Why you'd want to live in Summerville,
The town's name is evocative of its history. Situated on a pine-forested ridge, it was first inhabited in the late 1700's as Charlestonians and other inhabitants of the SC Lowcountry sought respite from the summer heat, mosquitos and disease. From May to September plantation families along the nearby Ashley River and other coastal areas, headed for higher elevation to live temporarily or "maroon," in the tiny forest colony soon dubbed Summerville. Other pioneer residents descended from those 1696 puritans who settled the nearby former colonial settlement of Dorchester, endowing Summerville with a heritage spanning three centuries. Modernization came to town with the arrival of the railroad in the early 1800's and led the village to incorporation. Trees were being cut in large numbers for laying rails and the clearing of lots to relocate the commercial center near the tracks. To protect Summerville's biggest asset, the village became an official town in 1847, passing a first law prohibiting the cutting of certain-sized trees without permission, and fining offenders a then hefty $25. That ordinance, one of the oldest of its kind in the United States, is still on the books.