Morgan Square in Spartanburg

April 4, 2008

Morgan Square in Spartanburg is the place of the original courthouse village, which was established in the 1780s. The place of the first courthouse and jail near a spring eventually became a square which was named after Daniel Morgan, the general who commanded the American forces at the Battle of Cowpens.
In 1880 a opera house with a clock tower was built at Morgan Square. Many Spartanburg’s music events were held between 1880-1906 in the Opera House, which could seat 800 people. In addition Spartanburg’s city hall occupied the first floor of the Opera House. The Opera House and clock tower was torn down in 1907.
The statue of Daniel Morgan was placed on the square in spring of 1881 to mark the 100th anniversary of the Battle of Cowpens. The courthouse, shops and the Merchant’s Hotel, later known as Spartan Inn bordered Morgan Square.
Trues Department store opened in 1905 and operated the first elevator in Spartanburg. The oldest existing buildings still standing on the square today date to the 1880s. During the 1960’s suburban shopping centers drew shoppers away from traditional downtown stores, or hotels. The center of downtown and Morgan Square declined. Within the last decade Spartanburg’s downtown district has been revitalized and Morgan Square remodeled. A number of historic structures have been restored and several businesses and company headquarters relocated to Morgan Square and downtown Spartanburg. Morgan Square is now again the city’s primary downtown hub and a thriving center for daytime commerce and vibrant nightlife.

Morgan Square in 1883

Morgan Square

Opera House and Clock Tower

The Square

© Flavia Westerwell

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