Webmasters Note: The information provided below was originally published on the website www.pigggenealogy.com that can now be found on the Internet Archive Wayback Machine. This information was used with permission of Mr. James Pigg.
The area that is now the town of Jefferson, was first settled by Michael Miller, son of George Miller, a Revolutionary War Veteran. George had purchased 100 acres on both sides of Great Lynches Creek on September 20, 1760, from James and Mary McManus. Michael was born there on December 28, 1784. Michael married Frances Welch and began a family whose descendants include many of the current day citizens of Jefferson. He served as a Lieutenant under Captain James Douglass’ Company, SC Militia of Infantry under Lieutenant Colonel Adam McWillie during the War of 1812. By 1819, he had established his store on the land that one day would be known as Jefferson. The area was then known as Miller’s Mill, then Millersville, before becoming Jefferson around 1870, at the suggestion of Miss Fannie Alexander. Miller’s house, the oldest structure in town, built circa 1810, has now been converted to the Fanny Lowery Memorial Library.
Even though agriculture has been the primary industry down through the years, and Caro-knit has a plant there, Jefferson has been most widely known for the Brewer Gold Mine, which lies just to the west of the town. The area had been mined before the Revolution by a Mr. Fudge, but supposedly for much needed iron. Then in 1828, Burrell Brewer found gold. The mine was operated intermittently for years by various methods including leasing plots for 25 to 30% of the findings, to hydraulic mining.
The current owner, The Brewer Mining Company, began mining in 1987. Prior to their operation, 22,000 ounces of gold had been recovered. Brewer Mining has produced 177,685 ounces of gold through closure. All known gold production from the Brewer Mine is 199,685 ounces, worth approximately $79,874,000 at a gold price of $400 per ounce. Currently, Brewer Mining has closed the plant due to the high cost of chemicals needed in processing and is in the process of reclamation.
Today, Highway 51 By-pass zips the beach traffic to the east of the small main street lined with stores on each side, many still in use. The town incorporated November 14, 1901, with 164 citizens. This is the same year the Columbia, Monroe, Charlotte Railroad was chartered. However, the railroad never passed Jefferson and, as with the Cheraw/Lancaster Railroad, was replaced by trucking. According to the 1990 census, Jefferson now has a population of 745.