Located in the 2288 acre tract known in the 1880’s as the Douglas mill tract, Arcadia Lakes was first agricultural land that was composed of lakes with towering pine trees. Seeking to avoid the hustle of the metropolitan areas of Columbia, a few adventurous families moved to the country during the early 1900’s primarily settling on multi-acre tracts. Early residents include the Cary, Sample, Harper, Hoile, Taylor, Proctor, Burnside, Dent, Carns, Zander, Kaminer, Sloan, Condor, and curry families, among others.
Eventually, additional roads were constructed and widened, sub-divisions developed, and new residents moved into the areas. The rural area was undergoing a historic metamorphosis into a suburban community. As the City of Columbia annexed nearby property into her borders, neighborhood gatherings featured heated deviates on the benefits and the pitfalls of joining the Capital City. Avoiding municipal taxes was major consideration for the opponents of annexation. Initiating its own municipality–one, which catered to the unique features of the section, became a serious consideration. A petition filed on the ninth of October, 1959 by Commissioners L.W. Conder, L. E. Atwater, Jr., and Clyde Dent plus seven other freehold electors in the area, and a following special election October 30, 1959 heralds the origins of the actual Town of Arcadia Lakes. The final vote being forty-six in favor and incorporating, and thirty opposed. Dr. Alfred Burnside, Sr. was elected Mayor, and L. E. Atwater, Jr., Harriet Burnside, Edward Proctor and W.W. Robertson served as the first aldermen. The results of the election were certified by the Secretary of State on November 3, 1959. By 1960, the official Census population count of residents was 316.
During the mid-1960’s, Arcadia Lakes, devised a zoning map, which includes two residential areas and one light commercial section. The map was amended later to allow Planned unit Developments, such as the Commons, on large undeveloped tracts.
The Town of Arcadia Lakes adopted the Council form of government on April 28, 1976, when Judge Henry McKellar was Mayor. In 1977, the Code of Ordinances of the Town of Arcadia Lakes was officially adopted and published by the Municipal Association of South Carolina, and the Code has been revised as needed by the Town Council.
The Arcadia Lakes Town Council meets the first Thursday evening of each month. These meetings are open to the public, and the time and place is announced in the local newspaper.
Since the Town has never assessed local municipal taxes, franchise fees, business licenses, interest from savings, building permit fees, and state revenues from the beer, wine, and liquor and gas taxes support Arcadia Lakes’ government. Money raised is used to pay for the personnel salaries and administrative costs, street lights, road maintenance, litter pick-up, the Annual Town Picnic, garbage fee supplements, Town signs, recycling bins and tipping fees, disaster relief efforts, building inspection, legal fees, and a Magistrate’s supplement.
The Arcadia Lakes Time Capsule originally planted at the October 6, 1991 Annual Picnic behind the Tree of Life Congregation is being kept by the First Citizens Bank in a Safety Deposit Box at the North Main Branch. The Town Council appreciates the generous donation of First Citizens to Arcadia Lakes. This Time Capsule is to be unsealed on October 6, 2041 by the Town Council of Arcadia Lakes.