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Cayce

Nestled between Lexington and Richland Counties, along the banks of the Congaree River, Cayce is a small city boasting rural charm with the proximity to all the conveniences of Columbia.

The City of Cayce, South Carolina, is located mainly in Lexington County, with a portion in Richland County. 

Cayce’s city slogan is “A new kind of city.”   

Location – Latitude: 33°57′48″N, Longitude: 81°4′0″W. Cayce’s zip codes are 29033, 29169, 29170, 29172, 29201, and 29209. The telephone area codes for Cayce are 803 and 839.

The city’s name “Cayce” derives from the last name of a prominent local family. The Cayce family, in 1817, purchase the trading post/house that had once been Fort Granby during the American Revolution. The trading post/house was used as a private family residence after the family purchased the home. William “Uncle Billy” James Cayce Sr. (1864 – 1949) operated a general store for close to 50 years near the Seaboard Railroad in an area known as Cayce Crossing. This general store was in the heart of what would be incorporated as the city in 1914. The Cayce name was selected by the citizens of the new city. 

 

The estimated population for Cayce for 2019, per the U.S. Census Bureau, was 14,009. Cayce has a total area of 16.65 square miles, per the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. Cayce falls within the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the counties of Lexington, Richland, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, and Saluda. Cayce, considering population intensity, is the fourth-largest municipality in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The estimated Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area total population for 2020 was 847,397. Greenville, South Carolina’s MSA, is the largest within the state, with the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area being second. The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 69th largest, as measured by population, in the United States.

A Brief Historical Overview of Cayce & the Surrounding Area / 

Part One – Through 1800 

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto was the first European to document what eventually became the greater Columbia area. Landing just south of what would become Tampa, Florida in 1539, de Soto launched his deep exploration of what, in around 250 years, would become the United States of America. Arriving in nine ships loaded with 220 horses and around 600 men, de Soto, from Tampa his expedition marched north. De Soto was in a quest for a land route to China and treasure.

This expedition became the most penetrating of the future mainland United States up until this time. De Soto and his expedition members were brutal and showed little mercy to many of the Native American inhabitants they encountered along the way.  The expedition is well documented in a number of works. Most often cited are the semi-anonymous writings of a Gentleman of Elvas, apparently a member of the great expedition. His writings were first published in 1557. Luys Hernández de Biedma’s report of the expedition is often cited as well. This report was completed in 1544 and most notably documented the Native Americans encountered and the route.  The diary of Rodrigo Ranjel, De Soto’s secretary, was the foundation of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés writing of La historia general y natural de las Indias, published in 1851. Ranjel’s diary has been lost to history and can no longer be used as a source document. 

De Soto marched the expedition through Florida, Georgia, on into South Carolina. Native Americans in Georgia reported that vast amounts of gold and treasure could be found at the Cofitachequi chiefdom in the midlands of  South Carolina. Because of the expedition’s merciless treatment of the Native Americans in their line of march, it is safe to assume that these people would tell them whatever they wanted to hear to induce the expedition to leave. De Soto apparently traversed into South Carolina primarily in search of gold and other treasure. 

The Cofitachequi chiefdom was comprised of Muskogean-speaking Indians who lived in the lands between the Santee, Wateree, and Pee Dee rivers. In April of 1540, de Soto arrived at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, which merge to form the Congaree River. De Soto is noted to have encountered a large Native American village on the Congaree River. This large Native American village is speculated to have been within present-day Cayce. From here de Soto’s expedition  moved onto the capital of the Cofitachequi chiefdom, a village referred to as “Talimeco.” This village is surmised to have been near present-day Camden. 

The Cayce area was inhabited by the Congaree Indians who lived along the Congaree River in the 1600s. The Congaree (Also spelled Conagree) Indians were a people not of a Siouan language origin. As with most Native American people who had not built up any immunity to European diseases, the Congaree was ravaged by smallpox. Smallpox and other European diseases were first introduced to the Native American population by explorers and traders. The Congaree Indians, by 1700, had been brought almost to the level of extinction by smallpox. 

In 1701, the English explorer John Lawson, on his expedition of the Carolina backcountry, encountered the remaining Congaree Indians. Lawson documented his encounter in A New Voyage to Carolina, published in 1709. Note that Lawson spells Congaree as “Congeree,” in this work. His explicit portrait of the Congaree Indians from his published work, “The Congerees are kind and affable to the English, the Queen being very kind, giving us what Rarities her Cabin afforded…These are a very comely Sort of Indians, there being a strange Difference in the Proportion and Beauty of these Heathens.” Lawson goes on to document that the Congaree were small in number, about a dozen houses in the village, because of intertribal disputes and smallpox.

Legendary South Carolina colonist, planter, and Indian fighter Colonel John Barnwell, also known as “Tuscarora Jack” and “Tuscarora John,” recruited the Congaree Indians to fight along with other Native American tribes against the Tuscarora Indians in the Tuscarora War of 1711. Colonel Barnwell led a contingent of thirty white South Carolina colonial militia officers along with around 500 allied Native Americans to North Carolina in late 1711. Of the approximate 500 South Carolina Native Americans, the majority were Yamasee Indians. Barwell arrived in North Carolina in January of 1712 and his force successfully engaged with the In Tuscarora Indians. Resulting in the Tuscarora Indians and the state of North Carolina entering into a precarious peace treaty. Barnwell’s force disbanded, and the Congaree Indians returned home.   

The Yamasee War between the Yamasee Indians and the English colonists of South Carolina broke out in 1715. The Yamasee Indians allied with other Native American tribes in the efforts against the colonist. The Congaree allied with the Yamasee against the South Carolina colonist with devastating consequences. The conflict resulted in half the Congaree Indians either dead or enslaved. John Barnwell documented that in 1715, the remaining Congaree living in only one village totaled 22 men, 70 women and children.

Shortly after 1715, the surviving Congaree Indians integrated with the Catawba Indians. Within the Catawba people, the Congaree Indians maintained their tribal distinction until the late 1700s. As a separate tribe, the Congaree Indians became extinct as their descendants intermarried with the Catawba Indians and other Native American peoples.

There have been three Native American archaeological sites discovered around Cayce, the Manning Archeological Site, the SAM Site, and the Taylor Site. 

In 1718, the British colonial government established a trading post along the Congaree River by the Cherokee Path in present-day Cayce. Today, U.S. Highway 378 roughly follows the old Cherokee Path. The trading post would eventually be called Granby, and a town with that name would develop around the trading post. European settlers, primarily comprised of German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss immigrants, started arriving in the area around this same time period.  

Before counties were established after the American Revolution, South Carolina had around a dozen patchwork quilt “townships” scattered around the state. Most of these townships were formed in 1730. The township of Congaree was formed at this time, Granby and present-day Cayce fell within the borders of this township. In 1735, the Congaree Township’s name was changed to the Saxe-Gotha Township. After the American Revolution in 1785, the South Carolina legislature created counties. Saxe-Gotha Township was dissolved, and this area fell within the much larger borders of Lexington County.  

While the early settlers to the area were primarily German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss extraction, Scots-Irish immigrants began to arrive around the middle of the 18th century. Also, during this time, Pennsylvania Dutch began to move into the area. Saxe-Gotha Township’s population in 1759 is estimated to have been between 800 and 900. These early settlers were mainly subsistence farmers. Subsistence farming eventually gave way to larger, more prosperous farms that generated excess production and cash crops. Cash crops being farm production cultivated solely for the market. Around the turn of the 19th century, with the recent invention of the cotton gin, cotton cultivation became a major cash crop for the farmers in the area and the entire region.   

During the American Revolution in 1780, the British established Fort Granby, which was located within present-day Cayce. The basis of this fort was the two-story house and trading post known as the Congaree Store built-in 1765. The British built an earthwork redoubt all around the trading post, surrounding this with a trench filled with sharpened logs protruding outward as an additional deterrent to would-be assaulters. The fort was garrisoned with around 350 men; while there were regular British soldiers and sixty Hessians (German) dragoons (Cavalry), the majority of the men were Loyalists to the Crown.

Continental Army Lieutenant Colonel Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee III, in May of 1781, laid siege to Fort Granby. The fort was under the command of Loyalist Major Andrew Maxwell. Lee began the siege with consistent infantry musket fire with additional support provided a six-pound cannon. On May 15, 1781, Major Maxwell consented to a conditional surrender of the garrison if he were allowed to keep two wagons full of his personal property, presumed looted from Patriots. The prisoners were eventually exchanged for Patriot prisoners of war in Charleston. Fort Granby was abandoned shortly thereafter by the Patriot forces. The only remains of Fort Granby are archaeological on the original site. The Cayce Historical Museum has a replica of the Granby trading post home. https://caycesc.gov/museum.php

With the population growth and the additional commerce generated by agriculture, Granby continued to grow and became the county seat when Lexington County was established in 1785. The town of Granby became the largest town within the county. Lexington County’s first courthouse was located in Granby. The Lexington settlement was originally known as the “Lexington Courthouse.” During the early 1800s, Granby became subject to flooding because of the clearing of farmland for cotton cultivation upstream of the Congaree River. The county seat and courthouse were moved to the newly created Lexington settlement in 1820 because of this persistent flooding.

Cayce Historic Population Per the U.S. Census

1920 746 —

1930 1,267 69.8%

1940 1,476 16.5%

1950 3,294 123.2%

1960 8,517 158.6%

1970 9,967 17.0%

1980 11,701 17.4%

1990 11,163 −4.6%

2000 12,150 8.8%

2010 12,528 3.1%

2019 14,009 (est.) 11.8%

Key Population Aspects of Cayce Per the U.S. Census Bureau: 

Population per 2010 Census: 12,528

Male population: 48.1%

Female population: 51.9%

Population under 18 years: 16.5%

Population 65 years & over: 13.8%

High school graduate or higher 2015-2019: 94.5%

Bachelor’s degree or higher 2015-2019: 34.2%

Median home value 2015-2019: $129,900

Owner-occupied: 53.3%  

Total households 2015-2019: 6,017

The City of Cayce had 923 businesses or firms within the city limits as of the 2012 U.S. Census.

Cayce

Nestled between Lexington and Richland Counties, along the banks of the Congaree River, Cayce is a small city boasting rural charm with the proximity to all the conveniences of Columbia.

The City of Cayce, South Carolina, is located mainly in Lexington County, with a portion in Richland County. 

Cayce’s city slogan is “A new kind of city.”   

Location – Latitude: 33°57′48″N, Longitude: 81°4′0″W. Cayce’s zip codes are 29033, 29169, 29170, 29172, 29201, and 29209. The telephone area codes for Cayce are 803 and 839.

The city’s name “Cayce” derives from the last name of a prominent local family. The Cayce family, in 1817, purchase the trading post/house that had once been Fort Granby during the American Revolution. The trading post/house was used as a private family residence after the family purchased the home. William “Uncle Billy” James Cayce Sr. (1864 – 1949) operated a general store for close to 50 years near the Seaboard Railroad in an area known as Cayce Crossing. This general store was in the heart of what would be incorporated as the city in 1914. The Cayce name was selected by the citizens of the new city. 

 

The estimated population for Cayce for 2019, per the U.S. Census Bureau, was 14,009. Cayce has a total area of 16.65 square miles, per the 2010 U.S. Census Bureau. Cayce falls within the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which includes the counties of Lexington, Richland, Calhoun, Fairfield, Kershaw, and Saluda. Cayce, considering population intensity, is the fourth-largest municipality in the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area. The estimated Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area total population for 2020 was 847,397. Greenville, South Carolina’s MSA, is the largest within the state, with the Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area being second. The Columbia Metropolitan Statistical Area is the 69th largest, as measured by population, in the United States.

A Brief Historical Overview of Cayce & the Surrounding Area / 

Part One – Through 1800 

Spanish explorer Hernando de Soto was the first European to document what eventually became the greater Columbia area. Landing just south of what would become Tampa, Florida in 1539, de Soto launched his deep exploration of what, in around 250 years, would become the United States of America. Arriving in nine ships loaded with 220 horses and around 600 men, de Soto, from Tampa his expedition marched north. De Soto was in a quest for a land route to China and treasure.

This expedition became the most penetrating of the future mainland United States up until this time. De Soto and his expedition members were brutal and showed little mercy to many of the Native American inhabitants they encountered along the way.  The expedition is well documented in a number of works. Most often cited are the semi-anonymous writings of a Gentleman of Elvas, apparently a member of the great expedition. His writings were first published in 1557. Luys Hernández de Biedma’s report of the expedition is often cited as well. This report was completed in 1544 and most notably documented the Native Americans encountered and the route.  The diary of Rodrigo Ranjel, De Soto’s secretary, was the foundation of Gonzalo Fernández de Oviedo y Valdés writing of La historia general y natural de las Indias, published in 1851. Ranjel’s diary has been lost to history and can no longer be used as a source document. 

De Soto marched the expedition through Florida, Georgia, on into South Carolina. Native Americans in Georgia reported that vast amounts of gold and treasure could be found at the Cofitachequi chiefdom in the midlands of  South Carolina. Because of the expedition’s merciless treatment of the Native Americans in their line of march, it is safe to assume that these people would tell them whatever they wanted to hear to induce the expedition to leave. De Soto apparently traversed into South Carolina primarily in search of gold and other treasure. 

The Cofitachequi chiefdom was comprised of Muskogean-speaking Indians who lived in the lands between the Santee, Wateree, and Pee Dee rivers. In April of 1540, de Soto arrived at the confluence of the Broad and Saluda rivers, which merge to form the Congaree River. De Soto is noted to have encountered a large Native American village on the Congaree River. This large Native American village is speculated to have been within present-day Cayce. From here de Soto’s expedition  moved onto the capital of the Cofitachequi chiefdom, a village referred to as “Talimeco.” This village is surmised to have been near present-day Camden. 

The Cayce area was inhabited by the Congaree Indians who lived along the Congaree River in the 1600s. The Congaree (Also spelled Conagree) Indians were a people not of a Siouan language origin. As with most Native American people who had not built up any immunity to European diseases, the Congaree was ravaged by smallpox. Smallpox and other European diseases were first introduced to the Native American population by explorers and traders. The Congaree Indians, by 1700, had been brought almost to the level of extinction by smallpox. 

In 1701, the English explorer John Lawson, on his expedition of the Carolina backcountry, encountered the remaining Congaree Indians. Lawson documented his encounter in A New Voyage to Carolina, published in 1709. Note that Lawson spells Congaree as “Congeree,” in this work. His explicit portrait of the Congaree Indians from his published work, “The Congerees are kind and affable to the English, the Queen being very kind, giving us what Rarities her Cabin afforded…These are a very comely Sort of Indians, there being a strange Difference in the Proportion and Beauty of these Heathens.” Lawson goes on to document that the Congaree were small in number, about a dozen houses in the village, because of intertribal disputes and smallpox.

Legendary South Carolina colonist, planter, and Indian fighter Colonel John Barnwell, also known as “Tuscarora Jack” and “Tuscarora John,” recruited the Congaree Indians to fight along with other Native American tribes against the Tuscarora Indians in the Tuscarora War of 1711. Colonel Barnwell led a contingent of thirty white South Carolina colonial militia officers along with around 500 allied Native Americans to North Carolina in late 1711. Of the approximate 500 South Carolina Native Americans, the majority were Yamasee Indians. Barwell arrived in North Carolina in January of 1712 and his force successfully engaged with the In Tuscarora Indians. Resulting in the Tuscarora Indians and the state of North Carolina entering into a precarious peace treaty. Barnwell’s force disbanded, and the Congaree Indians returned home.   

The Yamasee War between the Yamasee Indians and the English colonists of South Carolina broke out in 1715. The Yamasee Indians allied with other Native American tribes in the efforts against the colonist. The Congaree allied with the Yamasee against the South Carolina colonist with devastating consequences. The conflict resulted in half the Congaree Indians either dead or enslaved. John Barnwell documented that in 1715, the remaining Congaree living in only one village totaled 22 men, 70 women and children.

Shortly after 1715, the surviving Congaree Indians integrated with the Catawba Indians. Within the Catawba people, the Congaree Indians maintained their tribal distinction until the late 1700s. As a separate tribe, the Congaree Indians became extinct as their descendants intermarried with the Catawba Indians and other Native American peoples.

There have been three Native American archaeological sites discovered around Cayce, the Manning Archeological Site, the SAM Site, and the Taylor Site. 

In 1718, the British colonial government established a trading post along the Congaree River by the Cherokee Path in present-day Cayce. Today, U.S. Highway 378 roughly follows the old Cherokee Path. The trading post would eventually be called Granby, and a town with that name would develop around the trading post. European settlers, primarily comprised of German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss immigrants, started arriving in the area around this same time period.  

Before counties were established after the American Revolution, South Carolina had around a dozen patchwork quilt “townships” scattered around the state. Most of these townships were formed in 1730. The township of Congaree was formed at this time, Granby and present-day Cayce fell within the borders of this township. In 1735, the Congaree Township’s name was changed to the Saxe-Gotha Township. After the American Revolution in 1785, the South Carolina legislature created counties. Saxe-Gotha Township was dissolved, and this area fell within the much larger borders of Lexington County.  

While the early settlers to the area were primarily German Lutherans and German-speaking Swiss extraction, Scots-Irish immigrants began to arrive around the middle of the 18th century. Also, during this time, Pennsylvania Dutch began to move into the area. Saxe-Gotha Township’s population in 1759 is estimated to have been between 800 and 900. These early settlers were mainly subsistence farmers. Subsistence farming eventually gave way to larger, more prosperous farms that generated excess production and cash crops. Cash crops being farm production cultivated solely for the market. Around the turn of the 19th century, with the recent invention of the cotton gin, cotton cultivation became a major cash crop for the farmers in the area and the entire region.   

During the American Revolution in 1780, the British established Fort Granby, which was located within present-day Cayce. The basis of this fort was the two-story house and trading post known as the Congaree Store built-in 1765. The British built an earthwork redoubt all around the trading post, surrounding this with a trench filled with sharpened logs protruding outward as an additional deterrent to would-be assaulters. The fort was garrisoned with around 350 men; while there were regular British soldiers and sixty Hessians (German) dragoons (Cavalry), the majority of the men were Loyalists to the Crown.

Continental Army Lieutenant Colonel Henry “Light-Horse Harry” Lee III, in May of 1781, laid siege to Fort Granby. The fort was under the command of Loyalist Major Andrew Maxwell. Lee began the siege with consistent infantry musket fire with additional support provided a six-pound cannon. On May 15, 1781, Major Maxwell consented to a conditional surrender of the garrison if he were allowed to keep two wagons full of his personal property, presumed looted from Patriots. The prisoners were eventually exchanged for Patriot prisoners of war in Charleston. Fort Granby was abandoned shortly thereafter by the Patriot forces. The only remains of Fort Granby are archaeological on the original site. The Cayce Historical Museum has a replica of the Granby trading post home. https://caycesc.gov/museum.php

With the population growth and the additional commerce generated by agriculture, Granby continued to grow and became the county seat when Lexington County was established in 1785. The town of Granby became the largest town within the county. Lexington County’s first courthouse was located in Granby. The Lexington settlement was originally known as the “Lexington Courthouse.” During the early 1800s, Granby became subject to flooding because of the clearing of farmland for cotton cultivation upstream of the Congaree River. The county seat and courthouse were moved to the newly created Lexington settlement in 1820 because of this persistent flooding.

Cayce Historic Population Per the U.S. Census

1920 746 —

1930 1,267 69.8%

1940 1,476 16.5%

1950 3,294 123.2%

1960 8,517 158.6%

1970 9,967 17.0%

1980 11,701 17.4%

1990 11,163 −4.6%

2000 12,150 8.8%

2010 12,528 3.1%

2019 14,009 (est.) 11.8%

Key Population Aspects of Cayce Per the U.S. Census Bureau: 

Population per 2010 Census: 12,528

Male population: 48.1%

Female population: 51.9%

Population under 18 years: 16.5%

Population 65 years & over: 13.8%

High school graduate or higher 2015-2019: 94.5%

Bachelor’s degree or higher 2015-2019: 34.2%

Median home value 2015-2019: $129,900

Owner-occupied: 53.3%  

Total households 2015-2019: 6,017

The City of Cayce had 923 businesses or firms within the city limits as of the 2012 U.S. Census.

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