Anyone who grew up in a small South Carolina town knows the secret advantages this can bring. Community is important to South Carolinians, whether you’re in a bonafide small town or in a subdivision on the outskirts of one of the state’s biggest cities. Getting to know your neighbors is a good thing!
Here are 11 small towns in South Carolina that are so small it would be very difficult to live there without eventually getting to know everyone’s name.
1. Richburg, South Carolina
The little town of Richburg is proud of their rail history. They have this old steam locomotive on display at Richburg Park.
Nascar driver Buck Baker was from Richburg. But if you live in Richburg, you don't have to be famous for people to know you. The town is less than one square mile in size (568 acres, according to Google) and has a population of 264.
2. Salley, South Carolina
Salley, SC, population est. 415, is a great example of rural American life in the 19th century. This small town measuring one-third of a square mile has 99 structures listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Every November, Salley hosts the "Chitlin' Strut" because Salley is known as the Chitlin' Capital of the World.
3. Little Mountain, South Carolina
Little Mountain is a small town of 1.1 square miles that was named after a nearby "mountain" the locals called "little mountain." The 2014 population estimate was 294 people. The town was founded around a railroad in 1890. The first school, a one-room building, was built in 1892. The original part of present-day Little Mountain Elementary School (shown above) was built around 1910.
4. Brunson, South Carolina
Brunson is located in Hampton County. With just under 600 full-time residents it's one of those small towns in the Palmetto State that remind you of the days when times were simpler. Brunson's Museum and Visitor Center is located in the original Town Hall building (shown above), which was built in 1906.
5. Cope, South Carolina
The Town of Cope is right out of a Norman Rockwell painting. Main Street runs parallel and only steps from a rail line and the Cope Depot which was finally added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2001. Cope's a small town, in both population and land mass. The last official count was 77 residents. As far as small towns go, this may be the smallest in the entire state...or IS IT? Read on to find out...
6. Waterloo, South Carolina
Waterloo, in Laurens County, received its charter in 1885. Soon after, in 1890, the population of Waterloo had swelled to 291, according the U.S. Census records and Wikipedia. Today, Waterloo is almost half that at approximately 160 folks. The Bank of Waterloo stands as a testament to the old days in this great small town.
7. Tatum, South Carolina
As this photo suggests, Tatum, SC has seen better days. In 1900 it was a thriving and prosperous town with a railway at its crossroads and a population of 200 people. The town may have gotten smaller but that's even better for getting to know your neighbors, right? Today, this small town in Marlboro County has a population estimated to be just 73.
8. Ward, South Carolina
Ward, South Carolina, population 92 in the 2014 census estimate, stands tall with lots of history. Like many of the small towns in the state, Ward got its start with the arrival of the railway. The Spann Methodist Church and cemetery are still around. The cemetery dates back to 1842 and the current church structure was built in 1873. But Spann Methodist actually began in the 1805 at the plantation of John Spann, Jr., about a mile outside of town.
9. Trenton, South Carolina
The Town of Trenton is in Edgefield County in western South Carolina. It's six miles from the county seat, Edgefield. This picturesque bedroom community will host their 46th annual Ridge Peach Festival on June 18, 2016. Come on out and celebrate with the town's estimated population of 191 people.
10. Lynchburg, SC
Lynchburg, SC is in the southeastern portion of Lee County. It's a small, quiet community with a population of nearly 360 people as estimated in 2014. Most remarkably, the size of this town has dropped considerably from the 2000 census report of 588 people. Consequently, there seems to be a lot of available real estate in this quiet little community.
11. Salem, South Carolina
The small town of Salem serves as a gateway to Lakes Jocassee and Keowee, as both are very close to the town limits. You'll also find Salem just off South Carolina's beautiful Cherokee Foothills Scenic Highway (SC-11). The town's been having a bit of growth spurt in the last 15 years. The last population estimate in 2014 was 147.
Population estimates for these towns were based on figures of people living within town limits. Of course, most of these towns do serve a much larger area and population of people who don’t live within the town limits and were not counted in these figures.