Greer Post Office, Louie James House, R. Perry Turner House, Robert G. Turner House and Earle R. Taylor House and Peach Packing Shed are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[6][7]


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 16,843 people, 6,714 households, and 4,511 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,044.5 people per square mile (403.2/km²). There were 7,386 housing units at an average density of 458.0 per square mile (176.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 73.39% White, 19.49% African American, 1.16% Asian, 0.22% Native American, 0.06% Pacific Islander, 4.42% from other races, and 1.26% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 8.18% of the population. 21.6% were of American, 9.5% Irish, 8.9% German and 8.4% English ancestry according to Census 2000. 90.6% spoke English and 8.5% Spanish as their first language. Since 2000, the city has seen an explosive increase in Hispanic immigration.

There were 6,714 households out of which 31.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 47.1% were married couples living together, 15.7% had a female householder with no husband present, and 32.8% were non-families. 27.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 12.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.47 and the average family size was 2.99.

In the city the population was spread out with 24.8% under the age of 18, 9.2% from 18 to 24, 33.4% from 25 to 44, 18.9% from 45 to 64, and 13.6% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 90.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 87.6 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $33,140, and the median income for a family was $41,864. Males had a median income of $33,147 versus $23,566 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,546. About 12.2% of families and 15.8% of the population were below the poverty line, including 19.5% of those under age 18 and 15.1% of those age 65 or over.


The city of Greer has a thriving recreation sports program. Greer Recreation (Greer Rec) has many sports opportunities. One of the best accomplishments that the city claimed was their 2007 9–10 Little League softball state championship.

In the summer of 2010, the combined team of two schools, (Blue Ridge Middle School, and Greer Middle) the 11- to 12-year-old Little League softball team went to the regional tournament in Warner Robins, Georgia, but lost the first two games and was eliminated.

City Stadium in Greer is a WPA project completed in 1938; it currently seats 3,000. Throughout the years the stadium has hosted Little League, scholastic, The American Legion World Series, and semi-professional sports and received a major renovation in 1997. [2]

In 2012, the City of Greer successfully renovated the Cannon Center, a former National Guard armory that later became a basketball gym. The facility was originally built in 1936.

The City Recreation Department has been honored with South Carolina Recreation and Parks Agency of the Year twice since 2005, and received the South Carolina Recreation and Parks Athletic Agency of the Year in 2009. The department is led by Ann Cunningham (Director), and Red Watson (Assistant Director).



Greer is served by the Greenville–Spartanburg International Airport Roger Milliken Field, which in 2012, handled over 1.7 million passengers.[11] The airport is a commercial Class C airport located near Greer, midway between Greenville and Spartanburg. The airport is served by Allegiant Air, American Airlines, Delta Airlines, Southwest Airlines, United Airlines, and US Airways.[12] Scheduled cargo service is offered by FedEx Express and UPS Airlines. Greer is also within 20 miles (32 km) of Donaldson Center Airport, Greenville Downtown Airport, and Spartanburg Downtown Memorial Airport all general aviation facilities.


Greer is served by Amtrak, the national passenger rail system, which operates to both Greenville, and Spartanburg. Greer is the location of the South Carolina Inland Port, an inland port built to handle containerized goods. The port is served by Norfolk Southern, and connects Greer to the Port of Charleston.[13] [14]


One two-digit Interstate highway runs through Greer. Interstate 85 begins as Interstate 95 in Petersburg, Virginia, and ends as Interstate 65 in Montgomery, Alabama. Two three-digit interstates run through Greer: Interstate 185 and Interstate 385. I-185 is located entirely in Greenville, but offers a connection to I-85. I-385 originates in Greenville, and also offers a connection to I-85. U.S. Route 29 runs through Greer. South Carolina Highway 14 and South Carolina Highway 290 both run through Greer.[15]

Notable people


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990".  
  4. ^ The Greer name, Greer sites and other Genealogy Web Sites
  5. ^ The Greer Community History
  6. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  7. ^ National Register listing
  8. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  9. ^ "U.S. Decennial Census". Retrieved November 22, 2013. 
  10. ^ "Incorporated Places and Minor Civil Divisions Datasets". Retrieved July 1, 2013. 
  11. ^ "Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Information". Airport Hotel Guide. 
  12. ^ "Passenger Airlines". GSP International Airport. 
  13. ^ "Work Begins on New South Carolina Inland Port". Global Trade. 
  14. ^ "Greer, South Carolina". City-Data. 
  15. ^ "Auxiliary Routes of the Dwight D. Eisenhower National System Of Interstate and Defense Highways as of October 31, 2002". United States Department of Transportation - Federal Highway Administration. 

External links

  • City of Greer official website
  • Greer Development Corporation
  • Greer Station Association - Downtown Merchant Association
  • Greer Cultural Arts Council
  • "BMW executive says Greer plant is vital to company's future", a June 2005 article from The Greenville News
  • BMW Zentrum, the only BMW museum in North America, near BMW's plant
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