McCormick enters HGTV’S “Home Town Takeover” contest


McCORMICK, SC – (McCormick Messenger)

The McCormick County Chamber of Commerce and a group of passionate citizens has submitted McCormick as a candidate for HGTV’s “Home Town Takeover hosted by a young couple Erin and Ben Napier of Laurel, Mississippi. The show is a spin-off of the HGTV show “Home Town” and is scheduled to air in 2021.

The six-episode series will chronicle the Napier’s ambitious intent to breathe new life and purpose into “small town America,” drawing on each town’s local color including history, economic influences, and traditions.

Private and public spaces will be considered for makeovers including homes, parks, main streets, and significant historical structures. Any small town (population less than 40,000) across American can be considered.

That brings us to McCormick, South Carolina. A small town – approximately 1,500 town residents within the city limits.

After Billy Dorn discovered gold here in 1852, a settlement dubbed “Dorn’s Mines” formed. Years later, reaper inventor, Cyrus McCormick purchased the mines and influenced the railroad to route through town – a terrific economic benefit for this cotton-based agricultural area. Dorn’s Mines changed to ‘McCormick’ when it was incorporated in 1882.

Decades following the 50’s resulted in decreasing land values and declining population, a fate shared by many rural southern towns. As you might realize, the financial hit is most relevant on our dimmed Main Street in McCormick. While our city is experiencing a reconstruction streetscaping and with influences like the MACK (McCormick Arts Council at the Keturah) we still need help.

More than a few buildings (commercial and homes) are vacant…. maybe maintained, maybe not. Owners are either absent or are unable financially to effect extensive repairs.

Trains still come pounding through – but they no longer stop.

McCormick Community pulls out all the stops for HGTV.

A group of very dedicated residents and Chamber staff worked diligently to organize a rally which was filmed and photographed to be included in a video submitted to HGTV Home Town Takeover. The rally was held at the MACK park and a large crowd of citizens, McCormick High School Band, and cheerleaders, local barbershop quartet, and town mayor turned up to participate and let HGTV know how wonderful the community of McCormick is.

It is the McCormick’s commitment and perseverance that has continued to inspire our small town, as they fought through the many challenges documented in our video. Our video will also show you the many community efforts over the last few decades to restore buildings, obtain National Registry status for others, and to provide both cultural, artistic and essential services to a disadvantaged town.

We want Ben and Erin to know our sleeves are rolled up, and ready and willing to participate in this process, and hope they choose McCormick, South Carolina for the Home Town Takeover.

You can view the McCormick video on our Chamber’s Facebook page: then Like and Share the HGTV video posted on February 7, 2020.

This story first appeared in The McCormick Messenger.

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