Darlington, South Carolina
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (January 2012)|
|Darlington, South Carolina|
Location of Darlington, South Carolina
|• Total||4.3 sq mi (11.1 km2)|
|• Land||4.3 sq mi (11.1 km2)|
|• Water||0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)|
|Elevation||148 ft (45 m)|
|• Density||1,565.9/sq mi (604.6/km2)|
|Time zone||Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP codes||29532, 29540|
|GNIS feature ID||1247486|
Darlington is a small city in and the county seat of Darlington County, in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is a center for tobacco farming. The population was 6,289 at the 2010 census (12,066 total pop. of Darlington Urban Cluster in 2000) and is part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.
Darlington is best known for Darlington Raceway, a speedway that is home to an annual NASCAR Southern 500 race. Darlington is also the site of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.
This area was settled in the mid-18th century by Welsh, Scotch-Irish, and English farmers, who grew cotton primarily.
The settlement of what is now Darlington County began in earnest after 1736 and 1737 when the province of South Carolina set aside a vast area of land for the Welsh Baptist of Delaware. This Welsh Track bordered on both sides of the Pee Dee River. Soon after the first settlers began to arrive they constituted the Welsh Neck Baptist Church. This church was first located on the north side of the Pee Dee River, opposite present-day Society Hill. For almost thirty years settlers concentrated on the banks and small tributaries of the Pee Dee River. Beginning in the 1760s and continuing into the 1770s other groups slowly made their way into present-day Darlington and were granted lands on Lynches Creek (River), Jeffries Creek, and a host of other watercourses. These later settlers included descendants of French Huguenots, Scots-Irish, and the English.
For three decades following the arrival of the first settlers, local government did not exist for the citizens of the area. All deeds, estate settlements, and other legal matters had to be taken to Charles Town to be recorded. In 1769, by an Act of the Assembly, Cheraw District was established as a Judicial District. A courthouse and gaol (jail) were built at Long Bluff (near present day Society Hill) and were operational by late 1772.
After the Revolutionary War, in 1785, Cheraw District was divided into three counties, Marlborough, Chesterfield, and Darlington. Darlington County was bounded by Cedar Creek, the Pee Dee River, and lynches Creek (River). To this day there is uncertainty concerning why the county was named Darlington. A new county seat was established near the center of the county, Darlington Court House. After 1798 the designation "county" was changed to "district." In the 1868 South Carolina Constitution, the designation reverted to county.
Florence County was created out of parts of Darlington and Marion Counties in 1888. Darlington County lost additional territory in 1902 when Lee County was created.
(This history was copied out of "Darlington District, S.C. Cemetery Survey Volume One," compiled by members of The Old Darlington District Chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society. Copyright 1993.)
In more recent years the county has been best known for the stock car races which take place at the Darlington Raceway.
Darlington Court House and Public Square
The public square and the Court House now sit in their present location because of an argument between two men, Colonel Lamuel Benton and Captain Elias Dubose in the late 18th century. The tale goes that the disagreement began over whether the courthouse should be located in Mechanicsville or Cuffey Town South Carolina. It was said that the two compromised, each beginning in their town traveling on horseback until reaching one another. The spot where they met is now the site of the Darlington public square and courthouse. A fire in March 1806 destroyed the original Court House. It was rumored at the time that an old woman was responsible for the flames in an attempt to burn papers connected to her coming court case. Between 1824 and 1825 it was rebuilt with brick due to a petition to build all buildings on the Public Square in brick to prevent the spread of fire.
In 1818 Darlington's growth proved time to build a school. The first schoolhouse built was named the Darlington Academy.in the year 1860, the name was changed to St. John's Academy. This building served educational purposes as well as the site for fund-raising and the lottery. St. John's Academy was later renamed St. John's High School, later during renovation, St. John's Elementary School was added, followed by the move to a new school in 1977. It was renamed as Darlington High School when it was combined with Mayo High School in 1995.
In September, 2006 work was finished on the Darlington County Institute of Technology, Darlington Middle, and Hartsville Middle.
After desegregation, Mayo High School became a magnet school called Mayo High School for Math, Science, and Technology.
In the 1820s, denominations, mostly the Baptists, met at the Court House. The Presbyterians built the first church. With the help of donations from all denominations the church was built with the understanding that all denominations could have access to the building. The Baptists built their church in 1831, which had been planned since 1829. The Methodists built the third church in 1834, where the Methodist Cemetery is now located. The present day United Methodist church (Trinity United Methodist Church) sanctuary was constructed in 1901. New Providence Baptist church is the oldest Baptist church in the city of Darlington.
The Civil War
No battles during the Civil War occurred in Darlington. One of Sherman's lieutenants, a former architect, was sent to burn down part of Darlington. When he arrived and saw a house that he had designed, he left the house and the rest of the town standing. The Federal troops burned down the depot, cotton platforms and railroad trestles in 1865. During this time, St. John's Academy was used as a hospital. Federal troops also did some foraging. In 1865, Federal troops passed through Darlington and hanged a former slave on the Public Square for insurrection. After the war, the town was occupied by troops, which were not withdrawn until 1871. By 1865, Darlington was the headquarters for the Third Separate Brigade of the Military District of Eastern South Carolina and the Freedmen's Bureau. In 1866, during the occupation, the worst fire to ever hit Darlington burned down the court house and the jail. It was rumored that drunken Federal soldiers were to blame.
The Darlington Guards
As the south readied itself for secession, Darlington formed the Darlington Guards. When South Carolina seceded, they were the first called upon to defend Charleston. After their term of enlistment was over, the men returned to Darlington to reenlist in regiments going to Virginia. The Darlington Guards existed at this time for almost two years. They reorganized in later years and receive their own Armory in 1893. Governor B.R. Scarborough called them to the scene of the Darlington Riot of 1894. They were the first in the state to volunteer for the Spanish American War in May 1898. They were also seen by President William McKinley in Savannah, Georgia before being sent to Cuba for occupation duties near Havana. After coming home, they continued to serve in the National Guard. In 1915 the group retired from service again only to be reinstated and sent to the Mexican Border in 1916. After returning home, they found themselves caught in World War I. The last surviving member, Thomas W. Buchanan died in 1984.
Darlington is located at .(34.301370, -79.868659)
According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 4.3 square miles (11 km2), all land.
As of the census of 2000, there were 6,720 people, 2,812 households, and 1,765 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,565 people per square mile (604.8/km²). There were 3,140 housing units at an average density of 731.7 per square mile (282.6/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 56.04% African American, 42.50% White, 0.16% Native American, 0.36% Asian, 0.01% Pacific Islander, 0.51% from other races, and 0.42% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race was 1.01% of the population.
There were 2,812 households out of which 27.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 34.3% were married couples living together, 24.9% had a female householder with no husband present, and 37.2% were non-families. 34.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.30 and the average family size was 2.96.
In the city the population was spread out with 25.2% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 23.3% from 25 to 44, 23.9% from 45 to 64, and 18.9% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 39 years. For every 100 females there were 79.4 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 70.4 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $24,869, and the median income for a family was $33,971. Males had a median income of $28,110 versus $20,206 for females. The per capita income for the city was $15,454. About 24.9% of families and 29.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 38.9% of those under age 18 and 29.5% of those age 65 or over.
In popular culture
A 2012 article in Small Wars Journal explored a hypothetical military operation in which an extremist group sympathetic to the Tea Party movement takes over Darlington and clashes with federal troops. Conservative groups criticized the article, suggesting it reflected misplaced priorities.
|This section needs additional citations for verification. (December 2012)|
- James Lide Coker (1837–1918)
- Dorsey Dixon, musician and songwriter
- Tommy Gainey, professional golfer, PGA Tour
- Orlando Hudson, baseball player for the San Diego Padres
- Evander M. Law, Civil War general
- David Rogerson Williams (1776–1830), governor and scientific experimenter, was a native of Darlington. He is remembered for introducing the mule to Southern agriculture.
- James Kilgore (1760–1829), Rev. War soldier, 3rd SC Regiment; substantial farmer and had the state franchise to maintain the Bridge over Black Creek formerly known as Prestwood Br. Son James Kilgore, Jr. eventually acquired most of his fathers land and went into the milling business with neighbor Nathan Moore by damming Spring Branch creating Kilgore's Mill Pond. They erected a set of mills - Grist Mill, Saw Mill and Cotton Gin, along with a Blacksmith shop.
Be Careful When Driving Through This Town
Nearby, Society Hill is a speed trap, on all three major highways entering and leaving town. On US 52 northbound, there is a small 35 mph sign at the top of the hill. There is a large 45 mph sign after the hill flattens out at the bottom that is visible halfway down the hill. Beyond that, there is a 55 mph sign at the edge of town, also visible while on the hill. To maintain 35 mph going down the hill constant application of the brake would be required. Officer Barney Fife sits at the bottom of the hill in an unmarked white Dodge Stratus with an instant-on radar gun. As your vehicle picks up speed going down the hill, the 45 mph and 55 mph signs are visible, causing the driver to keep their foot off of the brake, and virtually guaranteeing a ticket. While the tickets state the purpose is uniform enforcement of the traffic laws, the real purpose is to generate revenue for this cash-poor city, thus meeting the definition of a classic speed trap.
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- Darlington County, A Pictoral History, The Donning Co., 1986.
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Benson, Kevin; Weber, Jennifer (2012). "Full Spectrum Operations in the Homeland: A 'Vision' of the Future". Small Wars Journal (Small Wars Foundation). Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Editorial: The Civil War of 2016". The Washington Times. 7 August 2012. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- Peck, Michael (15 November 2012). "How the U.S. Military Would Crush a Tea Party Rebellion". Forbes. Retrieved 19 November 2012.
- "Orlando Hudson Stats". Baseball Almanac. Retrieved December 21, 2012.