When we document at least 100 buildings with Mesker building products in a state, we celebrate it here. It’s a chance to provide some historic statistics and to acknowledge good Mesker examples that might otherwise go unrecognized. The latest to join the 100+ club (now 18 states in total) is South Carolina with 101 Meskers.
Historically, South Carolinians purchased a fairly substantial amount of Mesker products, ranking 18th nationwide with a combined estimate of approximately 988 facades. Products supplied by Mesker Brothers Iron Works netted a total of $62,641.64 in receipts between 1885 and 1908 for approximately 452 facades, ranking 23rd nationwide. Mesker’s best year for South Carolina jobs was 1887, with $5,477.88 in net receipts. The results were on par with the marketing effort: 49,983 catalogs distributed in the state from 1888 to 1909, which ranked 25th in the nation. The single highest yearly distribution was in 1908 with 8,500 catalogs. George L. Mesker & Co. did even better with 536 facades sold in the state by 1915, which ranked 9th in the nation.
Here is the breakdown of the 101 facades identified so far in South Carolina (download the Excel inventory for a complete listing):
37 by Mesker Brothers Iron Works (MB)
63 by George L. Mesker & Co. (GLM)
1 with components by MB and GLM (both)
30 complete “house fronts” (23 MB, 7 GLM)
17 demolished (13 MB, 4 GLM)
38 are one-story in height (10 MB, 28 GLM), 60 are two-story (27 MB, 32 GLM, 1 both), and 3 are three-story (all GLM)
48 towns (11 with MB, 30 with GLM, 7 with both)—most surviving facades can be found in Bennettsville (7). Georgetown once boasted the most with 19 facades; now just 5 remain.
And below are some favorite examples of surviving Meskers from the Palmetto State (selected from available photos), appearing alphabetically by town: