Exploring Longs SC's Rich History

The history of Longs, South Carolina, is a rich and fascinating one. From early settlers in the 1700s to modern-day developments, Longs has been a place of growth and development. It has been home to generations of families and businesses that have come and gone, leaving behind a proud legacy. Longs have seen war and peace, industry, agriculture, and more, shaping the community into what it is today. From its Native American roots to its tumultuous civil rights history, Longs' past is full of stories and moments that have shaped the town and the people who call it home. Residents take pride in their heritage and the lessons learned from their humbling history. Though Longs has had its share of highs and lows, it remains a beautiful place to visit or even call home.

Pre-Colonial History

Longs South Carolina has a long and fascinating history that dates back to its pre-colonial times. Before the arrival of European settlers, the area was inhabited by the Waccamaw Indians of the Siouan tribe. The tribe had a rich culture and made their living through farming and hunting. They were also adept at making pottery and other crafts, which they used to trade with other tribes.

In the late 16th century, French Huguenots settled in the area and soon established a trading post in Georgetown County. This settlement was the first European one in Longs, South Carolina. Other colonists soon followed, establishing their settlements and farms. These settlers, in turn, introduced various new crops such as indigo, rice, cotton, and tobacco.

During this time, the economy of Longs was largely dependent on the production of these new crops and on the export of lumber and animal skins. The port of Charleston grew in prominence due to its location at the intersection of two trade routes, making it an essential hub for commerce in the region. Longs were also part of a larger trading network with other local tribes, which helped to expand its agricultural economy.

Colonial History 

Longs, South Carolina's colonial history dates back to the mid-1700s when King George II granted the land to Lewis DeRosset, who later gifted the land to the Church of England. Longs was a rural farming community during the colonial period, but in the late 1700s and early 1800s, it experienced a sudden influx of settlers. These settlers brought tobacco and other agricultural products, which helped drive the area's economic development. The most important industry that emerged from this period was timber production. The development of sawmills helped create jobs for many residents and boosted the local economy.

Longs became an important railroad town in 1845 when the Wilmington and Manchester Railroad was built through Longs. This boosted commerce in the town and made it easier for people to travel to and from Longs. In 1877, a new train station was constructed in Longs, further helping to stimulate economic growth in the area.

The population of Longs continued to grow throughout the late 19th and early 20th centuries due to its proximity to both Myrtle Beach and Conway. This growth was spurred by access to coastal amenities such as fishing, boating, and tourism.

Post-Civil War Reconstruction 

The Post-Civil War Reconstruction of South Carolina was heavily influenced by the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments in the United States Constitution, which abolished slavery, granted United States citizenship to all persons born in the United States, and established the right of male citizens of any race to vote. During this period, South Carolina underwent an intense transformation as it sought to rebuild after the Civil War.

In 1865, Presidential Reconstruction began, as the Union army seized control of the state. The military rule included efforts to organize public education and establish public infrastructure, but it also sought to suppress the former Confederate leadership and dismantle the plantation economy. Freed slaves found themselves without the resources to survive, leading them to migrate northward in large numbers. These mass migrations changed South Carolina from a slave state to a majority-black state during this time.

In 1868, Radical Reconstruction began in South Carolina and extended voting rights to African Americans for the first time. This period marked violence, and racial tensions as white supremacists sought to resist these changes. In addition, economic difficulties led many newly-freed people to return to plantation labor on a sharecropping system.

The end of Reconstruction was marked by the withdrawal of Union troops from South Carolina in 1877. The state continued with its Reconstruction policies, including segregated public schools and institutions, but ended many civil rights efforts which had been put in place during the Radical Reconstruction period. Despite this setback, African Americans used their newfound right to vote as part of a larger strategy of resistance and mobilization to achieve greater civil rights and economic opportunities over time.

20th Century Changes

The 20th century in Longs, South Carolina, was a significant transformation. Located in the heart of Horry County, Longs experienced an influx of commercial and industrial growth that changed the town's landscape. In the late 1800s, Longs was mainly rural and agricultural, known primarily for its peach orchards and truck farms. However, during the 20th century, large companies began establishing locations in Longs. By the mid-1900s, the area had become home to numerous manufacturing companies, such as Rockwell International, and various automotive businesses.

A population explosion accompanied this growth. In 1900, the population of Longs was around 400 people. By 2000, it had grown to over 4,000 people. As the population increased, so did the town’s infrastructure. The first paved roads were laid during the 1950s and new businesses, including banks, restaurants, and medical practices, opened their doors.

The expansion of technology also made its way to Longs during the late 20th century. Electricity was introduced early, and telephone lines were installed by the mid-century. In the 1980s and 1990s, high-speed internet service became available in town, and cable television became commonplace. 

In addition to Longs’ infrastructure and population changes, the landscape changed dramatically too. Many farms that had defined much of Longs’ early history were replaced with rapidly expanding suburbs and commercial areas. The town began growing outward as more people moved out of overcrowded urban areas in search of more affordable housing and a better quality of life in their rural surroundings. 

Conclusion

The history of Longs South Carolina is a long and fascinating one. From the original European settlers to the present day, Longs has been integral to the state's economic, social and cultural development. As with many small towns, Longs has undergone various changes over time, but at its heart, it remains an exciting place to explore and experience. The rich history of Longs highlights the importance of preserving our local heritage and embracing the diverse cultures that make up this great part of South Carolina. Contact for more information.

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