Pronounced "Mac-Bee" like many southern towns, it was named after a railroad executive.
McBee’s namesake, V.E. “Bunch” McBee, was one of South Carolina’s leaders in the building of railroads. He was responsible for the construction of the Columbia, South Carolina to Hamlet, North Carolina line, which runs through McBee. He was at one time superintendent of the Seaboard Air Line Railway. The town of McBee was incorporated in 1902, when it became the starting point of the Columbia, Monroe, and Charlotte Railroad. There are several industries in the area that support the town’s 867 inhabitants. In fact,about 1,500 people are employed within 5 miles of the town center. The two largest firms are A.O. Smith and Talley Metals. And, of course, McBee is well known for the peach industry.
McBee boasts one of the largest Fire Districts in Chesterfield County. Alligator Fire District is home to five fully operating stations spread all over the district. The Fire District provides protection and response using highly trained volunteer firefighters who are certified through the SC Fire Academy located in Columbia. The fire district’s name was taken from historic place names – “Alligator Creek & Alligator Township. Alligator Township is located north of McBee on U.S. Highway 1.
The Old McBee Train Depot still stands today, and has been converted into a Railroad Museum and also houses the McBee Branch of the Chesterfield County Library. The Depot Museum provides a look back at the history of the railroad industry and includes many displays depicting numerous aspects of a bygone era.