Our School » History


Hand-drawn rendering of Anderson Mill Elementary School


 Our School History

  • Our school is located on the North Tyger River, which was a natural Indian crossing for the Cherokees. 
  • The mill was used to grind corn into cornmeal. 
  • The area was a favorite hunting spot of the Cherokee Indians.
  • Numerous arrowheads were found on the building site and are on display in The Gallery.
  • The Anderson family came from Pennsylvania in the migration of Scots and Irishmen to the Carolinas in 1761 to settle in the Tyger River Valley.
  • Other families to settle included the Nicholls, Barry, Moore, Collins, McMahon and Pearson families.
  • The Nicholls were the first to settle near the shoals.
  • The Nicholls were also the first to operate the gristmill; changing hands to the Tanner family, then finally the Anderson family in 1831.
  • Replacing the Indian councils was the council of a judge, jurors, defendants and victims. Spartanburg’s first session of circuit court was held at Nicholl’s Mill on the third Monday of June 1785. 
  • Captain David Anderson built a fine two-story columned home named Pleasant Falls after the beauty of the North Tyger River as it drops over bedrock rapids beside the mill.  One of the school’s halls is named Pleasant Falls Lane.
  • The gristmill still stands after the county’s most famous flood in 1903 due to its rock foundation.  The unusual brick and stonework in the school’s foundation symbolizes this.
  • In 1960, A.A. Sellars took over ownership and continued to operate the gristmill until his retirement in 1975.  It was sold to Hugh Atkins and homeowners of Riveridge.
  • The school takes great pride in the history of the gristmill and the surrounding area.  The school’s halls were named to bring honor to this history; names such as Pleasant Falls Lane, Tanner’s Mill, Waterwheel Way, Tyger River Road. Other historical names are the Grist Theatre, Anderson Arena (gym), and Mills Café (cafeteria).  The names are displayed in unique neon lights.
  • The school is built in 1998 on 92 acres and is 115,000 square feet. It boasts a one-of-a-kind energy efficient geothermal heating and air-conditioning system.
  • There are 150 wells on the site, which are 300 feet deep, and 12 miles of pipe for the geothermal system.
  • Mixing the old with the new-Anderson Mill Elementary boasts the latest in technology.
  • Anderson Mill Elementary opened its doors proud of the past, and looking to the future!