Westminster

1874 –

(Oconee County; 2020 pop. 2,598). Founded in 1874, Westminster was a child of the railroad. The Atlanta and Charlotte Railroad came through, and the water stop evolved into a town, as did others along the new rail line. A post office was established on June 22, 1874, and the town was chartered on March 17, 1875. The first intendant (mayor) was Albert Zimmerman, and the wardens were R. A. Mattheson, J. D. Sheldon. J. H. Ligon, and R. T. Murphy.

Beacon Manufacturing Company, a division of Pillow-tex, has been a mainstay of the local economy since its establishment in 1899, employing as many as six hundred people in the manufacture of blankets, bedspreads, and draperies. Surrounding the mill are many of the original company-owned homes that housed the workers. Far from being a one-mill town, Westminster has benefited from a diversification of industry. At the edge of town, the Dunlop Sporting Goods factory has produced golf balls and tennis rackets. Other companies locating near the town include BMI (metal components), Lift Technologies (forklifts), Steel Heddle (wire), and U.S. Engine Valves.

More than one hundred homes unique to the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries remain in Westminster. Old Main Street, now bypassed by U.S. Highways 76 and 123, attracted an influx of private investment that restored most of its buildings, which have drawn both shoppers and tourists. Passenger railroad service ceased in the 1970s, and the restored depot in the town center became a chamber of commerce. As the gateway to the Long Creek apple country to its west, Westminster hosts the South Carolina Apple Festival each September.

Westminster in the South Carolina Foot Hills of the Blue Ridge. Westminster, S.C.: Westminster Board of Trade, [1904].

Citation Information

The following information is provided for citations.

  • Title Westminster
  • Coverage 1874 –
  • Author
  • Keywords Beacon Manufacturing Company, a division of Pillow-tex, has been a mainstay of the local economy since its establishment in 1899, gateway to the Long Creek apple country to its west, hosts the South Carolina Apple Festival each September
  • Website Name South Carolina Encyclopedia
  • Publisher University of South Carolina, Institute for Southern Studies
  • URL
  • Access Date September 27, 2022
  • Original Published Date
  • Date of Last Update August 26, 2022
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