On December 28, 1894, the town of Gaston was created; it was incorporated into Lexington County in October of 1974, with a population of less than 1,000 residents.
The original limits of the town only extended one half mile north, east, south and west to form a square mile, with the railroad depot of the Florida Central and Peninsular Railroad Companies at the center.
During the early colonial times, the original inhabitants of this area were the Cherokee Indians, who dominated most of the midlands.
This once rural farming community once had a church, several schools, a skating rink, a mercantile store, a drug store, a doctor’s office, and a railroad depot. Over the past 100 years, the town also contained a saw-mill, a turpentine distillery, several grits and flour mills. The primary crops during the 1800’s were cotton, corn, sweet potatoes and some wheat. Our main street, Highway 321, was a two lane dirt road that was paved around 1927. This road was used by many as a primary route to Florida, and some still use it for that purpose today. Quite a number of streets were named after local citizens. The town has undergone many changes and continues to grow today.
There are two stories as to how the town got its name. One of them claims to be named after the nephew of a railroad engineer who used this area as a stop during the summer of 1891. The nephew’s first name was Gaston.
The other claims that the town was named after two brothers from France, who moved their families here to escape the Indian attacks up north. The brothers’ last name was Gaston. Regardless of how Gaston got its name, there are many residents of this growing community who are proud to call this town their home.