Westminster, South Carolina

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Westminster, South Carolina
Gateway to the Mountain Lakes Region
Gateway to the Mountain Lakes Region
Motto(s): 
"Unum E Pluribus" (One of many)[1]
Location in Oconee County and the state of South Carolina.
Location in Oconee County and the state of South Carolina.
Coordinates: 34°39′59″N 83°5′43″W / 34.66639°N 83.09528°W / 34.66639; -83.09528Coordinates: 34°39′59″N 83°5′43″W / 34.66639°N 83.09528°W / 34.66639; -83.09528
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
CountyOconee
Area
 • Total3.45 sq mi (8.94 km2)
 • Land3.45 sq mi (8.93 km2)
 • Water0.00 sq mi (0.01 km2)
Elevation
955 ft (291 m)
Population
 (2010)
 • Total2,418
 • Estimate 
(2019)[3]
2,591
 • Density751.89/sq mi (290.26/km2)
Time zoneUTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST)UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP code
29693
Area code(s)864
FIPS code45-76165[4]
GNIS feature ID1227504[5]
Websitewww.westminstersc.org

Westminster is a city in Oconee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 2,418 at the 2010 census.

History[edit]

Westminster was founded in 1874 upon completion of the Atlanta and Richmond Air-Line Railway and incorporated on March 17, 1875 when the charter was signed.[6] It was founded as a water stop on the Southern Railway.[7] As stores, shops and factories started to set up around the train stop, it bloomed into a decent-sized town. Its peak of expansion came in the 1920s.

The Retreat Rosenwald School and Southern Railway Passenger Station are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8][9]

The Apple Festival is celebrated annually.[10]

Geography[edit]

Westminster is located at 34°39′59″N 83°5′43″W / 34.66639°N 83.09528°W / 34.66639; -83.09528 (34.666292, -83.095352).[11]

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km2), all land.

A quite mountainous region, Westminster is surrounded by several rivers, 150 waterfalls, and two major lakes.

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880162
1890532228.4%
190085761.1%
19101,57683.9%
19201,84717.2%
19301,774−4.0%
19402,01413.5%
19502,21910.2%
19602,4138.7%
19702,5214.5%
19803,11423.5%
19903,1200.2%
20002,743−12.1%
20102,418−11.8%
2019 (est.)2,591[3]7.2%
U.S. Decennial Census[12]

As of the census[4] of 2000, there were 2,743 people, 1,191 households, and 761 families residing in the city. The population density was 796.6 people per square mile (307.9/km2). There were 1,333 housing units at an average density of 387.1 per square mile (149.6/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 85.60% White, 11.81% African American, 0.04% Native American, 0.18% Asian, 1.20% from other races, and 1.17% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.48% of the population.

There were 1,191 households, out of which 26.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.7% were married couples living together, 14.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 36.1% were non-families. 32.2% of all households were made up of individuals, and 13.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.90.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 23.5% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 27.0% from 25 to 44, 24.6% from 45 to 64, and 15.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females, there were 89.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 84.0 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $30,802, and the median income for a family was $36,678. Males had a median income of $30,104 versus $21,690 for females. The per capita income for the city was $17,121. About 6.8% of families and 9.3% of the population were below the poverty line, including 14.2% of those under age 18 and 9.8% of those age 65 or over.

Economy[edit]

Westminster is home to several industries; among them are: US Engine Valve plant, Ulbrich(flat wire manufacturing plant), and Sandvik Tooling Supply, a global supplier of tungsten carbide cutting tools.

Education[edit]

West-Oak High School is the public high school that most students from Westminster attend. The school draws students from across one half of Oconee County. The city also offers several elementary schools: Westminster Elementary, Orchard Park Elementary, and Fair Oak Elementary. Westminster Elementary and Orchard Park Elementary are both pre-kindergarten to 5th grade, but Fair Oak is a little different because it is pre-kindergarten to 3rd grade and then the students transfer over to Fair Oak Intermediate for 4th and 5th grade. Oakway intermediate is now closed an Fair Oak services Pre-K to 5th. The town also offers a middle school for grades 6 to 8.[13]

Westminster has a lending library, a branch of the Oconee County Public Library.[14]

Arts and culture[edit]

Annual culture events[edit]

Westminster is the home of the South Carolina Apple Festival. The annual celebration is held during the first two weeks of September, and features a parade, street vendors and booths, a rodeo, and other family activities.[15] Westminster and the nearby community of Long Creek have several commercial apple orchards.[16]

Westminster hosts the South Carolina Bigfoot Festival each October.[1]

Westminster welcomes car enthusiasts and is a very popular 'cruising' destination where people come from all over the tri-state area to cruise town and show off their vehicles. Westminster proudly holds the title, "The Southeast's Cruising Destination."

April - October, the town has Music on Main where Main Street is roped off and a stage is set up for musicians to perform live.

In April and September of each year, "pickers" from near and far gather on Main Street for the Westminster Bluegrass Jam. An event where people bring their instruments and gather on the street to play music together. [1]

There is also a Christmas Parade, Veterans Day Parade, and Apple Festival Parade each year on Main Street.

Museums and other points of interest[edit]

The train depot, which is on the National Register of Historic Places, burned due to vandalism in 2005. It has been rebuilt.

Oconee Heritage Center General Store Museum is located on Main St. in Downtown Westminster. This museum displays a vast collection of original artifacts from the historic England's General Merchandise store of Westminster and features exhibits on the history of the greater Westminster, SC, area.

Gateway Arts Center is located on Windsor Street, just one block off main, and offers gallery showings, youth camps andafter school programs.[1]

Westminster has their own recreation department located on Anderson Avenue.[17]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d "Westminster South Carolina". Westminster South Carolina. Retrieved January 7, 2015.
  2. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  3. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  4. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  5. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  6. ^ "About - City of Westminster". www.westminstersc.org. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  7. ^ "South Carolina Department of Parks and Tourism". South Carolina Department of Parks and Tourism. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  9. ^ "National Register of Historic Places Listings". Weekly List of Actions Taken on Properties: 9/12/11 through 9/16/11. National Park Service. 2011-09-23.
  10. ^ "Westminster South Carolina SC Information". www.oconeecountry.com. Retrieved 2018-02-20.
  11. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  12. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  13. ^ http://westminstersc.org/schools/
  14. ^ "South Carolina libraries and archives". SCIWAY. Retrieved 13 June 2019.
  15. ^ "Scenes from the 2009 Festival". South Carolina Apple Festival. www.westminstersc.com. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
  16. ^ "Westminster Chamber of Commerce". Westminster Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  17. ^ http://www.westminstersc.org/recreation
  18. ^ "BARRETT, James Gresham, (1961 - )". Biographical Directory of United States Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  19. ^ "Jared Burton". Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
  20. ^ "Andy Lee". Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.

External links[edit]