What is "The Electric City"?


Anderson was dubbed "The Electric City" in 1895 when William C Whitner, an engineer and native of Anderson, built a hydroelectric power plant which was the first in the south to transmit electricity over long distance lines. The plant in McFall's Mill at High Shoals on the Rocky River 6 miles east supplied power to light the city and also operated several small industries in Anderson. In 1897 Whitner replaced the experimental plant with a larger generating station at Portman Shoals 11 miles west on the Seneca River. The extra power from this plant powered Anderson Cotton Mills and a streetcar line which was the forerunner of the Piedmont & Northern Railroad. Both plants pioneered in transmitting high voltage electricity direct from this station switchboard. This innovation helped spur the modern industrialization of the Southeast.
Taken from Historical Marker 4 - 25 located at the Old County Courthouse