A History of Chesterfield, South Carolina

Chesterfield County Courthouse - Chesterfield, SC (2008)


Old Chesterfield County Courthouse - Chesterfield, South Carolina

Chesterfield was established in 1785 when the County Court Act divided St. David's Parish into three districts and a courthouse was designated for Chesterfield County. Chesterfield, originally known as "Chesterfield Court House" has an active past that is an important part of its present with a positive influence on its future.

As Chesterfield C.H., the town was granted a US Post Office on July 1, 1804, and its first Postmaster was Mr. John Craig. On December 12, 1893, the name was officially changed simply to Chesterfield. It has been in continuous operation ever since inception in 1804.


John Craig House - Chesterfield, South Carolina

Many of the homes and buildings that are preserved from the 1700s through the early 1900s give a glimpse into the proud heritage of the fine citizens of this area.

1. Dr. W. J. Perry House 321 E. Main St. This house was built in 1914-15 for Dr. Perry and now houses the Douglas Gallery (house was restored in 1990). Of note are the tin ceilings. The house was home to the County Department of Social Services from 1952-1978.

2. Chesterfield Baptist Church Corner of East Main St. and Craig St. This imposing brick edifice was contructed in 1928. In 1933, the bell from the Old Church was donated to Wake Forest University.

3. John Craig House, 203 East Main 203 E. Main St. This home was completed in 1798 by the town's first settler, John Craig. The oldest house in town, it was used by Union General William T. Sherman as his headquarters during his stay here in the Civil War.

4. Post Office Corner of E. Main St. and Scotch Rd. The grounds of this building, built in 1937, were once home to an Indian trading post. Inside is a fine example of New Deal Art, a relief sculpture "The Farmer's Letters." The Sculpture is one of only two such sculptures commissioned for post offices in the Palmetto State.

5. 1884 County Courthouse 100 W. Main St. This building, with its imposing cupola, was built to replace the previous courthouse which was burned by Sherman's troops during the Civil War. A monument on the grounds marks the site of the first secession meeting held in the South preceding the Civil War.

6. Old County Jail 100 W. Main St. This building was built in 1885 as a jail and as a residence for the sheriff. Its steps are made from granite salvaged from the 1825 Courthouse burned in the Civil War. It is now used for offices.

7. Bank of Chesterfield Building 110 W. Main St. Constructed in 1908 near the peak of the town's prosperity following the completion of railroad service, this building is currently under renovation and is home to the town police department.

8. County Courthouse 200 W. Main St. This modern building was completed in 1977 as the center of Chesterfield County Government. The main lobby features a large second story skylight.

9. Austin-Craig House 302 W. Main St.This house was completed in 1858 as a residence for James Austin, a lawyer from Pennsylvania. According to legend, Union troops attempted to burn the house during the Civil War but stopped when told by a slave woman it was built for a "Yankee." Evidence of the fire remains visible.

10. St. Paul United Methodist Church 305 W. Main St. The First Methodist Church in Chesterfield was organized in 1930 and was called the Courthouse Methodist Church. The present Gothic Revival building was completed in 1905.

11. John T. Hurst House 306 W. Main St. This Colonial Revival-influenced house was built in 1904 for a local merchant. The facade is built of handmade Pennsylvania brick while the back is made of local brick.

12. B. C. Moore House 312 W. Main St.This house, currently under renovation, was built in 1914 for the founder of the B.C. Moore department store chain. The porches and gables are of interest.

13. Dr. Dewett Thompson Teal House 508 West Main This imposing residence was built in 1921 for
Dr. Teal. He once supplied electricity to the town. Ironing could only be done at certain times to conserve electricity.

14. Community Center Crescent Dr. This stone building was built in 1934 as a gymnasium. It is now home to the Town's Recreation Department. It also houses the Chesterfield Visual Arts Alliance Art Gallery.

15. Dr. Thomas E. Lucas House 716 W. Main St. This house was built in 1868 for Dr. Lucas, a member of the S.C. House. According to legend, he made the money to build the home while serving as a doctor to Union troops stationed here following the Civil War.

16. Mt. Tabor United Methodist Church W. Blvd. This church building was completed in 1878. According to legend, a group of freedmen met in a brush arbor before erecting a building. The grounds contain the original church bell.

17. Old Mall 109 Church St. The "Carolina Hotel" was completed in 1900. It housed a general merchandise store, hotel, market and bank. It is referred to as The old Mall. It is now an apartment complex.

18. William Duke Craig House Mill St.This house, c. 1820, stood on the site of the 1977 Courthouse before being moved here. Craig, who owned the nearby Craig's Grist Mill, donated the land for Craig Park.

19. Craig Park Between Page St. and Park Dr. Completed in 1935 as a WPA project, this park was built on lands donated by William Duke Craig. The park area includes picnic facilities, playground, amphitheater and community house and is especially inviting in spring when dogwood, the town tree, is in bloom.

20. Chesterfield Presbyterian Church W. Main St. Established in 1908. The history of the church originates in 1889 with nine members. In 1894 the church discontinued services, then reorganized in 1908 with 15 members.

21. Old Courthouse and School 601 W. Main St. This building, now a residence, was constructed as a temporary replacement to the courthouse burned in the Civil War. It was moved to its present location around 1900 and converted into a school.

22. Chesterfield Visitors Center Main St. The Chesterfield Visitors Center is located in the lower level of the Post Office. It houses a gift shop, Historical Society of Chesterfield County Museum, Genealogical Society Library, Greater Chesterfield Chamber of Commerce office and a Conference Room.



© 2007 - J.D. Lewis - PO Box 1188 - Little River, SC 29566 - All Rights Reserved