In 1735, the
colonial government of King George II
established eleven townships in backcountry
South Carolina, to encourage settlement, and to
provide a buffer between Native American tribes
to the West and colonial plantations in the
Lowcountry. The townships included one named
Saxe Gotha, which flourished with major crops of
corn, wheat, tobacco, hemp, and flax, as well as
beeswax and livestock.
The Battle of Tarrar Springs was fought nearby
on November 16, 1781. In 1785, Saxe Gotha was
replaced with Lexington County, in commemoration
of the Battles of Lexington and Concord in
Massachusetts. The county's first courthouse was
built in Granby, but chronic flooding forced the
courthouse to move in 1820 to its present
location, establishing the community of
Lexington Courthouse. The community was
incorporated as the Town of Lexington in 1861.
In 1865 Union Army forces destroyed the
courthouse and many buildings in the town. But
local farms and the lumber industry helped
stabilize the economy after Reconstruction. The
town grew due to the Columbia to Augusta
Railroad and the Lexington Textile Mill,
constructed in 1890.
Many current brick buildings were built in the
aftermath of severe fires in 1894 and 1916.