Established in 1888, the town of Latta emerged from a need to connect train tracks across the Atlantic Coast Line Railroad. Robert J. Latta, a surveyor from York County, orchestrated the construction of the railroad as well as created blueprints for the town itself. Thus, the town was named after him.
Settlers were drawn to the area after the completion of the railroad because farmers and merchants could easily transport their goods across the southeast. Decades later, Latta became another hotspot for traffic after the completion of Highways 501 and 301. LaFon LeGette, Jr., a longtime resident of Latta, remembers when the little town had a big influx of guests, saying, “Latta is about halfway from New York to Miami and people would try to make it in two days, so Latta was a good stopping place.”
Today, travelers may find that Latta is still an excellent stopping point, off the beaten path. Abingdon Manor Inn is a luxury country inn and restaurant that’s been in business for over twenty-five years. Being one of only eleven four-diamond restaurants in South Carolina, it could be just what travelers are looking for, when resting their weary eyes. Owner, Michael Griffey, describes it as, “a civilized break on I-95 between the northeast and Florida, it’s not staying at a road-side motel, you’re not eating at fast-food places, and if you want to get out of your car and stretch, this is the kind of place to do that.”
Latta’s Main Street has a number of unique businesses, if you plan on staying overnight. Ed Heyes, Chairman of the Latta Revitalization Commission, is working on making Latta a better place, one step a time. “There’s a lot of people who want to see this town grow,” says Heyes. “We are getting new businesses downtown, and I think the general attitude of the people in Latta is positivity to get things rolling.” It’s easy to see how proud the community is of their little town.