Blacksburg, South Carolina

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Shelby Street in Uptown Blacksburg
Shelby Street in Uptown Blacksburg
Nickname(s): Iron City
Motto: Beginning the New Beginning
Location of Blacksburg
Location of Blacksburg
Coordinates: 35°7′14″N 81°30′59″W / 35.12056°N 81.51639°W / 35.12056; -81.51639Coordinates: 35°7′14″N 81°30′59″W / 35.12056°N 81.51639°W / 35.12056; -81.51639
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Cherokee
Incorporated 1888
 • Mayor David Hogue
 • Town 1.9 sq mi (4.8 km2)
 • Land 1.9 sq mi (4.8 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 774 ft (236 m)
Population (2010)
 • Town 1,848 (Town proper)
 • Density 972.6/sq mi (385/km2)
 • Metro 9,655 (Greater Blacksburg)
Time zone Eastern (UTC5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 29702
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-06400[1]
GNIS feature ID 1246907[2]

Blacksburg is a small town in Cherokee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 1,848 at the 2010 census. The communities of Cherokee Falls, Kings Creek, Cashion Crossroads, Buffalo, and Mt. Paran are located within or near the town.

Blacksburg is in Upstate South Carolina on the Interstate 85 corridor about 45 mi (72 km) southwest of Charlotte, North Carolina. It is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area (CSA) which has a population of 1,173,433 according to 2004 estimates by the U.S. Census Bureau.


Located near the northern border of the state, the present-day European-American site of Blacksburg was first settled by a man named Stark. Mr. Stark, who had lived in Charleston, South Carolina prior to moving to the area, had gotten several people to come along with him on an agriculture venture, but this venture would fail. Those who stayed behind named the area Stark's Folly.

The railroad played a major role in the history of Blacksburg

In the late 19th century the Black family, headed by John G. Black, a Confederate veteran, was living in the area and persuaded the C.C. & C. Railroad Company to lay track through the town and build a depot. The town soon became known as Black's Station in honor of John G. Black and was renamed Blacksburg in 1888.

Major John F. Jones of Massachusetts came to live in Blacksburg when hired as superintendent of the C. C. & C. railroad. He donated his own money to build a school, hotel (The Cherokee Inn), and several other buildings in Blacksburg. He lived in Blacksburg until 1922, when he was appointed the SC Internal Revenue Collector by the President of the United States.

In the 1890s large amounts of iron ore were found in the area, and many people hoping to make a fortune from mining the mineral flocked to the town. Blacksburg became a boom town, and hotels and saloons were built for the new visitors. The town went by the name Iron City for a short time. Because of the "iron rus,h" the town became quite wealthy. It installed the first electric street lights in Upstate South Carolina and perhaps in the entire state.[3][4] The city was incorporated in 1888 as "Blacksburg" but still holds the nickname of "Iron City".

The Kings Mountain State Park Historic District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2008.[5]


  • Mayor: David Hogue
  • Town Council Members:
    • Dennis Stroupe (District 1)
    • Mike Patterson (District 2)
    • Darren Janesky (District 3)
    • Janie Wilson (District 4)
    • Town Administrator: Trudy Martin

Other information[edit]

  • The Ed Brown Championship Rodeo attracts an estimated 22,000 people to the town on the first Friday and Saturday of August each year. In the past, the town had "Rodeo Days" Festival with several events including, a parade, car show, and street dance. The rodeo, started in 1968, features bareback riding, saddle bronc riding, calf roping, steer wrestling, ladies barrel racing, bull riding and other events.
  • The Blacksburg High School Marching Band has won the Class A state championship four times in the 21st century: 2002, 2003, 2004, and 2005.
  • The Blacksburg High School football team won the state football championship in 1976

Nearby attractions:

  • Kings Mountain National Military Park and State Park, commemorating a battle of the Revolutionary War, are located about 5 mi (8.0 km) northeast of the town.
  • The famous Peachoid, a 1,000,000 US gal (3,800,000 l; 830,000 imp gal) water tank shaped like a peach, is located 10 minutes south of the town, in Gaffney, SC.

Annual events:

  • Iron City Ministries, a non-profit organization which helps people in Cherokee County, SC with needs such as food and clothing, holds an annual fund raising event.
  • The Iron City Festival was held for the first time in 2006. The festival commemorates the founding of the town and is sponsored by the Blacksburg Business Association, Inc. Iron City Festival is held the third Saturday in April.
    • The Anniversary of the Battle of Kings Mountain is held annually on October 7-8th at the Kings Mountain National Military Park and honors those who fell at the Battle of Kings Mountain during the Revolutionary War.

Local media:

  • The Cherokee Chronicle— a newspaper serving Cherokee County, is published Tuesdays and Thursdays.
  • The Gaffney Ledger — a newspaper of the city of Gaffney located 10 mi (16 km) southwest of Blacksburg, is published Monday, Wednesday, and Friday.

Major transportation routes

  • I-85 (SC).svg I-85—Exits 106, 104, 102, & 100 serve the town. There is an SC Welcome Center at milemarker 103.
  • US 29.svg US 29—2 Lanes. Runs through the downtown area and serves as main street (Cherokee Street)
  • South Carolina 5.svg SC 5—4 Lanes. SC 5 North ends at the south end of the bridge over I-85 at exit 102. SC 5 South ends just southeast of Rock Hill, SC.
  • South Carolina 198.svg SC 198—4 Lanes. SC 198 West ends in Shelby, NC. SC 198 East ends at the north end of the bridge over I-85 at exit 102.

Schools: There are four public schools: Blacksburg Primary School, Blacksburg Elementary School, Blacksburg Middle School, and Blacksburg High School.


Blacksburg is located at 35°7′14″N 81°30′59″W / 35.12056°N 81.51639°W / 35.12056; -81.51639 (35.120676, -81.516291).[6]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 1.9 square miles (4.9 km2), all of it land.

Whitaker Mountain has an elevation of around 1,169 ft (356 m).


As of the census[1] of 2000, there were 1,880 people, 785 households, and 503 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,018.8 people per square mile (392.4/km²). There were 911 housing units at an average density of 493.7 per square mile (190.1/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 74.52% White, 23.56% African American, 0.21% Native American, 0.11% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, and 1.54% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.53% of the population.

There were 785 households out of which 31.0% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 40.3% were married couples living together, 19.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 35.8% were non-families. 32.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 16.3% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.39 and the average family size was 3.04.

In the town the population was spread out with 28.2% under the age of 18, 7.8% from 18 to 24, 27.9% from 25 to 44, 21.8% from 45 to 64, and 14.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females there were 80.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 76.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $26,453, and the median income for a family was $35,208. Males had a median income of $27,384 versus $21,207 for females. The per capita income for the town was $16,833. About 13.7% of families and 17.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.3% of those under age 18 and 29.4% of those age 65 or over.

Notable residents[edit]

  • James Rhyne Killian (1904–1988), 10th president of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, from 1948 until 1959.
  • Judy W. Rose - Director of Athletics, UNC Charlotte, NC. Football center McColl-Richardson Field named in her honor---Judy W. Rose Football Center.
  • "Mikki" Moore graduated from Blacksburg High School in 1993 and is a professional basketball player.
  • Aaron (BIG A) Sprouse - Recording artist with PEC RECORDS out of Los Angeles and the first chairman of the Cherokee county Libertarian Party.[7][8]


External links[edit]