Today in Anderson History

February 10, 1992
One of a hand full of examples of the Tudor Revival style of architecture in Anderson is the Ralph John Ramer House, located at 402 Boulevard. This 6,000-square foot home was listed in the National Register of Historic Places on February 10, 1992. With the exception of the Anderson College Historic District, this is the only historic property on the Boulevard listed in the National Register. 

Constructed in 1930, the home was designed by Henry Irven Gaines, an architect from Asheville, N.C. While gardens and landscaping were originally planned for the house, what is seen today was added during the 1940s and 50s when the home was purchased by Mrs. Nancy F. Stringer in 1946 from Ramer's estate. 

Ramer and his brother-in-law, Charles Ellis of Greenville, were co-owners of the Coca-Cola Bottling Company in Anderson. Ramer was known by most as Major Ramer, being a veteran of the Spanish-American War. He also served as U.S. Consular in Zacatecas, Mexico. After moving to Anderson in 1911, he became captain of the National Guard's Palmetto Riflemen in Anderson. He helped form the Machine Gun Company of the 118th Regiment and served on the U.S.-Mexican border during the final days of Pancho Villa's uprising. Ramer was a veteran of World War I and from 1921-1922 he served in the S.C. House of Representatives. In addition to his home, the American Legion Hut on Greenville Street is also named in his honor.

More information on the Ramer House can be seen in the following Under the Kudzu video in the Anderson History link of the Observer.

More about Historian Brian Scott here.


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County Council Finance Committee to Meet Thursday

The Finance Committe of the Anderson County Council will meet Thursday at 2 p.m. in the council chambers of the history courthouse downtown.

Items on the agenda include funding for the Applachian Council of Governments.


Fiorina Drops Out of Race

Former Hewlett-Packard chief executive Carly Fiorina said Wednesday that she is suspending her campaign for the Republican presidential nomination, following a lackluster showing in the New Hampshire primary.

Fiorina, 61, had pitched herself as an outsider who could bring a business mentality and global contacts to the White House — and who would not be afraid to attack the Democratic front-runner, Hillary Clinton. But she was badly outspent, as she was unable to translate strong debate performances and enthusiastic crowds in early appearances in key primary states into sustained poll momentum — or into votes, coming in seventh in both the Iowa caucuses, with less than 2 percent of the vote, and in New Hampshire, with 4 percent.

“While I suspend my candidacy today, I will continue to travel this country and fight for those Americans who refuse to settle for the way things are and a status quo that no longer works for them,” Fiorina said in a Facebook post announcing her decision.


$40 Million in Aid Could Help S.C. Farmers Hit by Flood

South Carolina farmers devastated by last fall's flooding could get up to $40 million in state aid to stay afloat under legislation advancing in the House.

The House Ways and Means Committee voted 21-0 on Wednesday to approve legislation allowing farmers in disaster-declared counties to apply for grants of up to $100,000 each. The grants could cover 20 percent of a farmer's total loss.

Last October's torrential rains wiped out $330 million worth of crops at harvest time. Agriculture officials estimate farmers lost an additional $45 million because they couldn't get in the fields to plant winter crops.

State Farm Bureau President Harry Ott says farmers need help paying for seeds and fertilizer to plant this year's crops.

The measure specifies the grants can't pay down last year's debt.



Sears/Kmart to Close 50 Stores, But Not Here

Sears keeps pruning its business in a years-long makeover, a bid to transform itself from a 123-year-old retail store into a nimble, 21st century operator. Anderson's stores are safe from these cuts.

Patience appears to be wearing thin. Shares slid early Tuesday to 13-year lows after the company said it would accelerate the closure of some of its stores following a "challenging" holiday season. The company's stock is down 20 percent this year, and they've been cut in half in the past 12 months.

Comparable-store sales in the fourth quarter dropped 6.9 percent at Sears, and 7.2 percent at Kmart, which the also company owns. That's a key indicator of a retailer's health because it excludes the volatility from stores recently opened or closed.

While the quarter that contains the critical shopping season was better compared with the previous three quarters, overall same-store sales fell 9.2 percent in 2015, with Sears stores leading the decline.

"The holiday selling season proved to be challenging, with historically warm weather and intense competition pressuring margins and driving comparable store-sales declines," the company said in a printed statement Tuesday.

Sears Holdings Corp. has struggled for years with weakening sales, unable to keep up with companies that sell appliances, like Home Depot, or general merchandise, like Wal-Mart, or everything, as is the case with

It has spent years trying to modernize stores that are decades old, while chasing sales that have increasingly migrated online.

In a bid to turn around its clothing business, Sears said Tuesday that it would shake up its sourcing, pricing and inventory.

As for store closures, Sears said it will include, but not be limited to, about 50 stores that the company recently announced it would be shuttering in the next few months.


Obama Budget Includes Money for S.C. Beaches

President Barack Obama's proposed $4 trillion budget includes money to maintain the Charleston Harbor shipping channel and rebuild Grand Strand beaches.

The president's budget proposal for the fiscal year that begins in October was released Tuesday. It includes more than $21 million for Army Corps of Engineers projects in South Carolina.

About $16 million is earmarked for rebuilding beaches in the Garden City area southwest of Myrtle Beach. Almost $14 million more is for maintaining the Charleston Harbor shipping channel at its current depth of 45 feet.

Planning to deepen the harbor channel to 52 feet is moving forward.

But there's no money in the new budget to pay for the federal share of the half-billion dollar deepening. Congress has yet to sign off on that work.



VW Recalls 680,000 Cars in U.S.

Volkswagen said on Wednesday it was recalling 680,000 cars of its namesake brand in the United States because Takata-made airbags in them could be defective.

The recall affects models built between 2006 and 2014, a spokesman said, declining to comment on how much the recall could cost.

Daimler said late on Tuesday it would recall 840,000 U.S. vehicles with Takata airbag inflators that could be defective, resulting in a charge of 340 million euros ($382.53 million) for the carmaker.


Electric City Playhouse Dinner Theater this Weekend

The Electric City Playhouse will offer a Valentine dinner theater presentation of "Love Letters," Friday and Saturday at Tucker's Restraurant in Anderson.
The show will feature Jane Gray Sullivan and Stuart Adamo and reservations are required by the end of the day Wednesday, Feb. 10. Call 864-224-4248 11 a.m.-4 p.m.
Cocktails begin at 6:30 p.m. and the show begins at 8 p.m.
Tickers are $40 for the dinner and show.

Clean Start Soup Lunch Set for March 3

Clean Start, a hygiene and resource center for those in need in Anderson, is hosting their nineth annual “Scoop Some Soup Day” March 3at the organizatiion's location at219 Townsend Street.  This event is dine-in or carry-out and will run from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.  Chili or Vegetable soup will be available along with cornbread or crackers, dessert and tea.  Price for this event will be $7 per meal.  All proceeds go to benefit Clean Start.  Please call 716-0766 for details and/or tickets.

Clean Start serves between 95 and 120 people each week, offering showers, laundry service, and referrals to other service in the Anderson community for their clients.  This is the only fundraiser held each year. 

For more information, visit their Facebook page.


Jeb Bush to Visit Mama Penn's Friday

Republican Presidential Candidate Jeb Bush will visit Anderson Friday for a meet-and-greet event at Mama Penn's restaurant beginning at 11:15 a.m.

The public is invited.



Sanders, Trump Win in New Hampshire

Donald J. Trump and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont harnessed working-class fury on Tuesday to surge to commanding victories in a New Hampshire primary that drew huge turnout across the state.

The success by two outsider candidates dealt a remarkable rebuke to the political establishment, and left the race deeply unsettled.

Mr. Trump, the wealthy businessman whose blunt language and outsider image have electrified many Republicans and horrified others, benefited from an unusually large field of candidates that split the vote among traditional politicians like Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who finished second, and former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida.

But Mr. Trump also tapped into a deep well of anxiety among Republicans and independents in New Hampshire, according to exit polling data, and he ran strongest among voters who were worried about illegal immigrants, incipient economic turmoil and the threat of a terrorist attack in the United States.

With more than half the precincts reporting, Mr. Trump had received 34 percent of the vote, and Mr. Sanders approached 60 percent.


All Eyes Shifting to S.C. Primaries

After all the ballots are counted in New Hampshire, the focus of the political world will be on the so-called 'first in the South' primary in South Carolina.

Political Science professor, Dr. Scott Huffmon from Winthrop University, says Hillary Clinton will likely lose on the Democratic side in New Hampshire to Bernie Sanders, but will likely do much better in South Carolina where more than 50% of those expected to vote will be African-American.

"So the demographics start favoring Hillary because Bernie Sanders has tried mightily but has not penetrated the African-American electorate in the same way Hillary Clinton has," Huffmon said.

On the Republican side, in only one case has the Republican primary winner not gone on to be the eventual Republican nominee.

Huffmon says the change came in 2012 when Newt Gingrich beat Mitt Romney.

Huffmon says it is Donald Trump who now appeals to the same kind of angry, anti-establishment Republican.

"It used to be you won our primary, you were a hit. Now, South Carolina has become the canary in the coal mine as to how the anger of the Republican conservative electorate is really impacting the race," he said.

You can't drive more than a block now without seeing a candidate's yard sign, and beginning Wednesday, your chances of seeing the candidates themselves will greatly increase.

Almost every Republican top-tier candidate is going to be somewhere in South Carolina Wednesday.


United Way "Buy a Box" of Food Children Event Wednesday

On Wednesday, the United Way is asking the people of Anderson County to help feed 1,000 school-age children in need.  They are making a call for people to “Buy A Box”. 

What’s in a box?  A box, which cost $32, holds 8 Weekend Snackpacks that will feed 8 children over the weekend so that they can return to school ready to learn.

The Weekend Snackpack program provides a bag of food every Friday to children in need to bridge the weekend meal gap -- when school lunch and breakfast programs are not available. Teachers, nurses, and school counselors identify the children who are at greatest risk of missing meals during weekends. These children often have little or nothing to eat at home, and return to school on Monday hungry, tired, and ill-prepared to learn.  The effort has been made possible through a partnership among the United Way of Anderson County, faith-community, all five area school districts, Golden Harvest and a variety of other organizations and volunteers who help pack and deliver the Snackpacks.  

Donnie Campbell, a lead volunteer in the packing and delivery of the Snackpacks, believes in the cause and the impact it has on local children.  “It costs approximately $150,000 to feed 1,000 children every weekend for an entire school year.  This is a small price to ensure our youngest citizens are well-fed and can come to school ready to learn,“ said Campbell. 

“The goal for February tenth, Buy A Box Day, is to raise enough money to cover the costs of feeding the children in the program every weekend for an entire school year.” Said Jimmy Kimbell, Board Chair of the United Way of Anderson County, “I believe the people of Anderson County can do it!” 

To Buy a Box (or more) you can go to or mail your donation to United Way of Anderson County, P.O. Box 2067, Anderson, SC 29622.  For more information contact Tammie Collins with the United Way of Anderson County at 864-226-3438 ext. 110.


S.C. Sues Feds Over Unfinished Nuclear Project

South Carolina has again sued the federal government over an unfinished project to convert nuclear weapons components into reactor fuel.

The lawsuit filed Tuesday by Attorney General Alan Wilson accuses the federal government of acting unconstitutionally in failing to complete the mixed-oxide facility by a Jan. 1 deadline. The suit also seeks daily fines of $1 million and plutonium removal.

The project is years behind schedule and billions over budget. Because the facility isn't operating, the federal government was supposed to remove 1 metric ton of plutonium from South Carolina or pay fines.

The project's future is unclear. In his budget submitted Tuesday, President Barack Obama included minimal funding for the mixed-oxide fuel project.

South Carolina dropped an earlier lawsuit against the administration after officials said they wanted to shutter the project.