As the city of Loris turns 120 years old, longtime residents and business owners are celebrating their home as a place with a smalltown feel that is looking toward more growth in the coming years.
Despite celebrating its official 120th birthday soon, the history of the city of Loris dates back further than its official incorporation with the state in 1902.
The town officially received its name Loris in 1887 after the land was purchased by the railroad constructing Chadbourn Lumber Company as the site of a railroad depot, according to the Loris Chamber of Commerce.
The railroad community was supposedly named by the Chadbourn family, but the exact origins of the name are the subject of mystery. Some say the town was named after a beloved family dog, whereas others say the name comes from a novel.
Todd Harrelson, mayor of Loris and lifetime resident, said his roots as a person stem from his childhood in Loris, along with all of the local people and uptown business he spent time around.
“It’s not just the city of Loris, it’s all of the people and communities around Loris that help us be who we are,” Harrelson said.
In recent years, downtown Loris has seen a boon in small, locally owned businesses, according to longtime Loris resident Victorious Stevens.
“There are more and more small businesses,” Stevens said. “I’ve been up here and they’re doing well because people here are shopping. We support our hometown businesses. And there’s chains like McDonalds, but the hometown business is always your real friend.”
Downtown business owner Anthony Clark of Drip Bag & Clothing Boutique said the community was a “nice, family oriented town that takes care of its own.”
As the town approaches its 120th birthday on July 26, the city of Loris is planning to hold an open-to-all birthday party for the city organized by the Loris Chamber of Commerce, said Samanatha Norris with the chamber.
The party will be open to the public at 9 a.m., and will have refreshments, Norris said.
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