Sumter Things to Do

  • Christmas Lights Display
    Christmas Lights Display
    by jmpncsu
  • Christmas Lights Display
    Christmas Lights Display
    by jmpncsu
  • Fantasy of Lights
    Fantasy of Lights
    by jmpncsu

Most Recent Things to Do in Sumter

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    Fantasy of Lights

    by jmpncsu Written Dec 27, 2014

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    For the month of December, the City of Sumter erects a huge display of Christmas lights in Swan Lake Iris Gardens. We stopped here on the way home from Congaree and it was quite a display. With over a million lights, its one of the largest in South Carolina. You can drive through the parking area to see the lights or park and get out. We got out to walk around and take pictures. If you're planning to take pictures, bring a tripod for long exposure shots. There were traditional Christmas displays like Santa and elves, Nativity scene, and Christmas trees, but also some unexpected surprises for the kids - Ninja Turtles, Sponge Bob, dragons, and Sesame Street characters. It was definitely an interesting display and worth a stop if you're in Sumter during December.

    Swan Lake-Iris Gardens Fantasy of Lights Christmas Lights Display Christmas Lights Display Christmas Lights Display
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    thomas sumter statue

    by doug48 Updated Jun 12, 2011

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    revoluntionary war general thomas sumter was nicknamed the "carolina gamecock" due to his involvement in driving the british army of lord cornwallis out of south carolina. sumter died in 1832 and at the time of his death he was the oldest surviving general officer in the american revolution. after the revolutionary war sumter was a member of the u. s. house of representatives and a south carolina u. s. senator.

    thomas sumter statue general thomas sumter
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    swan lake iris garden

    by doug48 Updated Jun 3, 2011

    most visitors come to sumter is see the swan lake iris garderns. in 1927 hamilton bland bought swan lake as a private fishing retreat. during that time bland dumped a number of iris bulbs near the lake. the iris blooms were so spectacular that bland hired a horticulturist and established the gardens. in the spring of each year the gardens have a beautiful display of azaleas and dogwoods. in late spring and summer the iris' are in full bloom. there are eight species of swans introduced in swan lake. the gardens also have boardwalk walking trails and a butterfly garden. for those interested in flowers and foliage swan lake is a worth while stop when in central south carolina. see my swan lake travelogue for more images of swan lake gardens.

    azaleas
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    sumter county courthouse

    by doug48 Updated May 30, 2011

    the current sumter county courthouse is the third sumter county courthouse. the second sumter county courthouse was designed by famous south carolina architect robert mills and was built in 1821. the current sumter county courthouse was built in 1907 and was designed by architect augustus edwards. the sumpter county courthouse was built on the site of augustus soloman's house which was union general edward potter's headquarters during the occupation of sumter in 1865. on april 9 th 1865 union troops commanded by general potter defeated a small number of confederates at dingle's mill. the battle of dingle's mill was one of the last battles of the civil war. the sumter county courthouse is listed on the national register of historic places.

    sumter county courthouse union general edward potter
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    elizabeth white house

    by doug48 Written May 30, 2011

    the elizabeth white house is a greek revival cottage built in 1854. elizabeth white was an internationally acclaimed artist and life long patron of the arts. she is best known for her etchings of south carolina scenes. much of her work is on display at the sumpter gallery. the elizabeth white house is listed on the national register of historic places.

    elizabeth white house
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    henry lee scarborough house

    by doug48 Written May 30, 2011

    this beautiful neo-classical revival home was built for henry lee scarborough in 1909. scarborough was an influential sumter county farmer and businessman. the henry lee scarborough house is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in architecture downtown sumter has scores of architectually significant homes and public buildings.

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    sumter opera house

    by doug48 Written May 30, 2011

    the current sumter opera house was built in 1895 after a fire destroyed the original opera house in 1892. the opera house was converted into a movie theater in 1936. the movie theater closed in 1983 and the opera house was converted into sumter's town hall. today the first floor of the opera house is a theater that hosts plays and concerts. the upper floors of the building houses city offices. the sumter opera house is listed on the national register of historic places. for those interested in victorian architecture the sumter opera house is worth a look in downtown sumter.

    sumter opera house
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    confederate memorial

    by doug48 Written May 30, 2011

    the sumter county confederate memorial is located on the site of sumterville academy. in 1837 colonel john blount miller donated one acre for the construction of the academy. colonel miller was a war of 1812 veteran, lawyer, and advocate of education of the residents of sumterville. after the civil war the women of sumter erected this memorial to sumter county confederate war dead.

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    The Iris Garden at Swan Lake

    by Tom_Fields Written Feb 9, 2006

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    This park began in 1927 as a private retreat for local businessman Hamilton Carr Bland. After a lengthy process of trial and error, he created one of the finest botanical gardens in the state. In 1938, A.T. Heath left a larger garden across Liberty Street to the city. In 1949, the Bland and Heath gardens were joined together to form the Iris Garden.

    This garden has thousands of plant species, and is the only one in the US to have all eight species of swans. New additions are made frequently.

    Swan Lake Another view of Swan Lake The Iris Gardens
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Sumter Things to Do

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