Westminster, South Carolina
Westminster was founded in 1874 upon completion of the Atlanta-Richmond Railway and incorporated on March 17, 1875 when the charter was signed. It was founded as a water stop on the Southern Railway. 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 Apple Festival is celebrated annually.
Westminster is located at (34.666292, -83.095352).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 3.4 square miles (8.9 km²), all land.
|U.S. Decennial Census|
As of the census 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.
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. The town also offers a middle school for grades 6 to 8.
Arts and culture
Annual culture events
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. Westminster and the nearby community of Long Creek have several commercial apple orchards.
Mayberry Days is held each year in April, and recreates the town of Mayberry from the 1960s television program The Andy Griffith Show. Artists dress up like characters from the television program and there are replicas of Mayberry’s Ford police cruiser.
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.
There is also a Christmas Parade each year on Main Street. There are a few vendors there, but it is not comparable to the Apple Festival.
Museums and other points of interest
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.
Westminster has their own recreation department located on Anderson Avenue.
- Gresham Barrett, former U.S. Representative for South Carolina’s 3rd congressional district; born in Westminster.
- Jared Burton, Major League Baseball player for the Minnesota Twins; born in Westminster.
- Andy Lee (American football), American football punter for the Carolina Panthers of the National Football League; born in Westminster.
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- “South Carolina Department of Parks and Tourism”. South Carolina Department of Parks and Tourism. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- “National Register Information System”. National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
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- “Scenes from the 2009 Festival”. South Carolina Apple Festival. www.westminstersc.com. Retrieved 19 December 2009.
- “Westminster Chamber of Commerce”. Westminster Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- “BARRETT, James Gresham, (1961 – )”. Biographical Directory of United States Congress. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- “Jared Burton”. Baseball-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.
- “Andy Lee”. Pro-Football-Reference.Com. Retrieved October 3, 2012.