Lexington is the county seat and largest town in Lexington County, which neighbors Richland County where both counties combine to make up the Columbia Metropolitan area.
Discovered by Spanish explorers, colonized by the English in 1700 and chartered by German settlers in 1785, Lexington is rich with history. By 1861, when it was incorporated as a town, Lexington boasted a diverse population of lawyers, physicians, tradespeople, artisans and farmers. Then, there were two churches, several schools, a carriage factory, a saw and gristmill, a tannery, livestock yard, tin and blacksmiths, and a weekly newspaper. The major crops of the surrounding countryside were mainly cotton, corn, sweet potatoes and lumber. Lexington was not a marketing center for these staples, but did serve as a retail market for manufactured goods purchased wholesale by merchants in nearby Columbia. That heritage lives on today through the area’s numerous museums, antebellum homes and traditions of hospitality.
The Town of Lexington has continued to be the political center of Lexington County, one of the fastest growing areas of the nation. The town experienced nearly 200% population growth in the 2000 census (from 1990), followed with 82% growth in the 2010 survey.
With new major highways passing nearby, the town continues to experience phenomenal growth. It features distinct neighborhoods to suit different tastes, from starter homes to mid-range subdivisions to higher-end luxury estates. Single-family housing ranges from $120,000 to $500,000.
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