Graniteville, South Carolina
|Graniteville, South Carolina|
|— Census-designated place —|
|Country||United States of America|
Graniteville is a census-designated place (CDP) in Aiken County, South Carolina in the United States. The population was 2,614 at the 2010 U.S. Census. It lies along U.S. Route 1, five miles (8 km) west of Aiken in Horse Creek Valley, which originates in the nearby town of Vaucluse.
Graniteville is part of the Augusta, Georgia metropolitan area, also known as the C.S.R.A. or Central Savannah River Area.
Graniteville dates back to 1845 when William Gregg built the South's first large scale cotton mill in what became known as Graniteville. His paternalistic mill town included 90 homes, several boarding houses, six stores, two churches, and a school for the mill workers and their families. The community got its name because most of those original buildings were constructed of blue granite. Gregg required the children of mill workers to attend the public school he instituted and violators were fined. As such, Graniteville holds the distinction of having the first compulsory education system in the Southern United States.
2005 train derailment 
On January 6, 2005, a Norfolk Southern Railway freight train struck a parked train on the spur leading to Avondale's Stevens Steam Plant. One of two train cars that were carrying liquid chlorine ruptured, releasing a poisonous chlorine cloud. Nine people were killed, more than 250 injured, and more than five thousand were displaced from their homes for more than a week. On May 20, 2006 the town dedicated a memorial to those who perished. The memorial is located in a small park at the intersection of Canal St and Aiken Rd.
2008 incorporation referendum 
In 2008, there had been talks about incorporating the villages of Graniteville, Vaucluse, and Warrenville; as a result, the towns approved a referendum to vote on whether or not to incorporate. If approved, the municipality would have been around 20 sq. miles . The referendum was defeated by a two to one margin in August 2008.
Until 1996, Graniteville was the home office and central location of a collection of textile plants in South Carolina and Georgia known as The Graniteville Company. In 1996, the company was bought out by Avondale Mills, a company which was one of the largest denim manufacturers in the United States. Avondale closed or sold off all of its plants in the area in 2006, unable to recover financially from the train accident in 2005. Graniteville is also home to a Bridgestone/Firestone Tire and Rubber Company plant.
A continuing legacy of The Graniteville Company is the Gregg-Graniteville Foundation which was established by the company in 1941 in honor of Mr. Gregg. To continue his genuine concern for people, the Foundation awards annual college scholarships and other charitable contributions. A centerpiece of the Graniteville community is the Gregg Park Civic Center, a modern recreational complex whose full array of services are offered to community residents at a very nominal charge. The Foundation funds the complex which includes a walking track, softball and baseball fields, tennis courts, swimming area, picnic area. The gym includes a basketball court, weight room, exercise room, racquetball courts, locker rooms and showers.
As of 2010, the Total population of the CDP 2,614 This is the racial makeup of the CDP Total Population 2,614 100.00% Population by Race American Indian and Alaska native alone 17 0.65% Asian alone 1 0.04% Black or African American alone 748 28.62% Native Hawaiian and Other Pacific native alone 2 0.08% Some other race alone 74 2.83% Two or more races 66 2.52% White alone 1,706 The following is the number of people who are of Hispanic ethnicity (of any race) Population by Hispanic or Latino Origin (of any race) Persons of Hispanic or Latino Origin 155 5.93% Persons Not of Hispanic or Latino Origin 2,459 94.07%  Population by Gender Male 1,244 47.59% Female 1,370 52.41% Population by Age Persons 0 to 4 years 247 9.45% Persons 5 to 17 years 472 18.06% Persons 18 to 64 years 1,502 57.46% Persons 65 years and over 393 15.03%
- Graniteville profile from the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
- Avondale Mills website
- Profile of Bridgestone/Firestone South Carolina