The early beginnings of modern day Landrum include settlers from the northern states (Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia) coming into the area seeking fertile and free land. To defend themselves against the elements and the Indians they constructed a series of forts in and around the area, located at critical points for the settlement. It was one of these forts, Earle’s Fort, that was located approximately 2 miles east of the current City of Landrum. In the mid 1700s the area became known as Earlesville – in recognition of the Earle family who owned and worked much of the land in the area.
First known as Earlesville, “Landrum” was founded in 1880 but would not officially become a city in South Carolina until 1973.
For the next 80 years the area grew with lumber mills and corn mills being established and when the railroad reached Spartanburg in the late 1840s a market was established for the sale or trade of these agricultural products. It would be another 40 years before the railroad would reach the town and change the landscape of the area forever.
It wasn’t until 1880 after the railroad was extended from Spartanburg that the Town of Landrum was officially founded. The city got its name from Mr. John Landrum who gave the railroad land so they could construct a station for the depot. The original name of the town was Landrum’s Station, but it was shortened to just Landrum around 1900. Essentially, the town of Landrum just ‘overtook’ the Earlesville area and thereby incorporating all of the area to be known as Landrum.
As the railroad continued to push further north, the city grew and expanded. In 1883 Landrum was officially incorporated as a Town. The early settlers and inhabitants of the land raised corn and harvested timber products. In the early 1900s the main cash crop changed from timber and corn to cotton, and cotton reigned as king for about 30 years. The second large cash crop that Landrum was known for were its juicy and delicious peaches. As time went on, industry slowly moved into the area and was centered around textiles.
Landrum would not officially become a city until 1973. And, over the last few decades Landrum has been able to hold onto the original charm and history of the downtown area. Through careful and deliberate city planning, Landrum has been able to successfully create and maintain a pedestrian oriented downtown environment. Local businesses in historic brick shops, downtown parks and even the historic train depot set the scene for small-town life.
The community prides itself on the quality of life in the area. From antique shops to equestrian estates, Landrum has always been known for its diverse culture and opportunities. It also boasts a small town feel and atmosphere with modern conveniences and easy access to nearby interstate routes. Landrum sits almost right in the middle of Greenville and Spartanburg in South Carolina and Asheville in North Carolina, three larger cities all within a short driving distance keep Landrum convenient but quaint.
As the city’s official website says – “In Landrum, the possibilities are endless.”