The Cherokee Indian Removal Memorial, located in downtown Greenville, honors the memory of the Cherokee people who were forced to leave their homes in the state and walk the Trail of Tears to Indian Territory in present-day Oklahoma.
Sumter County, located in the central part of South Carolina, has a rich history dating back to the colonial era. The region was initially inhabited by indigenous tribes, including the Catawba and Congaree tribes. European settlers started to arrive in the area in the early 1700s, with the establishment of a trading post near the present-day town of Sumter.

During the American Revolution, the area played a significant role. The Battle of Fort Sumter, fought in 1780 during the Southern Campaign, was a pivotal moment in the struggle for independence. The fort, located at the junction of the Wateree and Congaree rivers, was assaulted by British forces but successfully defended by American patriots.

After the Revolution, Sumter County experienced rapid growth and development. The county was established in 1800, named after General Thomas Sumter, a distinguished Revolutionary War hero known as the "Gamecock." Agriculture, particularly cotton cultivation, became the backbone of the local economy, and plantation owners relied on enslaved labor.

The Civil War had a profound impact on Sumter County, as it did on the entire South. The county witnessed several significant battles and skirmishes, including the Battle of Dingle's Mill and the Battle of Stateburg. The end of the war brought major changes to the region, as the economic and social structures built on slavery were dismantled.

In the years following the Civil War, Sumter County faced challenges with rebuilding and diversifying its economy. The arrival of the railroad in the late 19th century spurred industrial development, and the timber and tobacco industries gained prominence. Today, Sumter County is a diverse and thriving community, known for its historical significance, natural beauty, and cultural attractions.

This timeline provides a concise overview of the key events in the history of Sumter County, South Carolina.

  • 1740: Sumter County established, named after General Thomas Sumter
  • 1780-1781: Sumter County heavily affected by American Revolutionary War
  • 1800s: Agriculture, particularly cotton, becomes mainstay of Sumter County economy
  • 1860-1865: Sumter County impacted by American Civil War
  • 1898: First electric trolley lines introduced in Sumter County
  • 1917-1918: Sumter County residents participate in World War I
  • 1939-1945: Sumter County residents participate in World War II
  • 1950s: Sumter County experiences growth and urbanization
  • 1969: Shaw Air Force Base expands, becoming major economic influence in Sumter County
  • 1990s: Sumter County sees continued economic growth and diversification
  • Present: Sumter County remains a thriving community with a rich history