Sumter, South Carolina
|Sumter, South Carolina|
|Nickname(s): "The Gamecock City"|
|Motto: "Uncommon Patriotism"|
|• Mayor||Joseph T. McElveen, Jr.|
|• City manager||Deron McCormick|
|• Total||26.7 sq mi (53.0 km2)|
|• Land||26.6 sq mi (50.8 km2)|
|• Water||0.2 sq mi (4.2 km2)|
|Elevation||171 ft (52 m)|
|• Density||1,545/sq mi (596.6/km2)|
|Time zone||EST (UTC-5)|
|• Summer (DST)||EDT (UTC-4)|
|ZIP code||29150, 29151, 29153, 29154|
|GNIS feature ID||1251074|
Sumter // is the county seat of Sumter County, South Carolina, United States. Known as the Sumter Metropolitan Statistical Area, the namesake county adjoins Clarendon and Lee to form the core of Sumter-Lee-Clarendon tri-county area of South Carolina, an area that includes the three counties in east central South Carolina. The U.S. Census Bureau estimated the city's population was 39,643 at the 2000 census. The 2010 census puts the city at 40,524. During the 1740s, settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The "Carolina Backcountry," as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County. Today, the city retains its status as a major hub, both for industry and infrastructure. In modern times, the city has taken on additional dimension as a center for business culture and finance, as its rich historic homes, military support, and progressive educational institutions come together to form a destination for the east central portion of South Carolina. According to the Urban Institute Sumter is the metropolitan area in the United States with the highest concentration of African-American same-sex couples among all households.
- 1 History
- 2 Geography
- 3 Demographics
- 4 Infrastructure
- 5 Education
- 6 Shaw Air Force Base
- 7 Mass transit
- 8 Swan Lake/Iris Gardens
- 9 Sports
- 10 Notable people
- 11 References
- 12 External links
In the 1740s, the first English-speaking settlers arrived to establish roots along the banks of the Wateree River. The "Carolina Backcountry," as it was then known, became a predominantly agricultural area called Craven County, later Claremont County. Sumter District was established on January 1, 1800.
Incorporated as Sumterville in 1845, the city's name was shortened to Sumter in 1855. It has grown and prospered from its early beginnings as a plantation settlement. The city and county of Sumter bear the name of General Thomas Sumter, the "Fighting Gamecock" of the American Revolutionary War. His place in U.S. history is secure as a patriot and military genius.
During the Civil War the town was an important supply and railroad repair center for the Confederacy. After the war, Sumter grew and prospered, using its large railroad yard and network to supply its cotton, timber, and by the start of the 20th century, tobacco.
During the 20th century, Sumter grew into a major industrial center, of far greater importance than its size. Once a sleepy, primarily agricultural community, Sumter took a leap into the future with the opening of Shaw Air Force Base (Now home to the 9th Air Force, 20th Fighter Wing and Third Army) in 1941. Industry grew, especially after World War II, when Sumter became increasingly known for textiles, manufacturing, biotech industries, a thriving retail environment and medical center of its region in addition to agricultural products, which makes it a hub for business in the east central portion of South Carolina.
Known as the Gamecock City, Sumter lies near the geographic center of the state of South Carolina at . Sumter is 100 miles west of Myrtle Beach's Grand Strand and 175 miles east of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Columbia, the state capital, lies approximately 45 miles to the west, and Charleston is approximately 100 miles to the south. According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 26.8 square miles (69.3 km²), of which 26.6 square miles (68.9 km²) is land and 0.2 square mile (0.4 km²) (0.60%) is water.(33.926942, −80.363541).
|Climate data for Sumter, South Carolina|
|Record high °F (°C)||85
|Average high °F (°C)||56
|Average low °F (°C)||35
|Record low °F (°C)||0
|Precipitation inches (mm)||3.25
|Source: The Weather Channel|
As of 2007[update], there were 59,180 people, 34,717 households, and 4,049 families living in the city. The population density was 4,469.5 people per square mile (775.6/km²). There were 46,032 housing units at an average density of 603.0 per square mile (232.8/km²). The racial makeup of the city was 45.3% Caucasian, 49.1% African American, 1.24% Native American, 1.6% Asian, 0.1% Pacific Islander, 1.12% from other races, and 1.41% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.98% of the population.
There were 44,717 households, of which 75% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 66.0% were married couples living together, 19.3% had a female householder with no husband present, and 21.0% were non-families. 17.3% of all households were made up of individuals and 1.7% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.52 and the average family size was 3.14.
In the city, the population was spread out with 37.6% under the age of 18, 12.28% from 18 to 24, 26.04% from 25 to 44, 19.55% from 45 to 64, and 14.12% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33.3 years. For every 100 females there were 89.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 83.9 males.
The median income for a household in the city was $39,264, and the median income for a family was $55,328. Males had a median income of $37,078 versus $32,002 for females. The per capita income for the city was $36,949. About 13.0% of families and 26.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 21.8% of those under age 18 and 15.3% of those age 65 or over.
The following table shows Sumter's crime rate in six crime classifications that Morgan Quitno uses in their calculations for "America's most dangerous cities" rankings, in comparison to the national average. The statistics provided are for the number of crimes committed per 100,000 residents.
|Crime||Sumter, SC (2006)||National Average|
According to the Congressional Quarterly Press '2008 City Crime Rankings: Crime in Metropolitan America, Sumter Statistical Metropolitan Area ranks as having the fifth highest overall crime rate out of 338 statistical metropolitan areas in the United States of America.
Municipal government and politics
The City of Sumter holds the distinction of being the first to adopt the council-manager form of government on June 11, 1912. City Council, with representatives from six single-member districts, appoints a city manager to serve as chief administrative officer to run the day-to-day business of the city. This individual serves at the pleasure of the council. The current City Manager of Sumter is Deron L. McCormick.
Joseph T. McElveen Jr is currently serving his fourth term as mayor having been elected in 2000. Sumter holds elections for mayor every four years, with the next election in 2016. The mayor also serves as Chair for Sumter City Council.
Sumter City Council members are elected for four-year terms with no term limits. The six members of city council are elected by ward whereas the mayor is elected at-large. Sumter City Council is responsible for making policies and enacting laws, rules and regulations in order to provide for future community and economic growth. City council is also responsible for providing the necessary support for the orderly and efficient operation of city services.
Sumter City Council Wards
- 1: Thomas J. Lowery
- 2: Ione J. Dwyer
- 3: Calvin K. Hastie, Sr.
- 4: Charlie Burns
- 5: Robert A. Galiano
- 6: David Merchant
On July 1, 2011, Sumter School Districts 2 and 17 combined to form the newly consolidated Sumter School District. The inaugural superintendent, Randolph Bynum, resigned in July 2013 following a number of controversies. Former Sumter School District 2 superintendent Frank Baker was appointed interim superintendent for the 2013-2014 school year.
The schools in this district have each received national recognition as Blue Ribbon Schools, producing students who annually earn large scholarship awards, and employing award-winning teachers and administrators. Each public school is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the State Department of Education.
There are many also-award-winning private institutions, including Thomas Sumter Academy, Wilson Hall, Sumter Christian School, St. Anne Catholic School, St. Francis Xavier High School, Berea Junior Academy and Westside Christian Academy.
Sumter is home to several collegiate institutions. The area is served by Morris College, a private four-year liberal arts college, Central Carolina Technical College, a public two-year technical college, and the University of South Carolina Sumter. Saint Leo University, Troy University, and Webster University all offer course and degree programs at Shaw Air Force Base.
Shaw Air Force Base
Sumter is home to Shaw Air Force Base, headquarters of the Third Army, 9th Air Force , the 20th Fighter Wing and many other tenant units. Since World War II it has been a major source of federal and civilian employment in the area.
Shaw's fighter planes consist of the F-16 Fighting Falcon, which is a versatile multi-role fighter. F-16's dispatched from Shaw were the primary fighters used in the Gulf War. In response to the city's service, Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower through Barack Obama have visited Sumter to express their gratitude. The base was named in honor of 1st Lieutenant Ervin David Shaw, one of the first Americans to fly combat missions in World War I. Shaw, a Sumter County native, died after three enemy aircraft attacked his Bristol F.2 Fighter while he was returning from a reconnaissance mission.
The Santee-Wateree Regional Transit Authority (SWRTA), is the agency responsible for operating mass transit in greater Sumter area.the transit department is in connection with Shaw Air force Base. SWRTA operates express shuttles, and bus service serving Sumter and the communities within the county. The authority was established in October 2002 after SCANA released ownership of public transportation back to the City of Sumter. Since 2003, SWRTA provides transportation for more than 10,000 passengers, has expanded route services and introduced 15 new ADA accessible buses offering a safer, more comfortable means of transportation. In recent years, SWRTA has added natural gas powered buses to its small fleet, and has plans to expand.
Roads and highways
South Carolina State Highways
- South Carolina Highway 120
- SC 261
- South Carolina Highway 441
- South Carolina Highway 762
Swan Lake/Iris Gardens
Swan Lake/Iris Gardens is the only public park in the United States with all eight known species of swan. The beautiful black waters of Swan Lake form the setting for the spectacular Iris Gardens. The lake is dotted with colorful islands, and wildlife is abundant. The only public park in the United States to feature all eight swan species, Swan Lake-Iris Gardens is also home to some of the nation's most intensive plantings of Japanese iris, which bloom yearly in mid to late May and last until the beginning of June. The garden also boasts many other floral attractions, including colorful camellias, azaleas, day lilies, and Japanese magnolias. A Braille Trail enables the sight-impaired to enjoy the scents and sensations of the gardens, and a Butterfly Garden and Chocolate Garden both delight the senses.
Swan Lake-Iris Gardens began in 1927 as a private fishing retreat for Hamilton Carr Bland, a local businessman. At the same time he was developing the 30 acres of swamp on what is now the north side of West Liberty Street, he was landscaping the grounds of his home with Japanese iris. They failed miserably, and after consulting expert horticulturists from as far away as New York, he ordered his gardener to dig up the bulbs and dump them at the swamp. The following spring, they burst into bloom. The accidental garden, referred to by Southern Living magazine a "lovely mistake," has since been developed into one of the finest botanical gardens in the United States.
The park is host to numerous events an festivals throughout the year. The annual "Iris Festival", South Carolina's oldest festival, is held at Swan Lake/Iris Gardens every Memorial Day weekend in May. The gardens come alive with color during the Christmas season with the nighttime Fantasy of Lights display, featuring more than 1,000,000 varicolored sparkling lights in an array of colors and shapes. It also hosts an annual Earth Day celebration, among other events.
Various facilities are available for private weddings, birthday parties and more. Swan Lake/Iris Gardens is located at 822 W. Liberty Street, Sumter, SC 29150. Contact the Visitors Center at TEL 803-436-2640 or Toll Free 1-800-688-4748 or visit their website.
Riley Park is a 2,000 seat stadium that is primarily used for baseball and was the home of Sumter Braves, a Single A Atlanta Braves affiliate that competed in the South Atlantic League. Riley Park was home to the Braves from 1985 until 1990, when the team left Sumter for Macon, Georgia. Notable Sumter Braves who went on to Major League success include Tom Glavine, David Justice, Kevin Brown (right-handed pitcher), Mark Wohlers, Ryan Klesko, and Vinny Castilla. The Braves were replaced by the Sumter Flyers in 1991, a Single A Montreal Expos affiliate. The Flyers, however, left Sumter after one season. No professional baseball team has competed in Sumter since the end of the 1991 season.
Riley continues to be the home of the P-15s, an American Legion baseball team with a long history of success. The P-15s have won 15 state titles including 1940, 1950, 1952, 1962, 1977, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 2011. They advanced to the 2006 American Legion World Series in Cedar Rapids, IA where they finished 4th nationally. The P-15s made a return trip to the American Legion World Series hosted by Shelby, NC in 2008 and 2009. Palmetto Tennis Center is a new state of the art tennis court in Palmetto Park. The tennis center has 24 official size tennis courts. The Palmetto Tennis Center hosts numerous youth, collegiate and professional tournaments each year. Sumter Memorial Stadium is home to Sumter High School's Gamecocks, Marvin Montgomery Field at Donald L. Crolley Memorial Stadium is home to the Crestwood High School Knights and Dr. J. Frank Baker Stadium is home to the Lakewood High School Gators.
In the 1950s, Sumter was very strong in table tennis in S. C. state champions; and, in 1951, produced an All-American Table Tennis Tournament national men's champion in Oliver Stubbs.
Palmetto Tennis Center (PTC) is a National Tennis Court in Palmetto Park in Sumter, South Carolina. It is one of the largest public tennis centers in the state, with 18 lit hard courts as well as 6 Deco-Turf courts. PTC hosts numerous tournaments every year for juniors and adults. PTC is also the host to the Palmetto Pro Open, a women's 10K event on the USTA Pro Circuit.
- Ray Allen, professional basketball player, is from Dalzell, Sumter County, where his children still reside.
- Lee Brice, country music singer-songwriter
- Ryan Buell, Founder of Penn State Paranormal Research Society. Has a reality series on A&E called Paranormal State.
- Ronnie Burgess, National Football League defensive back, formerly of the Green Bay Packers.
- Virginia Capers, Tony Award-winning actress
- Pete Chilcutt, played basketball for the University of North Carolina and then the NBA from 1991 to 2000.
- Jim Clyburn, politician, currently a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and House Majority Whip for the 110th Congress
- Rob Crosby, country music artist
- Ray Davis ("Stingray") was a founding member of The Parliaments, Parliament and Funkadelic
- Gloria Conyers Hewitt, mathematician
- Clara Louise Kellogg, famous opera singer
- Terry Kinard, a first round draft pick of the New York Giants, played in the 1986 Super Bowl and had an 8-year NFL career
- David A. King, former Director of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center located in Huntsville, Alabama
- Major General George L. Mabry, Jr., Medal of Honor recipient and second most decorated soldier of World War II
- Bill Pinkney of the Drifters was born in Dalzell, Sumter County
- Cleveland Pinkney, former professional football player, played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers, and the Detroit Lions
- Jamie Pleasant, 1st African American to graduate from Georgia Tech with PH.D. in business in 1999, best selling author, Pastor 
- Bobby Richardson, of the New York Yankees still resides in Sumter
- Wally Richardson, former starting quarterback for Penn State
- Angelica Singleton Van Buren, acting First Lady of the United States during the presidency of Martin Van Buren
- Freddie Solomon, National Football League wide receiver, formerly of the Miami Dolphins and San Francisco 49ers
- Shawn Weatherly, Miss USA and Miss Universe 1980
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
- "Find a County". National Association of Counties. Retrieved 2011-06-07.
- "Table 2: Population Estimates for the 100 Most Populous Metropolitan Statistical Areas Based on July 1, 2006 Population Estimates: April 1, 2000 to July 1, 2006" (PDF). U.S. Census Bureau. 2007-04-05. Retrieved 2009-11-10.[dead link]
- "American FactFinder". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2011-05-14.
- Gates, Gary; Ost, Jason (2004). The Gay and Lesbian Atlas. Washington, DC: The Urban Institute. p. 241. ISBN 0-87766-721-7. (data summarized at Urban Institute Factsheet
- "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
- Sumter, South Carolina (SC) - Sperling's BestPlaces
- "2009–2010 SSD17 Fast Facts". Sumter School District 17.
- Rail Transit Study
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Sumter, South Carolina.|
- City of Sumter SC
- Sumter County SC
- Sumter SC Community Guide
- Sumter Chamber of Commerce
- Sumter School District
- Shaw AFB web site
- Central Carolina Technical College website
- Morris College website
- University of South Carolina Sumter website