Thank you for visiting today. If this is your first visit, take your time and look around. I have plenty of information and resources available to you. If you are a return visitor, thank you. I would love to hear from you and tell you how I can serve all your real estate needs.
Lexington, South Carolina is a historic town formed directly from the old Royal township of "Saxe Gotha"(named for a new Britain princess in power at this time). Lexington (or Saxe Gotha) was one of eleven townships established in 1735 by the Colonial government of King George II. It was established to encourage settlement of backcountry South Carolina and serve as a protective buffer between the established plantations in the low country of South Carolina and the native Indian tribes. (The Laurence Corely Log Home. Built in 1772 in Saxe Gotha..it is now the oldest standing home in Lexington, SC!)
Two early Indian trading trail became two of the important Highways in Lexington, SC today! The "Cherokee Path" roughly became U.S. Highway #378 and the "Occaneechi Path", today U.S. Highway #1. Most of the early settlers into the Lexington or Saxe Gotha area came from Germany and Switzerland. Others came down from Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Despite the disruptive Cherokee Indian War of 1760, the township flourished! Major crops in the 18 th Century included corn, wheat, tobacco, hemp, flax, beeswax and livestock.
During the American Revolution several skirmishes occurred in the area. The Battle of Tarrar Springs was fought just one mile east of Lexington on November 16, 1781. Today a road in the area is named for this battle and is the location for the Lexington School District One district office.
In 1785 Lexington County was established, changing the name from Saxe Gotha to Lexington in honor of the Massachusetts Revolutionary War battle. The county's first courthouse was built at Granby, located just south of present day Cayce.
With the spreading cotton culture, upriver lands were cleared and Granby (around the Cayce and West Columbia areas) became plagued with floods. So in 1820 when the present town of Lexington was laid out on a high, healthy sand ridge near Twelve Mile Creek as the county seat. Throughout much of the 19th Century there was only the Lexington County Courthouse and a few residents.
By 1861, when it was incorporated as a town, Lexington boasted a diverse population of lawyers, physicians, tradespeople, artisans and farmers. There were then 2 churches, several schools, a carriage factory, a saw and gristmill, a tannery, livestock yard, tin and blacksmiths, and a weekly newspaper. The major crops of the surrounding countryside were mainly cotton, corn sweet potatoes and lumber. Lexington, SC was not a marketing center for these staples, but did serve as a retail market for manufactured goods purchased wholesale by merchants in nearby Columbia.
In 1865 the town was virtually destroyed by occupying Union Army forces and General Sherman. The courthouse, county jail and St. Stephen's Lutheran Church, most businesses and homes were burned.
St. Stephens Lutheran Church in Downtown Lexington, SC today!
The small farms with their varied crops and the lumber industry stabilized somewhat the economy of the area after Reconstruction years. The completion of the Columbia to Augusta Railroad just after the Civil War and the construction of the Lexington Textile Mill in 1890 contributed greatly to the growth of the town itself. Disastrous fires in 1894 and 1916 on Main Street resulted in the construction of brick buildings, many of which are standing today.
The Town of Lexington has continued to be the political center of Lexington County, one of the fastest growing areas of the nation. With new major highways passing nearby, the town continues to experience phenomenal growth. The people of Lexington are proud of their past and look forward to a promising future!
Lexington's OLD MILL ......
Article – Lexington Chronicle by Jerry Bellune “Lexington mill spans century”
Lexington’s old cotton mill was built before the turn of the century.
Sources vary, one that the mill was completed in 1891, another that it opened operations in 1893.
The mill was built by the local Roof family with financial backing from G.E. Huggins, a New York businessman and the new venture’s first president. Huggins was elected president of the new mill, incorporated as Lexington manufacturing Co., according to one source, in 1894 with $100,000 in capital.
The mill manufactured cotton for mattresses and red cotton cloth for uniforms for the California prison system and other products.
In the tradition of those times, the mill’s owners built homes to attract textile workers.
Many of the homes on the East Main Street mill hill still stand today, some used for businesses, others still used as residences.
The mill opened as a state-of-the-art facility in those days with its own power generation from the mill pond, Boiler system for heating and moisturizing the cotton, a private railroad spur, its own fire control sprinkler system powered by an auto engine and other amenities.
Rent ranged from $11 to $20 a month and was deducted from the workers’ pay. Electricity was provided to workers at $2 to $3 a month.
Perhaps to remind local merchants of the value of the mill and its employees, the owners paid the workers in silver dollars. Their bags of coins was a common sight in Lexington’s one-block retail area.
After the stock market crash in 1929 and the onset of the Great Depression, the owners closed the mill until 1934. Over the years, the mill went through a series of transitions, finally becoming a retail shopping center with its sale to local businessmen in 1983.