About Union

UNION, S.C. (WSPA) – Union is a small town in the Upstate, with roughly 27,000 residents, according to the 2020 census. Its history holds tales both beautiful and terrible.

English, Scottish and Irish settlers founded the county in 1785, according to Union County Museum Executive Director Cathryn Smith. It was originally called Unionville.

“The reason for its name is due to the Union Church, which was located just in Monarch – or actually the site of the Union Church, which was a community church,” Smith said. “It was used by multiple denominations before they could build their respective churches.”

The county was home to several skirmishes during the Revolutionary War, including the battles of Musgrove Mill, Fishdam and Blackstock.

The county was home to several plantations during the Antebellum years. Rose Hill Plantation still stands as a South Carolina State Historic Site and is open to visitors.

After the Civil War, the county continued largely to rely on agriculture, employing sharecropping after the ban of slavery. The county also had at least 15 lynchings between 1865 and 1877.

The textile industry later was established in the 1890s and 1900s and boomed, being a primary economic driver of the county through the 1980s.

Union County is also known for its residents’ fierce patriotism across the nation’s largest wars. In World War I, “Union County was the only county in the United States to not just meet but exceed its volunteer quota,” according to Smith.

Today, the city is home to local businesses, many of which reside in the picturesque downtown.

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