Hardeeville

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Below is some general information about Hardeeville:

Hardeeville is a city in Jasper and Beaufort counties in the U.S. state of South Carolina. The population was 3,772 in 2012 based on estimates from the U.S. Census Bureau. Hardeeville is included within the Hilton Head Island-Bluffton-Beaufort Metropolitan Statistical Area. For many years, Hardeeville billed itself as the Lowcountry Host due to the prevalence of lodging facilities along U.S. Highway 17 and later Interstate 95. In recent years, the city has expanded its economic focus due to population growth pressures and new opportunities. Hardeeville was among the fastest growing cities in the Southeast in the 2000s as new and proposed development began to take shape. From 2000 to 2010, the city’s population grew nearly 65 percent. Over that same time period the city limits expanded from 4.5 miles to just under 50 square miles in size due to annexation of large tracts for future development.

The earliest European settlement in the region was Purrysburg, a former Swiss Huguenot and German settlement founded in 1732 on the banks of the Savannah River, about two miles northwest of the current city’s center. The settlement ultimately failed as disease and competition from growing Savannah proved too much for the local settlers to overcome. Many left the immediate area, moving elsewhere in the Lowcountry region or upriver to the new communities of Augusta and Hamburg, though some remained. The area saw some skirmishes between Union and Confederate forces during the Civil War. The Charleston and Savannah Railway was considered a prized possession and major strategic goal for Union forces. In an effort to defend the railroad, the Battle of Honey Hill was one of the last battles won by southern forces in late 1864, shortly before General William Sherman attacked South Carolina after his March to the Sea in Georgia.

The area within the city was settled in the 19th century by Isaac Hardee, a native North Carolinean. Through his son William White Hardee’s efforts, a depot and general store along the Charleston to Savannah railway opened up. This depot and the surrounding areas became collectively known as Hardee’s Station, and eventually as Hardeeville at the town’s founding in 1911. The area became renowned for its timber operations with the Argent Lumber Company, which had one of the largest logging operations in the world centered around the town. Unique to the area was the swamp logging procedure that was utilized, which made operations far more treacherous than standard logging. 3 ft narrow gauge railroads were constructed to help deliver timber to a processing area, where the lumber would be lifted onto standard-gauge rail cars or trucks headed to all parts of North America. As a tribute to Argent’s impact on the community, the city was donated an H.K. Porter 2-8-0 steam locomotive, Argent Lumber Company Number 7, for display in 1960. Growth continued at a modest pace throughout the rest of the 20th century, though timbering operations were gradually scaled back as overseas lands became more sought after due to lower costs and more standard logging procedures. In spite of the decline of the logging industry, the construction of U.S. Route 17 and later Interstate 95 provided a new type of commerce; motorist services such as motels, restaurants, and gas stations. The development of Hilton Head Island as a resort destination had a further impact on the community, with an additional interstate exit providing greater commercial opportunity and affordable costs of living for service employees who moved to the city. At the start of the 21st century, development pressures along U.S. Route 278 corridor became a central concern for city leaders. In response, Hardeeville began to annex large undeveloped parcels of land that were previously held by timbering and paper concerns. These annexations were done in order to guide new growth into larger planned developments, increasing the city limits from 5 square miles in 2000 to over 50 square miles in 2010. In 2004, Core Communities became the first company to sign a development agreement with the city and began constructing Tradition Hilton Head. In the following years, other developments have begun or announced plans at developing in these areas. Although the recession beginning in late 2007 had significantly slowed down the pace of development, the city has continued to grow due to continuous commitments from existing developers, and new investment related to industrial and commercial opportunities. These investments have allowed the city to make improvements to its existing areas in the form of streetscaping projects, improved community facilities, and general reinvestment.

Hardeeville’s weekly newspaper of record is Hardeeville Today, which is a subsidiary of the Savannah Morning News. Other local newspapers that serve the community include the Jasper County Sun, and the Island Packet. The city of Hardeeville also owns and operates a public affairs channel that can be seen on Hargray cable services. Broadcast channels shown on local services originate in the Savannah market. Through the city’s recreation department, youth and adult athletics are sponsored year-round. Activities include football, flag football, basketball, softball, soccer, and cheerleading. Most recreational events take place at the city’s recreation complex located behind City Hall. The city is currently home to the University of South Carolina Beaufort Sand Sharks baseball and softball teams. The Sand Sharks have played at the Richard Gray Baseball Complex since 2008 and will continue games at the facility until a new facility is built on the USCB’s south campus in Beaufort County. The city is home to several Christian denominations, with most churches located in the downtown area. Other religious faiths have houses of worship in surrounding communities, especially in Beaufort, Hilton Head, and Savannah.

The Hardeeville South Campus contains two public schools on-site: Hardeeville Elementary and Hardeeville-Ridgeland Middle School. The Ridgeland-Hardeeville High School located in Ridgeland receives high school students who live in the city and all of Jasper County. Additional schools are planned in the future through development agreements signed by private developers and the city. A fair number of schoolchildren living in and around Hardeeville attend Royal Live Oaks Academy of Arts & Sciences, a public charter school under the South Carolina Public Charter School District. Opened in August 2012, the school is just beyond the city limits and serves grades K-8. Abundant Life Academy, a private, Christian-affiliated K-12 school is also located just outside the city limits. Thomas Heyward Academy is another private school in northern Jasper County that some Hardeeville schoolchildren attend. The Hardeeville Community Library serves residents in Hardeeville and southern Jasper County. Two local institutions comprise the current extent of higher education in the Hardeeville area. Both the University of South Carolina Beaufort South Campus and the Technical College of the Lowcountry New River Campus are located just outside the city limits in Beaufort County.

Source: Hardeeville on Wikipedia