“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
“Bite-Size Bits of Local, National, and Global History”
Anderson in Anderson County, South Carolina — The American South (South Atlantic)

Fant's Book Store -- 1851

Fant's Book Store -- 1851 Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 25, 2009
1. Fant's Book Store -- 1851 Marker
Inscription.  This store is the oldest business firm in Anderson. It has been owned and operated consistently by the same family for 175 years. Established by George W. Fant and originally named G.W. Fant & Son the store is an outgrowth of Dr. Edmund Webb's Drug and Book store, one of Anderson's first business establishments. Prior to 1851 Mr. Fant was associated with the Webb firm and assisted in conducting the business of the Post Office which was located in the store on the west side of the square. The book store later was moved to West Whitner Street. Presently it is owned and operated by 4th and 5th generation Fant descendants.

1776 ABC - ARBA 1976

Erected 1976.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Arts, Letters, MusicIndustry & Commerce. A significant historical year for this entry is 1851.
Location. 34° 30.233′ N, 82° 39′ W. Marker is in Anderson, South Carolina, in Anderson County. Marker is on North Main Street, on the left when traveling south. Marker is located on the west side of the building, facing
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Main Street. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 126 North Main Street, Greenville SC 29601, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 10 other markers are within walking distance of this marker. Blue Ridge Railroad Passenger Station -- c. 1913 (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson: "The Electric City" (within shouting distance of this marker); William Church Whitner (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson County Court House -- 1898 (within shouting distance of this marker); Anderson County Confederate Monument (about 300 feet away, measured in a direct line); The Four Way Test (about 300 feet away); Anderson County Law Enforcement Officers Memorial (about 300 feet away); Portman Shoals (about 400 feet away); Portman Dam and Power Plant (about 400 feet away); G.F. Tolly Building -- c. 1910 (about 400 feet away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Anderson.
Regarding Fant's Book Store -- 1851. Fant's Book Store is no longer in operation. The building shown has contained the Berry House Gift Shop and Johnny Angels, a bar (present).
Additional commentary.
1. George W. Fant
In 1829 there was born in the Calhoun settlement a baby boy who was destined to play a part in the history of
Fant's Book Store Location and Marker image. Click for full size.
Photographed By Brian Scott, July 25, 2009
2. Fant's Book Store Location and Marker
the little town which had been started in the woods the year before he was born. He was George W. Fant, eldest son of William Fant. In his childhood his parents moved to Garvin township, near Pendleton, where he grew up. At about twenty years of age he located in Anderson and worked on the Gazette when Todd and Russell were its publishers. In 1856 Mr. Fant was appointed postmaster, which position he held until 1880. He married Miss Myra Williams ton, and T. J. Webb married her sister Elizabeth. Mr. Webb was postmaster and also book seller, and his business passed first into the hands of his son, T. J. Webb, and from him to his brother-in-law, G. W. Fant.

The book store of Fant and Son is still Anderson's chief source of literature; other book stores have come and gone in the years that have elapsed since Mr. Fant first began to sell books to the Anderson people, but that one remains, still in the hands of the same family. That and Tolly's furniture establishment are the two oldest business houses in the place. Mr. George W. Fant was the father of Anderson's Mayor, Foster Fant. His other children were the late Rufus Fant, Theo Fant, the late Ben Fant, Walter Fant, of Texas; Neb Fant, of Walhalla; Mrs. Belle Fant Acker and Mrs. Lillie Fant Grant, of Oklahoma. (Source: Traditons and History of Anderson County by Louise Ayer Vandiver, 1928.)
G.W. Fant and Son<br>511 (now 106) South Main Street image. Click for full size.
Photographed By South Carolina Postcards Volume IX: Anderson County, circa 1884
3. G.W. Fant and Son
511 (now 106) South Main Street
From left to right: Charles Langston, George W. Fant, Will Webb, and Rufus and Theo Fant. The bookstore later moved to 209 West Whitner Street by 1890 before moving to North Main Street, its final home.
    — Submitted July 31, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

2. Rufus Fant
Rufus and his brother Theo were the second generation to own and operate Fant's Book Store. Buried at Old Silver Brook Cemetery, Rufus Fant's tombstone faces a grove of bamboo. The grove was started at the Old Silverbrook Cemetery in 1893 by Rufus Fant and has never flowered. It is the only edible grove of bamboo in the United States.

Rufus Fant was also instrumental in introducing a street car system in Anderson and sat on the board of the proposed Chattanooga, Anderson & Atlantic. This company, which proposes to build a railroad from Chattanooga, Tenn. to Charleston, S.C. The route would run via Ducktown, Tenn., Murphy, N.C., Clayton, Ga., and Westminister, Anderson, Due West, Greenwood, Saluda, Batesburg, Orangeburg, Bowman, Saint George, and Summerville, S.C. (Source: and The Railway age, Volume 41 (1906) pg. 941.)
    — Submitted July 31, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.
Credits. This page was last revised on December 11, 2019. It was originally submitted on July 31, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina. This page has been viewed 2,319 times since then and 50 times this year. Photos:   1, 2, 3. submitted on July 31, 2009, by Brian Scott of Anderson, South Carolina.

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Mar. 4, 2024