ANDERSON — When cars zipped into Anderson for a stop in the 1911 Glidden Tour, a much-celebrated national event, local folks celebrated by wearing hats that proclaimed, “Anderson is My Town.”
In the years that followed, that slogan was a regular part of the stories and short news notes in the Anderson Intelligencer. In 1914, an article that appeared in the Anderson Daily Mail, praised Col. “Billy” Banks for his efforts in installing an electric sign bearing that slogan in the city’s center.
The sign was the first electric one in the city, and was one of the first things that people could see when entering downtown, according to the local newspapers.
For about 30 years, that sign — whether it was lit or not — was part of the local landscape.
“It was there a long time. I can’t remember a time when it wasn’t there and I am almost 90 years old,” said Lillian Brown Glenn, whose father owned the building where the sign was installed. “I should be able to remember when it came down. But I don’t.”
Now, “Anderson is My Town,” is a slogan that Andersonians can proclaim again.
The sign, which has been absent from the city’s skyline for an estimated seven decades, has returned — to the same rooftop where it once stood.
It was once above the Standard Drug Store. Now that same building holds the JPeters Restaurant, and a soon-to-be-open expansion to The Bleckley Inn.
On a recent blustery day under gathering storm clouds, workers with Hill Electric hoisted the sign out of the back of a truck and onto a motorized lift, taking it about 50 feet into the air.
For the last few months, the sign has been a project that Steve Kay, a downtown developer and owner of Hill Electric, has been working on.
“I wanted to put it up because it is a piece of history,” Kay said. “I have a lot of memories of coming to town when I was growing up. Coming to town was a treat. This sign is part of that history.”