About Chesterfield County
Chesterfield County is in the northeast section of South Carolina’s Pee Dee region. The town of Chesterfield is the county seat, with the towns of Cheraw, Pageland and McBee anchoring the county to the east, west and south, respectively. The towns of Jefferson, Mount Croghan, Patrick and Ruby also are within the county’s boundaries.
Chesterfield County has a strong and diversified industrial base. Produced in the county are steel wire, bearings, air bags, water pumps, lumber and tools, which complement the textile industry that has served the community for so long. Agriculture is still an important part of the county, as McBee is known as one of the largest peach-producing areas in South Carolina. A large state forest and national forest dominate the south-central areas of the county.
A community with deep roots in history, evidence of the Civil War and the American Revolution can be experienced in Chesterfield County. Cheraw is the home of the famous jazz musician Dizzy Gillespie.
Festivals in Chesterfield County include Cheraw’s Spring Festival, in the fall Chesterfield’s Olde Towne Festival and the Ruby Jubilee, and in the summer Patrick’s Pine Straw Festival and Pageland’s Watermelon Festival.
ABOUT THE CHRONICLE
For 128 years, The Cheraw Chronicle and The Chesterfield Advertiser served the people of Chesterfield County as their primary source of news, as well as a guide to satisfy the community’s appetite for goods and services through advertising of local merchants.
The newspaper closed on Dec. 31, 2015 after publishing the final issue of its 128th year. Click here to read the Chronicle’s coverage of its closure and the legacy it leaves behind.
The Cheraw Chronicle traces its heritage back to 1887, but some of its most important days were in the 1950s and ’60s when the Editor/Publisher Andrew McDowd Secrest was an outspoken opponent of segregation and courageous advocate of integration.
“While everyone seemed to be all for a free press,” Secrest writes,“ when their particular ox was gored, they then, of course, wanted to shoot the messenger. I was, literally and figuratively, shot at.”
“I operated the Chronicle as a throw-back to the 19th century penny press: personal, partisan, combative, sometimes subjective…”
In his book, he lays out a number of “journalistic commandments” and principles he was guided by.
For 15 years, the Chronicle under Secrest’s leadership stood for both racial justice and law and order, firmly against demagogic leaders trying to whip up racial tension and animosity. While Strom Thurmond and his supporters were attempting to outlaw the NAACP, infringe upon academic freedom, shut down schools, parks, and public accommodations and facilities in an effort to avoid integration, Secrest editorially spoke out strongly against such regressive and reactionary actions.
The paper went through a series of owners in the ’70s and ’80s until it was purchased by Community Newspapers, Inc.
The paper was purchased by Heartland Publications on Sept. 1, 2006. Heartland later merged with three other media companies to form Civitas Media, which publishes more than 100 community newspapers in 11 states.