Town square in downtown
Orangeburg, also known as
"The Garden City," is the principal city and county seat of Orangeburg
Carolina, United States.
Russell Street, downtown's main
The city population was 12,765 at the 2000
(13,224 at 2008
), within a Greater Orangeburg
population of approximately 45,000. The city is located 37 miles southeast of
Columbia, on the north fork of the Edisto River.
In May 2000, the city created the Orangeburg County Community of Character
which is a collaborative effort by the Downtown Orangeburg
Revitalization Association (DORA), The Times and Democrat
Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce, and the Orangeburg County
In 2005, the National Civic
awarded Orangeburg County with the coveted All-America City Award
(which can be
awarded to either a city or a county), which recognizes and
encourages civic excellence and honors communities in which
citizens, government, businesses, and non-profit organizations
demonstrate successful resolution of critical community
Orangeburg hosted the first 2007 Democratic U.S. presidential
candidate debate at Martin Luther King Jr. Auditorium on the campus
of South Carolina State University.
Orangeburg, named for William IV, Prince of Orange,
the son-in-law of King George II, of England , was first
settled in 1704 by an Indian trader, George Sterling.
To encourage settlement, the General Assembly of the Province of
South Carolina in 1730 made the area into a township in the shape
of a parallelogram 15 x . In 1735, a colony of 200 Swiss, 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 an outlet to the port of
Charleston for the agriculture and lumber products.
town soon became a well-established and successful colony, composed
chiefly of small farmers.
The church played an important role in the early life of
Orangeburg. The first church was a Lutheran
congregation but later became an Anglican
, as the colonial legislature recognized the Anglican
church as the official government-sponsored church, thereby
exempting it from taxation. The church building was erected prior
to 1763 in the center of the village and was destroyed at the time
of the Revolutionary War
A subsequent church building was used as a smallpox hospital by
during the Civil
The center of the original village was near what is now Broughton
and Henley Streets, according to a marker there.
1960s Orangeburg was a major center of Civil Rights
Movement activity involving students from both Claflin
College and South Carolina State College and residents of Orangeburg's Black
When economic retaliation was used against local
Blacks seeking school integration in 1956, students came to their
support with hunger strikes, boycotts, and mass marches. In 1960,
over 400 students were arrested on sit-ins
integration marches organized by 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 that occurred in Birmingham
resulted in more than 1,300
arrests. On February 8, 1968, after days of protests against a
segregated bowling alley, violence broke out on the South Carolina
State campus between police and Black students. 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
Orangeburg is located at (33.496843, -80.862206) .
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%
The city operates under the council 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 elections. Council members are
elected to staggered four-year terms of office.
City council is a legislative body, establishing policies with
recommendations from the city administrator. 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.
: Paul A. Miller
Colleges and universities
Historic Tingley Memorial Hall on the
campus of Claflin University
- Claflin University, founded in 1869, is the oldest
historically Black institution in the state of South
News and World Report, in
its 2006 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.
- South Carolina
State University is 4-year public historically Black
institution in Orangeburg, SC. 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 South Carolina 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 named by the U.S. Congress and
the USDOT as one of 33 University
Transportation Centers in the nation, the only one in South
Methodist College was established by the Southern Methodist Church as a
Bible college to provide a distinctively Christian post-secondary education committed to
the ideals, the doctrinal convictions, and the ethical practices of
the sponsoring denomination. The Southern Methodist Church, formed in
Columbia, South Carolina, on January 14, 1939, as the continuing
body of the Methodist
Episcopal Church, South, later established Southern Methodist
College as an institution of the Church on January 26, 1956 in
Greenville, moving to Aiken in 1958 and again to Orangeburg in
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 that
provides training of persons for jobs in new and expanding
industries, upgrading programs for workers already employed and
university transfer opportunities.
People and culture
St. Paul United Methodist Church,
Orangeburg, South Carolina
As of the census
of 2000, there were 12,765
people, 4,512 households, and 2,526 families residing in the city.
The population density
1,539.0 people per square mile (594.5/km²). There were 5,168
housing units at an average density of 623.1/sq mi
(240.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.51% African American
, 0.13% Native American
, 0.04% Pacific Islander
, 0.79% from
, and 0.61%
from two or more races. Hispanic
of any race were 1.29% of the
There were 4,512 households out of which 23.8% 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.
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.
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.
Events and attractions
The Edisto Memorial Gardens
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 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 of land.
The IP Stanback Museum &
, 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 Orangeburg Festival of Roses
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.
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 Times and Democrat
the as the daily newspaper for the Orangeburg area.
Notable natives and residents
- Alex Barron: Florida State Tackle. Drafted by the St. Louis Rams 19th overall in the 2005
- Shelton Benjamin: Professional
wrestler and former amateur wrestler who currently works for
Entertainment. Born in Orangeburg on July
- Stephen Euin Cobb: (author,
futurist and host of the award winning podcast The Future And You) Born in
Orangeburg S.C. on February 3, 1955.
- Monique Coleman: Actress and
singer, most notably from High school Musical & High School
- Shawnee Smith: Actress and
musician. Well known for her roles as Amanda Young in Saw I-VI and Linda in the TV series
Becker. She is also the
other half of the country-rock band Smith & Pyle alongside actress Missi Pyle. Born in Orangeburg, SC on July 3, 1970.
- Angell Conwell: Actress. Born in
Orangeburg, SC on August 2, 1983.
- Bob Corker: U.S.
senator from Tennessee, born in Orangeburg on August
- Don Covay: Musician, born in
Orangeburg on March 24, 1938.
University quarterback and AFL player. First player in
history to pass for more than and rush for more than in a single
- Ralph B. Everett: President and CEO of the Washington,
DC-based Joint Center for
Political and Economic Studies ( website), the
nation's premier African American
think tank. Born in Orangeburg, SC
on June 23, 1951.
- Tim Jennings:
of Georgia cornerback. Drafted by the Indianapolis Colts in the 2nd round of
the 2006 NFL Draft.
- Mikki Moore: Professional basketball
player who currently plays for the Boston
Celtics and has played for a total of 9 teams.
- Eugene Robinson:
Op-Ed columnist, The Washington
Post, born in Orangeburg in 1955.
- Bill Spiers: MLB
player for the Milwaukee Brewers,
New York Mets, and the Houston Astros.
- Karen J. Williams: former Chief Judge of the
United States Court of Appeals for the
Fourth Circuit, born in Orangeburg in 1951.
- Herm Winningham: retired
Major League Baseball player
and World Series Champion (1990).
- , Orangeburg County Chamber of Commerce
- Civil Rights
Movement Veterans ~ History & Timeline
Jeff C. Young, Spur Award winning author of nonfiction books for
young readers.Born in Orangeburg, South Carolina on March 24,