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


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