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Matheson Library


The first library in Chesterfield County was organized around 1800 in the town of Chatham, as Cheraw was known until 1821 when the town was issued a charter. There is no record of what happened to this first library, but in 1855 the Cheraw Lyceum was organized and immediately began to collect books for a library. At the time of the War Between the States, the library was housed in the Lyceum building and was in a flourishing condition with 1,258 volumes in its collection. Before burning the building, Sherman's Army ransacked the library for reading material and carried away many of the books, scattering them along the road on their march towards Fayetteville. Many books were rescued and saved for the Lyceum Library when it could be resumed.


The library was reestablished after the war, but with money for neither books nor personnel it faded away. In May of 1915 the Civic League established a library in the old Market Hall. This library was sponsored and planned by Mrs. Harriet Powe Lynch who contributed some 500 to 600 books to the collection. In 1923 with the permission of the last officers of the Cheraw Lyceum, the books from the Civic League Hall were transferred to the Lyceum building. The Lyceum building was a charming little red brick building erected between the years of 1824-34 to be used as a Court of Equity and had been turned over to the Lyceum when the courts were transferred to Chesterfield, the county seat.


The town of Chesterfield established a small public library which was housed in its own building. To this library, the library in Cheraw, and to the communities of Pageland and McBee the South Carolina State Library Board provided book deposits of up to 200 volumes which were changed quarterly. This 5,000 square foot library was built to replace the old Matheson Memorial Library. Matheson Library opened on Huger Street March 2, 1998.

Main Phone:

227 Huger St.

Cheraw, SC 29520




Monday - Thursday

9:00 AM - 6:00 PM


9:00 AM - 5:00 PM

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