Pageland | Olde English District

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Pageland (c. 1788; 4.4 sq. miles; population: 3,000).

Pageland Watermelon Festival

The area now known as Pageland has been continuously occupied since 1788. Reece Shelby, Sr., received a land grant of 300 acres and left Union County, North Carolina to live the remainder of his life in Chesterfield County. Reece and his brother, Moses, made their home in North Carolina after serving in the Revolutionary War.

By 1900, the area was called Blakeney’s Crossroads. It was then decided that the Cheraw-Lancaster Railroad would be laid near the cross road. A depot was erected when the railroad reached there in 1904 and it continued construction to the Crow/Burk area but never reached its destination at Lancaster. Soon after the railroad arrived, the town was born. Chesterfield Land & Development auctioned off lots and the lay out of the town was developed by an engineer.

The 157 inhabitants of the soon to be town petitioned for incorporation late in 1907 and was granted such on January 11, 1908. Adolphus High “Dolly” Page was the C&L Railroad engineer responsible for the railroads placement through Blakeney’s Crossroads. Pageland was named in honor of Mr. Page. Being at the crossroads, the town grew quickly and became a popular stopover for travelers. The Blakeney Hotel was built in 1910 and was the place to stay. It originally housed a bank, feed store, a casket shop, and the hotel. It was also know for its good food and the talking parrot.

Pageland continued its growth, and along the way, became known as the Watermelon Capital of the World. An annual celebration—the Pageland Watermelon Festival—was born in honor of the fruit and the farmers. Today, the festival continues each July, just when the melons start coming out of the fields. Thousands of visitors come to Pageland during the weekend event.