Before Springfield was Springfield…even before the first post office carried the name Millersville…this area was known as Martin’s Pasture. A high rise of pines and oaks topped an elevation between the arms of the black waters of the Edisto, and it was here that the settlers clustered in the last 1800;s after hearing that a railroad was on the way.
The motley group of Irish, English, Swiss and French settlers cut and sawed then framed and nailed until a collection of shops and houses took on the appearance of a town. Excitement about the railroad added momentum as surveying by Captain John Guignard in 1887 set perimeters and lined off streets. This spot on the map was named Springfield and was given the official recognition with a charter dated December 19, 1887.
The town experienced a thrust of growth during its early years, and became a mercantile center for cotton farmers of the western end of Orangeburg County. They built homes, churches, stores, schools, a railroad, and an electric plant. Each year saw new faces calling the town home. By 1917, The Times and Democrat called Springfield “the thrivingist town in Orangeburg County” with a population of one thousand.
Since then many have passed this way. Some have stopped and lived out their lives. Others whose roots tap deep into our thoughts and ways have departed to seek futures elsewhere. Still we have had our share of doctors, lawyers, merchants, and farmers. We’ve had Baptists, Methodists and Catholics. We’ve voted as Democrats, Republicans and Dixiecrats. We’ve fought the Yankees, the Japanese and the boll weevil. We’ve met the enemy, the train and even the governor. We have made progress, mistakes and still make a fortune…someday. But on Frog Jump Day, Springfield make FUN! Fun, Southern Style!
Borrowing ideas from Mark Twain’s tale of a century age, Springfield erupts into celebration. To local bewilderment, the little town swells as thousands from all over South Carolina join us in a bit of Americana…served liberally with friendliness and big smiles. And from sunrise to sunset, the celebration translates into a big time for OUR TOWN…by the Edisto.
From OUR TOWN by Jacquelyn W. Cooper