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Orangeburg, South Carolina

Orangeburg, South Carolina
Russell Street in Downtown Orangeburg
Russell Street in Downtown Orangeburg
Motto: "The Garden City"
Location in Orangeburg County, South Carolina
Location in Orangeburg County, South Carolina
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Orangeburg
 • Mayor Michael C. Butler
 • Total 8.3 sq mi (21.5 km2)
 • Land 8.3 sq mi (21.47 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.02 km2)
Elevation 243 ft (74.676 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 67,326
 • Density 1,685/sq mi (650.4/km2)
Time zone EST (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29115-29118
Area code(s) 803
FIPS code 45-53080[1]
GNIS feature ID 1249990[2]
Russell Street, downtown's main street
Downtown Loop
Central Business District

Orangeburg, also known as "The Garden City," is the principal city in and the county seat of Orangeburg County, South Carolina, United States.[3] The population of the greater city is 67,326. The city is located 37 miles southeast of Columbia, on the north fork of the Edisto River in the Piedmont area.

The city is enlivened by yearly additions of college students at two major universities. Claflin University in 2014 was ranked as the best liberal arts college in the state and the top HBCU in the country by Washington Monthly.[4] South Carolina State University is noted for having the only undergraduate nuclear engineering program in the state, and the only masters of science degree in transportation in the state. In 1998 the university was designated by the U.S. Congress and the USDOT as one of 33 University Transportation Centers in the nation and the only one in the state.


  • History 1
  • Geography 2
  • Municipal government 3
  • Education 4
    • Colleges and universities 4.1
    • Public schools 4.2
    • Charter schools 4.3
    • Private schools 4.4
  • Transportation 5
    • Highways 5.1
    • Demographics 5.2
    • Crime 5.3
    • Events and attractions 5.4
    • Media 5.5
  • Notable people 6
  • Climate 7
  • References 8
  • Further reading 9
  • External links 10


European settlement in this area started in 1704 when George Sterling set up a post here for German and Dutch immigrants formed a community near the banks of the North Edisto River. The site was attractive because of the fertile soil and the abundance of wildlife. The river provided the all-important transportation waterway to the port of Charleston on the Atlantic coast for the area's agriculture and lumber products, and for shipping goods upriver. The town soon became a well-established and successful colony, composed chiefly of small yeomen farmers.

Orangeburg's first church was established by a German Lutheran congregation. It later identified as an Anglican Church, which was the established church and exempt from colonial taxation. The church building was erected prior to 1763 in the center of the village; it was destroyed by fighting during the Revolutionary War. A new church was built; during the Civil War, it was used as a smallpox hospital by General William Tecumseh Sherman on his march through with Union forces.

After the American Revolution, the character of the county changed dramatically. Invention by Eli Whitney of a mass-produced cotton gin for processing short-staple or "green seed" cotton made this type of cotton profitable. It was easily grown in the upland areas, and the county was rapidly developed into large cotton plantations. Agricultural labor was provided by enslaved African Americans, many brought into the area in a forced migration from the coastal areas or the Upper South via the domestic slave trade. Slaves became the majority of population in the county and city. Freed after the Civil War, blacks began to gain educations, and two colleges were established in the city, the second designated as a land grant institution for all black students in the state under segregation. Blacks were also subject to Jim Crow laws passed by the white-dominated state legislature; they were deprived of their ability to vote by South Carolina's disenfranchising constitution passed at the turn of the 20th century, which erected barriers to voter registration.

Efforts by blacks to regain civil rights increased in the postwar period after World War II. In the 1960s, Orangeburg was a major center of Congress of Racial Equality (CORE).

In August 1963, the Orangeburg Freedom Movement (OFM), chaired by Dr. Harlowe Caldwell of the NAACP, submitted 10 pro-integration demands to the Orangeburg Mayor and City Council. After negotiations failed, mass demonstrations similar to those in the Birmingham campaign in Alabama resulted in more than 1,300 arrests. Local efforts to end segregation in public places continued, particularly after Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964. On February 8, 1968, after days of protests against a segregated bowling alley, violence broke out near the bowling alley as police attacked Black students from South Carolina State. Police opened fire on a crowd of students, killing Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith, and Delano Middleton, and wounding 27 others in what became known as the "Orangeburg Massacre".[5]

In May 2000, the city created the Orangeburg County Community of Character initiative. It is a collaborative effort in community development by the Downtown Orangeburg Revitalization Association (DORA),

  • City website

External links

  • a b c "Census QuickFacts". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2012-01-22.

Further reading

  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder".  
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names".  
  3. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  4. ^ a b "Claflin University Receives Top State HBCU Ranking by Washington Monthly", Claflin University, 28 August 2014
  5. ^ "History & Timeline", Civil Rights Movement Veterans
  6. ^ “Our Mission” in the Orangeburg County Community of Character website online at
  7. ^ “County Wins All-America City Award” in the Times and Democrat, June 27, 2005 online at
  8. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places.  
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015. 
  10. ^ "Orangeburg, South Carolina (SC 29117) profile: population, maps, real estate, averages, homes, statistics, relocation, travel, jobs, hospitals, schools, crime, moving, houses, news, sex offenders". Retrieved 2014-08-21. 
  11. ^ Weber, Bruce. "Israel Hicks, Director of August Wilson’s Cycle, Dies at 66", The New York Times, July 7, 2010. Accessed July 8, 2010.
  12. ^ Climate Summary for Orangeburg, South Carolina
  13. ^ "". Weatherbase. 2013.  Retrieved on September 18, 2013.


Climate data for Orangeburg, South Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 16
Average low °C (°F) 3
Average precipitation cm (inches) 8
Source: Weatherbase [13]

The climate in this area is characterized by relatively high temperatures and evenly distributed precipitation throughout the year. According to the Köppen Climate Classification system, Orangeburg has a Humid subtropical climate, abbreviated "Cfa" on climate maps.[12]


Notable people

The Times and Democrat serves as the daily newspaper for the Orangeburg area.


During the winter in Orangeburg, more festivities get under way when raccoon hunters from throughout the Southeast gather for the Grand American Coon Hunt. Also on the "Top Twenty" list, the hunt, which takes place each year in early January, in the largest field trial for coon dogs in the United States and is a qualifying event for the World Coon Hunt. Thousands of people come to the fairgrounds to see the dogs, exhibits and the sights and sounds of this one of a kind event.

The Orangeburg Festival of Roses began as a vision held by a group of citizens seeking a way to enhance the development of Orangeburg and improve the quality of life for its residents. As a result of that vision, the first festival was held in 1972. The Greater Orangeburg Chamber of Commerce was the sole sponsor of that first festival. At present the City of Orangeburg and the Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce are co-sponsors of the event. The festival includes such events as a river race, a basscatcher tournament, the Princess of Roses pageant, and various sports tournaments.

The IP Stanback Museum & Planetarium, named for the first African-American chairman of the University's Board of Trustees, Israel Pinkney Stanback, had its origin in the basement of the then South Carolina State College's library in the early 1970s. The Museum and Planetarium is located on the campus of South Carolina State University and signifies their commitment to community service. The Museum's exhibition area is one of the largest in the state. Its forty-foot planetarium dome, located across the foyer adjacent to the galleries, has an auditorium capacity of eighty-two seats and a Minolta IIB Planetarium Projector. The building is easily accessible to the handicapped and is a uniquely adaptable facility, capable of hosting many different types of presentations.

The Edisto Memorial Gardens displays past and current award winning roses from the All-American Rose Selections. Some 4,000 plants representing at least 75 labeled varieties of roses are always on display in the Gardens. The site was first developed in the 1920s with some azaleas on 5 acres (20,000 m2) of land. A playground was added in 1922, and a greenhouse and nursery facility in 1947. To extend the season of beauty, the first rose garden was planted in 1951. Currently, there are more than 50 beds of roses ranging from miniatures from grandiflora to climbers on over 150 acres (0.61 km2) of land.

Events and attractions

Crime Orangeburg, SC (2009) per 10,000 people
Murder 12 .75
Rape 9 6.78
Robbery 34 25.61
Assault 35 26.36
Burglary 232 174.73
Automobile Theft 65 48.95
Arson 2 1.51

The following table shows Orangeburg's crime rate in 6 crimes that Morgan Quitno uses in its calculations for "America's most dangerous cities" rankings, in comparison to 10,000 people. The statistics provided are not for the actual number of crimes committed, but for the number of crimes committed per capita.[10]


The median income for a household in the city was $30,306, and the median income for a family was $37,008. Males had a median income of $30,310 versus $21,935 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,263. About 17.9% of families and 24.7% of the population were below the poverty line, including 34.7% of those under age 18 and 14.8% of those age 65 or over.

In the city the population was spread out with 17.7% under the age of 18, 28.6% from 18 to 24, 21.0% from 25 to 44, 17.5% from 45 to 64, and 15.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 28 years. For every 100 females there were 76.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.0 males.

There were 4,421 households out of which 18.9% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 33.5% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 44.0% were non-families. 35.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 13.1% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.23 and the average family size was 2.88.

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 13,964 people, 4,512 households, and 2,526 families residing in the city. The population density was 1648.8 There were 5,168 housing units at an average density of 623.1 per square mile (240.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 75.04% African American, 28.41% White, 0.18% Native American, 1.74% Asian, 0.05% Pacific Islander, 0.79% from other races, and 1.1% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.9% of the population.

St. Paul's United Methodist Church, Orangeburg, South Carolina




Private schools

  • OCSD5 High School for Health Professions

Charter schools

Public schools

  • Claflin University, founded in 1869, is the oldest historically black university in the state of South Carolina. U.S. News and World Report, in its 2012 Guidebook to American Colleges and Universities, ranked Claflin in the "Top Ten" and rated the university number one in the "Best Value" category among comprehensive colleges in the South for students pursuing bachelor's degrees. Claflin is an independent, four year, co-educational, residential, career-oriented liberal arts university affiliated with the United Methodist Church. Over 1,800 students are enrolled from 24 states and 19 foreign countries. In 2014 it was ranked by Washington Monthly as the top liberal arts college in the state and the top HBCU in the country.[4]
  • South Carolina State University is 4-year public historically Black institution in Orangeburg. Founded in 1896, the university is consistently among the national leaders in producing black students with baccalaureate degrees in biology, education, business, engineering technology, computer science/mathematics, and English language/literature. South Carolina State University offers a number of programs in the state and the nation, including the only undergraduate nuclear engineering program in the state and the only masters of science degree in transportation in the state. Also, in 1998 the school was designated by the U.S. Congress and the USDOT as one of 33 University Transportation Centers in the nation, the only one in South Carolina.
  • Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College is a member of the American Association of Community Colleges and is accredited by the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) to award Associate in Arts, Associate in Science and Associate in Applied Science degrees. It is a comprehensive two-year technical college for jobs in new and expanding industries, upgrading programs for workers already employed, and university transfer opportunities.

Colleges and universities


State Senators
•Brad Hutto
•John Matthews

Council Members
•Richard F. Stroman
•Charles W. Jernigan (Mayor Pro Tem)
•Charles B. Barnwell, Jr.
•Bernard Haire
•L. Zimmerman Keitt
•Sandra P. Knotts

Mayor: Michael C. Butler

The City council is a legislative body, establishing policies with recommendations from the professional city administrator, who is hired by the council. The city administrator acts as the chief administrator of the council's policies implemented through the administrative control of city departments given to him by ordinance.

The city operates under the council-manager form of government. The governing body is composed of a mayor and six members. The mayor is determined through a nonpartisan, at-large election for a four-year term of office while Council Members are chosen through nonpartisan, single-member district (SMD) elections. Council members are elected to staggered four-year terms of office.

Municipal government

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²), of which, 8.3 square miles (21.5 km²) of it is land and 0.12% is water.


All-Star Triangle Bowl, Amelia Street Historic District, F.H.W. Briggman House, Donald Bruce House, Claflin College Historic District, Dixie Library Building, Dukes Gymnasium, East Russell Street Area Historic District, Ellis Avenue Historic District, Enterprise Cotton Mills Building, Maj. John Hammond Fordham House, Great Branch Teacherage, Hodge Hall, Hotel Eutaw, Lowman Hall, South Carolina State College, Alan Mack Site (38OR67), Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, Orangeburg City Cemetery, Orangeburg County Fair Main Exhibit Building, Orangeburg County Jail, Orangeburg Downtown Historic District, South Carolina State College Historic District, William P. Stroman House, Tingley Memorial Hall, Claflin College, Treadwell Street Historic District, Trinity Methodist Episcopal Church, White House United Methodist Church, Whitman Street Area Historic District, and Williams Chapel A.M.E. Church are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.[8]

In 2007, Orangeburg hosted the first Democratic U.S. presidential candidate debate of the campaign season at Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium on the campus of South Carolina State University; the future president, Senator Barack Obama, was one of the debaters.


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