Lake City

At the Crossroads of Art and Agriculture
First settled by Scotch-Irish settlers in 1734, the Lake City area has grown and thrived in its almost three-hundred year history. Lake City has served as one of the agricultural hubs of South Carolina and as a waypoint for travelers since its original inception as McCrea’s Inn, a colonial inn at the crossroads of what are now Church and Main Streets. Originally known by the moniker of “The Crossroads at McCrea’s Inn,” the name of the area changed to Graham’s Crossroads sometime prior to 1831 when Aaron Graham acquired the land around the crossroads.

In 1883, the name of the town—formerly Graham’s Crossroads, then Graham—was changed to Lake City, which derived from the popular fishing and swimming lakes located just north of town. In 1912, the Lake City area voted favorably to become part of Florence County, where it remains the second most populous city in the county. The Lake City tobacco market was established in 1898, and grew to become one of the two largest markets in South Carolina; during the same time period, Lake City was home to the leading strawberry market in South Carolina.

By 1936, Lake City also supported the largest bean market of its kind in the world as agriculture continued to define the area. In the years following, Lake City prospered and grew into a town with a population of 6,675 as of the 2010 census, with the population within a fifteen mile radius of the Greater Lake City area of over 57,000.

Today, Lake City is still the center of a thriving agricultural area and has added a number of other diversified industries, including manufacturing, watercraft sales and maintenance, and antique furniture refurbishing.

For its entire history, Lake City has been a crossroad for South Carolina; initially a stopping place for travelers, Lake City became a vital hub for the agricultural industry following the construction of the railroad in 1856, when Northeastern Railroad built its main line through the area. Now, Lake City is a metaphysical crossroad for South Carolina, as well—the town that keeps the importance of South Carolina’s agrarian history in mind, while incubating a new, sustainable future for the state. Visit Lake City online to learn more.

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