Seneca is a city in Oconee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 8,102 at the 2010 census. It is the principal city of the Seneca Micropolitan Statistical Area (population 74,273 according to the year 2010 census), an (MSA) which includes all of Oconee County and which is further included in the greater Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, South Carolina Combined Statistical Area (population 1,266,995 according to the year 2010 census).
The Democratic Vice-Presidential candidate for 2004, former United States Senator from North Carolina, John Edwards, was born in Seneca. The city is the current home of United States Senator Lindsey Graham. It was named for the nearby Cherokee town of Isunigu, known to the English as "Seneca Town".
|Seneca, South Carolina|
|Motto: City of Smiles, City with Style|
Location in Oconee County and the state of South Carolina.
Seneca is located at (34.684145, -82.955778).
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 7.1 square miles (18 km2), of which, 7.1 square miles (18 km2) of it is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) of it (0.56%) is water.
Seneca was founded as Seneca City and named for a nearby Native American village and the Seneca River. The town was located at the intersection of the Blue Ridge Railroad and the newly built Atlanta and Charlotte Air Line Railroad. Both lines are now part of the Norfolk Southern Railway. A. W. Thompson and J. J. Norton, who were locating engineers for the Air Line Railroad, purchased the land from Col. Brown of Anderson, South Carolina. A stake marking the center of town was driven into the intersection of the railroad tracks and the current Townville Street. The land was divided into lots for one-half mile from the stake. An auction was held on August 14, 1873. The town was given a charter by the state legislature on March 14, 1874. In 1908, the name was changed to Seneca.
Seneca developed as a marketing and shipping point for cotton. During the harvest, wagons bringing cotton would line up for blocks from the railroad station. A passenger terminal, several hotels, and a park were built near the railroad tracks. Recently, this park was named the Norton-Thompson Park in honor of its founders.
The first school was built in 1874. The community was the home of the Seneca Institute - Seneca Junior College, which was an African-American school from 1899 to 1939.
Textile mills came into the area with the construction of a plant-and-mill village by the Courtenay Manufacturing Company in Newry on the Little River in 1893. W.L. Jordon built another textile plant and mill village east of Seneca. This village has been called Jordania, Londsdale, and Utica as the ownership of the plant changed. The J. P. Stevens Plant, which was later called the Westpoint Stevens Plant, was a large integrated textile mill built on Lake Hartwell. Many other textile mills came to the area. These plants were the main industry for Seneca for the first half of the twentieth century. Nearly all these textile plants have been closed.
With the construction of Lake Hartwell in 1963, Lake Keowee in 1971, and Lake Jocassee in 1974, Seneca and the area saw dramatic changes. The Oconee Nuclear Station was built on Lake Keowee. The recreation provided by the lakes and other attractions such as nearby Clemson University broug