Photo highlights South Harvin Street area


The late Sumter Item photographer Heyward Crowson made numerous flights over the city of Sumter, documenting its growth and expansion. This photo, taken circa 1942-43, covers the South Harvin Street area. Ten specific areas are highlighted here for identification, with some basic information about each.

Site No. 1 is the Atlantic Coast Line train station, which went into decline because of the drop in usage and was torn down in 1972 to make room for new construction.

No. 2 was the location of the C.T. Mason Telephone Manufacturing Co., which was founded in 1899. The photo shows the expansive sawmill facilities and brick structure that comprised this facility. The building was recently renovated and currently houses the James E. Clyburn Intermodal Transportation Center.

No. 3 represents the Imperial Hotel, which opened in April of 1913. The building was sold to the investment group that ran Sumter's Claremont Hotel in 1914. The Imperial was sold to the Fladger family, and its name was changed to Fladger Hotel. The building burned in 1968.

No. 4 is Harvin Street and was, according to the late Cassie Nicholes, named for either William R. Harvin or the Harvin family, and it also runs parallel to Main Street.

No. 5 was the site of the Claremont Hotel, which was Sumter's largest hotel. It was destroyed by fire in 1965.

No. 6 was a smokestack built adjacent to the former power station in 1921. The stack was built by a German mason and measured 20 feet in diameter by 226 feet in height. It was torn down by Jack Horton in 1962.

No. 7 is the former site of the ice factory known as the Sumter Ice Plant, which was owned by the Sumter Ice, Light and Power Co. This facility burned in July of 1907 and the machinery and building were a total loss. The fire began on the side of the building next to the railroad, and it is thought that a spark may have been the cause of the fire. The total loss was estimated at $22,000.

No. 8 is the Sumter Ice, Light and Power Co. The building still stands and was initially used to provide electric energy to the city, according to an Item article from Sept. 23, 1925. It was constructed in 1921 and sold to Yadkin Power Co. in 1925 for $625,000.

No. 9 was the site of the B&H Gulf Station (No. 1 of three such stations located in Sumter), which sold Gulf Oil products. The city has created a display of what remains of this facility on the corner of Bartlett and South Main streets.

No. 10 is the John Bossard Britton Memorial Bridge dedicated in June of 1940. Mayor F.B. Creech conducted the ribbon cutting ceremony, and the bridge is still in use.

Reach Sumter Item Archivist Sammy Way at or (803) 774-1294.