Spartanburg, South Carolina
Spartanburg is the most populous city in and the seat of Spartanburg County, South Carolina, United States, the 12th-largest city by population in the state. The city of Spartanburg has a municipal population of 37,013, Spartanburg County has an urban population of 180,786 as of the 2010 census; the Spartanburg Metropolitan Statistical Area, including Spartanburg and Union counties, had a population of 317,057 as of the 2010-2014 American Community Survey 5-Year Estimates. Spartanburg is the second-largest city in the greater Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson Combined Statistical Area, which has a population of 1,385,045 as of 2014, it is part of a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate," and is located 98 miles northwest of Columbia, 80 miles west of Charlotte, North Carolina, about 190 miles northeast of Atlanta, Georgia. Spartanburg is a major city in South Carolina, it is the site of headquarters for Denny's. Spartanburg is home of the BMW Spartanburg factory.
Spartanburg was formed in 1785 and was named after a local militia called the Spartan Regiment in the American Revolutionary War. The Spartan Regiment, commanded by Andrew Pickens, participated in the nearby Battle of Cowpens. In 1831, Spartanburg was incorporated becoming known as the "Hub City": railroad lines radiated from the city forming the shape of a wheel hub, it became a center of textile manufacturing in the late 19th century, with around 40 textile mills being established through the early 1900s. During World War I Camp Wadsworth was used to train 100,000 soldiers for the war. Camp Croft trained soldiers during World War II; the facility was adapted as Croft State Park. By the 1950s, the production in these mills began to decline. Most textile manufacturing jobs were moved offshore by the companies. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 19.2 square miles, of which 19.1 square miles is land and 0.1 square miles, or 0.47%, is water. The city of Spartanburg has a humid subtropical climate with long and humid summers, cool to semi mild winters.
The average annual temperature is 61.6 °F. In the summer season from June through September, average highs are in the 80's to low 90's F, while in the winter months average highs are in the mid 50's F. Annual rainfall is spread evenly throughout the whole year. Spartanburg sees little snowfall, with the annual average being only 1.4 inches. Average precipitation is 51.3 inches and the average growing season is 231 days. Lawson's Fork Creek, a tributary of the Pacolet River, was once known for its plentiful wildlife and crystal clear waters. Parks and woodlands line much of its banks, rocky shoals and natural waterfalls can be found throughout its course, it stretches from the northern end of the county to the eastern end, where it empties into the Pacolet. The Cottonwood Trail is a walking trail located in the Edwin M. Griffin Nature Preserve that runs along part of Lawson's Fork Creek; the trail includes picnic areas, a raised path over an extensive wetlands area and access to sporadic sandbars.
Located just east of downtown, it is used by cyclists and walkers. Since the Lawson's Fork floodplain is not suitable for development, wildlife populate the area. Larger animals that can be found here include white-tailed deer, wild turkeys, pileated woodpeckers, mallard ducks, Canada geese and snapping turtles. Hatcher Garden and Woodland Preserve, is a preserve located in the midst of an urban environment. Retired social activist Harold Hatcher and his wife Josephine transformed an eroding gully into a thick woods and flower garden which now provides a haven for birds and other wildlife. Early European settlers to this area included French fur trappers, English woodsmen, Scots-Irish farmers. Few remnants survive from these early pioneering days, but traces can be found in the more rural areas of the county. Walnut Grove Plantation, an 18th-century farmhouse, has been preserved by The Spartanburg County Historical Association; the site of a locally famous skirmish during the American Revolutionary War, it was the home of the Moore family.
The plantation lies south of Spartanburg near the town of Roebuck, is open to the public for tours and during annual festivals. The Seay House, another 18th-century home, is a more typical representative of a pioneer home, its single stone fireplace and simple construction were common traits of farmsteads from this period. The Price House, the third 18th-century home maintained by the Historical Association, is unique, its sturdy Flemish-bond brick construction and three stories are less common in this area. By examining the original inventory lists of the house, the Historical Association has been able to retrieve period pieces that approximate the original contents of the house. First established in the 1780s as a courthouse village, Spartanburg may have been named for the Spartan regiment of the South Carolina militia; the city was incorporated in 1831, at the time of the 50th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens, a pivotal fight of the American Revolution that took place only a few miles away.
The city's streets and architectural record reflect the changes of the 20th centuries. Morgan Square, the city's primary downtown hub, is the original courthouse village, it was founded adjacent to a small spring on the western slope of a ridge, which forms the border of the Tyger and Pacolet River watersheds. The square's name derives from Daniel Morgan, the general who commanded the American forces at Cowpens. A statue of Morgan was placed in the square in 1881; the oldest
Greenville, South Carolina
Greenville is the largest city in and the seat of Greenville County, South Carolina, United States. The city's mayor is Knox H. White, in that position since December 1995. With an estimated population of 68,219 as of 2017, it is the sixth-largest city in the state; the population of the surrounding area was 400,492 as of 2010, making it the third-largest urban area in South Carolina as well as the fastest growing. Greenville is the largest city in the Greenville-Anderson-Mauldin Metropolitan Statistical Area; the MSA had a population of 895,923 in 2017, making it the largest in South Carolina and the third largest in the Carolinas. Greenville is the largest city in the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson Combined Statistical Area, a 10-county region of northwestern South Carolina known as "The Upstate". According to United States Census Bureau, the CSA had a population of 1,459,766 as of 2017, making it the largest CSA in the state. Greenville is located halfway between Atlanta and Charlotte, North Carolina, along Interstate 85, its metropolitan area includes Interstates 185 and 385.
Greenville has gained recognition in various national publications such as CNN Money, which ranked Greenville as one of the "Top 10 Fastest Growing Cities in the U. S." Bloomberg named Greenville the Third Strongest Job Market for 2010. Greenville earned the No. 3 slot by Condé Nast Traveler's "Best Small Cities in the U. S." in 2017. Greenville was the fourth fastest-growing city in the United States between 2015 and 2016, according to the U. S. Census Bureau; the land of present-day Greenville was once the hunting ground of the Cherokee, forbidden to colonists. A wealthy settler from Virginia named Richard Pearis arrived in South Carolina around 1754 and established relations with the Cherokee. Pearis had a child with a Cherokee woman and received about 100,000 acres from the Cherokee around 1770. Pearis established a plantation on the Reedy River called the Great Plains in present-day downtown Greenville; the American Revolution divided the South Carolina country between the Patriots. Pearis supported the Loyalists and together with their allies.
The Patriots retaliated by jailing him in Charleston. Pearis never returned to his plantation but Paris Mountain is named after him; the Treaty of Dewitt's Corner in 1777 ceded all Cherokee land, including present-day Greenville, to South Carolina. Greenville County was named for its physical appearance. However, other sources say Greenville is named after General Nathanael Greene in honor of his service in the American Revolutionary War. Lemuel J. Alston came to Greenville County in 1788 and bought 400 acres and a portion of Pearis' former plantation. In 1797 Alston used his land holdings to establish a village called Pleasantburg where he built a stately mansion. In 1816, Alston's land was purchased by Vardry McBee, who leased the Alston mansion for a summer resort, before making mansion his home from 1835 until his death in 1864. Considered to be the father of Greenville, McBee donated land for many structures such as churches, a cotton mill. Furman University was funded by McBee who helped bring the university to Pleasantburg from Winnsboro, South Carolina in 1851.
In 1853 McBee and other Greenville County leaders funded a new railroad called the Greenville and Columbia Railroad. Pleasantburg boomed to around 1,000 in the 1850s due to the growth of McBee's donations and the attraction of the town as a summer resort for visitors. In 1831 Pleasantburg was incorporated as Greenville. In December 1860 Greenville supported a convention to debate the issue of secession for South Carolina; the Greenville District sent James Furman, William K. Easley, Perry E. Duncan, William H. Campbell, James P. Harrison as delegates for the convention. On December 20, 1860 the South Carolina state convention, along with the Greenville delegation, voted to secede from the Union. Greenville County provided over 2,000 soldiers to the Confederate States Army; the town supplied food and firearms to the Confederacy. Greenville saw no action from the war until 1865 when Union troops came through the town looking for President Jefferson Davis of the Confederacy who had fled south from Richmond, Virginia.
In June 1865 Andrew Johnson appointed Greenville County native Benjamin Franklin Perry as Governor of South Carolina. In February 1869, Greenville's town charter was amended by the S. C. General Assembly establishing Greenville, the town, as a city. Construction boomed in the 1870s such as the establishment of a bridge over the Reedy River, new mills on the river and new railroads; the Greenville News was established in 1874 as Greenville's first daily newspaper. Southern Bell installed the first telephone lines in the city; the most important infrastructure that came to the city were cotton mills. Prominent cotton mill businesses operated near Greenville making it a cotton mill town. By 1915 Greenville became known as the "Textile Center of the South." During World War I, Greenville served as a training camp center for Army recruits. After World War I commercial activity expanded with new movie theaters and department stores; the Mansion House was demolished and replaced with the Poinsett Hotel in 1925.
The Great Depression hurt the economy of Greenville forcing mills to lay off workers. Furman University and the Greenville Women's College struggled in the crippling economy forcing them to merge in 1933; the Textile Workers Strike of 1934 caused such an uproar in the city and surrounding mill towns that the National Guard had to subdue the chaos. The New Deal established Sirrine S
Hilton Head Island, South Carolina
Hilton Head Island, sometimes referred to as Hilton Head, is a Lowcountry resort town and barrier island in Beaufort County, South Carolina, United States. It is 20 miles northeast of Savannah, 95 miles southwest of Charleston; the island is named after Captain William Hilton, who in 1663 identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, which mapmakers named "Hilton's Headland." The island features 12 miles of beachfront on the Atlantic Ocean and is a popular vacation destination. In 2004, an estimated 2.25 million visitors pumped more than $1.5 billion into the local economy. The year-round population was 37,099 at the 2010 census, although during the peak of summer vacation season the population can swell to 150,000. Over the past decade, the island's population growth rate was 32%. Hilton Head Island is a primary city within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort metropolitan area, which had an estimated population of 207,413 in 2015; the island has a rich history that started with seasonal occupation by Native Americans thousands of years ago, continued with European exploration and the Sea Island Cotton trade.
It became an important base of operations for the Union blockade of the Southern ports during the Civil War. Once the island fell to Union troops, hundreds of ex-slaves flocked to Hilton Head, still home to many of whom are descendants of freed slaves known as the Gullah who have managed to hold on to much of their ethnic and cultural identity; the Town of Hilton Head Island incorporated as a municipality in 1983 and is well known for its eco-friendly development. The town's Natural Resources Division enforces the Land Management Ordinance which minimizes the impact of development and governs the style of buildings and how they are situated amongst existing trees; as a result, Hilton Head Island enjoys an unusual amount of tree cover relative to the amount of development. 70% of the island, including most of the tourist areas, is located inside gated communities. However, the town maintains several public beach access points, including one for the exclusive use of town residents, who have approved several multimillion-dollar land-buying bond referendums to control commercial growth.
Hilton Head Island offers an unusual number of cultural opportunities for a community its size, including plays at the Arts Center of Coastal Carolina, the 120-member full chorus of the Hilton Head Choral Society, the Hilton Head Symphony Orchestra, an annual outdoor, tented wine tasting event on the east coast, several other annual community festivals. It hosts the Heritage Golf Classic, a PGA Tour tournament played on the Harbour Town Golf Links in Sea Pines Resort; the Sea Pines shell ring can be seen near the east entrance to the Sea Pines Forest Preserve. The ring, one of at least 50 known to exist, is 150 feet in diameter and is believed to be over 4,000 years old. Archeologists believe that the ring was a refuse heap, created by Indians who lived in the interior of the ring, kept clear and used as a common area. Two other shell rings on Hilton Head were destroyed when the shells were removed and used to make tabby for roads and buildings; the Green's Shell Enclosure, Sea Pines, Skull Creek shell rings are listed in the National Register of Historic Places and are protected by law.
Since the beginning of recorded history in the New World, the waters around Hilton Head Island have been known and fought for in turn by the English, Spanish and Scots. A Spanish expedition led by Francisco Cordillo explored the area in 1521, initiating European contact with local tribes. In 1663, Captain William Hilton sailed on the Adventure from Barbados to explore lands granted by King Charles II of England to the eight Lords Proprietor. In his travels, he identified a headland near the entrance to Port Royal Sound, he named it "Hilton's Head" after himself. He stayed for several days, making note of the trees, crops, "sweet water", "clear sweet air". In 1698, Hilton Head Island was granted as part of a barony to John Bayley of Ballingclough, County of Tipperary, Kingdom of Ireland. Another John Bayley, son of the first, appointed Alexander Trench as the island's first retail agent. For a time, Hilton Head was known as Trench's Island. In 1729, Trench sold some land to John Gascoine; the land came to be known as Jenkin's Island after another owner.
In the mid-1740s, the South Carolina provincial half-galley Beaufort was stationed in a cove at the southern tip of Hilton Head to guard against intrusions by the Spanish of St. Augustine; the point and cove are named after commander of the Beaufort. Captain Braddock was a privateer of note in Colonial times. Earlier, he had been placed in command of the Georgia schooner Norfolk by James Oglethorpe, founder of Georgia, helped chase the Spanish back to St. Augustine after their failed 1742 invasion of St. Simons Island. After relocating to Savannah in 1746, he served two terms in the Georgia Commons House of Assembly while earning a living as a active privateer, he drew a well-known chart of the Florida Keys while on a privateering venture in 1756. The chart is in the Library of Congress. In 1788, a small Episcopal church called the Zion Chapel of Ease was constructed for plantation owners; the chapel's old cemetery, located near the corner of William Hilton Parkway and Mathews Drive, is all that remains.
Charles Davant, a prominent island planter during the Revolutionary War, is memorialized there. Davant was shot by Captain Martinangel of Daufuskie Island in 1781; this location is home to the oldest intact structure on Hilton Head Island, the Baynard Mausoleum, built in 1846. William
High Hills of Santee
The High Hills of Santee, sometimes known as the High Hills of the Santee, is a long, narrow hilly region in the western part of Sumter County, South Carolina. It has been called "one of the state's most famous areas"; the High Hills of Santee region lies north of the Santee River and east of the Wateree River, one of the two rivers that join to form the Santee. It extends north to the Kershaw county line and northeasterly to include the former summer resort town of Bradford Springs. Since 1902 the town has been included in Lee County; the county was named after Thomas Sumter, who came from Virginia, married a local widow in 1767, with her became a successful plantation owner. He became noted as a general in the Revolution. After the war, Sumter represented South Carolina in the United States House of Representatives and the Senate; the High Hills of Santee name has been in use since the 18th century, when the area became a popular resort for wealthy planters. They built summer homes in the region to escape the oppressive "heat and malaria of the Lowcountry" during the summer sick season.
In the 18th and 19th centuries, the High Hills of Santee was the location of many cotton plantations, had a large population of enslaved Africans as laborers. Among the planter families were The Broughtons, The Dinkins and the Singletons, whose daughter Angelica married Abraham Van Buren eldest son of Martin Van Buren and served as First Lady of the United States after his election as a widower president following the second term of President Andrew Jackson; the South Carolina historian David Duncan Wallace placed the area in what he called the "red hill region" of the state. He wrote: "The High Hills of Santee paralleling the Wateree River on its east attain an mountainous appearance; the region contains much good land."The area includes three National Historic Landmarks, one National Historic District, several structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It has attractive outdoor recreational areas such as Poinsett State Park and Manchester State Forest. Despite the short distances to Columbia and Sumter, the High Hills of Santee are rural and isolated, as the area was in antebellum times.
Historic sites in the High Hills of Santee include three National Historic Landmarks: Borough House Plantation, Stateburg. Other places listed on the National Register of Historic Places include: Lenoir Store, Horatio, it includes two of the area's three National Historic Landmarks: Borough House Plantation and Church of the Holy Cross, within its boundaries, plus at least eight contributing properties, including: High Hills of Santee Baptist Church. Richard H. Anderson, Confederate general, was born at Borough House Plantation. J. J. Broughton, Five generations of Broughtons with extensive land holdings dating back to "Kings Grant" of Seven miles of property along the Santee. Farming, cattle and Broughton's Mill at Mill Creek. Plantation house located in Pinewood, SC destroyed by fire of 1937. Broughton Family funded in the 1920s the Presbytrian Church in Pinewood. Mary Boykin Chesnut, author of A Diary from Dixie, was born in Stateburg, the daughter of Stephen Decatur Miller and his wife, Mary Boykin.
Richard Furman, pioneering Baptist minister, first pastor of High Hills of the Santee Baptist Church. Furman University is named for him. John L. Manning, original owner of Millford Plantation and governor of South Carolina. Richard Irvine Manning III, Governor of South Carolina. Wyndham Meredith Manning, South Carolina politician and son of Richard Irvine Manning III, born in Wedgefield. Stephen Decatur Miller, owner of the plantation, Miller House known as Ellison House. S. senator. Thomas Sumter, early settler and general in the Revolution. Angelica Singleton Van Buren, First Lady of the United States; the High Hills of Santee had many notable plantations. Some of them survive; the Cedars and the Pines, Springhill Summer Home in Bradford Springs, owned by Capt. James Gaillard of Charleston. Orange Grove Bloomhill, Wedgefield. Places and present, in the High Hills of Santee, include: Bradford Springs, Claremont Dixie Crossing Foxville known as Camden Junction Garner's Ferry Brisbane's Ferry Simmons Ferry Hagood Sanders Station Horatio Louellen Manchester, Middleton Clarendon Depot Pinewood Clarendon Stark's Ferry Stateburg Stateborough Stateburg Station Wateree Juncti
Upstate South Carolina
The Upstate is the region in the westernmost part of South Carolina, United States known as the Upcountry, the historical term. Although loosely defined among locals, the general definition includes the ten counties of the commerce-rich I-85 corridor in the northwest corner of South Carolina; this definition coincides with the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area, as first defined by the Office of Management and Budget in 2015, maintained as of 2017. The region's population was 1,347,112 as of 2016. Situated between Atlanta and Charlotte, the Upstate is the fastest-growing region of South Carolina, is the geographical center of the Charlanta mega-region. After BMW's initial investment, foreign companies, including others from Germany, have a substantial presence in the Upstate. Greenville is the largest city in the region with a population of 67,453 and an urban-area population of 400,492, it is the base of most commercial activity. Spartanburg and Anderson are next in population.
Ten counties are included in the Upstate of South Carolina: Greenville, Anderson, Oconee, Laurens, Union, Abbeville. Within the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA are a total of two Metropolitan Statistical Areas and three Micropolitan Statistical Areas; as of the 2010 Census, the Greenville–Spartanburg–Anderson CSA had a population of 1,362,073. The following population rankings are based on the 2010 Census Greenville and Anderson; the Office of Management and Budget labels all these cities as principal cities in their respective MSA's. Cities: Greenwood and Mauldin. In the 2016 Census population estimate, the cities of Easley and Simpsonville have populations that exceed 20,000; the OMB has labelled Easley as principal cities. CDPs: Taylors, Wade Hampton Cities: Clemson and Gaffney. If students from Clemson University are included, Clemson has close to 30,000 residents. CDP's: Berea, Five Forks, Parker Communities in the Upstate with under 10,000 residents include: Cities: Towns: According to the 2010 Census, no town in the Upstate has a population greater than 6000.
CDP's: The following table shows the major institutions of higher education in the Upstate. In 2008, U. S. News ranked Furman as the 37th best liberal arts college, Wofford College as the 59th best, Presbyterian College as the 101st best, they ranked Clemson University as the 67th best national university. According to the Bob Jones University, its Museum and Gallery constitutes the largest collection of religious art in the Western Hemisphere; the majority of business and commerce in the Upstate takes place in Greenville County. Greenville has the largest concentration of businesses and financial institutions in its downtown area. In fact, the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson MSA was ranked seventh in the nation by site consultants considering the top markets for economic development. Many financial institutions have regional offices located in downtown Greenville; these include Bank of the now-defunct Wachovia. Other major industries of commerce in the Upstate include the auto industry, concentrated along the corridor between Greenville and Spartanburg around the BMW manufacturing facility in Greer.
The other major industry in the Upstate is pharmaceuticals. Greenville Hospital System and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System are the area's largest in the healthcare sector, while the pharmaceutical corporation of Bausch & Lomb have set up regional operations alongside smaller developed local companies like IRIX Manufacturing and Pharmaceutical Associates; the Upstate is home to a large amount of private sector and university-based research including R&D facilities for Michelin and General Electric and research centers to support the automotive, life sciences and photonics industries. Clemson University, BMW, IBM, Michelin have combined their resources to create International Center for Automotive Research, a research park that specializes in the development of automotive technology; the following corporations have a major presence in the Upstate: Adidas, Advance America, Bank of America, BMW of North America, Bon Secours St. Francis Health System, Bosch North America, Denny's Restaurants, Dunlop Slazenger Group, Ernst & Young, Fluor Corporation, Freightliner LLC, GE Power Systems, Greenville Hospital System, IBM, Kemet Corporation, Liberty Corporation, Mary Black Health System, Michelin of North America, Milliken & Co.
Spartanburg Regional Health System, Spectrum Communications, SunTrust, Ovation Brands, Perrigo Company of South Carolina, Toronto-Dominion Bank, Verizon. • BMW's only North American manufacturing plant is located in Spartanburg County, with an investment of $3.7 billion. • Fujifilm located their first manufacturing facility in the U. S. in Greenwood County. • Michelin North America's headquarters is located in Greenville, along with seven manufacturing plants, R&D facility and test track located in the Upstate. Michelin employs more than 7,800 in South Carolina. • Walgreens has their southeastern distribution center located in Anderson County, which employs mentally handicapped workers as nearly 40% of their workforce. The Upstate is served by two major interstate highways, I-85 and I-26. Other major interstate spurs include I-185, I-385, I-585; the major airport in the region is Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, located nearly halfway between Greenville and Spartanburg in suburban Greer.
Greenville, Anderson, Pickens and Gaffney each have smaller airfields. AMTRAK service
Midlands of South Carolina
The Midlands region of South Carolina is the middle area of the state. The region's main center is the state's capital; the Midlands is so named because it is halfway point between the Lowcountry. The main area code is 803; the area has become a major business center in the state, for its growing production of paper products, medical supplies and steel. It is a center for farming and medical care; the area is involved in attractions and tourism, featuring shopping and amusement. The Midlands area of South Carolina includes at least these eight counties: Calhoun Fairfield Kershaw Lexington Orangeburg Richland Saluda Sumter Lee County Clarendon County Newberry County Aiken CountyThis region is coextensive with the Columbia metropolitan area; the Columbia television and radio market includes the eight core counties plus Lee and Newberry. The middle portion of Orangeburg County is located in the Midlands, while the western part is located in the Central Savannah River Area and the eastern part is considered to be located in the Lowcountry.
Aiken County is frequently listed as part of the Central Savannah River Area. Columbia and Lexington 122,819 Sumter, Sumter 39,159 Orangeburg, Orangeburg 13,563 Cayce, Lexington 12,597 Forest Acres Richland 10,558 Irmo and Lexington 11,338 Lexington, Lexington 17,110 Newberry, Newberry 10,874 West Columbia Lexington 13,670 Dentsville, Richland 13,009 Gadsden, Richland Hopkins, Richland 13,025 Lake Murray of Richland, Richland 3,526 Lugoff, Kershaw 6,278 Mitford, Fairfield Seven Oaks, Lexington 15,755 St. Andrews, Richland 21,814 Woodfield, Richland 9,238 The region is served by four commercial television stations, WLTX CBS 19, WOLO ABC 25, WACH FOX 57, WIS 10; the state's second largest newspaper, The State, is published here. Interstate 20 Interstate 77 Interstate 95 Interstate 26 Interstate 126 US 321 US 21 US 1 US 76 US 176 US 178 US 378 US 15 US 301 US 601 US 521 SC 277 SC 12 SC 34 SC 261
Piedmont (United States)
The Piedmont is a plateau region located in the Eastern United States. It sits between the Atlantic coastal plain and the main Appalachian Mountains, stretching from New Jersey in the north to central Alabama in the south; the Piedmont Province is a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian division which consists of the Gettysburg-Newark Lowlands, the Piedmont Upland and the Piedmont Lowlands sections. The Atlantic Seaboard fall line marks the Piedmont's eastern boundary with the Coastal Plain. To the west, it is bounded by the Blue Ridge Mountains, the easternmost range of the main Appalachians; the width of the Piedmont varies, being quite narrow above the Delaware River but nearly 300 miles wide in North Carolina. The Piedmont's area is 80,000 square miles; the name "Piedmont" comes from the French term for the same physical region meaning "foothill" from Latin "pedemontium", meaning "at the foot of the mountains", similar to the name of the Italian region of Piedmont, abutting the Alps.
The surface relief of the Piedmont is characterized by low, rolling hills with heights above sea level between 200 feet and 800 feet to 1,000 feet. Its geology is complex, with numerous rock formations of different materials and ages intermingled with one another; the Piedmont is the remnant of several ancient mountain chains that have since been eroded away. Geologists have identified at least five separate events which have led to sediment deposition, including the Grenville orogeny and the Appalachian orogeny during the formation of Pangaea; the last major event in the history of the Piedmont was the break-up of Pangaea, when North America and Africa began to separate. Large basins formed from the rifting and were subsequently filled by the sediments shed from the surrounding higher ground; the series of Mesozoic basins is entirely located inside the Piedmont region. Piedmont soils are clay-like and moderately fertile. In some areas they have suffered from erosion and over-cropping in the South where cotton was the chief crop.
In the central Piedmont region of North Carolina and Virginia, tobacco is the main crop, while in the north region there is more diversity, including orchards and general farming. The portion of the Piedmont region in the southern United States, is associated with the Piedmont blues, a style of blues music that originated there in the late 19th century. According to the Piedmont Blues Preservation Society, most Piedmont blues musicians came from Virginia, the Carolinas, Georgia. During the Great Migration, African Americans migrated to the Piedmont. With the Appalachian Mountains to the west, those who might otherwise have spread into rural areas stayed in cities and were thus exposed to a broader mixture of music than those in, for example, the rural Mississippi delta. Thus, Piedmont blues was influenced by many types of music such as ragtime and popular songs—styles that had comparatively less influence on blues music in other regions. Many major cities are located on the Atlantic Seaboard fall line, the eastern boundary of the Piedmont.
The fall line, where the land rises abruptly from the coastal plain, marks the limit of navigability on many major rivers, so inland ports sprang up along it. Within the Piedmont region itself, there are several areas of urban concentration, the largest being the Philadelphia metropolitan area in Pennsylvania; the Piedmont cuts Maryland in half. In Virginia, the Greater Richmond metropolitan area is the largest urban concentration. In North Carolina, the Piedmont Crescent includes several metropolitan clusters such as Charlotte metropolitan area, the Piedmont Triad, the Research Triangle. Other notable areas include the Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, SC Combined Statistical Area in South Carolina, in Georgia, the Atlanta metropolitan area. Cecil Piedmont Atlantic Piedmont region of Virginia Interstate 85 Godfrey, Michael A.. Field Guide to the Piedmont. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press. ISBN 0-8078-4671-6. Hilton Pond Center for Piedmont Natural History "Piedmont Plain". New International Encyclopedia.