Latta is a quaint, quiet, picturesque and safe town dating from the late 1800s. With over 80 properties on the National Register of Historic Places, it is a nice place to stroll and take in the small-town history. Museum Square is located just a short walk from the Inn at the intersection of Main and Marion streets.
The Old Post Office
The first stand-alone post office in Latta dates back to 1900. The building has remained on the same site and the post office was part of a grocery store. It has been restored and provides a display of artifacts as would have appeared at the turn of the century. Of note, the second postmaster in Latta was a well respected black merchant, Robert Rose Bethea, who was appointed by Grover Cleveland in 1889.
The Edwards House
The first two-story house in Latta, it was built by a farmer and timberman as a boarding house for visiting lumber buyers from the North. It operated for several years before being bought by Dr. Henry Edwards, one of the town’s first physicians. It remained in the Edwards family until the late 1990s when it was donated to the town and has been totally restored by local volunteers as offices for non-profit organizations and community meeting space. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Latta was created when the railroad located a depot here in 1888 and the railroad was instrumental in its development. The caboose was loaned to the local revitalization commission by a local attorney to be placed behind the museum and is available during museum hours for touring. It contains artifacts dealing with the railroad era.
Old School House
Vidalia School was the first school in Latta. It was hand-built in 1877 by Mr. Herod Allen and his help on his farm three miles east from its current location. The annual tuition for the first 12 students was $3.50 per year. By 1898 enrollment had exceeded capacity and a new 3 room school was built and Vidalia abandoned. Over the years it served many different purposes, including a chicken coop, before being moved to its current location and restored.
The Latta Library was built in 1914 and was the last Carnegie funded library in the country. It is one of only a handful still operational and was totally restored in 2006. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Dillon County Museum
The Museum is located in what was Dr. Henry Edward’s office (next door to his house). It was totally renovated by the local Historical Society in 1995. It has a variety of displays, artifacts, and memorabilia depicting life in this quiet southern town. Volunteers staff the museum most days from 2-4 pm. It is on the National Register of Historic Places.
Located at Museum Square is Latta’s Veteran’s Park. Created as a project of the local revitalization commission this park is dedicated to the memory of those from the area who have served their country in the military. A central plaza contains bricks inscribed with the names of veterans dating back to the Revolutionary War. An arbor with swings and picnic tables provides a spot for relaxation and contemplation.
In the two-block Main Street going east from Museum Square are a number of interesting shops to leisurely explore.
Treasures from the Attic
Jim Ellis retired from teaching to pursue his passion for clock repair and with an attic full of his mother’s collections opened his shop in 1999. In the intervening years, the shop has turned into a treasure trove of very affordable clocks and home accessories and gifts. Visit Jim’s website at www.clocksaplenty.com for more information.
Latta Drug Company
A full-service pharmacy serving the Latta Community the drug store opened in 2001 in a restored historic building. The shop is open Monday through noon on Saturdays.