Lexington, South Carolina
Lexington is a town in and the county seat of Lexington County, South Carolina, United States, and is also the largest town in Lexington County. The population was 17,870 at the 2010 census. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated 2013 population is 19,576, a 9.5% population growth since the 2010 census, making it one of the fastest-growing towns in the United States
During the American Revolution, several skirmishes occurred in the area, among them being the Battle of Tarrar Springs, which was fought just one mile east of Lexington on November 16, 1781.
In 1785, Lexington County was established, with the township of Saxe Gotha renamed to "Lexington" in commemoration of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts. The countys first courthouse was built at Granby, located just south of present day Cayce. From 1800 to 1868, the county was organized as a district with the same name.
With the clearing of upriver lands for the spreading cotton culture, Granby became plagued with floods. The district seat was moved in 1820 when the present town of Lexington was laid out on a high, healthy sand ridge near Twelve Mile Creek. The town was known as Lexington Courthouse throughout the nineteenth century since in the first few years of its existence there was only the courthouse with few residences.
By 1861, when it was incorporated as a town, Lexington boasted a diverse population of lawyers, physicians, tradespeople, artisans and farmers. There were then two churches, several Business Info, a carriage factory, a saw and gristmill, a tannery, livestock yard, tin and blacksmiths, and a weekly newspaper. The major crops of the surrounding countryside were mainly cotton, corn sweet potatoes and lumber. Lexington was not a marketing center for these staples, but did serve as a retail market for manufactured goods purchased wholesale by merchants in nearby Columbia.
In 1865 the town was virtually destroyed by occupying Union Army forces guarding General Shermans western flank. The courthouse, district jail and St. Stephens Lutheran Church were put to the torch as were most businesses and homes.
Slightly north of Lexington rests one of South Carolinas major lakes, Lake Murray. The lake is held by a 2 mile long dam in which people are free to drive, bike, run, or walk across. The Saluda Dam, or Lake Murray Dam, provides electricity for the surrounding area and is a beacon for the Midlands of South Carolina. There is also a public swimming area that is open during the summer months on the Lexington side of the dam