Population: 3,282 Average real estate: $82,300

Why Estill, SC

A small town with a big history, Estill is a friendly rural town situated in the delightful lowcountry of South Carolina.

This welcoming pastoral town is located in the southern half of South Carolina’s Hampton County, also known as the “Watermelon Capital.” Hampton County is a major producer of the summer fruit and their annual Watermelon Festival is South Carolina’s oldest continuing festival dating back to 1939. 

Thanks to a warm, mild climate, corn and cotton grow easily in Estill and bring in the most revenue for this farming town. The great weather also brings many people outdoors with activities such as walking and running, fishing and hunting and playing or watching community sports.


Estill is named in honor of Colonel James Holbrook Estill who helped bring promotional development to the town with his company’s construction of railroad tracks.

Estill began as a small community called Lawtonville and was founded by William (Billy) Cuyler Johnson Jr. who gave the railroad a 100-foot right-of-way through the town. He also donated 50 acres for the community’s depot and station.

The town was later incorporated in 1905 and named Estill in honor of Colonel James Holbrook Estill. As the President of Southbound Holdings Company, an adjunct of the Southbound Railroad, he helped bring promotional development to the town when railroad tracks were constructed to connect Augusta to Savannah, Georgia.

Set against charming farms, Estill is home to historic monuments like the John Lawton House and majestic churches like Lawtonville Baptist Church, both on the National Register of Historic Places.

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