Darlington is a city in and the county seat of Darlington County, in the northeastern part of the U.S. state of South Carolina. It is a center for tobacco farming. The population was 6,720 at the 2000 census (12,066 total pop. of Darlington Urban Cluster) and is part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area. Darlington, theorized to be named for the Revolutionary War Colonel Darlington, is known for its Darlington Oak and Spanish moss. Darlington County was named thus by an Act in March of 1785. Darlington is best known for Darlington Raceway, a speedway that is home to an annual NASCAR Southern 500 race. Darlington is also the site of the National Motorsports Press Association (NMPA) Hall of Fame.
This area was settled in the mid-18th century by Welsh, Scotch-Irish, and English farmers, who grew cotton primarily.
The settlement of what is now Darlington County began in earnest after 1736 and 1737 when the province of South Carolina set aside a vast area of land for the Welsh Baptist of Delaware. This Welsh Track bordered on both sides of the Pee Dee River. Soon after the first settlers began to arrive they constituted the Welsh Neck Baptist Church. This church was first located on the north side of the Pee Dee River, opposite present-day Society Hill. For almost thirty years settlers concentrated on the banks and small tributaries of the Pee Dee River. Beginning in the 1760s and continuing into the 1770s other groups slowly made their way into present-day Darlington and were granted lands on Lynches Creek (River), Jeffries Creek, and a host of other watercourses. These later settlers included descendants of French Huguenots, Scott-Irish, and the English.