“An important community benefit to passengers and the shipment of agricultural products.”
130 East Main Street
City Directories and History: The historic Kingstree Depot building has been beautifully renovated for preservation. The Kingstree Historic District contains forty-eight properties situated along Main Street, Academy Street, and Hampton Street in the commercial area of downtown Kingstree. The district includes the courthouse, public library, railroad station, and numerous commercial buildings. The district is a fine collection of nineteenth-century vernacular commercial architecture. Details such as arched doorways and windows, cast-iron columns and pilasters, decorative or corbelled brick work and pressed tin interior ceilings are present on most of the district’s buildings. The Williamsburg County Courthouse, built ca. 1823, and designed by Robert Mills, is a fine example of Roman Neo-Classical design with its raised first floor, pediment with lunette, and Doric columns. In 1953-54 the courthouse underwent substantial remodeling on the exterior and interior, though it still reflects much of Mill’s original design. With the exception of the courthouse, most of the buildings in the district were built between 1900 and 1920 when Kingstree enjoyed prosperity as a retail and tobacco marketing center of Williamsburg County. The majority of the buildings in the district are a visible record of this twenty-year growth and the historic fabric of the area remains substantially intact. Listed in the National Register June 28, 1982. [Courtesy of the SC Dept. of Archives and History]
View a map showing the boundaries of the Kingstree Historic District.
View the complete text of the nomination form for this National Register property. In addition, the Historic Resources of Kingstree, ca. 1823-1930 includes historical background information for this and other related National Register properties.
Samuel E. McIntosh, President of the Williamsburg County Historical Society, sends us a handsome brochure celebrating two famous names in the county’s history: “Thomtree, the plantation home of James Witherspoon (1700-1768), was built in 1749 in Williamsburgh Township, South Carolina, about six miles south of the King’s Tree.” The name Thomtree presumably came from Thorntree Creek which flowed nearby.
He also wrote: The explanation of name Kingstree is presented thus: “In making grants of land, the king had reserved for his own use all the white pine trees. An explorer of the King, possibly searching for a settlement, discovered the majestic white pine for which the town was named—the King’s Tree, growing on the east bank of the Wee Nee, the name given by the Indians of this section to Black River.”
(Information from: Names in South Carolina by C.H. Neuffer, Published by the S.C. Dept. of English, USC)
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