Summerville is a town in the U.S. state of South Carolina situated mostly in Dorchester County with small portions in Berkeley and Charleston counties. It is part of the Charleston-North Charleston-Summerville Metropolitan Statistical Area. The population of Summerville at the 2010 census was 43,392, and the estimated population was 44,719 as of July 1, 2013.
The first settlement in Summerville began following the American Revolutionary War; it was referred to as Pineland Village in 1785. Development in the area resulted from plantation owners who resided in the Charleston area, and who came to Summerville to escape seasonal insects and swamp fever.
Summerville became an official town in 1847. In that year, the town passed alaw against cutting down trees of particular sizes, the first of such laws in the United States, and a $25 fine was issued upon any who did so without permission. Today, the motto upon the town's official seal reads "Sacra Pinus Esto (The Pine is Sacred)."
In 1899, the International Congress of Physicians (or "Tuberculosis Congress") listed Summerville to be one of the two best areas in the world for treatment and recovery of lung and throat disorders. It received such notation due to its dry and sandy location, and the many pine trees in the area that release turpentine derivatives into the air. This notation is credited with aiding the commercial and residential development of Summerville.
The Ashley River Road, Middleton Place, Colonial Dorchester State Historic Site, Old White Meeting House Ruins and Cemetery, and theSummerville Historic District are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.