Think Lancaster First
The Think Lancaster First campaign is an effort to encourage Lancaster County citizens to spend dollars locally before heading to Charlotte or another neighboring community.
A campaign of the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce, Think Lancaster First was developed by a committee of Chamber staff and local businesspeople with representatives from across the county. The campaign committee includes representatives from retail, dining and medical establishments, local business owners and local government officials who spearheaded the effort launched in 2010.
Chamber President Dean Faile described the initiative as a united effort to encourage Lancaster County citizens to spend their dollars locally. “This is not simply a shop local campaign—this concept is focused on dining, shopping, and wellness. We have some unique stores and restaurants here, and in recent years, new medical practices and specialists have opened in Lancaster County—before heading north, or south, or east, or west of Lancaster County—we want every resident to think Lancaster County first.”
The first year’s Think Lancaster First efforts developed a $50,000 marketing campaign that was the key impetus to an 18.4% increase in retail sales in fourth quarter for 2010 compared to 2009. The state average sales increase was 11.4% which would indicate our campaign had a net effect of 7% on local businesses. In other words, our campaign put an additional $20,000,000 into our local economy!
This success was made possible by the generous financial contributions of our supporting partners including: The City of Lancaster, Lancaster County Government, Comporium Communications, Duracell P&G, Founders Federal Credit Union, Springs Memorial Hospital, Duke Energy, PCI Group, BB&T, First Citizens, Haile Gold Mine, Nutramax Laboratories, The Lancaster News and Wells Fargo Bank
Located nine miles north of Lancaster, the 360-acre Andrew Jackson State Park features a museum and one-room schoolhouse reminiscent of the Jackson era. Recreational opportunities include a 25-site family campground, a seven-acre fishing lake with rental boats, picnic shelters, nature trails and a playground. Both a Meeting House (complete with kitchenette) and a 7,500 square-foot outdoor amphitheatre can be rented for special events. The focal point of the grounds is an equestrian statue of young Andrew Jackson by famed sculptress Anna Hyatt Huntington.
Forty-Acre Rock is a geological phenomenon featuring a 14-acre flat granite rock and at least twenty unusual and endangered plant species. A National Natural Landmark, the Forty Acre Rock Heritage Preserve and Wildlife Management Area encompasses 2,267 acres of the most diverse protected area in the Piedmont region that also includes waterslides, waterfalls, beaver pond, caves, hardwood and pine forests, and a variety of wildflowers and wildlife. Located 15 miles southeast of Lancaster on Conservancy Road.
Hanging Rock Battleground, a Revolutionary War battle site, features a walking trail along which can be seen the Hanging Rock's unusual shape and appearance, wall flowers, an old mill site and a bridge spanning the Catawba Indian Path. Approximately five miles south of the town of Heath Springs, off Flat Rock Road.
Landsford Canal State Park spans Lancaster and Chester Counties on both sides of the Catawba River. The last of a dozen 19th century South Carolina river canals, Landsford Canal has all of its major features intact. The park has a trail along the canal and a Lockkeeper's house which contains interpretive exhibits on the canal system in South Carolina. The park is home to one of the largest populations of the rare rocky shoals spider lilies that are beautifully in full-bloom from mid-May to mid-June.
Golf, Golf, Golf!
Four outstanding 18-hole courses ready to challenge both new and experienced duffers….Begin in Indian Land with the Sun City Carolina Lakes Golf Club—Opened in 2006, the course has already been nominated by Golf Digest as one of the best values to tee off. Drive down to Lancaster to enjoy the 6500-yard championship Lancaster Golf Club which boasts fast greens and some cleverly designed holes, including its signature island par-3 #7. Ten miles from downtown Lancaster, Edgewater Golf Club held its grand opening in September, 2008. Golfers enjoy the panoramic views that look more like a mountain course. Water does not come into play on many shots, although several holes border Fishing Creek Lake. Complete your golf trip at the Kershaw Golf Course, 15 miles south of Lancaster. The 5000-yard course has a creek that runs the perimeter and bunkers in just the right places.
Special Arts Interests
The Lancaster County Council of the Arts (LCCA), housed in the historic Springs' House(birthplace of Col. Elliott White Springs) in downtown Lancaster, offers gallery exhibits, classes and workshops, arts/science camps. Under its umbrella, the community enjoys four yearly performances from the Community Playhouse; quilt guilds and displays; arts crawls in downtown; music concerts; artists' openings and much more.
USC Lancaster's Performing Arts Series brings headliners to Lancaster County---groups such as the Atlanta Rhythm; Fifth Dimension; Cab Calloway Orchestra; The Tams; Ricky Skaggs fill the Bundy Auditorium with music and interact with the audience during their performance. For more details and a schedule, see http://usclancaster.sc.edu/bundy/index.html
Partnering with the LCCA, Bob Doster's Backstreet Studio is home to internationally recognized stainless steel sculptor Bob Doster. His monumental sculptures and functional artwork can be seen in galleries, museums, private collections and in public displays from the corporate collections of Saks Fifth Avenue and Founders Federal Credit Union to the State Art Collection of the SC Arts Commission. View his beautiful pieces at www.bobdoster.com.
USC Lancaster's Native American Studies Program holds a growing collection of Native American art, particularly the Phillip Wingard Catawba pottery collection and USCL's own collection of Catawba pottery and Native artifacts. The collection may be viewed in the Bradley Building Atrium, USC Lancaster. USCL is also home of the Catawba Nation's annual Yap Ye Iswa ("Day of the Catawba") Festival, a celebration of Catawba art, music, and dance. See http://usclancaster.sc.edu/NAS/index.html.
One of the largest commercial soaring centers in America---Bermuda High Soaring School offers beginners and experienced pilots the opportunity to take to the skies almost any day of the year. www.glider.org.
Carolina Motorsports Park is the only purpose built road racing facility in the Carolinas. Designed by Alan Wilson, the Park is a 2.235 mile, 14-turn road course in the Kershaw area of Lancaster County. See www.carolinamotorsportspark.com
Lancaster Motor Speedway, the "Grand Daddy" of local tracks, is known as the "fastest dirt track in the South." For a schedule, see www.lancasterspeedway.net.
In the Neighborhood
Carowinds Theme and Water Park features 108 action-packed acres with more than 60 world-class rides, and all-new in 2010—The Intimidator—the tallest, fastest, longest coaster in the Southeast! Located on the North and South Carolina border. See www.carowinds.com
For a complete list of tourist/area attractions in the area—visit the Olde English District Tourism Commission at www.sctravel.net
Lancaster County Overview
This list of phone numbers will help make the transition to your new home in
Lancaster County a smooth one. All area codes are 803 unless otherwise noted.
Originally inhabited by the Catawba, Cherokee and Waxhaw Indians, Lancaster's story began in the early 1750s when a vanguard of Scotch-Irish immigrants seeking inexpensive land and religious freedom moved into the area known as the Waxhaws (now northern Lancaster County) and established a settlement. A second colony was soon developed by English (Welsh), German and Scotch-Irish newcomers from Virginia, North Carolina and Pennsylvania in southern Lancaster County.
Lancaster's name can be traced from fifteenth-century England, when the War of the Roses was fought between the House of Lancaster and the House of York, through their first settlement in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and down to the county that was established in South Carolina in 1785 with the red rose, the insignia of the House of Lancaster, as its emblem.
Our first court was held in the home of John Ingram, south of Heath Springs, but was later moved to Nathan Barr's Tavern. In 1795, a log courthouse was constructed on the corner of Main and Dunlap Streets; a two-story frame courthouse replaced it in 1802, and the town was named Lancasterville.
South Carolina native and Washington Monument architect Robert Mills designed the historic Lancaster County Courthouse in 1828. This hall of justice is a National Historic Landmark that continued to fulfill its court responsibilities until August, 2008, when an arson attempt severely damaged its roof, second and third floors. The 181-year-old building is now being restored as closely as possible to its original appearance, and is scheduled to re-open in 2010, possibly as a Lancaster County museum. Next door, a new Courthouse for Lancaster County is now under construction.
Robert Mills had been employed earlier to design the Lancaster County Jail in 1825, in use today as government offices. A walking tour of historic downtown Lancaster would also include the Old Presbyterian Church and Cemetery built in 1862; the home of Colonel Elliott White Springs, textile industrialist, which was built in 1825; and the site of Lancaster Academy, the county's oldest continuous public school, founded in 1799.
The entire county abounds with landmarks of historical significance. Much can be learned about Lancaster native and seventh President of the United States Andrew Jackson at the State Park established in his honor. The Waxhaw Presbyterian Church and Cemetery, completed in 1755, was the first church in the area – Andrew Jackson's father is buried there, and a statue of his mother is in the graveyard. Services continue at the church today. In southern Lancaster County, the Mt. Carmel A.M.E. Zion Campground, which was established by the freedmen, has been a meeting site since the 1870s. Kilburnie, which had been the oldest standing residence in the City of Lancaster, has been moved and lovingly restored as an historic bed and breakfast.
Charles Duke, astronaut and moon-walker, grew up in Lancaster, and actress/early Broadway star Nina Mae McKinney was a Lancastrian. Lancaster is also proud to have Dr. J. Marion Sims, known as the “father of modern gynecology,” as one of its favorite sons, along with William R. Davie, ambassador to France and founder of the University of North Carolina.
Lancaster's most significant battle involvement in the Revolutionary War began with Buford's Massacre, as British Colonel Tarleton devastated Colonel Abraham Buford's retreating forces in 1780. Later, the colonists were avenged when troops under the leadership of General Thomas Sumter defeated the British at the Battle of Hanging Rock. Both Major Robert Crawford and Major William Richard Davie participated in the battle. Andrew Jackson served as an aide to Davie.
During the Civil War, several buildings were burned and Lancaster was looted by General William Sherman's soldiers, who stabled their horses in the Old Presbyterian Church. General Kilpatrick's Union troops' five-day rampage of Lancaster County in March 1865 included an attempt to burn down the Courthouse by throwing turpentine bottles onto the roof. It was a futile attempt, but left scars on the courthouse steps while many probate papers burned. Wheeler's Calvary rescued the town from further damages.
Primarily agrarian for almost a century, the Industrial Revolution arrived in Lancaster with the opening of the Lancaster Cotton Mill by Colonel Leroy Springs in 1895. Crop diversification, cattle production, additional textile operations, brick and block manufacturing, all contributed to the changing economic base of the county in the early 1900s, and today the industrial base includes battery production, electrical and electronics products, steel fabricating, metalworking, plastic laminates, packaging materials, pressure part manufacturing, and nuclear power.
Town of Heath Springs
In the early 1800s, the Hanging Rock Mineral Spring became well-known for its “healing, bubbling springs” and in the 1850s the Hanging Rock Mineral Springs Inn began attracting people from many areas seeking the healthful mineral spring waters. Though Sherman's soldiers destroyed the inn during the Civil War, the area around the spring, known as the Heath Spring after its new owner, had begun to grow, and eventually a post office originally called the Heath Spring Post Office was established. Later a business firm from Lancaster opened in the area—the Heath, Springs and Company, and in 1890, the town of Heath Springs was incorporated, and the post office soon changed its name to Heath Springs Post Office.
Today the town of Heath Springs comprises around 1000 residents. Main Street includes a variety of businesses—a post office, bank, churches, a depot, medical offices and antique stores. Several commercial ventures and industries are located in the area.
Town of Kershaw
In 1887, the Southern Railroad, largely due to the efforts of Pleasant Plains resident James Welsh, established a station halfway between Camden and Lancaster. This led to other development of the area which was known as Welsh's Station. In 1888 Captain Welsh headed the movement to apply for a charter of incorporation for the new town whose name would be Kershaw, in honor of Major General J.B. Kershaw, a Camden attorney who participated in the Civil War and was taken prisoner of war in Massachusetts. Maj. General Kershaw had served in the State Senate, the U.S. House, and was appointed Judge of the Fifth Circuit until his death in 1894.
In the early 1900s Kershaw flourished as a prosperous farming/industrial community with turpentine distilleries, gold mining, a cotton mill and an oil mill. Haile Gold Mine continues to operate today. Kershaw's historic district, mostly residential, includes a number of the most beautiful Southern homes in the region, and its business district features a variety of unique shops featuring antiques, collectibles and pottery. Over 1900 folks reside in Kershaw.
What Is Leadership Lancaster?
Leadership Lancaster is a program sponsored by the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce to develop a group of informed, committed, and qualified individuals capable of providing dynamic leadership for Lancaster companies. The objectives of the program are to:
- Identify and select highly-motivated, emerging leaders to participate in the program.
- Systematically inform, challenge and otherwise
- Educate the participants about the opportunities and needs of the community as well as the dynamics of social and economic change.
- Develop interpersonal relationships and an esprit de corps among the participants which will provide a common ground for working together on community projects.
- Create a dialogue and rapport among the participants and existing community leadership.
- Identify organizational and individual opportunities for community involvement and assist in the placement of participants in these positions.
How much does Leadership Lancaster cost?
The cost is $650 for the program for members; $700 for non-members. This fee covers all program expenses, including speaker costs, retreat lodging, meals, etc.
Who Can Participate?
Participation in Leadership Lancaster is open to any person living in or working in Lancaster County. The Selection Committee reviews applicants solicited from all walks of community life to select a class of interested, motivated, and concerned individuals who have a desire to offer their time and talents to improving their community. The Basic Criteria for Selection of Participants
- A sincere commitment to serve the community.
- Currently holds a management position within his/her company, or has the potential to advance to a leadership position.
- Lives and works in Lancaster County, or has an occupational commitment to remain in Lancaster County a reasonable length of time after completion of the Leadership Lancaster Program.
Who is Responsible?
The program is governed by a group of volunteers who have proven themselves to be knowledgeable, dedicated community leaders. They are responsible for the policy, selection, and content of the program.
When Does Leadership Lancaster Meet?
This program begins in November and ends with a graduation in May. Attendance is required for all sessions including the January retreat. The weekend retreat is scheduled in early January, at Ocean Creek, North Myrtle Beach. Dr. Larry Peppers of Clemson University will be the retreat leader. The sessions will be all-day, and normally held on the second Wednesday of each month, November through May. One additional session will be held in April or May, when the participants visit Columbia to meet with our local State delegation. Participants will also be required to attend one City/County Council Meeting and one School Board Meeting. The class will be involved in a class project for the betterment of our community.
What Format Does Leadership Lancaster Use?
Local leaders in civic and governmental affairs, as well as authorities from various academic communities, are invited to participate in lectures, simulations, small group discussions and panel discussions during Leadership sessions.