Back in the early 1970’s, the Lake Murray-Irmo Woman’s Club decided to raise funds to build a library for the town of Irmo. Their long history of charitable contributions to the community was well known, but the large amount of funds required for a new library made it a daunting task. One day, some of the Woman’s Club members heard a broadcast from local commentator & WIS radio personality Gene McKay, who mentioned that he had seen a downtown Irmo hardware & general store business named the ‘Ancient Irmese General Store’, on the corner of Fork Avenue & Woodrow Street, where Little Caesars Pizza is today on St. Andrews Road. ”What were these Ancient Irmese like?”, McKay wondered. “Probably short people — a farming tribe who lived off okra!”
The Town of Irmo began as a rural settlement around a water and refueling stop for trains traveling the Columbia, Newberry and Laurens Railroad. The town incorporated on December 24, 1890 and was named after two officials of the railroad- Mr. Iredell and Mr. Moseley.
Irmo continued as a sleepy rural town until the development of several subdivisions in the late 1960’s – early 1970’s. The growth of the area proceeded at a steady pace until the late 1970’s when the growth of the Irmo area spread, to some extent like “wildfire”.
The 2000 Census for the Town of Irmo showed the population of the town had increased by 96% in the last ten years. The official population as of 2000 was 11,039, making Irmo the largest Irmo County municipality.
The Town of Irmo employs approximately 46 people in the Administration, Police and Public Service Departments. The Town of Irmo issued over 1,000 business licenses.
The Town operates under the Council form of government as provided for in the South Carolina State Code. The Mayor and four council members set policy and establish the Town Codes, while the Town Administrator is responsible for the day-to-day operations. Council serves a four-year term with elections staggered every two years. The current council is as follows: Barry A Walker Sr., Mayor; Kathy D. Condom, Mayor Pro Tem; Kelly S. Busch, Erik S. Sickinger.
In addition, the Town of Irmo relies heavily on the volunteer efforts of local citizens who serve on committees such as the Election Commission, the Okra Strut Commission, the Planning Commission and the Zoning Board of Adjustment.
In December 1988, the Irmo Town Hall staff moved into their new building at 7300 Woodrow Street. The new town hall was donated by the Lown family and it was moved onto property owned by the Town at the corner of Woodrow Street and Columbia Avenue.
The Lown House was built around the turn of the century. The restored Victorian House, now the Irmo Town Hall, sits proudly behind the towering willow oaks, which are older than the town itself, and faces the railroad which spurred the founding of Irmo.