Remembering Sumter's North Main Street

By SAMMY WAY
Posted 6/17/18

Reflections returns to the origin of the town of Sumter and remembers one of its first streets, North Main. According to information obtained from an article which appeared in an issue of The Item, when "the town of Sumter was laid out in the early …

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Remembering Sumter's North Main Street

The McLaughlin Ford Motors building's new site is seen in early 1967. The current building will soon be moving because of improvements scheduled to be made at Lafayette Drive and North Main Street.
The McLaughlin Ford Motors building's new site is seen in early 1967. The current building will soon be moving because of improvements scheduled to be made at Lafayette Drive and North Main Street.
SUMTER ITEM FILE PHOTO
Posted

Reflections returns to the origin of the town of Sumter and remembers one of its first streets, North Main. According to information obtained from an article which appeared in an issue of The Item, when "the town of Sumter was laid out in the early nineteenth century, the fledgling village then consisted of five streets long and three streets wide, encompassing 30 acres." The ensuing article was prepared using data and photos obtained from The Sumter Item's extensive archives and from History of Sumter County, by Dr. Anne King Gregorie.

"A committee was chosen in 1798 to select a new county seat for the Sumter District. By 1800, court was being held at John Gayle's farmhouse, near the northeast corner of what is now the intersection of North Main and Canal Street. The Gayle home faced south adjacent to Decatur Street (later called Canal Street) located on the north side of the courthouse. On Oct. 9, 1817, W. L. Brunson, deputy surveyor, was commissioned to lay out the town of Sumter. He designated three named streets, two of three blocks in length, east to west, and five named streets north to south, two to be two blocks long and three to be three blocks long. Today only three streets still bear the names given over a century ago. They are north-south streets, Washington, Sumter and Harvin. Both Broad Street (later Main Street) and Harvin ran two blocks from Republican Street (now Hampton Ave.) north to Marion (now Calhoun). Neither continued to East Liberty, although East Liberty was marked on the map."

The objective of this research is to allow readers to see a number of beautiful homes and buildings which adorned this section of Sumter. North Main Street has become more commercial over the course of time, and unfortunately several of the magnificent homes have either been removed or destroyed by fire.