Landrum is located in the northwestern portion of the state in the area of Spartanburg County that adjoins the North Carolina border. Landrum is located in the center of the triad of Greenville, Spartanburg, and Asheville, NC, with the traveling distance to each only about 30 to 45 minutes. Landrum is a small rural town with a number of small industries and businesses. In the past few years, Landrum has become known as the “bedroom” community of Tryon, NC, because of the number of retirees that have moved from the north and built retirement homes in the area. Landrum is also seeing more and more new residents who want to escape the busy towns of Spartanburg, Greer, and Greenville to provide a more peaceful climate in which to rear and educate their children.
Landrum has undergone revitalization in the past ten years. The downtown area has become a tourist attraction because of the many antique shops and unique specialty shops that have located here. Every storefront now is occupied and the shops are beginning to spread to the outskirts into some of the older homes that have been remodeled. The town has a busy Chamber of Commerce and a downtown Merchant’s Association. The Town Beautification Committee is now working to make other improvements that will further enhance the downtown area.
Landrum hosts the Hogback Mountain Craft Fair in the fall, a Downtown Christmas Stroll, and an Arts and Flower Festival in the spring. The surrounding communities host many festivals and celebrations during the year.
According to the 1990 census, Landrum has a population of 2,347. This population is projected to reach 3,615 by the year 2010. Landrum city limits are small, therefore the majority of the population live on the outskirts of the town. The median age of Landrum residents is 38 years and 23.9% of the population is under the age of 18. The population of Landrum consists of 87.5% whites, 11.1% blacks, 0.6% Hispanic and 2.4% in other minority groups.
The educational level of parents and guardians shows very little change in 1999 as compared to 1995. The percentage with a bachelor’s degree has decreased and the percentage with advanced degrees has increased.
There are 337 families and 522 households in Landrum. The per capita income is $10,398 while the median household income is $22.733. The median family income is $26,875. 6.7% of the residents live below the poverty level. There were no households reported to earn over $150,000 in the Landrum area. Most of the housing units in Landrum are owner occupied. 58.9% of the persons age 25 and older are high school graduates while 10.4% hold a bachelor’s degree or higher.
The largest numbers of parents are employed as skilled workers or in service occupations. The unemployment for fathers was 0% in 1999 as compared to 1% in 1995.
The major local employers in the area include: Upstate Machine and Tool, Karastan Bigelow Loudes Corporation, SC Elastic, Bommer Industries, Mascot Homes, J Barba Company, Simkins Industries and Carolina Yarn and Processors. Many residents work in Spartanburg, Greer, Greenville, and Asheville, NC.
The religious orientation of the community is predominantly Baptist. Other denominations include Methodist, Presbyterian, Church of God, and Pentecostal. The area has numerous churches of all denominations.
Landrum has two major parks and a recreation program sponsored by the Spartanburg Parks and Recreational Department. Other community organizations that are available include Boy Scouts, Landrum Youth Sports League, and church youth organizations. The Lions Club, Rotary Club, VFW, Garden Clubs and Civic League help sponsor various leadership camps by contributing money to help pay the student’s cost to attend. Local organizations that provide scholarships for seniors include St. Luke’s Hospital, The Forbes Foundation, Tryon Rotary, Polk Community Foundation, VFW, and Pepsi Cola.
Landrum has its own public library that is a branch of the Spartanburg County Library. A new library is planned in the next few years that will be located on property in close proximity to the schools. New sidewalks are now being built that will make the library safer for the school children to walk to.
Spartanburg County has seven school districts. Landrum High School is located in District #1. There are 2 high schools, 2 junior high schools, and 5 elementary schools in District #1. The Swofford Career Center also serves students in District #1.
Landrum High School draws its population from Landrum Junior High and Campobello-Gramling School. The school’s facilities are located on Redland Road in close proximity to the elementary and junior high schools. The junior and senior high schools share some facilities and staff.
A building construction program was completed at Landrum High School in 1997. This provided 7 classrooms that include a new biology lab, band room and a large art room. At this time, the office was reorganized and remodeled.
For the 2000-2001 school year, Landrum High School enrolled 383 students in grades 9-12. There are 178 females and 205 male students. The number of students has remained fairly stable over the past several years. Due to absences, expulsions and dropouts, the number generally declines as the year progresses. The attendance rate has remained fairly steady at 95%. In 1999-2000, the dropout percentage was 1.4%.
Currently, the ethnic population consists of 342 white students, 32 black students, 6 Hispanic students and 3 Asian-Pacific students.
Approximately 22% of our students receive free lunch and 5% qualify for reduced lunch. District wide, the percentage of elementary students receiving free lunch is 45%. The main reason for the big difference in elementary and high school free lunch can be contributed to pride. As students get older, they do not want to be embarrassed by receiving free lunch, therefore they do not complete the free lunch application. During the 1999-2000 school year, 34% of 9th graders received free lunch as compared to only 17% of the 12th grade students, which further supports this theory of pride.
The majority of students at Landrum High School live in a stable environment. We have no students of migrant families. Fifty-three percent of the students dwell with both biological parents, while 33% of the students’ parents are divorced. Of the students with divorced parents, 25% live with their mother. At the time of the survey, 8% of the students’ parents were separated but not legally divorced. These percentages would not have a drastic effect on the school programs.
Special needs students include 37 learning disabled, 17 educable mentally disabled and 4 emotionally disabled students. An increase in the special needs population has resulted in the addition of one resource teacher and two self-contained special education classes. Placement in these classes is based on individual need and is determined by a committee that develops the Individualized Education Plan. Special needs students may also enroll during their sophomore year in Career Exploration at Swofford Career Center. Students in this program may choose 5 classes to explore. In these classes, they are main streamed into the regular vocational classes with other students. This provides the special needs students an opportunity to explore different occupations and learn some life skills that they can use in the future.
Homebound services are available to students who qualify. An in-school suspension program provides an alternative to out-of-school suspension. Students who need an alternative setting may be served by the University School located in Spartanburg, or PLATO which is located at Swofford Career Center.
Landrum High School offers an academic environment where students are encouraged to become involved. The curriculum is diverse and is structured to meet the needs of all students. Extra-curricular activities include academic, business, and service oriented clubs and 17 sports teams that provide opportunities for both males and females to participate. Our band program regularly participates in community events, as well as district and state competitions. The student government is very active and is involved in all aspects of school life. They have sponsored many activities that have benefited many families in the community as well as other charity organizations.
Students regularly participate in the Rotary and AFS Exchange Programs. The school has hosted students from Spain, Italy, Australia and Germany. Landrum High students have traveled to Italy, Switzerland, Brazil and Germany.
Landrum has an active PTSO, band booster club, athletic booster club and a supportive and active School Improvement Council. All these are involved with the students and sponsor various projects throughout the year. They also offer scholarships to the graduating seniors.
Academic success is recognized through various honors and awards. An Academic Banquet is held each spring to recognize students who have maintained a B average or better. Honor Roll students are listed in the local papers and on a school bulletin board.
Spartanburg county has a rich cultural community that the Landrum High School students may take advantage of. The Tryon area also offers many and varied opportunities for the youth. Landrum youth are encouraged to take part in the Tryon Youth Theater, exhibits at the Tryon Fine Arts Center, and programs at the Foothills Equestrian and Nature Center.
Spartanburg County offers excellent opportunities for higher education. Converse College, Wofford College, USCS, Spartanburg Methodist, and Spartanburg Technical College are close enough that students are able to commute without having to travel a great distance. The college representatives work closely with the high school in recruiting students and keeping students informed of opportunities offered.