If you're looking for a charming southern town to visit, Bishopville, South Carolina, should be on your list. Not only is it rich in history and culture, but it's also home to some quirky attractions that are sure to pique your interest. And let's not forget about the delicious food and events that keep visitors coming back year after year. In this blog post, we'll dive into what makes Bishopville the perfect place for your next trip.
Bishopville, formerly known as Singleton's Crossroads, is a town with a rich history and an intriguing past. The town was renamed in honor of Jacques Bishop, but its roots go back much further. In fact, the land on which Bishopville sits was granted to Jacob Chamber by the state of South Carolina in 1786.
Over the years, the town changed hands and grew, but it wasn't until 1821 when the property was sold to Bishop that it truly began to flourish. At this time, the area was mostly wild, with just a few scattered houses. But Bishop saw potential in this small town and he set about developing it into what we know today. Now there were setbacks like during the Civil War, but after the war the town began to flourish.
One of the most significant landmarks in Bishopville is its courthouse. It wasn't until February 1902 that the town finally completed construction on the courthouse and county jail, making it the official seat of Lee County. To celebrate this momentous occasion, Bishopville hosted a day of festivities, complete with speeches and even firing off an old cannon in front of the courthouse.
Historically, Lee County has been a leader in cotton production in the state, and it is also home to the South Carolina Cotton Museum. But cotton production isn't the only thing Bishopville is known for. The town also boasts several buildings on the National Register of Historic Places, including the Ashwood School Gymnasium and Auditorium, Bishopville Commercial Historic District, and Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church.
What truly sets Bishopville apart is its people. Known for their hospitality and warmth, locals are always eager to welcome visitors and share the town's history and traditions. This strong sense of community is what makes Bishopville a tight-knit and welcoming place to live and visit.
Attractions: Bishopville is home to two must-see attractions that are just a bit unusual. The Lizard Man, a cryptid rumored to be spotted in the area since the 1980s, has captured the imagination of visitors and locals alike. You can check out a statue of the Lizard Man at the Visitor Center or take a drive through the nearby Scape Ore Swamp - known as his supposed home.
Another unique spot in Bishopville is the Bo Weevil Monument. The town once had a large Bo Weevil infestation, which devastated the cotton crops and led to a shift towards a more diversified agricultural economy. The monument celebrates the tiny pest's role in the area's resurgence, and it's a quirky and fun photo op.
More known Attractions
One must-see attraction is the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden. Created by self-taught topiary artist Pearl Fryar, this garden features over three acres of breathtaking topiary sculptures. It's a true testament to the creativity and passion of the people in Bishopville.
For history buffs, there's the South Carolina Cotton Museum which showcases the town's importance in the cotton production industry.
Flag Park. located in downtown, has 11 flags flying high in the sky, to honor the service men and women in this country. There is also a statue of Heisman Trophy winner Felix "Doc" Blanchard.
And for those who appreciate art, there's the Lee County Courthouse which is known for its stunning neoclassical architecture and beautiful murals inside.
For nature lovers, Bishopville offers plenty of outdoor activities to enjoy. With its location near the Lynches River and the Sandhills State Forest, there are opportunities for fishing, boating, and hiking.
Lee State Park. This 2,839-acre park offers visitors a wide range of activities and experiences, making it one of the most beloved parks in the area. Founded during the Great Depression by Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers. One of the main draws of Lee State Park is its 5.6 miles (9.0 km) of riverfront along the scenic Lynches River. Whether you're an avid fisherman or just looking for a tranquil spot to relax, the river offers something for everyone. Boating and canoeing are also popular activities on the river, providing a unique opportunity to explore the park from a different perspective. There are also plenty of nature trails too
Bishopville is a small town, with not a huge variety of restaurants. But the few local spots are very good. So, when you are dropping into town, check one of these out, instead of hitting up a fast-food joint.
Harry and Harry Too- American food, great wings!
MR B's Restaurant and Catering- has great Mac and Cheese and Biscuits.
Raley's Lunch- American food and cheap.
Festivals and Events
Bishopville knows how to throw a party, and there are a few events you should have on your radar.
A festival not to be missed is the Lizard Man Festival, which celebrates the town's infamous legend of a half-man, half-lizard creature that has been sighted in Bishopville since the 1980s. This quirky festival includes live music, food trucks, and even a "Lizard Man" costume contest.
Additionally, there are several local flea markets and antique shops to browse, where you're sure to find unique souvenirs to take home.
Bishopville may be a small town, but it is full of charm, culture, and attractions that make it a must-visit destination in South Carolina. From its unique topiary garden to its rich history and annual festivals, there's always something new and exciting to discover in Bishopville. So come explore this hidden gem and experience the creativity, passion, and fun that makes Bishopville truly special. So don't wait, plan your trip to Bishopville today and see for yourself why it's called the "Garden City of South Carolina"! Happy travels!
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