Spartansburg grew continually from its incorporation in 1856. As the area of Sparta Township grew, men and women met the needs of the community with their knowledge and skills. Miss Patty Blakeslee and Miss Phoebe Patton were among the first teachers in Sparta Township. Reverend Amos Chase served early churches and Dr. Horace Eaton met the medical needs in the area. Miss Ruth Gleason held class in a small school just west of the borough in 1833.
By 1867, some of the earliest businessmen and tradesmen had moved on. Chauncey Akin’s bowl factory, William Bassett’s chair factory and John McWilliams tannery were closed or sold to others by the 1867 printing of the Crawford County Directory. Remaining from the early establishments were: the McWilliams and Emerson Carding and Fulling Mill (1849) which had been sold in 1862 to Harvey Lamb who made it into a full woolen mill which remained active for many years, and the Akin’s Grist mill (1830) which was owned by several different people and became later known as Platt’s Mill which continues under that name today.
Additional business and tradesman’s names were included on a map of Spartansburg Borough from 1867. The document and map included here show those names and some locations of shops at the time. Spartansburg was becoming a large and active place to live and work.
The business district of Spartansburg, like most others of this time, consisted of wood frame structures that sometimes housed multiple businessmen and tradesmen. The first store was built in 1837 by Aaron Akins (family for whom the initial name of Akinsville was given) and was a general merchandise store. In 1871 that building was occupied by Paul Blackmer who had a shoe and boot trade shop in that building on the south side of Main Street east of Mechanic. Crawford County published a listing of businesses that included towns in the county. The town is described in the book as having “2 churches, 2 hotels, woolen mill, carriage factory, steam tannery and 12 business houses in the different branches of mercantile pursuits.”
Map of Spartansburg Borough in 1867
Directory of Business and Trades in 1871 Also contains ads for Spartansburg businesses that were included in the Crawford County Directory for that year.