Clemson, South Carolina facts for kids

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Clemson, South Carolina
City
Top, left to right: Tillman Hall, Hanover House, Fort Hill, Memorial Stadium, College Avenue
Top, left to right: Tillman Hall, Hanover House, Fort Hill, Memorial Stadium, College Avenue
Nickname(s): Tigertown
Motto: "In season, every season."
Location of Clemson, South Carolina
Location of Clemson, South Carolina
Country United States
State South Carolina
Counties Pickens, Anderson
Area
 • Total 7.9 sq mi (20.5 km2)
 • Land 7.5 sq mi (19.3 km2)
 • Water 0.5 sq mi (1.2 km2)
Elevation 725 ft (221 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 13,905
 • Density 1,869/sq mi (721.6/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29631-29634
Area code(s) 864
FIPS code 45-14950
GNIS feature ID 1247312
Website www.cityofclemson.org

Clemson is a city in Pickens and Anderson counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. Clemson is home to Clemson University; in 2015 the Princeton Review cited the town of Clemson as ranking #1 in the United States for "town-and-gown" relations with its resident university. The population of the city was 13,905 at the 2010 census.

Clemson is part of the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area. Most of the city is in Pickens County, which is part of the Greenville-Mauldin-Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area. A small portion is in Anderson County, which is part of the Anderson Metropolitan Statistical Area.

History and background

Fort Hill 1887
Fort Hill, photographed in 1887, was the home of Thomas Green Clemson the founder of Clemson University.

The city of Clemson's character is largely defined by Clemson University, a large public university that dates to 1889. The university is the cultural center of the city, even though a small multi-block downtown with housing, retail and restaurants is directly to the north of the campus. The community was originally named Calhoun and was renamed Clemson in 1943.

Although the university provides housing for students, many students live off campus in a wide variety of apartment complexes. Save for the downtown, sidewalks are largely absent, but some streets have bike paths. U.S. Route 123 on the northern end of the city exhibits typical suburban-style shopping center developments. The city's comprehensive plan has a historic preservation component which will likely become more important as 1950s and '60s buildings acquire historic status. The Clemson (train) Depot, built in 1893, was rehabilitated in 2001 and now houses the local chamber of commerce and visitor center. A road project has closed the station as of 2016, with no known completion date.

Clemson University was built on Fort Hill Plantation in 1889. This was home to John C. Calhoun and eventually became the home of Clemson University. Clemson University was built due to the influence of the women in succession of the Fort Hill Plantation. It all began with Floride, Calhoun’s wife, whose mother had originally purchased the estate. Floride became the owner of Fort Hill when her mother died in 1836. In the meantime, Floride and John C. Calhoun had a daughter named Anna Maria. Anna Maria eventually married Thomas Green Clemson at the age of 21. After their marriage, John C. Calhoun died in 1850 and allowed Floride Calhoun to gain total ownership of the Fort Hill Plantation. Because Anna Maria was the only living child, she inherited a part of Fort Hill when Floride died in 1866. Anna Maria gave Thomas G. Clemson a portion of the property in her will. When she died in 1875, he inherited the plantation. It was Anna Maria who wished to use the land to build an agricultural college, so when Thomas Green died in 1888, he left the land to build what is now known as Clemson University.

Geography and climate

Lake Hartwell
Lake Hartwell as seen from Clemson
Botanical garden hut
Forests at the South Carolina Botanical Garden

Clemson is located at 34°41′6″N 82°48′53″W / 34.685°N 82.81472°W / 34.685; -82.81472 (34.684930, −82.814777) approximately 27 miles (43 km) west of downtown Greenville and 15 miles (24 km) north of Anderson. The city is situated near the northwestern corner of South Carolina in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains while also on the shores of Lake Hartwell.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.5 km2), of which 7.5 square miles (19.3 km2) is land and 0.46 square miles (1.2 km2), or 5.85%, is water.

Clemson has a humid subtropical climate characterized by warm, humid summers and cool, dry winters. Precipitation does not vary much throughout the seasons, except for the winter months when precipitation is infrequent. Clemson and the rest of the Upstate of South Carolina generally receives 1 to 3 inches (25 to 76 mm) of snow annually.

Climate data for Clemson University, South Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 52
(11.1)
56
(13.3)
63
(17.2)
72
(22.2)
80
(26.7)
87
(30.6)
90
(32.2)
90
(32.2)
83
(28.3)
73
(22.8)
64
(17.8)
54
(12.2)
72
(22.22)
Average low °F (°C) 30
(-1.1)
32
(0)
38
(3.3)
45
(7.2)
55
(12.8)
65
(18.3)
68
(20)
69
(20.6)
61
(16.1)
49
(9.4)
39
(3.9)
32
(0)
48.6
(9.21)
Precipitation inches (mm) 4.74
(120.4)
4.81
(122.2)
4.83
(122.7)
3.56
(90.4)
3.62
(91.9)
3.67
(93.2)
4.15
(105.4)
4.94
(125.5)
3.72
(94.5)
3.69
(93.7)
3.89
(98.8)
4.78
(121.4)
50.40
(1,280.2)
Source: The Weather Channel

National Register of Historical Places

The following places and buildings in Clemson are listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

  • Clemson University Historic District I and II
    • Clemson College Sheep Barn
    • Fort Hill (John C. Calhoun Mansion and Library)
    • Hanover House
  • Hopewell Plantation - Gen. Andrew Pickens' Home
  • J. C. Stribling Barn
  • Old Stone Church and Cemetery

Demographics

Historical population
Census Pop.
1940 761
1950 1,204 58.2%
1960 1,587 31.8%
1970 6,690 321.6%
1980 8,118 21.3%
1990 11,096 36.7%
2000 11,939 7.6%
2010 13,905 16.5%
Est. 2015 15,446 11.1%
U.S. Decennial Census
Tillman Hall 2008
Tillman Hall at Clemson University in 2008

As of the census of 2000, there were 11,939 people, 5,061 households and 2,196 families residing in the city. The population does not reflect the additional on-campus population of Clemson University, which adds roughly 17,000 additional residents for eight months of the year.

The population density was 1,620.6 people per square mile (625.5/km²). There were 5,679 housing units at an average density of 770.8 per square mile (297.5/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 80.98% White, 11.38% African American, 5.73% Asian, 0.11% Native American, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.73% from other races, and 1.05% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.82% of the population.

There were 5,061 households, out of which 17.8% had children younger than 18 living with them, 35.2% were married couples living together, 5.9% had a female householder with no husband present and 56.6% were non-families. 28.6% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.7% had someone living alone who was 65 or older. The average household size was 2.30, and the average family size was 2.84.

In the city, the population was spread out with 14.5% younger than 18, 36.8% from 18 to 24, 20.4% from 25 to 44, 15.5% from 45 to 64, and 12.7% who were 65 older. The median age was 25 years. For every 100 females. there were 106.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and older, there were 107.5 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $26,892, and the median income for a family was $61,176. Males had a median income of $39,318 versus $28,663 for females. The per capita income for the city was $19,272. About 8.8% of families and 33.1% of the population were below the poverty line, including 13.1% of those under age 18 and 8.4% of those age 65 or over.

The 2010 census shows that Clemson’s population rose to 14,089 in 2012, showing an increase of 0.9% over two years and three months (from April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012). The population in 2010 consisted of 5,823 households with an average of 2.33 people living in each household. This household quantity includes 2,474 family households, 932 of which had children younger than 18. 37% of these households were married couples, 2.3% male householder with no wife present and 3.2% female householders with no husband present. The rest of these households were composed of non-family households (57.5%) and householders living along (31.3%).

The city of Clemson had a population density of 1,869 persons per square mile. The total number of housing units in the city was 6.925. The overall racial distribution of the city was 78.4% white, 8.9% black or African American, 0.3% American Indian and Alaska Native, 8.3% Asian, and 2.2% Hispanic or Latino. The age distribution for Clemson is as follows: 4.1% under the age of 5 years, 3.3% 5–9 years, 4.4% 10–14 years, 4.3% 15–19 years, 32.6% 20–24 years, 14% 25–34 years, 8.8% 35–44 years, 8.8% 45-54, and 19.7% older than 55.

The median household income was $29,828 and the median family income was $77,704. The median earnings for a male worker (full-time) was $42,597, compared to the median earnings for a female worker (full-time), which was $32,524. The city of Clemson had a per capita income of about $23,906. 17.6% of the total population was below the poverty line, 13.2% of that total being families.

Transportation

Clemson Area Transit (CAT) is a free transportation service that offers fare free service throughout the Clemson, Anderson, Pendleton and Seneca areas. All CAT buses are made accessible for patrons with disabilities and can accommodate any special needs. The CAT buses also provide transfer services to the local Electric City Transit bus in Anderson. Riders can receive vouchers from CAT bus operators in order to continue their ride fare-free on the Anderson shuttles.

Clemson Area Transit Cat Bus Logo
Clemson Area Transit Logo

The city of Clemson has an AMTRAK Station at the corner of Calhoun Memorial Highway and College Avenue. The Crescent Route travels from New Orleans to New York City and stops through the Clemson station (CSN). As of 2016, riders now have to take a shuttle to the Greenville Amtrak Station due to construction.

The Clemson area is near three major airports. The closest, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, is 45 minutes away in Greenville, South Carolina. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) is two and a half hours away in Atlanta, Georgia, and The Charlotte-Douglas International Airport (CLT) is two and a half hours away, as well, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Many different services provide transportation to and from the airport from the Clemson area, including The Airport Shuttle, Anderson/Clemson Shuttle Service, Yellow Cab and Andrews Airport Services.

Attractions

In addition to Clemson University, the city is home to the South Carolina Botanical Garden, Fort Hill Plantation and Bob Campbell Geology Museum]. Lake Hartwell, a reservoir, is a popular recreation area that borders the city on the west. The Blue Ridge Mountains are located just 30 miles (48 km) from the city center.


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