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Bishopville, South Carolina
The water tower in Bishopville
The water tower in Bishopville
Location in Lee County and the state of South Carolina.
Location in Lee County and the state of South Carolina.
Country United States
State South Carolina
County Lee
 • Total 2.37 sq mi (6.14 km2)
 • Land 2.34 sq mi (6.05 km2)
 • Water 0.03 sq mi (0.08 km2)
226 ft (69 m)
 • Total 3,471
 • Estimate 
 • Density 1,290.97/sq mi (498.37/km2)
Time zone UTC−5 (Eastern (EST))
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
ZIP Code
Area codes 803, 839
FIPS code 45-06310
GNIS feature ID 1220758

Bishopville is a city in Lee County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 3,471 at the 2010 census. It is the county seat of Lee County.


Bishopville is located at 34°13′8″N 80°14′56″W / 34.21889°N 80.24889°W / 34.21889; -80.24889 (34.219027, -80.248877).

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2), of which 2.4 square miles (6.2 km2) is land and 0.04 square miles (0.10 km2) (1.26%) is water.


Historical population
Census Pop.
1880 144
1890 422 193.1%
1900 715 69.4%
1910 1,659 132.0%
1920 2,090 26.0%
1930 2,249 7.6%
1940 2,995 33.2%
1950 3,076 2.7%
1960 3,586 16.6%
1970 3,404 −5.1%
1980 3,429 0.7%
1990 3,560 3.8%
2000 3,670 3.1%
2010 3,471 −5.4%
2019 (est.) 3,017 −13.1%
U.S. Decennial Census

2020 census

Bishopville racial composition
Race Num. Perc.
White (non-Hispanic) 753 24.9%
Black or African American (non-Hispanic) 2,135 70.6%
Native American 4 0.13%
Asian 12 0.4%
Other/Mixed 86 2.84%
Hispanic or Latino 34 1.12%

As of the 2020 United States census, there were 3,024 people, 1,414 households, and 728 families residing in the city.


For more than a decade before Bishopville was named in honor of Jacques Bishop, it was known as Singleton’s Crossroads. The 465 acres (1.88 km2) of land was granted to Jacob Chamber by the state of South Carolina in 1786. Daniel Carter later purchased the property and it was once again sold to William Singleton in 1790. This was where the name Singleton’s Crossroads originated.

The tavern owned by Singleton and his wife sat at the intersection of what was once known as Mecklenburg Road, now named Church Street, and McCallum Ferry Road, now known as Main Street. During that time, the tavern was a stopping place for the stagecoach between Georgetown and Charlotte. (Now this intersection involves Highway 15, which at one point was the premier north-south route from New York to Miami.) In 1798, William Singleton died, leaving his wife owner of the tavern until her death in 1820. One year later the land was sold to Bishop. During this time period the area around present-day Bishopville was said to be composed of mostly wilderness, with only a few scattered, primitive houses.

Although voting for the creation of Lee County and for making Bishopville its county seat occurred in 1892, there was a delay in enacting these votes until February 1902, when it was ruled that Bishopville had met all requirements to be a county seat. This led to the marking of county boundaries, which were along Lynches River, Black River, Scape Ore Swamp, Sparrow Swamp, Long Branch, and Screeches Branch, as well as the development of a courthouse and jail. As surveyed in the parent counties, the main limits followed old roads and artificial limits.

It was not until December 15, 1902 that Bishopville received news of their success. To celebrate, the town hosted speeches and the shooting of the old cannon repeatedly. This cannon is located on the concrete base in front of Lee County’s Courthouse in Bishopville.

Lee County has historically been a leader in cotton production in the state and is the home of the South Carolina Cotton Museum.

In addition to the Lee County Courthouse, the Ashwood School Gymnasium and Auditorium, Bishopville Commercial Historic District, Bishopville High School, James Carnes House, Dennis High School, Thomas Fraser House, William Apollos James House, The Manor, Mt. Zion Presbyterian Church, William Rogers House, South Main Historic District, Spencer House, and Tall Oaks are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.


This town is known for the alleged sightings of a reptile-like monster in and near a swamp called Scape Ore Swamp. It has supposedly frightened people and damaged some cars. At one point there was a one million dollar reward for anyone who could find and present "Lizard Man."


Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden is the home to one of the most breath-taking attractions in South Carolina. Located at 145 Broad Acres Road in Bishopville, South Carolina, this 3-acre (12,000 m2) garden is visited annually by many tourists. Fryar and his carefully sculptured topiary garden has been featured many times on television specials and in dozens of magazines. His garden offers 3 acres (12,000 m2) of trees and shrubs formed into fanciful spirals, 3-dimensional pieces, pom poms, and other extraordinary shapes that always seem to render visitors awestruck.

Fryar is known nationally for live topiary sculptures. He’s also won many awards as well as being named as South Carolina Ambassador for Economic Development by Mark Sanford in 2003. Fryar revealed that all he wanted was to have a nice yard and win yard of the month from his hometown of Bishopville, SC.

Lee State Park is one of the best known parks in Lee County. Located at 487 Loop Road in Bishopville, this park hosts just about everything from river fishing, boating, nature trails, show ring, and stables. The park also offers educational programs like pine needle basket weaving and owl prowls. Year-round, daylight hours, the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC) workers built the Park during the Great Depression. This attractive park is approximately 2,839 acres (11.49 km2) of land . This park offers picnicking in shelters and camping. Picnic tables and serene environments are stationed around the 5.6 miles (9.0 km) of Lynches River that's owned by Lee State Park.

The South Carolina Cotton Museum and Lee County Veterans Museum are located next door to each other in Bishopville. The Cotton Museum preserves the history of cotton culture and the legacy of a way of life both long gone and very much a part of the present. The museum has the world's largest boll weevil. The Lee County Veterans Museum was designed, built and furnished by veterans of Lee County. The museum preserves and tells the history of US wars and conflicts, as well as, the stories and lives of local veterans.


Students in Bishopville are served by Lee County Public Schools.

Public schools

  • Bishopville Primary School
  • Lee Central Middle School
  • Lee Central High School
  • Lee County Career and Technology Center
  • Central Carolina Technical College

Private schools


Bishopville has a lending library, the Lee County Public Library.

Notable people

  • Felix "Doc" Blanchard, Heisman Trophy winner and "Mr. Inside"
  • Gwendolyn Bradley, opera singer
  • The Button King, born Dalton Stevens
  • Silas DeMary, a player for the Cleveland Gladiators, an Arena Football League team
  • Pearl Fryar, noted topiary artist
  • Tommy Gainey, professional golfer on the PGA Tour
  • Jim Nesbitt, comic country musician
  • Drink Small, the "Blues Doctor", an African American soul blues and electric blues guitarist, singer, and songwriter

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Bishopville (Carolina del Sur) para niños

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