During the Civil War, Caroline Rucker Cayce opened the doors of the house to soldiers and travelers making the journey to and from the lowcountry. The coming of the railroads in the nineteenth century gave birth to the modern city of Cayce.
(Lexington County; 2020 pop. 13,994). Cayce encompasses approximately fifteen square miles on the Congaree River opposite Columbia. The city is the descendant of the colonial trading village of Granby. In 1817 the Cayce family made the former Fort Granby their private residence, and it eventually came to be known as the Cayce House. During the Civil War, Caroline Rucker Cayce opened the doors of the house to soldiers and travelers making the journey to and from the lowcountry. The coming of the railroads in the nineteenth century gave birth to the modern city of Cayce. The area at that time was known as Cayce Crossing. In 1914 when the town was incorporated, the name Cayce was chosen to honor “Uncle Billy,” who owned the general store. That same year the Cayce family built a new home in what was becoming downtown and moved there to be closer to the center of town and the family’s general store.
By 1940 Cayce had become predominantly a railroad town. With the jobs and payroll they generated, railroads made a substantial contribution to the city for many years. Both the Southern and the Seaboard Railroads handled passengers and mail. In addition to the railroads, lumberyards, a quarry, and a fertilizer plant were the principal places of employment. During the 1940s and 1950s the city experienced phenomenal growth, sharing in the expansion of the Columbia metropolitan area after World War II. By the 1950s the new McMillan (Blossom Street) Bridge was built to better connect this thriving suburb to the capital city.
During the 1960s and 1970s the center of Cayce’s business moved along Knox Abbott Drive. A new City Hall complex was built to accommodate Cayce’s growing needs. A modern public safety building was added to house its growing fire department and award-winning police department. Cayce was becoming home to many large and small businesses, with restaurant chains and shopping centers built in ever increasing numbers. The granite quarry and railroads remained major industries along with a large steel mill, a concrete pipe manufacturing plant, distribution centers, and manufacturing facilities. The creation of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport played a part in Cayce’s growth. In the late 1980s a group of dedicated citizens built the Cayce Historical Museum. Opened in April 1991, the museum became an important educational and cultural resource. Growth continued into the twenty-first century, and commercial development on both sides of the Congaree continued to drive the expansion of the “City by the River.”
Scott, Edwin J. Random Recollections of a Long Life, 1806 to 1876. 1884. Reprint, Columbia, S.C.: R. L. Bryan, 1969.