Lake City, South Carolina

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Lake City, South Carolina
Historic Downtown Lake City
Historic Downtown Lake City
"Harvesting our past, cultivating our future"[1]
Location of Lake City in South Carolina
Location of Lake City in South Carolina
Coordinates: 33°52′4″N 79°45′22″W / 33.86778°N 79.75611°W / 33.86778; -79.75611Coordinates: 33°52′4″N 79°45′22″W / 33.86778°N 79.75611°W / 33.86778; -79.75611
CountryUnited States
StateSouth Carolina
 • MayorLovith Anderson, Jr.[2]
 • City AdministratorStephany Snowden[3]
 • Total5.35 sq mi (13.85 km2)
 • Land5.34 sq mi (13.83 km2)
 • Water0.01 sq mi (0.02 km2)
75 ft (23 m)
 • Total6,675
 • Estimate 
 • Density1,216.44/sq mi (469.69/km2)
Time zoneUTC-5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST)UTC-4 (EDT)
ZIP code
Area code(s)843, 854
FIPS code45-39310[6]
GNIS feature ID1246275[7]

Lake City is a city in Florence County, South Carolina, United States. The population was 6,675 at the 2010 census.[8] Located in central South Carolina, it is south of Florence and included as part of the Florence Metropolitan Statistical Area.


The Lake City area was originally part of Williamsburg Township, which was first settled by a group of Scots-Irish in 1736. It was first called "Graham's Crossroads" and then "Graham", after Aaron Graham, a land owner around the crossroads that now form Church and Main streets in Lake City.

In 1856, the Northeastern Railroad built its main line through the area. This brought new growth to the community. On March 4, 1874, after requests from residents, a city charter was granted to the new town of Graham. On December 24, 1883, the town changed its name to "Lake City", after the swimming lakes just north of town. This was at the request of the locally-serving Lynches Lake Post Office, since there was another post office in South Carolina known as that.

This small town had a population of 300 in 1893, and by 1898 the area had become the leading strawberry cropland in South Carolina.

Lake City was the site of a notorious lynching on February 22, 1898, that resulted in the mob murders of the city's black postmaster and his infant daughter.[9][10]

Lake City was at one time called the "Bean Capital of the World", and the Bean Market downtown has now been converted into an event rental and civic center facility. The building was built in 1936 by the Public Works Administration (PWA), and was a central hub for farmers across the South to get their beans to market. The building is listed in the National Register of Historic Places as a contributing property in the Lake City Downtown Historic District.[11] Also listed on the National Register of Historical Places is the W.T. Askins House.[12]


Lake City's city government includes a mayor (elected for a four-year term), an appointed city administrator, and a six-person city council (elected to single-member districts for a four-year staggered term of office). The city's mayor is Lovith Anderson, Jr.


Lake City is located in southern Florence County at 33°52′4″N 79°45′22″W / 33.86778°N 79.75611°W / 33.86778; -79.75611 (33.867697, -79.756153).[13] U.S. Route 52 is the main highway through the city, leading north 24 miles (39 km) to Florence, the county seat, and south 17 miles (27 km) to Kingstree. U.S. Route 378 crosses US 52 1.5 miles (2.4 km) north of the city center, leading east 45 miles (72 km) to Conway and west 35 miles (56 km) to Sumter.

According to the United States Census Bureau, Lake City has a total area of 5.2 square miles (13.5 km2), of which 0.01 square miles (0.02 km2), or 0.15%, is water.[8] Lake Swamp drains the northern part of the city, flowing east to the Lynches River and then the Pee Dee River.


Historical population
Census Pop.
2019 (est.)6,497[5]−2.7%
U.S. Decennial Census[14]

As of the census[6] of 2000, there were 6,478 people, 2,409 households, and 1,705 families residing in the city. The population density was 1,365.0 people per square mile (526.6/km2). There were 2,704 housing units at an average density of 569.8 per square mile (219.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city was 71.43% African American, 27.18% White, 0.08% Native American, 0.34% Asian, 0.28% from other races, and 0.69% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 1.10% of the population.

There were 2,409 households, out of which 33.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 36.6% were married couples living together, 30.5% had a female householder with no husband present, and 29.2% were non-families. 26.7% of all households were made up of individuals, and 11.2% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.67 and the average family size was 3.25.

In the city, the population was spread out, with 29.7% under the age of 18, 9.5% from 18 to 24, 25.8% from 25 to 44, 21.5% from 45 to 64, and 13.5% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 34 years. For every 100 females, there were 79.7 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 71.4 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $22,534, and the median income for a family was $32,111. Males had a median income of $26,316 versus $19,679 for females. The per capita income for the city was $14,452. About 26.9% of families and 31.6% of the population were below the poverty line, including 45.0% of those under age 18 and 25.3% of those age 65 or over.


Lake City has a public library, a branch of the Florence County Library System.[15]

Notable people[edit]


  1. ^ studio, {e} house. "Lake City, SC". Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  2. ^ "Greetings From the Mayor - Lake City, SC". Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  3. ^ "City Administrator - Lake City, SC". Retrieved January 6, 2020.
  4. ^ "2019 U.S. Gazetteer Files". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved July 29, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Population and Housing Unit Estimates". United States Census Bureau. May 24, 2020. Retrieved May 27, 2020.
  6. ^ a b "U.S. Census website". United States Census Bureau. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  7. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names". United States Geological Survey. 2007-10-25. Retrieved 2008-01-31.
  8. ^ a b "Geographic Identifiers: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (G001): Lake City city, South Carolina". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved August 15, 2016.[dead link]
  9. ^ "The Lake City Lynching: Thirteen Men Indicted in a Federal Court for the Alleged Murder of a Negro Postmaster", New York Times, April 8, 1899.
  10. ^ David C. Carter, "The Lynching of Postmaster Frazier Baker and His Infant Daughter Julia in Lake City, South Carolina, in 1898 and its Aftermath" Archived 2009-02-12 at the Wayback Machine in African-Americans and South Carolina: History, Politics, and Culture, at University of South Carolina Aiken website (retrieved May 20, 2009).
  11. ^ studio, {e} house. "Lake City, SC". Retrieved 23 February 2017.
  12. ^ "National Register Information System". National Register of Historic Places. National Park Service. July 9, 2010.
  13. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990". United States Census Bureau. 2011-02-12. Retrieved 2011-04-23.
  14. ^ "Census of Population and Housing". Retrieved June 4, 2015.
  15. ^ "South Carolina libraries and archives". SCIWAY. Retrieved 8 June 2019.
  16. ^ Derrick Faison at (accessed 2012-08-23).
  17. ^ Robin Hinch, "Former football player found niche in teaching", Orange County Register, July 1, 2004.

External links[edit]