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Spartan

How did your city get started?

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That is a fairly straight forward title, right? Tell us how your city got started, or any other city that you know of for that matter (big or small!), and how it got its name. Try to sick with cities in South Carolina though ;)

I'll start with the one's I am familiar with:

Spartanburg

Spartanburg was founded at a time when there was no law in the Upcountry of SC. There needed to be a place to have a jail and a courthouse, so they found a site near a spring in the northern part of the Ninety-Six district, and the city grew up around that. The pring has since been buried... Spring St gets its name from it. During the Revolutionary War, a group of volunteer fighters called the "Spartan Regiment" under the command of Gen. Daniel Morgan fought and won the Battle of Cowpens. 'Spartanburgh' was named for that regiment, and Daniel Morgan is a local hero of sorts. His name exists in: Morgan Square (the central square for Spartanburg), Daniel Morgan Ave., Daniel Morgan Technology Center (a high school tech. learning center shared by Broome HS and Spartanburg HS), and of course the Daniel Morgan Statue, which has traditionally faced towards the Battlegrounds.

Kingstree

As I understand it, this town was named because it was founded near the Black River, and the best landmark to find the settlement was a very large oak tree, which everyone called "the king's tree." This tree was to become a mast for a large sailing vessel later on. But the name Kingstree stuck.

Walterboro

This town couldn't decide on what name it should have, so in order to clear space for a town square, a tree chopping contest was held. Whoever chopped down their tree the fastest would have the town named for him. The winner was Jacob Walters, and so the town was called Walterboro (probably spelled Walterborough). I can't validate this story because I heard it in passing, but it sounds plausible to me :)

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The CN&L railroad chose the site of IRMO to be the refueling site and the name was formed by combining the first two letters of Captian C.J. Iredell (Secretary-Treasurer of the CN&L) and H.C. Moseley (President of the investment company and also the first president of the CN&L railroad). There is no record of the names (if any) that were rejected.

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Columbia, of course, was chosen to replace Charleston as the state capital in 1786 to satisfy upstate residents who wanted the capital city to be more easily accessible. The legislature started meeting here in 1790 as the planned city took shape. We can thank malaria fears with giving Columbia it's wide downtown streets because people thought that mosquitoes couldn't fly more than 100 feet. All of Columbia's original streets (today's downtown) were either 100 or 150 feet wide. The city was then the first in the new world to be named for Christopher Columbus.

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To add to that:

  • Senate and Assembly are 150 feet and the rest are 100.

  • They also wanted to call the city "Washington" but obviuosly that didn't pan out.

  • Columbia is America's first planned capital city.

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Central, SC

Central is in the center of an old rail line from Atlanta to Charlotte.

Also, I don't remember the story of Greenville, but didn't it have something to do with natural springs? I have heard that it used to be called Pleasantburg. I actually like that name better.

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Greenville has always been a mystery to me. I know it used to be in the Indian territory, and it got started after Spartanburg, and for a while it was a smaller town. Obviously that changed alittle over the years :)

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Myrtle Beach - Named for the native myrtle tree that grows there in abundant amounts. When I was growing up, everyone removed them from their yard because they were considered ugly scrubby trees. Often this was quite difficult as if any of the root remained, the tree would come back.

Now people go to Lowes and HD and pay lots of money for them. LOL

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Aiken - (paraphrased from http://www.aiken.net/about/past.htm) Between 1830 and 1833, William Aiken was instrumental in building the "Best Friend Express," the world's longest railroad at the time, between Charleston and Hamburg, SC (the present location of North Augusta). Aiken county and the city were named after him. The city plat was created in 1834, consisting of a grid boulevards 150 feet wide, which were to be (and still mostly are) generous one way streets separated by enormous parklike medians. The city was sparsely populated until the 1880s and 1890s, when it became known as a health resort and equestrian sport mecca. This began the "Winter Colony" era, which is when the majority of the older sections of town, including the scores of enormous mansions, were built. And the 1950s were the largest growth period, due to the construction of SRS.

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Florence

"Florence began as a railroad depot and an inn. The town started as a plot of 577 acres as a grant from the state. In 1859 Jerome P. Chase, a telegraph operator arrived and became a successful businessman, selling insurance and real estate and he became known as the "Father of Florence." The town was named for his daughter, Florence. In 1860 the first map of Florence was created. Florence was a planned community with seven streets and ninety-six lots."

Florence History

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The city was then the first in the new world to be named for Christopher Columbus.

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I have read that the name was derived from a poem by a slave girl. Just found it online: "The name Columbia is derived from a poem by Phyllis Wheatley, a slave girl from Massachusetts, who used the term to describe the personality of the United States as a beautiful heroine."

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Before "Greenville" became known by that name, it was called Pleasantburg. I have a large hardback book devoted entirely to the history of the city, but it's been a while since I read it. Richard Pearis (sp?) settled the land in the 1770s and built a mill on the Reedy River (where today's Falls Park is located), thus the reason we call it the heart of the city. The area around his home and mill was known as the Great Plains Plantation. I've often thought how neat it would be for someone to build an exact replica of that mill and open a museum/restaurant named after the original. Just a thought. I'll jog my memory for more info soon... :)

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Florence

"Florence began as a railroad depot and an inn. The town started as a plot of 577 acres as a grant from the state. In 1859 Jerome P. Chase, a telegraph operator arrived and became a successful businessman, selling insurance and real estate and he became known as the "Father of Florence." The town was named for his daughter, Florence. In 1860 the first map of Florence was created. Florence was a planned community with seven streets and ninety-six lots."

Florence History

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This is incorrect. Florence is named for the daughter of William Harllee, the RR president, when the rail depot was placed there. Chase was the first mayor. There was already a Harlleeville in SC, so that name was not choosen. The website also states that Lake City was part of Florence County when it was formed in 1888. That is not true, Lake City was annexed into Florence County a few years later in either 1912 or 1914 I believe.

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