Fountain Inn is a city in Greenville and Laurens counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 7,799 at the 2010 census, up from 6,017 at the 2000 census. It is part of the Greenville–Mauldin–Easley Metropolitan Statistical Area.
The Cannon Building, Fairview Presbyterian Church, Fountain Inn High School, Fountain Inn Principal's House and Teacherage, McDowell House, Robert Quillen Office and Library, Tullyton, and F. W. Welborn House are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
The southern part of the city is in Laurens County, while the bulk of the city is in Greenville County. The city's nickname is "The Diamond Tip of the Golden Strip". The city took its name from an inn and fountain that were along the old stagecoach route. The stagecoach drivers called the stop "Fountain Inn", and it stuck. A small garden fountain is installed at City Hall, and there is a marker on the north side of town showing the former location of the old inn.
South Carolina Highway 14 runs through the center of town as Main Street, and Interstate 385 runs along the southern edge of the city, with access from Exits 22, 23, and 26. Greenville is 17 miles (27 km) to the northwest, and Columbia is 84 miles (135 km) to the southeast. Via Highway 14, Laurens is 16 miles (26 km) to the southeast.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the city of Fountain Inn has a total area of 7.9 square miles (20.5 km2), of which 0.04 square miles (0.1 km2), or 0.43%, are water.
There are several festivals in Fountain Inn, including Aunt Het Day, based on syndicated cartoon columnist Robert Quillen, that brings in several hundred visitors as Main Street is closed and filled with many unique vendors.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,017 people. The population density was 1,091.6 people per square mile (421.6/km²). There were 2,465 housing units at an average density of 447.2 per square mile (172.7/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 67.49% White, 29.31% African American, 0.13% Native American, 0.28% Asian, 0.02% Pacific Islander, 0.78% from other races, and 0.98% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 2.41% of the population.
There were 2,289 households out of which 38.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 49.8% were married couples living together, 19.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 26.8% were non-families. 23.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.58 and the average family size was 3.06.
In the town the population was spread out with 28.3% under the age of 18, 7.7% from 18 to 24, 33.2% from 25 to 44, 19.0% from 45 to 64, and 11.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 83.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 77.7 males.
The median income for a family was $45,417. Males had a median income of $33,281 versus $24,353 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,297. About 6.8% of families and 9.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 10.7% of those under age 18 and 12.2% of those age 65 or over.
Fountain Inn is governed by a mayor, a city council, and several boards and commissions. The current officeholders are:
City councilMayor: Sam Lee
Council Ward I: John Mahony
Council Ward II: Andrew Stoddard
Council Ward III: Rose Ann Woods
Council Ward IV: Phil Clemmer
Council Ward V: Barry Woods Jr.
Council Ward VI: Matthew King
Board of Zoning Appeals/Variance BoardYancey Epps
Planning CommissionArt Gibson
The city of Fountain Inn has one of the lowest crime rates in Greenville County and has the best record in closing case files of towns of similar sizes and geographic area. The Fountain Inn Police Department has annual reports and information regarding current records and statistical surveys of the area.
79% of the residents have a high school diploma or equivalent, 26.2% with bachelor's degree and 4.1% holding a master's, professional or doctorate.
Fountain Inn was the adopted home of journalist and humorist Robert Quillen, one of the "leading purveyors of village nostalgia" during the early decades of the twentieth century.
Fountain Inn was the home town of late one-legged tap dancer Clayton "Peg Leg" Bates.
Fountain Inn is the home town of Travelle Wharton, a retired NFL offensive lineman. He played for the Carolina Panthers of the NFL from 2004 through 2011. He joined the Cincinnati Bengals for the 2012 season. He played college football at the University of South Carolina.