Lexington, South Carolina

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Lexington, South Carolina
Town
Lexington, South Carolina Courthouse.jpg
Motto: "Building Partnerships"
Location of Lexington, South Carolina
Location of Lexington, South Carolina
Coordinates: 33°58′52″N 81°13′51″W / 33.98111°N 81.23083°W / 33.98111; -81.23083Coordinates: 33°58′52″N 81°13′51″W / 33.98111°N 81.23083°W / 33.98111; -81.23083
Country  United States of America
State  South Carolina
County Lexington County
Government
 • Type Mayor-Council
 • Body Lexington Town Council[1]
 • Mayor Steve MacDougall [2]
Area
 • Town 8.8 sq mi (22.97 km2)
 • Land 8.7 sq mi (22.95 km2)
 • Water 0.1 [3] sq mi (0.2 km2)
Elevation 394 ft (120 m)
Population (2010)[4]
 • Town 17,870 (Lexington Limits)
 • Rank 23rd
 • Density 2,014/sq mi (778/km2)
 • Metro 82,769 (Sub-County)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29071-29073 - 29072
Area code(s) 803
FIPS code 45-41335[5]
GNIS feature ID 1246349[6]
Website www.lexsc.com

Lexington is a town in and the county seat of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States, and is also the largest town in Lexington County. [7] The population was 17,870 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2012 population is 19,141, a 7.1% population growth since the 2010 census, making it one of the fastest-growing towns in the United States.[3][8]

History[edit]

The historic town of Lexington, South Carolina, is a direct continuation of the old provincial township of Saxe Gotha. This township was one of eleven established in 1735 by the colonial government of King George II to encourage settlement of backcountry South Carolina and serve as a protective buffer between powerful Indian tribes to the west and the older settled plantations of the low country. The name "Saxe Gotha" was given in honor of the marriage of the King's son, Frederick Louis, Prince of Wales, to Princess Augusta of Saxe-Gotha.

A view of Lexington's Main Street.

The territory of colonial Saxe Gotha covered most of present day Lexington County and was traversed by two important early Indian trails, the Cherokee Path which followed roughly modern U.S. Highway #378 and the Occaneechi Path, today U.S. Highway #1. These ancient trading paths and the highways that later developed from them have had an enormous impact on the historical development of the area. Most of the early settlers came from various cantons, principalities and city-states of Germany and Switzerland. Others came down from Pennsylvania, and Virginia. Despite the disruptive Cherokee Indian War of 1760 and the "Regulator" unrest that followed, the township flourished as a largely self-sufficient area of small scale farming operations. Major crops in the eighteenth century included corn, wheat, tobacco, hemp, flax, beeswax and livestock.

During the American Revolution, several skirmishes occurred in the area, among them being the Battle of Tarrar Springs, which was fought just one mile east of Lexington on November 16, 1781.

In 1785, Lexington County was established, with the township of Saxe Gotha renamed to "Lexington" in commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. The county's first courthouse was built at Granby, located just south of present day Cayce. From 1800 to 1868, the county was organized as a district with the same name.

A view of the capital of SC, Columbia, from Lexington, SC, only 12 miles away.

With the clearing of upriver lands for the spreading cotton culture, Granby became plagued with floods. The district seat was moved in 1820 when the present town of Lexington was laid out on a high, healthy sand ridge near Twelve Mile Creek. The town was known as Lexington Courthouse throughout the nineteenth century since in the first few years of its existence there was only the courthouse with few residences.

By 1861, when it was incorporated as a town, Lexington boasted a diverse population of lawyers, physicians, tradespeople, artisans and farmers. There were then two 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 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 guarding General Sherman's western flank. The courthouse, district jail and St. Stephen's Lutheran Church were put to the torch as were most businesses and homes.

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.

Modern History[edit]

Move Over Law[edit]

The Move Over Law, a law that requires drivers to change lanes when there is a stopped emergency vehicle on the side of the road, originated in Lexington, SC. This law is now an international ideal set forth to protect emergency workers on the side of the road. Move Over laws were originated in the US after a South Carolina Paramedic, James D. Garcia, was struck and injured at an accident scene Jan. 28, 1994, in Lexington, SC. Garcia was listed at fault, leading to his work to create a law to protect other emergency responders. SC's version (SC 56-5-1538) passed in 1996, and was revised in 2002.[9][10]

September 2013 Powerball Jackpot[edit]

It was known after the Powerball drawing on September 18, 2013 that a Murphy Express gas station on Augusta Highway in Lexington, SC sold a $400 million Powerball ticket. This ticket was the fifth largest winning ticket of any United States lottery.[11][12][13]

November 2013 Election[edit]

The election results from the November 5, 2013 election declared that incumbent mayor Randy Halfacre had lost by 18 votes to Councilman Steve MacDougall. [14] A recount was initiated but the results remained the same. Mayor Steve MacDougall began his mayoral duties on December 9, 2013. [15]

Geography[edit]

Lexington is located at 33°58′52″N 81°13′51″W / 33.98111°N 81.23083°W / 33.98111; -81.23083 (33.980975, -81.230839)[16].

According to the United States Census Bureau, the town has a total area of 8.8 square miles (23 km2), of which 8.7 square miles (23 km2) is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) (1.73%) is water.[3]

Lexington is 12 mi (19 km) away from South Carolina's state capital and largest city, Columbia.[17]

Climate[edit]

The lowest recorded temperature in Lexington was −2 °F (−19 °C) in February 1899. The warmest recorded temperature was 109 °F (43 °C) in June 2012.[18] July averages the most yearly precipitation.[19] Lexington averages 48 in (1.2 m) of rain per year; Lexington averages 2 in (5.1 cm) of snow per year.[20]

Climate data for Columbia, South Carolina (Columbia Airport), 1981–2010 normals
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F (°C) 84
(29)
84
(29)
93
(34)
96
(36)
101
(38)
107
(42)
109
(43)
107
(42)
106
(41)
101
(38)
90
(32)
83
(28)
109
(43)
Average high °F (°C) 56.0
(13.3)
61
(16)
68
(20)
76
(24)
84
(29)
90
(32)
93
(34)
91
(33)
85
(29)
76
(24)
67
(19)
58
(14)
75
(24)
Average low °F (°C) 34
(1)
37
(3)
43
(6)
50
(10)
60
(16)
68
(20)
72
(22)
71
(22)
64
(18)
52
(11)
42
(6)
35
(2)
52
(11)
Record low °F (°C) −1
(−18)
−2
(−19)
4
(−16)
26
(−3)
34
(1)
44
(7)
54
(12)
53
(12)
40
(4)
23
(−5)
12
(−11)
4
(−16)
−2
(−19)
Precipitation inches (mm) 3.58
(90.9)
3.74
(95)
3.73
(94.7)
2.62
(66.5)
2.97
(75.4)
4.69
(119.1)
5.46
(138.7)
5.26
(133.6)
3.54
(89.9)
3.17
(80.5)
2.74
(69.6)
3.22
(81.8)
44.56
(1,131.8)
Snowfall inches (cm) 1.0
(2.5)
0.8
(2)
0.1
(0.3)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0
(0)
0.1
(0.3)
2.0
(5.1)
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.01 in) 9.9 9.1 8.6 8.0 7.7 10.5 11.8 10.5 7.3 7.0 7.3 9.0 106.8
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.1 in) 0.5 0.3 0.1 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.1 1.0
Mean monthly sunshine hours 173.6 183.6 238.7 270.0 291.4 279.0 285.2 263.5 240.0 235.6 195.0 173.6 2,829.2
Source: NOAA (extremes 1887–present),[21]

Economy[edit]

Top employers[edit]

According to the Town's 2011 Comprehensive Annual Financial Report,[22] the top employers in the city are:

# Employer # of Employees
1 Lexington County 813
2 Lexington School District 1 487
3 Walmart 353
4 Target 149
5 Lowe's 140
6 Town of Lexington 133
7 Kohl's 118
8 Food Lion 88
9 Honda Cars of Columbia 85
10 Kmart 75

Transportation[edit]

The Central Midlands Regional Transit Authority (CMRTA) bus system stretches in to Lexington, SC, operating two bus stops within the town limits.[23]

Roads and Highways[edit]

Interstates[edit]

  • I-26 (SC).svg I-26 Interstate 26 travels from northwest to southeast and connects the Columbia aresto the other two major population centers of South Carolina: the Greenville-Spartanburg area in the northwestern part of the state and North Charleston – Charleston area in the southeastern part of the state.
  • I-20 (SC).svg I-20 Interstate 20 travels from west to east and connects Columbia to Atlanta and Augusta in the west and Florence in the east. It serves the nearby towns and suburbs of Pelion, Lexington, West Columbia, Sandhill, Pontiac, and Elgin. Interstate 20 is also used by travelers heading to Myrtle Beach, although the interstate's eastern terminus is in Florence.

U.S. Routes[edit]

U.S. Highways[edit]

Sights[edit]

Lake Murray Dam

Slightly north of Lexington rests one of South Carolina's major lakes, Lake Murray. The lake is held by a 1.7 mile long dam in which people are free to drive, bike, run, or walk across. The Saluda Dam, or Lake Murray Dam, provides electricity for the surrounding area and is a beacon for the Midlands of South Carolina. There is also a public swimming area that is open during the summer months on the Lexington side of the dam.[24]

Demographics[edit]

Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 113
1890 355 214.2%
1900 21,930 6,077.5%
1910 58,797 168.1%
1920 80,773 37.4%
1930 144,565 79.0%
1940 175,432 21.4%
1950 145,780 −16.9%
1960 112,777 −22.6%
1970 90,865 −19.4%
1980 78,431 −13.7%
1990 65,321 −16.7%
2000 40,636 −37.8%
2010 32,576 −19.8%
Est. 2012 24,780 −23.9%
U.S. Decennial Census[25]
2012 Estimate[26]

As of the census of 2010, there were 17,870 people, 8,101 households, and 2,558 families residing in the town. The population density was 1,724.4 people per square mile (665.7/km²). There were 4,025 housing units at an average density of 708.7 per square mile (273.6/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 83.88% White, 12.48% Black or African American, 0.18% Native American, 2.05% Asian, 0.03% Pacific Islander, 0.67% from other races, and 0.70% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.91% of the population.

There were 3,644 households out of which 40.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 55.9% were married couples living together, 12.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.8% were non-families. 24.9% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.51 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the town the population was spread out with 27.1% under the age of 18, 7.5% from 18 to 24, 39.6% from 25 to 44, 18.3% from 45 to 64, and 7.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 97.6 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 96.3 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $53,865, and the median income for a family was $65,694. Males had a median income of $44,883 versus $29,020 for females. The per capita income for the town was $23,416. About 5.2% of families and 7.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 7.3% of those under age 18 and 14.5% of those age 65 or over.

Schools[edit]

Listed below are public schools that have an address labeled in Lexington, South Carolina.[27]

Elementary Schools:

  • Carolina Springs Elementary
  • Lake Murray Elementary
  • Lexington Elementary
  • Midway Elementary
  • Meadow Glen Elementary
  • New Providence Elementary
  • Oak Grove Elementary
  • Pleasant Hill Elementary
  • Red Bank Elementary
  • Saxe Gotha Elementary
  • Rocky Creek Elementary

Middle Schools:

  • Carolina Springs Middle School
  • Lexington Middle School
  • Meadow Glen Middle School
  • Pleasant Hill Middle School

High Schools:

Neighboring Towns and Cities[edit]

This is a list of municipalities within 15 miles of the town center of Lexington, SC:

Traffic[edit]

Since Lexington continues to grow at a rapid pace, the roads are unequipped to handle the heavy amounts of traffic. The Lexington Town Council approved the Unified Traffic Improvement Plan in April 2005, which is supported by $14.5 million through state and federal funding.[28]

Notable people[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.lexsc.com/council_index.htm
  2. ^ http://lexington.wistv.com/news/politics/82753-newly-elected-lexington-mayor-sworn-monday
  3. ^ a b c http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/states/45/4541335.html
  4. ^ "2010 Census Redistricting Data (Public Law 94-171) Summary File". American FactFinder. United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 4 August 2012. 
  5. ^ "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  6. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31. 
  7. ^ "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07. 
  8. ^ http://www.usnews.com/news/articles/2013/05/23/the-fastest-growing-and-fastest-shrinking-cities-in-america
  9. ^ http://www.lawserver.com/law/state/south-carolina/sc-code/south_carolina_code_title_56_chapter_5
  10. ^ http://www.aikenstandard.com/article/20130105/AIK0101/130109770
  11. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2013/09/19/studentnews/powerball-jackpot/index.html
  12. ^ http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation/2013/09/19/winning-ticket-powerball-jackpot/2835103/
  13. ^ http://www.foxcarolina.com/story/23471822/winning-powerball-ticket-sold-in-lexington-sc
  14. ^ http://www.lexsc.com/election_results_2013.htm
  15. ^ http://lexington.wistv.com/news/politics/82753-newly-elected-lexington-mayor-sworn-monday
  16. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23. 
  17. ^ http://www.distancebetweencities.net/lexington_sc_and_columbia_sc/
  18. ^ http://www.weather.com/weather/monthly/29072
  19. ^ http://www.weather.com/weather/wxclimatology/monthly/graph/29072
  20. ^ http://www.bestplaces.net/climate/county/south_carolina/lexington
  21. ^ "The Weather Channel". The Weather Channel. Retrieved 2013-08-15.  "City Date - Lexington, SC". City Data. Retrieved 2013-08-15. [dead link]
  22. ^ "Town of Lexington CAFR". Retrieved 2012-11-03. 
  23. ^ http://www.lex-co.sc.gov/Pages/CMRTA.aspx
  24. ^ http://www.sciway.net/city/lakemurray.html
  25. ^ United States Census Bureau. "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2012". Retrieved August 14, 2013. 
  27. ^ "Lexington One Schools". Lexington School District One. Retrieved 5 February 2012. 
  28. ^ http://www.lexsc.com/traffic_index.htm

External links[edit]