10 Things You Didn’t Know about Spartanburg

By:Kerry Egan


Spartanburg is a revolutionary place. Really. The Upstate town is steeped and surrounded by fascinating Revolutionary War history. But there’s so much more to learn and explore in this amazing town.

Check out some things you might have not known about Spartanburg.

1. Spartanburg is named after a fierce local militia, the Spartan Regiment, who helped win the pivotal Battle of Cowpens in the Revolutionary War. The city is located smack in the middle of some of the most important Revolutionary War battlefields in the South, including Cowpens and the Battle of Kings Mountain, which is now Kings Mountain National Military Park.

2. Spartanburg was founded as a “courthouse village,” a spot chosen solely to locate a courthouse for frontier disputes. It might be hard to believe now, but this part of South Carolina was once the wild and untamed edge of the frontier of the United States. The courthouse remains the center of the town today. To get a an incredible sense of what the area around Spartanburg was like during the Revolutionary War, visit Walnut Grove Plantation in nearby Roebuck.

3. The statue of Gen. Daniel Morgan, the Revolutionary War hero of Cowpens, stands in Morgan Square, the center of the business district. Erected in 1881, he originally stood facing towards Cowpens Battlefield, to the northeast. In 1960, the statue was moved across the square and in its new position now faced the southwest. See any problem there? Locals did, who protested that the hero should never expect enemies to come from the South. Morgan was moved back to his original spot, once again facing north.

4. Spartanburg’s nickname is the “Hub City” because so many railroad lines met in the city that the landscape looked like it was decorated with wheel hubs.

5. The first airport in South Carolina was the Spartanburg Downtown Airport, opened in 1927. Aviation heroes Amelia Earhart and Charles Lindbergh both flew into the airport.

6. Spartanburg has been a popular stop for professional wrestling tours for decades, but did you know you can actually learn how to become a professional wrestler there? American Pro Wrestling not only offers an exciting show every Saturday night in Boiling Springs, right outside of town; they also offer a wrestling school for serious students on Tuesday nights.

7. BMWs have famous German engineering, but all X3, X5 and X6 Sports Activity Vehicles are manufactured just outside of Spartanburg.

8. BMW doesn’t just have its only North American manufacturing plant outside Spartanburg. It also offers the amazing BMW Performance Driving School. That’s right. It’s basically race car driver school.

9. The Carolina Panthers NFL football team holds training camp at Wofford College, alma mater of the team's owner Jerry Richardson, in July and August. Spectators are welcome and it's free to watch.

10. And finally, it's probably no secret, but you have to know about the Beacon Restaurant.The beloved local landmark is the second largest drive-in in the nation. One visit will make you wonder how big the biggest drive-in could possibly be. Founded in 1946, their “chili-cheese-a-plenty” burger is still busting guts today.

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