About Chesterfield County
Millions of years ago, Chesterfield County was at the bottom of an ancient sea. The sandhills all around the county prove this. Indians lived throughout the area, and Indian artifacts can be found in various places where Indians were known to camp.
No white settlement was recorded until the 1730's when the Welsh Baptist came from Delaware in 1736. Phillip Dormer Stanhope, Fourth Earl of Chesterfield, gave land grants to the Craig family. John Craig, who fought in the American Revolutionary War in South Carolina, settled here and built a mill that was known as Craig's mill. It was very versatile in that it contained a grits, flour and saw mill, plus a cotton gin.
Chesterfield County is located on a long ridge running in a generally easterly/westerly direction. Since Chesterfield was never affected by a serious epidemic of typhoid fever or smallpox, many believe the location to be a healthy ridge.
The "Stage and Main Post Road" which provided a north-south stage coach route from New York to New Orleans became known as the "Old Wire Road" when the telegraph came into existence. By 1845, the county was industrialized. All material needs for the citizens were supplied by local industry including an iron foundry.
South Carolina's first secession meeting was held on November 19, 1860, at the Chesterfield County Courthouse. Sherman and his troops torched the courthouse in March of 1865, and all records were destroyed. During the Reconstruction Period, a new courthouse was built.
Chesterfield County has come a long way. Several industries are located all over the county. Excellent educational programs are maintained. Farming continues today with new variations in crops, fruit orchards, and livestock, including poultry. Several small towns across the county still offer tranquil surroundings with large cities a few miles away.
Today, Chesterfield County serves eight municipalities providing the rural areas with opportunities for growth and development through services that are far reaching. The county is a historical treasure but inhabited with a receptive spirit for new ideas.
The eight municipalities and their populations (according to the 1990 census) are:
Cheraw, pop. 5,235
Pageland, pop. 3,021
Chesterfield, pop. 1,418
McBee, pop. 670
Jefferson, pop. 759
Patrick, pop. 318
Ruby, pop. 318
Mt. Croghan, pop. 125
Total County Population: 38,577
Land area: 793 square miles
Elevation: The elevation of Chesterfield County varies from 125 to 700 feet above sea level. The terrain is level to rolling in the south-eastern section of the county, changing from rolling to hilly in the western portions of the county.
Rivers: The Great Pee Dee River forms the eastern boundary of the county with the Lynches River forming the western boundary.
Mean annual temperature: 60 degrees
Mean annual precipitation: 43.2 inches
Average growing season: 215 days
Forests, parks, refuges:
Carolina Sandhills National Wildlife Refuge
Sandhills State Forest
Cheraw State Park
Golfing: Chesterfield County offers five golf courses
Festivals and special events:
Cheraw Spring Festival
Lake Juniper Fishing Tournament
Pageland Watermelon Festival
Golden Nugget Festival in Jefferson
Pinestraw Festival in Patrick
Olde Towne Celebration in Chesterfield
Jewel City Jubilee in Ruby
McBee Fall Festival
Octoberfest in Cheraw