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Summerville Town

Dorchester County, South Carolina

Summerville Town Hall is located at 200 South Main Street, Summerville, SC 29483.
Phone: 843‑871‑6000.


Beginnings [1]

The History of Summerville started as Pineland Village around 1785 when plantation owners came here to escape the swamp fevers and insects. The first dwellings were described as summer camps with temporary housing. Later people built many of their homes high off the ground to ward off mosquitoes; hence the name "Mosquito Houses."

In the beginning, the owners made no plans for streets or a town — as evidenced by the winding roads but in 1847 the settlers decided to incorporate the different areas into a town. By the 1850s there were 1,088 people, 5 hotels and boarding houses, 3 churches, 9 stores and 372 dwellings; many of which are still in existence today.

Summerville was named one of the two best health resorts in the world at the tuberculosis World Congress in Paris in 1899. The town was so named because of its situation on a dry, sandy ridge, amidst pine trees that charge the air with derivatives of turpentine. The world-wide publicity brought modern inns and hotels to the town. After the turn of the century, Summerville became a winter resort for Northern visitors who came to enjoy the mild climate and hunting season. The closing of the Squirrel Inn in 1970 marked the end of this era in the town's history. When Summerville officially became a town in 1847, one of the first ordinances continued the protection of its chief assets, the long leaf pine trees — thus the town's motto "Sacra Pinus Esto."

  1. Greater Summerville Dorchester County, Chamber of Commerce, Summerville's Walking Tour of Homes and Flowers, www.visitsummerville.com, accessed March, 2013.