The architecture in Mayesville hasn’t changed much since its downtown was developed in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. The rural community in Sumter County was founded after planter Matthew “Squire” Peterson Mayes moved to the area from Virginia in 1820. Soon relatives followed and established a small agricultural community here.
When the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad established a line through Mayes’ property and subsequently built a depot called Mayes Station in 1852, the community became known as Mayesville. The town suffered when Union soldiers destroyed the railroad during the Civil War, but like many places, Mayesville eventually rebuilt and recovered.
The town officially incorporated in 1878 and continued to develop. The Mayesville Town Hall, seen above, was built around 1900 along with nearby buildings such as the Kineen Hotel and the strip of commercial buildings seen at the top of the page. As the automobile industry and interstate system began to divert rail passengers from the town, commerce here withered and many businesses, including the hotel, closed. However, the Mayesville Town Hall still serves the residents of this small community.
The Mayesville Historic District is listed in the National Register:
The Mayesville Historic District is notable for its representation of the cultural, commercial, and architectural development of a small nineteenth century South Carolina community. The district, which encompasses the western half of the town, contains a concentration of eighty properties that represent a broad range of late nineteenth and early twentieth century vernacular architectural design, including commercial, residential (majority), and religious examples. Architectural styles include Neo-Classical, Victorian, Queen Anne, Colonial Revival, Commercial, and Bungalow. The visual appearance of the district reflects the evolution of this small rural town that developed as the result of the changing economic forces brought about by the establishment of rail transportation and subsequent commercialization in the late 1800s. Unfortunately, since its nomination many properties have been demolished or altered significantly.
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