Ketchuptown – Horry County, South Carolina
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“Ketchuptown – The place to catch up on the news”
Ketchuptown is an unincorporated farming community located in Horry County at the intersection of SC 23 and 99, just north of Aynor. The town’s name has an interesting story behind it. During the 1920s, farmers who lived nearby would meet at Herbert “Hub” Small’s country store to “catch up on the news.” Shortly thereafter, a Saturday afternoon tradition of “catching up” became a town legend (and its name!)
According to the Horry County Historical Society, Hub Small purchased an acre of land in 1927 at the intersection of SC 23 and 99 for $100. He built a house and a small store there, where he sold clothes, food, ice, and hardware. The store was popular among farmers, not only for being the town hangout, but because long distance travel was very difficult back then. The roads were not paved and people traveled by horse, so having a store nearby was a necessity.
Small and his wife had four children, who took turns working in their family store. Their daughter Ruth, who still lives in Ketchuptown, recently recounted to the Horry County Historical Society a small anecdote from her childhood. Ruth said that she enjoyed drawing the letter ‘k’ and would often sketch the word “Ketchuptown” while she was working in the store. The spelling caught on, and eventually the store and community were known as ‘Ketchuptown.’
Hub Small died in 1949 and his wife continued to run the store. The dirt roads were paved shortly after, and people began traveling to Mullins for their needs instead of shopping at the country store. Eventually it closed, but this does not mean that Ketchuptown ceased to exist. You can still find it on maps at the intersection of SC 23 and 99.
Contributor Bryan Barnhill, who lives in Ketchuptown, says that the old family farms in his town are a big part of South Carolina’s history.
Address: SC Highway 319, Ketchuptown, SC 29581
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