History of Varnville
When the Port Royal & Augusta Railroad was built, Dixie Station was established where a road from Hickory Hill community crossed the tracks. This is approximately 42 miles from Port Royal and 70 miles from Augusta, GA. Shortly afterwards, A. McBride Peeples laid out a town on the south side of the tracks straddling the road to Hickory Hill. The Varn brothers, who had a sawmill on the north side of the tracks and who had sold the Right of Way for the railroad, laid out a town on their side. The Varns prevailed and the Town of Varnville was born. Its post office opened in 1872.
Varnville's history is intertwined with the logging industry, agriculture and the railroad. The town seal was designed to incorporate its history visually. A Palmetto tree erect recalls the trees planted along the railroad by Varnville citizens under a Works Progress Administration program during the Great Depression of the 1930's. It is flanked by the inscription Pro Bono Oppidi Nostri, loosely translated "for the good of our town or our people." At its base, the railroad tracks, timber being sawed, logs, and pulpwood represent the town's origin and economy. Below appears 1872, the date the Varnville Post Office was established. A circular saw forms the outer circumference of the seal.
The town's civic organization, Varnville Community Council, published a history of the town's first 125 years in 1998. It consists of 432 pages of history, photos and references. For those interested, the book is available at the Varnville Town Hall for $25.00. There is an additional cost of $4.46 if mailed. This includes insurance on the book. You may order the book directly from Varnville Community Council, PO Box 707, Varnville, SC 29944.