Hartsville, South Carolina

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Hartsville, South Carolina
Official seal of Hartsville, South Carolina
Motto: "A small town with a big heart"[1]
Location of Hartsville, South Carolina
Coordinates: Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found.
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Darlington
 • Total 6.2 sq mi (16.0 km2)
 • Land 5.7 sq mi (14.8 km2)
 • Water 0.4 sq mi (1.1 km2)
Elevation 217 ft (66 m)
Population (2010)
 • Total 7,764
 • Density 1,357/sq mi (523.8/km2)
Time zone Eastern (EST) (UTC-5)
 • Summer (DST) EDT (UTC-4)
ZIP codes 29550-29551
Area code(s) 843
FIPS code 45-32560[2]
GNIS feature ID 1231367[3]
Website www.hartsvillesc.gov

Hartsville is a city in the Pee Dee region of the U.S. state of South Carolina and is the largest city in Darlington County. The population was 7,764 at the 2010 census.[4] Mel Pennington is the current mayor. Hartsville has been an All-America City since 1996 and a National Arbor Day Foundation Tree City since 1986.

Hartsville is the home of Coker College and a branch of Florence–Darlington Technical College. It is also the site of the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics, a public boarding high school.

The city is served by the Hartsville Regional Airport.

Hartsville is home to several major corporations including Sonoco Products Company and Duke Energy Progress. Agrium Inc. maintained a Rainbow Fertilizer plant in Hartsville until it was destroyed by fire on February 14, 2011. Agrium has chosen not to rebuild in Hartsville.


The area surrounding Hartsville was once home to several Native American tribes, including the Pee Dee, Catawba, Chicora, Edisto, Sane, and Chicora-Waccamaw, who inhabited the region until European settlers arrived. The tribes were ultimately wiped out due to diseases brought in by settlers.

Hartsville's first settlement began around 1760. The town is named for Captain Thomas E. Hart, who eventually owned most of the land in the community. Hart started a successful mercantile business, but he lost his business and his land during the economic depression of 1837-1838.

In 1845, Thomas Hart's son, John Lide Hart, purchased 495 acres (200 ha) of land in what is now downtown Hartsville from Colonel Law. John Hart went on to establish a carriage factory, steam-powered saw mill, grist mill, general store, and Hartsville Baptist Church. Caleb Coker purchased the carriage factory for his son James Lide Coker in 1855.

James Lide Coker came to Hartsville in 1857 with plans to implement new farming methods taught to him at Harvard College. His plans were interrupted by the start of the Civil War, in which he became a major for the Confederacy. He returned to Hartsville injured and found that his plantation was in shambles. He made plans to reconstruct his plantation and bring prosperity to the town of Hartsville.

Major Coker established Welsh Neck High School which later became Coker College. He also went on to establish a seed company, oil mill, fertilizer plant, the Coker and Company General Store, a bank, and the Southern Novelty Company, now known as Sonoco Products Company. Even with his own successes in business, Coker and his family were unable to convince other business owners in the area to build a railroad spur, and so they decided to build their own, which became the Hartsville Railroad, completed in 1889.

The railroad would eventually become part of the South Carolina Central Railroad, and the Southern Novelty Company and Carolina Fiber Company merged to form Sonoco Products Company. Sonoco would eventually expand to a global scale and become a Fortune 500 company.

Historic sites

Locations listed on the National Register of Historic Places:

Points of interest


Hartsville is located in northwestern Darlington County at Lua error in Module:Coordinates at line 668: callParserFunction: function "#coordinates" was not found. (34.369474, -80.080783).[5] U.S. Route 15 bypasses the city to the southeast; it leads northeast 17 miles (27 km) to Society Hill and 47 miles (76 km) to Laurinburg, North Carolina, and southwest 40 miles (64 km) to Sumter. South Carolina Highway 151 bypasses the city to the southwest; it leads southeast 14 miles (23 km) to Darlington, the county seat, and northwest 14 miles (23 km) to McBee. Columbia, the state capital, is 70 miles (110 km) to the southwest.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Hartsville has a total area of 6.2 square miles (16.0 km2), of which 5.7 square miles (14.8 km2) is land and 0.4 square miles (1.1 km2), or 7.11%, is water.[4] Prestwood Lake, an impoundment on Black Creek, is on the northern border of the city. Black Creek is part of the Pee Dee River watershed.


Hartsville enjoys a mild climate year-round. It experiences 213 sunny days on average. The number of days with measurable precipitation is 106, and the city receives about 46 inches (1,200 mm) of rainfall per year. The average low is 31 °F (−1 °C) in January, and the average high is 92 °F (33 °C) in July. During the winter months, Hartsville can receive snowfall. [6]


Historical population
Census Pop.
1890 342
1900 704 105.8%
1910 2,365 235.9%
1920 3,624 53.2%
1930 5,067 39.8%
1940 5,399 6.6%
1950 5,658 4.8%
1960 6,392 13.0%
1970 8,017 25.4%
1980 7,631 −4.8%
1990 8,372 9.7%
2000 7,556 −9.7%
2010 7,764 2.8%
Est. 2014 7,852 [7] 1.1%
U.S. Decennial Census[8]

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the population of Hartsville in 2010 was 7,764.[9] As of the census[2] of 2010, there were 7,764 people and 3,225 households residing in the city. The population density was 1356.6 people per square mile. There were 3,704 housing units. The racial makeup of the city was 51% White, 46.3% African American, 0.2% Native American, 0.8% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.5% Hispanic or Latino, and 1% Two or More Races.

There were 3,225 households, of which 25.5% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 32.5% were married couples living together, 22.8% had a female householder with no husband present, and 41.2% were non-families. 38.2% of all households were made up of individuals and 14.6% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.35 and the average family size was 3.21.

In the city, the population was spread out with 24.3% under the age of 18, 9.4% from 20 to 24, 10.7% from 25 to 34, 11.6% from 35 to 44, 14.4% from 45 to 54, 6.8% from 55-59, 3.1% from 60-64, and 18.2% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 38 years. The population is made up of 3,640 (46.6%) Males and 4,166 (53.4%) Females.

The median income for a household in the city was $39,242, and the median income for a family was $48,594. Full-time, year-round working males had a median income of $35,333 versus $30,013 for full-time, year-round working females. The per capita income for the city was $21,815. About 15.3% of families and 22.9% of the population were below the poverty line, including 37.8% of those under age 18 and 15.8% of those age 65 or over.


Major employers in the area include Sonoco Products Company, Nucor Corporation, Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center, Novolex, Stingray Boats, North Industrial Machine, and Duke Energy's H. B. Robinson Nuclear Generating Station.

At 5.80%, the unemployment rate is significantly lower than the national average. Job growth over the next decade is expected to be approximately 34.10%. The household median income is $38,780.00. [10]

Arts and culture

There are many festivals, parades, and other events that residents of Hartsville look forward to each year.

Annual events

  • Screen on the Green is a summer event in which the city sets up a 25-foot (7.6 m) screen on the grounds of Burry Park and shows licensed movies. This is a family event that is free to the public. The Screen on the Green is sometimes held outside of its normal season, such as during the holidays.[11]
  • RenoFest is an annual bluegrass festival held at the Centre Theatre in downtown Hartsville. The festival is held to honor South Carolina native and bluegrass legend, Don Reno.[12]
  • The "Hartsville Christmas Parade: a Miracle on Carolina Avenue" is an annual parade held in December of each year where members of numerous local and regional schools, businesses, and other organizations parade down the main street of the city. Santa Claus is usually found at the end of the parade as a symbol of Christmas coming soon.[13]
  • The Annual Mayor's Christmas Tree Lighting is held at Burry Park. There are musical and dance performances, and the Santa Mailbox, in which local children can submit letters to Santa Claus, is unveiled at this event. [14]


Hartsville has several parks within the city.

  • Byerly Park is a 93-acre (38 ha) multi-use recreational park. The park has six soccer fields, eight softball/baseball fields, two football fields, six tennis courts, an eight-lane 400-meter track and field facility, twelve horseshoe pits, two playgrounds, a picnic area, concession stands, and the Piratesville Splash Pad. Piratesville is one of the largest splash pads in the state of South Carolina and operates Tuesday through Sunday when Darlington County Schools are out of session for summer vacation.[15]
  • Burry Park is an open green space in the heart of Hartsville. It is home to the Hartsville Veterans Memorial and Veterans Walk. Burry Park hosts Hartsville's "Screen on the Green" film series and Main Street Hartsville's Good Living Marketplace.[16]
  • Centennial Park was developed for the 1981 centennial of Hartsville's incorporation. The park features covered sitting areas as well as a large fountain. During the Christmas season it hosts a large metal-frame lit Christmas tree.[17]
  • Lawton Park and Pavilion is located on 3.5 acres (1.4 ha) of land along Prestwood Lake. Lawton Park offers tennis courts, picnic shelters, a boardwalk and pier, and playgrounds. It is home to the Lawton Park Pavilion, a historic building constructed in 1938 by the city of Hartsville with funding from the Works Progress Administration. The facility is an example of New Deal-era recreation facilities. It was renovated in 2007 and 2008. It is available for private events and includes elevators and a caterer's kitchen. The playground at Lawton Park was replaced in 2015 to make it safer and more accessible. [18]

File:Lawton Park Pavilion.jpg

  • Pride Park features a picnic shelter, playground, restrooms and an outdoor stage used for events such as the annual "Gospel in the Park" series. The park is built on the site of the Hartsville Graded School, the first public school for black children in Hartsville, operating from about 1900 to 1921, as well as the later Butler School, named for the Rev. Henry H. Butler, longtime principal of the school. Park signage and a South Carolina Historical Marker placed at the park make note of the Rev. T.J. James, who began a Sunday School at the site in 1922 which grew into Mt. Pisgah Presbyterian Church. James also established the Mt. Pisgah Nursery School in the old graded school structure. James' family donated the land to the city of Hartsville for Pride Park, which was established in 1986.[19]
File:The Vista.jpg
The Vista which connects Coker College to the Governors School for Science and Mathematics
  • The Vista is a pedestrian corridor built along Railroad Avenue between Coker Avenue and Second Street, connecting the South Carolina Governor's School for Science and Mathematics and portions of Coker College with downtown Hartsville. The space was redeveloped in 2009-10 by the city of Hartsville from a portion of the former Hartsville railroad yard which once connected Hartsville's downtown with major rail lines. The green space in The Vista features a walking path, a pond, fountains and park benches.[20]

City government and programs

Hartsville has a council–manager government. The city council, Hartsville's legislative body, is made of a mayor who is elected at large, and six council members who are elected in single-member districts, with one member elected by his/her peers as Mayor Pro-Tem. Regular meetings take place on the second Tuesday of the month.[21] File:Main Street Hartsville logo.jpg City Hall is located at 133 W. Carolina Avenue in a building previously occupied by the Bank of America. The new city hall opened in mid-2013. It is praised by the citizens of Hartsville as a significant upgrade for the downtown area.

Main Street Hartsville

The Main Street Hartsville program is a partnership of the City of Hartsville, the Community Foundation for a Better Hartsville, and Main Street South Carolina, a program of the National Main Street Center. The organization seeks to build a vibrant downtown in Hartsville, focusing on thriving businesses, entertainment, recreating and historic preservation. It follows the Main Street "Four Point Approach" of organization, promotion, design, and economic restructuring.[22] Main Street Hartsville administers a Sign and Paint grant for local businesses. It also oversees the Hartsville Farmers Market, Start-Up Hartsville, and Hartsville for the Holidays. They hold contests periodically in which local businesses may compete.


The public schools in Hartsville are governed by the Darlington County School District. For the 2014–15 school year, the district approved a fiscal budget of $74,981,758.00.[23] The district-wide student-to-teacher ratio is about 10.5 students to every teacher and the district spends about $9,667.00 per student.[24]

Public primary education

  • Carolina Elementary
  • Hartsville Middle School
  • North Hartsville Elementary
  • Southside Early Childhood Center
  • Thornwell School of the Arts
  • Washington St. Elementary
  • West Hartsville Elementary

Public secondary education

Private schools

  • Thomas Hart Academy (grades 3K-8) is located 5 miles (8 km) south of the city and has a Hartsville mailing address.
  • Students from Hartsville attend other private schools in the area, including Emmanuel Christian School (grades 2K-12), Robert E. Lee Academy (grades 3K-12), and Trinity Byrnes Collegiate School (grades 7-12).

Higher education

Coker College, a private baccalaureate-granting institution, is located in Hartsville. Coker College offers a four-year program that emphasizes a practical application of the liberal arts, as well as hands-on and discussion-based learning within and beyond the classroom. Coker is ranked among the "Best Colleges" in the South by U.S. News & World Report as well as The Princeton Review.

Florence–Darlington Technical College maintains a campus in Hartsville.


Hartsville is served by several local, regional, and state media outlets. The Hartsville Messenger, an affiliate of SCNow, is the local newspaper, with The State serving as a source for statewide news. WBTW News 13 is the news channel that serves the Hartsville area as well as the Pee Dee region.


Downtown Hartsville and most neighborhoods in Hartsville are designed around a standard grid layout whose use began when the city first developed. However, in newly developed sections of the city, such as around Hartsville Crossing, the road layout is less orthodox.

Hartsville is located 14 miles (23 km) north of Interstate 20 and 20 miles (32 km) northwest of Interstate 95.


The city of Hartsville maintains garbage and recycling services for residents within the limits, as well as water services. Electrical services are provided by Duke Energy. Dish Network, DirecTV, and Time Warner Cable all serve television and internet needs.


Carolina Pines Regional Medical Center is a large medical complex located on the edge of Hartsville. The hospital has 116 beds available for patients, not including those located in the hospital's Level III capable trauma/ER unit.

Notable people


  1. Hartsville official website
  2. 2.0 2.1 "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  3. "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  4. 4.0 4.1 "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Hartsville city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved January 5, 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  5. "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  6. http://www.bestplaces.net/climate/city/south_carolina/hartsville
  7. "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014". Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Census of Population and Housing". Census.gov. Retrieved June 4, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. "Quick Facts". U.S. Census.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  10. http://www.bestplaces.net/economy/city/south_carolina/hartsville
  11. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/special-events/screen-on-the-green/
  12. http://www.bluegrassfestivalguide.com/renofest.htm
  13. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/special-events/hartsville-christmas-parade/
  14. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/special-events/annual-mayors-tree-lighting/
  15. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/byerly-park/
  16. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/burry/
  17. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/centennial-park/
  18. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/lawton-park/
  19. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/pride-park/
  20. http://hartsvillesc.gov/residents/parks/the-vista/
  21. http://hartsvillesc.gov/government/
  22. http://hartsvillesc.gov/business/main-street-hartsville/
  23. http://www.scnow.com/messenger/article_5bf1e2a0-0e49-11e5-bb9a-671816ae9a10.html
  24. http://www.bestplaces.net/city/south_carolina/hartsville

External links