Hartsville, South Carolina: a charmingly authentic boutique town. We are excited for you to visit and find what you love in Hartsville.
Welcome to Hartsville, South Carolina
We are Hartsville, South Carolina, and we are one of the most dynamic small towns in the South.
We are a place where business, industry and people thrive. We are the smallest city in America to be the headquarters of a Fortune 500 company. Our businesses compete and thrive on a state level and a global stage. From multi-national corporations to locally-owned upstarts, we have nurtured a culture that fuels ingenuity and innovation throughout our community.
We are a place where a tradition of educational leadership is alive and well. Hartsville is the only true college town in Eastern South Carolina as Coker University is right in the middle of our city and a leader in higher education. As well, we are the home of the Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics and Butler Academy, a K–12, Tuition-Free, Public Charter School serving motivated scholars from Darlington County and surrounding communities. Additionally there are well established private K-12 educational options in our area to offer a variety of educational opportunities. Whether from the campus of Coker University to cheering on the Hartsville High School Red Foxes, in our classrooms, or preserving the legacy of the historic Butler School, education is ingrained in the fabric of our community.
We are a place where people work together to make our community stronger. We give our time, resources, and talents to support those things that fuel the passions of our friends and neighbors. We are a place where gardens bloom, theaters come to life, and around every corner awaits an undiscovered experience. Together, we are preserving our stories, sharing our talents, and forging partnerships that make us a truly connected community.
We are Hartsville, the home of visionary leaders in industry, education, and the arts. We are an exceptional southern community working together towards a bright future.
History of Hartsville
Hartsville traces its origins to Thomas Edward Hart, who came to the area in 1817 and built a plantation along Black Creek. His son, John Lide Hart, developed Hartsville Plantation in what is now downtown, creating a carriage factory, steam-powered sawmill, grist mill and more.
Early community leader James Lide Coker played an extremely influential role in Hartsville’s development. He and his family would go on to develop a seed company, oil mill, fertilizer plant and the iconic J.L. Coker & Company General Store, housed in a massive brick storefront which remains a downtown landmark. The Coker’s also created Welsh Neck High School, the forerunner of Coker University, as well as the Southern Novelty Company, which is the predecessor to Sonoco Products Company, a major provider of packaging, industrial products and more. Hartsville received its town charter on Dec. 11, 1891, in a period of growing industry, business, and a booming population.
Hartsville is today a center of industry, education, and reinvention – the South Carolina Governor’s School for Science and Mathematics, for example, has been built on the site of the Hartsville Cotton Mill. Possessing a downtown full of historic sites, access to Prestwood Lake and an ongoing array of quality-of-life projects from recreational facilities, special events and community development opportunities, Hartsville remains a small town full of innovation and opportunity.