Blythewood – Blythewood, South Carolina

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The town of Blythewood was once known as Doko for its former Doko Depot, a popular stop along the railway between Columbia and Charlotte, North Carolina. Legend has it that “Doko” is a Native American word meaning “watering place,” and Doko Depot indeed supplied trains with water necessary for steam engines.

Blythewood Visitors Center

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Like many South Carolina railroads at the end of the Civil War, the Columbia-Charlotte Railway was destroyed in 1865 by General Sherman. However, unlike many towns dependent on these railways, Doko was able to rebuild – and survive. The town changed its name to Blythewood in 1877 – a name taken from a local school, the Blythewood Female Institute – and was incorporated in 1879. Today Blythewood prides itself on its history and tradition, and its Visitor Center (pictured above) introduces people to Blythewood, past and present. The center operates from its home in the Langford-Nord House, deeded to the town by former owner Cindy Nord in May of 2011.

Blythewood Town Hall

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Another former residence, the Hoffman House, serves the town for public use. Now Blythewood’s city hall, Hoffman House is the oldest building remaining in the town. The home was built in 1855, three years after the completion of the Columbia-Charlotte Railway. The home’s first owner, George Hoffman, was a successful planter and businessman. Records show that in 1860 his inventory included six slaves working 34 acres of land, and later he owned and operated a sawmill. The Hoffman House is listed in the National Register.

Blythewood Town Hall Marker

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The marker dedicated to Hoffman House is a fairly recent addition. Eighth grade students from Blythewood Middle School conducted research on the house as part of a South Carolina history project. While working with an archivist from the University of South Carolina, the students composed the body of information that can be read on the marker. After raising enough funds to add a marker to the Hoffman House, the students dedicated it in May of 2007.

Blythewood Store

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Some of Blythewood’s history can be experienced in unlikely venues. South Carolina Picture Project contributor Jim Jenkins tells us that the store pictured above was once known as “De Sto” and was the hotspot in Blythewood for penny candy. Today it is a children’s store, still bringing smiles to the children of Blythewood.

Blythewood Civic Center Pond

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

The Blythewood Civic Center (pictured above and below) – also known as The Manor – is a modern venue for community events, but many of Blyethwood’s cultural activities are held outside in equestrian centers. The practice facility for the University of South Carolina Equestrian Team is in Blythewood, and several United States Olympic equestrian teams have trained in Blythewood as well.

Blythewood Civic Center

James (Jim) Jenkins of Chesterfield, 2013 © Do Not Use Without Written Consent

Reflections on Blythewood

Jim Jenkins shares this memory about “De Sto”: “This store currently sells children’s clothes and toys. For many years it was a local favorite of children and families in the community. I hope viewers will add their rememberances to this location.”

Add your own reflections here.

Blythewood Map

Blythewood – Add Info and More Photos

The purpose of the South Carolina Picture Project is to celebrate the beauty of the Palmetto State and create a permanent digital repository for our cultural landmarks and natural landscapes. We invite you to add additional pictures (paintings, photos, etc) of Blythewood, and we also invite you to add info, history, stories, and travel tips. Together, we hope to build one of the best and most loved SC resources in the world!

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2 Comments about Blythewood

Martha JonesNo Gravatar says:
October 22nd, 2013 at 8:18 am

Thank you, Mr. Jenkins, for your beautiful photos and descriptions. Blythewood is a terrific little town with a bounty of history and a wonderfully bright future!

J. Michael RossNo Gravatar says:
October 20th, 2013 at 5:28 am

Proud to be the Mayor of this beautiful town. Mr. Jenkins did a great job with pictures and descriptions of our new and historical sites!


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