Downtown Summerville is a thriving commercial area which invites residents and visitors to dine in one of its various restaurants, shop in one of its many independent stores, savor a root beer float at historic Guerin’s Pharmacy, or even buy insurance or real estate.
A popular art gallery and scheduled events the third Thursday of each month make the town a burgeoning arts community, drawing Summervillians from their Victorian homes and surrounding suburbs to gather on the town square for concerts, art walks, and dramatic performances.
Pictured above is the pedestrian street known as Short Central. The street is paved with bricks from the 1920s, unearthed in 2001 during a paving project. The discovery of the bricks led to the town’s decision to block the road from vehicles and create a pedestrian path that leads people from historic neighborhoods to bustling town square. Along the way are diverse shops, year-round al fresco dining, and a tavern. Frequently artists set up booths along the brick walkway and showcase their unique wares.
The photo below, captured in 1906, shows a downtown square, now called Hutchinson Square, laid out for commercialism and socializing. The square, as well as the rest of downtown Summerville, has become a business destination for locals and a hub of activity during town events.
Linwood is a beautiful example of the homes in the area and is considered to be one of the most iconic estates in Summerville. This cottage was constructed in 1883 and was originally the home of Julia Drayton Hastie, and her husband, William. This two-acre site was chosen for its close proximity to the railroad so William Hastie, an insurance agent in Charleston, could easily catch the train into the city for work.
Julia’s father was the Reverend John Grimke Drayton who owned and developed Magnolia Plantation and Gardens on the Ashley River and opened the property to public. Grimke lived out his life here and died in 1891. Once he passed, Julia inherited Magnolia and moved to the plantation. The house has had numerous owners over the years but it presently used as a bed and breakfast by owners, Linda and Peter Shelbourne. The Shelbournes welcome guests to enjoy their beautiful home and lush gardens, offering a honest slice of the hospitality and beauty that Summerville has come to be known for.
Hutchinson Square Renovation