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Irmo

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City name is in Region name.

Understanding the History[edit]

In 1890, on Christmas Eve, the town of Irmo was chartered. The chartering of the town was in response to the anticipated opening of the railroad (CN&L) in 1891. The strange name of IRMO was a molding of the names of the two men who were most responsible in this new venture: Captain C.J. Iredell of Columbia and Henry C. Moseley of Prosperity. They will forever be remembered in the name of this 100+ year old town. Aside from farming, Irmo's very first industry was the Piedmont Land Improvement Company. The CN&L railroad obtained much of the lumber for the trestle woodwork. The first train service through Irmo began in July, 1890.

The location of Irmo was selected because a site approximately 10 miles from Columbia was needed for refueling of the wood-burning locomotives and water replenishment. The CN&L railroad chose the site of IRMO to be the refueling site and the name was formed by combining the first two letters of Captain C.J. Iredell (Secretary-Treasurer of the CN&L) and H.C. Moseley (President of the investment company and also the first president of the CN&L railroad). There is no record of the names (if any) that were rejected.

For 45 years or so Irmo was a small neighborly town. Originally one square mile in area! All surrounding the railroad as you can see in photos from the sky before the 1960's. All the homes and small shops gathered around the railroad was all Irmo was until after the 1940's when city people came in, and technology started sprouting up, and buildings were built further out from the railroad. It all started up rather quickly it seemed to some of the father's and first family's of Irmo. The mother's of Irmo didn't like that they were building pass the railroad. It was easier for children to get lost now since buildings well surpassed the railroad and behind the homes and shops. They used to be able to just go along a straight line the whole way. Irmo has certainly expanded since then and has slowly kept on growing. Though the middle of Irmo and it's town hall are all still right by the rail road, but Irmo is expanding all the time.

Of course, the railroad was the first and most important event in the history of Irmo, but the second most important event would have to be the construction of the Lake Murray Dam.

In February 1927, a water company in Lexington submitted a permit request to build a mile-and-a-half long earthen dam on the Saluda River. It was to be the the largest earthen dam in the world. . . no small endeavor. It would create a lake over 40 miles long and about 14 miles wide (78 square miles). It would flood over 50,000 acres and hold almost 800 billion gallons of water. The application was granted on July 8, 1927. The developers had to obtain over 1,100 different parcels of land that had over 5,000 people living on it (approximately 100,000 acres). Six schools, three churches, and 193 graveyards containing 2,323 graves were relocated to flood-free zones. Many other graves remain under the lake. Markers at Bethel Lutheran Church in White Rock and St. Michael's Lutheran Church on River Road bear the names of family members whose graves still lie at the lake-covered site of the original High Hill cemetery.

A large percentage of the land was covered by timber and supplied all of the lumber needs for the project. Thirty-seven sawmills were born with 2,000 employees that manufactured over 100 million board feet of lumber. All told, over 4,000 people were employed in the raising of the history making dam.

The first load of dirt was dumped on the site on September 21, 1927 and the last load of dirt was dumped on June 28, 1930. The dam covers 99 acres, 208 feet high and is 1,150 feet in width at the bottom, and 25 feet wide at the top. The intake towers required more than 636,000 bags of cement, 122,000 tons of stone and gravel, 62,000 tons of sand and almost 4,000 tons of steel plate.

The lake began filling on August 31, 1929 and reached the elevation of 290 feet by April of 1930. One woman who refused to move out of her house boasted that she could drink the water faster than it could rise. She was rescued as the lake level reached her house and eventually covered it up.

The name of Lake Murray was given in honor of William Spencer Murray of the Murray and Flood firm of New York City, designers of the project.

And in the 1980's Lake Murray Dam started expanding to a four-way road, and now the main road of Irmo is a 6 way. Thankfully, in the very heart of Irmo, they try to keep in down a notch and more country like with 7 original houses. In February 1927, a water company in Lexington submitted a permit request to build a mile-and-a-half long earthen dam on the Saluda River. It was to be the the largest earthen dam in the world. . . no small endeavor. It would create a lake over 40 miles long and about 14 miles wide (78 square miles). It would flood over 50,000 acres and hold almost 800 billion gallons of water. The application was granted on July 8, 1927. The developers had to obtain over 1,100 different parcels of land that had over 5,000 people living on it (approximately 100,000 acres). Six schools, three churches, and 193 graveyards containing 2,323 graves were relocated to flood-free zones. Many other graves remain under the lake. Markers at Bethel Lutheran Church in White Rock and St. Michael's Lutheran Church on River Road bear the names of family members whose graves still lie at the lake-covered site of the original High Hill cemetery.

A large percentage of the land was covered by timber and supplied all of the lumber needs for the project. Thirty-seven sawmills were born with 2,000 employees that manufactured over 100 million board feet of lumber. All told, over 4,000 people were employed in the raising of the history making dam.

The first load of dirt was dumped on the site on September 21, 1927 and the last load of dirt was dumped on June 28, 1930. The dam covers 99 acres, 208 feet high and is 1,150 feet in width at the bottom, and 25 feet wide at the top. The intake towers required more than 636,000 bags of cement, 122,000 tons of stone and gravel, 62,000 tons of sand and almost 4,000 tons of steel plate.

The lake began filling on August 31, 1929 and reached the elevation of 290 feet by April of 1930. One woman who refused to move out of her house boasted that she could drink the water faster than it could rise. She was rescued as the lake level reached her house and eventually covered it up.

The name of Lake Murray was given in honor of William Spencer Murray of the Murray and Flood firm of New York City, designers of the project.

In 1980, they started thinking of adding on to the bridge, and not until the last 90's did they get it approved,but when they did they completely built two more lanes on the road, and now have a 6-road on the main path of Irmo. In the heart of Irmo they still try to keep it like it used to be. They kept 7 original houses too. A very cozy down home sort of place with tree's almost like a roof in places.

In the year 2000, the census estimated 11,039 people living in Irmo.

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PARK: Located in the heart of Irmo, is a wonderfully safe and beautiful fairly new park. Adult, and kid friendly. There is a gazebo with electrical outlets for parties, bands, or personal needs (as in charging for devices or lighting etc.). Around the gazebo is surrounding seating and just off of the ground steps. Benches, and swings offer great comfortable seating. Tree's in lots of area's for that 'cool off' shade everyone needs after a game in the gleaming sun. Also a creek that leads into a crisp pond and fountain under the bridge. All in all a wonderful park. For deeper information click their towns' website- http://townofirmosc.jangostudios.biz/default.aspx

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