The Birth of a Community

The first homesteaders began settling the Landrum area around 1760. They came from Pennsylvania, Maryland and Virginia seeking the fertile free land. These were hardy settlers that had to fight not only the elements of an isolated land but the Indians as well. To defend themselves against the Indians the settlers built a series of forts located at critical points. One, Earl’s Fort was located approximately 2 miles east of the current City of Landrum. For the next 80 years the area continued to grow as lumber mills and corn mills were established. The roads serving the area were poor and travel was difficult even in the best weather. When the railroad reached Spartanburg in the late 1840’s a market was established for the agricultural products of the area.

Depot
Photo by Jerry Burrell

It wasn’t until 1880 after the railroad was extended from Spartanburg that the Town of Landrum was officially founded. The City is named after Mr. John Landrum who gave the railroad land in 1877 for the construction of a station. The first name for the Town was Landrum’s Station, but the name was shortened to Landrum around 1900. As the railroad pushed further north into North Carolina, the City continued to grow and expand. In 1883 Landrum was incorporated as a Town and in 1973 it was made a City. The early citizens of the area were farmers and raised corn and harvested timber products. This changed to cotton in the early 1900s and around 1930 peaches became the regions main cash crop. The first industry in the area was centered on textiles, with several textile companies still existing today. Industry has diversified over the past forty years to now include companies producing products from electronics parts to furniture hardware.