McBee, South Carolina

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McBee, South Carolina
McBee Railroad Depot, built in 1914
McBee Railroad Depot, built in 1914
Location of McBee, South Carolina
Location of McBee, South Carolina
Coordinates: 34°28′4″N 80°15′29″W / 34.46778°N 80.25806°W / 34.46778; -80.25806Coordinates: 34°28′4″N 80°15′29″W / 34.46778°N 80.25806°W / 34.46778; -80.25806
Country United States
State  South Carolina
County Chesterfield
Founded October 8, 1901
 • Mayor John Capolong
 • Total 1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)
 • Land 1.3 sq mi (3.3 km2)
 • Water 0.0 sq mi (0.0 km2)
Elevation 479 ft (146 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 867
 • Density 679/sq mi (262.1/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP code 29101
Area code(s) 843
FIPS code 45-43495[1]
GNIS feature ID 1231526[2]

McBee /ˈmækbi/ is a town in Chesterfield County, South Carolina, United States. As of the 2010 census, the population was 867.[3] McBee is approximately 36 miles (58 km) northwest of Florence and 62 miles (100 km) northeast of Columbia.


Building of the McBee to Wagram railroad in 1910
McBee 1920s Main Street


McBee was named after a railroad executive, V.E. "Bunch" McBee, born July 26, 1849, in Greenville County, South Carolina. Bunch McBee was one of South Carolina's leading forces in the building of railroads, was responsible for the Columbia to Hamlet, North Carolina, line, which runs through McBee, and was at one time superintendent of the Seaboard Air Line Railroad.

20th century[edit]

In 1900, McBee's first railroad depot was built. About one year later on October 8, 1901, McBee was incorporated. On June 30, 1901, McBee Presbyterian Church was built, the first church in McBee. Six years later in 1907 McBee's second church, McBee Methodist Church, was built.

After the Seaboard's Columbia-to-Cheraw line was completed in 1900, McBee grew so quickly that a new depot became a high priority by the end of the decade. In 1914, the Seaboard Air Line Railroad built a second depot in McBee. This was both a passenger and freight depot until it closed in 1971. Now it is the McBee Depot Library and Railroad Museum. It was listed in the National Register of Historic Places in 1999 as the Seaboard Air Line Railway Depot in McBee.[4][5][6] In 1980, the railroard became a subsidiary of the newly created CSX Corporation, and in 1986 the Seaboard name was changed to CSX Transportation.

In 1945, U.S. Route 1 though McBee was named the Blue Star Memorial Highway Number 6.

McBee Rescue was originally formed in 1962 as a joint venture with Jefferson Rescue to fill the need of rescue - ambulance service in the area. The ambulance was rotated between McBee and Jefferson and responded to the appropriate area as needed. The ambulance was originally parked on the street corner in McBee and later at the Health Center prior to constructing the current squad building. Prior to the ambulance, the only means of transport to the hospital was by personal vehicle or by the funeral home hearse which had to come from Hartsville. Approximately one year later McBee and Jefferson split and formed their own respective squads and each purchased an ambulance.

In 1973, the town of McBee purchased a second engine for the McBee Fire Department. In 1986, Alligator Fire District was formed with McBee Fire Department.

21st century[edit]

In 2001, McBee celebrated its 100 year anniversary. In 2001 McBee Elementary School was re-modeling. Following the completion of the elementary school, in 2005 McBee High School also was re-modeled. In 2012 McBee built a recreational complex that consists of four baseball diamonds, a football field, a soccer field, a walking trail, and a practice football field. In 2013 McBee launched their official website.

Geography and climate[edit]

McBee is located in southwestern Chesterfield County at 34°28′4″N 80°15′29″W / 34.46778°N 80.25806°W / 34.46778; -80.25806 (34.467803, −80.258075),[7] in the Sandhills region of the Carolinas. U.S. Route 1 passes through the center of town, leading southwest 27 miles (43 km) to Camden and northeast 28 miles (45 km) to Cheraw. South Carolina Highway 151 crosses US 1 in the center of town, leading northwest 16 miles (26 km) to Jefferson and southeast 14 miles (23 km) to Hartsville. South Carolina Highway 145 splits off from US 1 just north of McBee and leads 25 miles (40 km) northeast to Chesterfield, the county seat.

According to the United States Census Bureau, McBee has a total area of 1.3 square miles (3.3 km2), all of it land.[3]

McBee has a humid subtropical climate, characterized by humid summers and cool dry winters. Precipitation does not vary greatly between seasons. July is the hottest month, with an average high temperature of below 91 °F and an average low temperature of around 69 °F.[6] The coldest month of the year is January, when the average high temperature is near 54 °F and the average low temperature is below 32 °F.[6] The warmest temperature ever recorded in the town was 106 °F.[7] The coldest temperature ever recorded in the town was -2 °F.[8] While McBee is near a coastal area, hurricanes are not a major concern, but are possible in this part of South Carolina.

Climate data for McBee, South Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °F (°C) 48
Average low °F (°C) 28
Average precipitation inches (mm) 4.64
Average snowfall inches (cm) 2.1
Avg. precipitation days 11.2 9.3 10.8 8.6 10.1 10.3 11.0 9.6 7.9 6.5 8.6 10.0 113.9
Avg. snowy days (≥ 0.3 in) 1.8 0.8 0.8 0 0 0 0 0 0 0.2 0.5 0.8 4.9
Mean monthly sunshine hours 173.6 180.8 235.5 270.0 291.4 288.0 291.5 272.8 240.0 229.4 177.0 167.4 2,817.4


Historical population
Census Pop.
1960 512
1970 540 5.5%
1980 623 15.4%
1990 715 14.8%
2000 714 −0.1%
2010 867 21.4%
U.S. Decennial Census

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 867 people, 282 households, and 195 families residing in the town. The population density was 613.3 people per square mile (237.7/km²). There were 329 housing units at an average density of 282.6 per square mile (109.5/km²). The racial makeup of the town was 53.36% White, 45.52% African American, 0.56% Native American, and 0.56% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 0.70% of the population.

There were 282 households out of which 29.8% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 44.3% were married couples living together, 18.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 30.5% were non-families. 27.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 8.9% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.53 and the average family size was 3.09.

In the town the population was spread out with 26.1% under the age of 18, 8.7% from 18 to 24, 26.1% from 25 to 44, 26.9% from 45 to 64, and 12.3% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. For every 100 females there were 83.5 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 79.6 males.

The median income for a household in the town was $27,083, and the median income for a family was $34,688. Males had a median income of $28,667 versus $21,500 for females. About 3.1% of families and 5.4% of the population were below the poverty line, including 33.2% of those under age 18 and 28.7% of those age 65 or over.


Major employers in McBee include Mar Mac Manufacturing, Mar Mac Wire, Mar Mac Construction Products, Vinci Clothiers, A.O. Smith Water Heater Plant, A.O. Engineering Facility, Southern Graphic Systems, Tally Metals, Alligator Rural Water & Sewer, and McBee is well known for McLeod Farms. Approximately 3,500 people are employed within 5 miles (8 km) of McBee.[citation needed]

Annual events[edit]

  • The Taste of McBee - mid-March
  • Sandhills Classic Band Invitational - late September
  • McBee Homecoming Parade - late October
  • McBee Christmas Parade - early December


McBee Presbyterian Church, completed on July 15, 1901

Christian places of worship in McBee include:

  • McBee Presbyterian Church, the first church built in McBee, was completed on June 30, 1901. MPC is located on Hwy 151 near the intersection of Hwy 1 and Hwy 151.
  • McBee Baptist Church is located on North Fifth Street near Hwy 151 in McBee.
  • Hopewell Missionary Baptist Church is located near Hwy 1 in McBee.
  • McBee United Methodist Church is the second church built in McBee, completed in 1907. MUMC is located on U.S. Highway 1 near the intersection of Hwy 1 and Hwy 151 in McBee.
  • Hope United Methodist Church is located on 132 East Maple Avenue near US Hwy 1 in McBee.


McBee's public schools are under the jurisdiction of the Chesterfield County School District.

McBee High School, 2011

McBee Elementary School[edit]

McBee Elementary School is a public secondary school serving grades K through 6 in McBee. The school is located on McBee's West side, near Highway 1. McBee Elementary has an approximate enrollment of 401 and has 15.4 Student to Teacher Ratio, and is one of six elementary schools under the jurisdiction of Chesterfield County Public School District.[8]

McBee High School[edit]

McBee High School is a public secondary school serving grades 7 through 12 in McBee. The school is located on McBee's west side, near the intersection of Highways 151 and 1. McBee High has an approximate enrollment of 600 students and is one of four high schools under the jurisdiction of Chesterfield County Public School District.[9]



  • South Carolina 151.svg South Carolina Highway 151 is a state highway that runs northwest to southeast through the town. McBee is approximately the halfway point between Charlotte and Myrtle Beach.
  • US 1.svg U.S. Route 1 runs southwest to northeast through the town. The road runs from Fort Kent, Maine, to Key West, Florida. In 1945, the straight of U.S. Route 1 going though McBee was named a Blue Star Memorial Highway Number 6.


Points of interest[edit]

Notable people[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]