Bean Market in Lake City

By:Page Ivey


If a town is named Little Mountain, you would expect a mountain, yes, even if it is just a little one?

If a town is named Lake C​ity, you would expect a lake, right?

Well, you would be wrong on both counts in South Carolina.

We will discuss Little Mountain another day. Today is all about Lake City – the city without a lake but oh so much more.

Growing up in Fl​orence, I thought of Lake City as that small town with all the tobacco auctions.

But what I didn’t know about was the city’s role as one of the largest bean markets in the country.

Built in 1936 as a public works project, the Bean ​Market (843) 374-1500, 111 Henry St., drew farmers from all across the South. Traders would bid on the crops brought in by truck and ship the beans out one of the many freight trains passing through Lake City every day. There are displays showing early 20th-century farm life in the Pee Dee. The building is listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The market hosts a weekly farmers market every Thursday 1-6 p.m. from late spring through the fall and hosts festivals and events throughout the year. It also is available for parties, wedding receptions and other events. So call ahead to be sure it is open for visiting.

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