Visitor Planning Guide: History

Explore South Carolina history during a day trip to Lake City.

Surround yourself with artifacts from South Carolina’s yesteryear during your visit to Lake City. Here are the top five must-sees for history buffs.

1. National Bean Market Museum

Learn about this historic market, which at one time was one of the largest green bean markets in the world, and also get information about the region’s history dating back to Native American days.

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2. Architecture walk

Walk the downtown to view the distinctive architecture of Lake City’s 19th- and early 20th-century buildings built during Lake City’s era as a bustling agricultural center. Be sure to see the former Truluck Hotel (built in 1917 by Charleston architectural firm Walker & Burden) and the rounded-corner Renaissance Revival building constructed in 1907 as the Farmers and Merchants Bank. Also don’t miss the old train depot on Acline Street. The Imperial Tobacco Warehouse on Acline Street is one of Lake City’s most gorgeous buildings — and was once one of its most economically valuable, as well.

(Be sure to come to town on December 9 for the first Candlelight Tour of Historic Lake City, featuring some of Lake City’s most beautiful and enduring architecture. The tour is organized by the Lake City Partnership Council, in collaboration with local civic organizations and businesses.) 

4. Browntown Museum

See a working Lowcountry farmstead from the antebellum days of the local area. Owned by the Brown family between the mid-1700s and mid-1800s, this cabin is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and includes primitive machinery, a cotton gin, corncrib, smokehouse, outhouse and the Brown-Burrows house built around 1845. 3114 Johnsonville Highway, Lake City, SC 29560. Open Saturday 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.; $5 for adults, $1 for children.

5. Dr. Ronald E. McNair Life History Center

The museum showcases the life of local hero Dr. McNair, an astronaut and physicist who was born in Lake City. Learn about his life and accomplishments through pictures and stories woven throughout the museum.

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