Sunday, February 28, 2016

Historic Towns of Clarendon County, S.C.

The following are a series of brief historical overviews of the major towns, villages, and communities in Clarendon County, South Carolina.



Manning is the county seat of Clarendon county in South Carolina. Its population was estimated to be 3,943 as of 2008.



Shortly after the establishment of Clarendon county in 1855, Captain Joseph C. Burgess was selected to determine the geographical center of the county so that a courthouse village could be built. The commissioners who had been charged with the responsibility of locating the county seat, decided on the site where the present courthouse stands in Manning. Captain Burgess deeded six acres to the state, which provided sites for the courthouse and jail, in addition to streets 75 feet wide on four sides.



The town of Manning was officially chartered by an act of the S.C. State Legislature on January 28, 1861. It was named for John Laurence Manning.  Dr. George Allen Huggins was the first intendent, or mayor, of Manning.



A large portion of the original town, including the court house, was destroyed by Union troops under Gen. Edward E. Potter. "Potter's Raid" took place only a few days before Gen. Robert E. Lee´s surrender at Appomattox. The county took many decades to recover from the Civil War. However, railroads, abundant timber and diverse agriculture allowed Manning to flourish during the late 19th century and into the 20th century.



In 1969, Pansy Ridgeway became the first woman to be elected mayor of Manning. She served as mayor of Manning from 1970–96 and was also the first woman elected president of the South Carolina Municipal Association.



A revitalization effort known as "Main Street Manning" is responsible for much of the restoration and growth in historic Manning over recent years. In 2009, downtown Manning was designated a National Historic District.



Summerton is a town in Clarendon County, South Carolina, in the U.S.  The population of the town was 1,061 according to the 2000 census.



Summerton’s history began around 1830 to 1840. Plantation owners made their move inward to what was then called the “Summer Town” to escape from the mosquitoes along the Santee river. It was thought of as a health resort and safe retreat from the “malaria” of the swamp. Visit Historic Summerton S.C.



Summerton is ideally located in the heart of Santee Cooper Country, eight miles from the shores of beautiful Lake Marion and conveniently located one hour from Columbia, Charleston, and Florence. It was officially chartered by the SC Legislative Delegation on Christmas Eve, 1889.



Summerton has developed into a pastoral residential community. The number of churches in this small town reflect the deep spiritual commitment of the community. A strong reliance on farming, small business and the rustic beauty of the SC Low Country are all key characteristics of the town.



Alcolu was established between 1885 and 1890 by D.W. Alderman as a small mill town that housed the employees of his timber company and lumber mill. The name Alcolu is derived from “AL” for Alderman, “CO” for Coldwell (a friend), and “LU” for Lula, the only daughter of the Aldermans at that time.



When it was built, Alcolu was a company town where everybody worked in one of the various businesses of D.W. Alderman & Sons. The business grew to encompass logging operations, a saw mill, planing mill, hosiery mill, flooring mill, and extensive farming and cattle ranching. They also ran a cotton gin, hotel, company store, and several other businesses.



Over time, the company also helped found schools, churches, built baseball fields, an electric plant, and a telephone system for the town. D.W. Alderman also founded the Alcolu Railroad, the Paroda Railroad, and built the Alcolu railroad depot. The Alcolu Post Office was established on August 17, 1888. Algernon Coldwell was appointed as its first Postmaster.



Company employees were paid in babbits, a metal coin stamped with an “A”, that could be used in the company store. There they could buy groceries, see the doctor, get a haircut, or watch a show in the 200 seat auditorium upstairs. In 1919, company opened the 'Alderman 20 Stores in One' in nearby Manning. It was one of the first department stores in South Carolina and boasted of having the first elevator in town.



In 1947, the mill was sold by the Alderman family to the Southern Coatings & Chemical Company and the Williams Furniture Company. They, in turn, were later bought by the Georgia Pacific company in 1968. Georgia Pacific continued its operations in Alcolu until 2000, when the mill was finally closed. According to the 2010 census, the unincorporated town of Alcolu had a population of 429 people.


Turbeville is a town in Clarendon County, South Carolina. Its population was 766 according to the 2010 census.



In 1840, Michael Turbeville bought 125 acres of land one mile north of the present Town limits in Diles Bay and built a home on this property. Sometime between 1870 and 1875, William J. Turbeville, son of Michael, purchased approximately 200 acres from John McFaddin and built the first house in what is now the Town of Turbeville. His brother, Samuel Clem Turbeville, likewise bought land and built a home next to William. Since their land was substantially covered with large pine trees, the brothers built a turpentine still which they ran for about 20 years. They also ran a saw mill, grist mill, and built a large store where they carried on an extensive mercantile business for many years. During those years the community was known as "Puddin' Swamp".



The town of Turbeville was officially chartered on August 18, 1914, with Dr. C.E. Gamble as its first mayor.  For more detail, see Manning Live.



Paxville is a small town in Clarendon county, South Carolina. The population was 248 according to the 2000 census. The town was originally named after Joseph Pack.



Joseph Pack and his wife, Louisa Alexandria Pack, arrived in America from England in the year 1770. He became one of the most extensive land holders in the Carolina Low County, having acquired more than 10,000 acres of land. He helped found the town of Packsville (later renamed Paxville in 1902). Paxville is believed to be the oldest town in Clarendon County.



Some of the land grants given to Joseph Pack were from King George III of England, while others were from the state of South Carolina. Some of the land grants in Paxville may have been given to Joseph as a result of his Revolutionary War service. There is a marker honoring Joseph Pack’s service with the South Carolina Militia during the Revolutionary War.



The Great Depression of the 1930's devastated this small rural town. The railroad depot was closed and the town never really recovered from the economic collapse.



To find more information on the many other small towns and communities across Clarendon county like Foreston, Rimini, Sardinia or Wyboo Plantation, visit the web site of the SC HomeTownLocator.



Also, some of the other major cities or towns in South Carolina within 80 miles drive include Charleston, Columbia, Florence, Georgetown, Myrtle Beach, Orangeburg, Sumter, and Santee.

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