Category Archives: History

Town of Williamston

History/Town Information

Information about the Town of Williamston, government, officials, etc. . .

Town of Williamston
Population: 3,791

County: Anderson
Incorporated: December 16, 1852.

City Offices:
P.O. Box 70
12 West Main Street
Williamston,  SC 29697
Phone: (864) 847-7473
Fax: (864) 847-5910

City Government / Elected Officials:
Williamston operates on a mayor/council government with four-year terms expiring on a rotating basis every two years. Williamston Town Council meets on the first Monday of each month at 6 p.m. Work sessions (unannounced) are usually scheduled at 5:00 p.m. and are open to the public.

R. Mack Durham
Telephone:  (864) 847-7473

Town Council:
Tony Hagood, {Ward 1}
Rickey Burgess, (Ward 2)
David Harvell, {Ward 3} (864) 847-9920
Otis Scott, {Ward 4}

Appointed Officials:

Administrator –
Clerk/Treasurer – Michelle G. Starnes 
Attorney – Lee Cole
Police Chief – Tony Taylor (864) 847-7425
Steve Ellison, Fire Chief, (864) 847-7473
Public Works – David Rogers (864) 847-7473
Street Department –  John Owen (864) 847-7473

State officials:
SC Senator: William H. O’Dell
SC Representative: Anne Thayer, Joshua Putnam
Contact information:
Town of Williamston
P. O. Box  70, Williamston, S. C. 29697
(864) 847-7473

Greater Williamston Business Association 
P. O. Box 503, Williamston, S. C. 29697

The Journal – Weekly Newspaper of Williamston, Pelzer, Piedmont
P. O. Box 369, Williamston, S. C. 29697
(864) 847-7361
Fax (864) 847-9879

Town of Williamston Websites

Williamston Police Department
Williamston Fire Department
Town of Williamston
Christmas Park – Nov. – Dec. 2014
Spring Water Festival – August 21 & 22, 2015
Pig in the Park Barbecue Cookoff Festival – May 15 & 16, 2015


Williamston Female College

The Williamston Female College once stood on the site now occupied by the Williamston Municipal Center. The college was founded in 1872, offering educational opportunities to girls. It was moved to Greenwood in 1904, becoming Lander College, now Lander University, in honor of its founder, Dr. Samuel Lander.

The following is an exerpt from 1872 catalogue of Williamston Female College:

“Our pupils have the advantage of a summer residence in a region noted for its healthful climate, with free access to the justly celebrated WILLIAMSTON MINERAL SPRING.

Mineral Spring Park

Mineral Spring Park

Williamston’s mineral spring located in Mineral Spring Park is the focus of the Spring Water Festival. In the fall of 1842, West Allen Williams, a prominent landowner, discovered a mineral spring on his property. As news of the spring’s medicinal value spread, a town grew, and Williamston became a major resort. The spring still bubbles on the land West Allen Williams deeded to the town. The people of Williamston are reminded of the town’s legacy through two events each year – the Spring Water Festival in August and the Christmas Park in December.

Williamston historical markers

Three historical markers are located in the park area.

A sign marking the site of the Williamston Female College is located in front of the Williamston Municipal Building.

The sign states the college was founded Feb. 12, 1872, by the Reverend Samuel Lander, D. D., Methodist Minister.

How did West Allen Williams discover the spring?

Source – “A Town Springs Forth” by Gene Welborn

In the late 1700’s, Samuel Williams moved from the upper part of Union County, South Carolina to Greenville County just across the Saluda River from the Big Creek Baptist Church. He married his cousin, Mary Williams.

Samuel became a sizeable landowner in Greenville and Pendleton Districts. They had five children, Richard, Austin, Jane, Samuel Jr., and West Allen.

During 1850s Williamston was the place to stay

Source – “A Town Spring Forth” by Gene Welborn.

Did you know that Williamston was once considered the Saratoga of the South?

After the town was chartered in December, 1852, several grand hotels could be found in Williamston including the Williamston Hotel in the mid 1850’s, and the Williamston Springs Hotel, which made Williamston one of the largest resort centers in the South during the few years prior to the War Between the States.

Williamston Antique Fire Engine


Antique Fire Engine

The Williamston Fire Department has restored Williamston’s antique fire truck.

Engine #1 was put into service in the town in 1936 and remained in service until 1962.

Department firefighters have worked numerous hours to restore the appearance of the Chevrolet, Fire Chief Steve Ellison said.

The restoration effort on the truck so far has amounted tomore than $8000, the chief said. The local firefighters have done most of the work

Scout Hut in need of repairs

Boy Scout Hut in need of repairs

The Journal – August 24, 2005

It has served as a place for generations of local residents to meet Santa face to face, a place for the local boy scouts to meet and is a local landmark. Now it is in need of repair and members of the Williamston Area Historic Commission have taken on restoration of the Boy Scout Hut in the Mineral Spring Park as a project.

Please visit and