Greer, South Carolina
|Greer, South Carolina|
|Motto: "A Great Place to Live, Work, and Play"|
|• 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)|
|• Density||1,200/sq mi (450/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|GNIS feature ID||1245847|
Greer is a city in Greenville and Spartanburg counties in the US state of South Carolina, between the cities of Greenville and Spartanburg. The population was 25,515 at the 2010 census. It is projected to hit 30,000 within 4 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 Greenville–Mauldin–Easley 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 is located at .(34.930304, −82.225052)
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.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (August 2011)|
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 anglicised versions of the Gaelic name.
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.
As of the census 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 11–12 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 Works Project Administration 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. 
In 2012, the City of Greer successfully renovated the Cannon Centre, 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).
- Earl Simmons, DMX; multi-platinum selling rapper. One of the best selling Hip-Hop artists of all time.
- Bill Haas, golfer; multiple winner on the PGA Tour and winner of the 2011 Fedex Cup
- Jay Haas, golfer; multiple winner on the PGA Tour and Champions Tour
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Race, Hispanic or Latino, Age, and Housing Occupancy: 2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File (QT-PL), Greer city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American FactFinder 2. Retrieved August 15, 2011.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- The Greer name, Greer sites and other Genealogy Web Sites
- The Greer Community History
- City of Greer official website
- Greer Development Corporation
- "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