Parksville in McCormick County, South Carolina
Parksville, the only town situated on Thurmond Lake, was named for Richard Parks in 1882 by his son William Lewis Parks when the Augusta & Knoxville Railroad was constructed through the town. After selling his farmland in Lincoln County, Georgia, Parks bought 165 acres of land from Sanford Robertson and 160 acres from Nathan Fortner, adjoining tracts on March 1, 1820. A post office was established March 13, 1826 in the store with Parks as postmaster.
In a letter written in 1893, Parksville was described as
“a lovely little town…which now has about 250 inhabitants. It has two churches, one Methodist and the other Baptist; both well attended during Sabbath Services. The people of the town were determined to be strictly temperate and sober, and by Act of Incorporations, the sale of intoxicating liquors is forbidden for 99 years. There are four stores, two conducted by Gilchrist, Harmon and Co., and one by L. F. Dorn. Calliham’s Mill Baptist Church, constituted in 1785 between Parksville and Stevens Creek near Price’s Mill, was moved about two miles and the name changed to Parksville Baptist Church. The sanctuary portion of the present church is part of the building that was moved.”
In 1916 the the Bank of Parksville reported a capital stock of $25,000, Methodist and Baptist churches, a school, four stores, a cotton gin, a flour mill, two blacksmith and repair shops, a livery and sales stable, three lumber companies, and a cotton market for farmers.
Price’s Mill, one of the few remaining water-powered gristmills in the United States, is located a mile east of Parksville on Stevens Creek. Power of the water wheel is transmitted to the mill stone by gears made of rock maple in this gristmill that is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Price’s Mill is unique in that it remains a workable commercial mill as opposed to the reconstructed replica gristmills more commonly seen today. Price’s Mill utilizes a powerful water turbine for energy that is transferred by a driveshaft from the turbine to the mill. Water was a predominant source for gristmills, sawmills, and other industry during the nineteenth century before the advent of steam power. The mill dates back to 1867 when James Tompkins bought the 500-acre mill tract from his father, John W. Tompkins, for $1,500. James Tompkins established the mill. Five years later Jesse Stone bought into the mill and operated it for a number of years. Stone built a home for his family on the hill overlooking the mill that still stands. The original mill, dam, and covered bridge that spanned Stevens Creek at the site were washed away in a flood in 1888. The present mill was built in 1890. Rd. 138, 2 mi east of Parksville.
P.O. Box 938, McCormick, SC 29835
100 South Main St., McCormick, SC 29835
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