Local attorney Cezar McKnight celebrated with family and friends the grand opening of his Kingstree law office. McKnight started practicing in 2002 then opened his private practice in Lake City in 2008.
McKnight searched for a space that was close to the courthouse. He had thought about owning a business in the county but when he was elected to the House of Representatives he felt it was time to have a presence in his district. “I really got focused on it after I got re-elected,” he said. “If you’re going to be the state representative, you need a building in the district. Even thought my office was in Lake City, that’s still not my legislative district.”
McKnight would choose an abandoned, dilapidated house at 126 West Mill Street built around the turn of the century. It began its life as a private home and later was converted into a law practice. It would alter its purpose again and become an administrative office for a nursing home before finally closing its doors years ago.
McKnight’s renovations are an example of the value of restoration and good stewardship practices. When the native of Salters purchased the building he knew he had his hands full. He had to close a hole in the roof but was pleased to find the original pine flooring. His brother Merril who owns a construction business was enlisted to do the work. New windows were installed, the floors were brought back to life and a large empty space was turned into a conference room for clients. Furnishings and artwork are from his private collection and are complemented by modern pieces such as metal single blade fans.
Many, including Senator Ronnie Sabb, Williamsburg County Clerk of Court Sharon Staggers, councilmembers and judges attended the ceremony. His pastor, the Rev. Joyce Timmons of Bethesda Untied Methodist Church opened the ceremony with prayer and daughter Claire delightedly shared in cutting the ribbon. The office is open Monday through Friday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.