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Sumter, South Carolina

sumter south carolina police department, sumter south carolina school district
Sumter /ˈsʌmtər/ is the county seat of Sumter County, South Carolina, United States3 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 the east central Piedmont The US Census Bureau estimated the city's population was 39,643 at the 2000 census1 The 2010 census puts the city at 40,5244


  • 1 History
  • 2 Geography
  • 3 Demographics
    • 31 Crime
  • 4 Infrastructure
    • 41 Municipal government and politics
  • 5 Education
    • 51 Higher education
  • 6 Shaw Air Force Base
  • 7 Mass transit
  • 8 Roads and highways
    • 81 Interstates
    • 82 US Routes
    • 83 South Carolina State Highways
  • 9 Swan Lake/Iris Gardens
  • 10 Sports
  • 11 Notable people
  • 12 References
  • 13 External links


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

During the Civil War, the town was an important supply and railroad repair center for the Confederacy5 After the war, Sumter grew and prospered, using its large railroad network to supply cotton, timber, and by the start of the 20th century, tobacco to the region

During the 20th century, Sumter grew into a major industrial center Starting with the opening of Shaw Air Force Base now home to the 9th Air Force, 20th Fighter Wing, and United States Army Central in 1941, industry grew, especially after World War II 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 Carolina6

The J Clinton Brogdon House, Carnegie Public Library, Heriot-Moise House, Charles T Mason House, Myrtle Moor, O'Donnell House, Rip Raps Plantation, Salem Black River Presbyterian Church, Henry Lee Scarborough House, Stateburg Historic District, Sumter County Courthouse, Sumter Historic District, Sumter Town Hall-Opera House, Temple Sinai, Elizabeth White House, and Singleton's Graveyard are listed on the National Register of Historic Places7


Known as the Gamecock City, Sumter lies near the geographic center of the state of South Carolina at 33°55′37″N 80°21′49″W / 3392694°N 8036361°W / 3392694; -8036361 33926942, −803635418 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 268 square miles 693 km², of which 266 square miles 689 km² is land and 02 square mile 04 km² 060% is water

Climate data for Sumter, South Carolina
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Record high °F °C 85
Average high °F °C 56
Average low °F °C 35
Record low °F °C 0
Average precipitation inches mm 325
Source: The Weather Channel


Historical population
1850 1,356
1860 1,119 −175%
1870 1,807 615%
1880 2,011 113%
1890 3,865 922%
1900 5,673 468%
1910 8,109 429%
1920 9,508 173%
1930 11,780 239%
1940 15,874 348%
1950 20,185 272%
1960 23,062 143%
1970 24,435 60%
1980 24,921 20%
1990 41,943 683%
2000 39,643 −55%
2010 40,524 22%
Est 2015 40,816 07%
US Decennial Census

As of 2007update, there were 59,180 people, 34,717 households, and 4,049 families living in the city The population density was 4,4695 people per square mile 7756/km² There were 46,032 housing units at an average density of 6030 per square mile 2328/km² The racial makeup of the city was 453% Caucasian, 491% African American, 124% Native American, 16% Asian, 01% Pacific Islander, 112% from other races, and 141% from two or more races Hispanic or Latino people of any race were 198% of the population10

There were 44,717 households, of which 75% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 660% were married couples living together, 193% had a female householder with no husband present, and 210% were non-families 173% of all households were made up of individuals and 17% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older The average household size was 252 and the average family size was 314

In the city, the population was spread out with 376% under the age of 18, 1228% from 18 to 24, 2604% from 25 to 44, 1955% from 45 to 64, and 1412% who were 65 years of age or older The median age was 333 years For every 100 females there were 892 males For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 839 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 130% of families and 266% of the population were below the poverty line, including 218% of those under age 18 and 153% 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 residents11

Crime Sumter, SC 2015 National Average
Murder 4 69
Rape 10 322
Robbery 89 1954
Assault 575 3401
Burglary 545 8145
Automobile Theft 119 5265

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 America1213


Municipal government and politicsedit

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 Sumter holds elections for mayor every four years, with the next election in 2020 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 services14


On July 1, 2011, Sumter School Districts 2 and 17 combined to form the newly consolidated Sumter School District

Sumter is home to Sumter High School, one of the largest high schools in the Midlands and the fifth largest in the State, located on the southwest side of Sumter

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 Education15

The area includes many 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

Higher educationedit

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 Baseedit

Sumter is home to Shaw Air Force Base, headquarters of the United States Army Central, 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-16s 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

Mass transitedit

The Santee-Wateree Regional Transit Authority SWRTA is responsible for operating mass transit in greater Sumter areaThe transit department is in connection with Shaw Air Force Base SWRTA operates express shuttles and a 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 added natural gas powered buses to its small fleet, and has plans to expand16

Roads and highwaysedit


  • I-95

US Routesedit

  • US 15
  • US 76
  • US 378
  • US 401
  • US 521

South Carolina State Highwaysedit

  • South Carolina Highway 120
  • SC 261
  • South Carolina Highway 441
  • South Carolina Highway 762

Swan Lake/Iris Gardensedit

Swan Lake/Iris Gardens is the only public park in the United States containing 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

This area was first developed in 1927 as a private fishing retreat by Hamilton Carr Bland, a local businessman At the same time he was developing the 30 acres 12 ha 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 as 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 and 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


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 Castilla17 The Braves were replaced by the Sumter Flyers in 1991, a Single A Montreal Expos affiliate The Flyers, however, left Sumter after one season18 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 in 1940, 1950, 1952, 1962, 1977, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1994, 1999, 2005, 2006, 2008, 2009 and 201119 They advanced to the 2006 American Legion World Series in Cedar Rapids, Iowa where they finished fourth 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 year20 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 state champions; and, in 1951, produced an All-American Table Tennis Tournament national men's champion: Oliver Stubbs

New York Yankees former second baseman, Bobby Richardson is from Sumter The town built and named a youth baseball park in his honor Sumter is also the home of NBA Championship Basketball player Ray Allen, who still plays in the NBA

Notable peopleedit

  • Ray Allen, professional basketball player
  • Samuel R Allen, chairman and CEO of John Deere21
  • Art Baker, collegiate football coach
  • Lee Brice, country music singer-songwriter
  • Ryan Buell, founder of Penn State Paranormal Research Society; has a reality series on A&E, Paranormal State
  • Ronnie Burgess, former defensive back of the National Football League
  • 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, member of the US House of Representatives; House Majority Whip for the 110th Congress
  • O'Neal Compton, film and television actor, writer, photographer, commercial filmmaker
  • Rob Crosby, country music artist, singer, and songwriter; real name Rob Crosby Hoar
  • Ray "Stingray" Davis, founding member of The Parliaments, Parliament and Funkadelic
  • Charles J Girard, brigadier general in the United States Army; one of the highest ranking American officers to die in battle during the Vietnam War22
  • Charles Alexander Harvin, South Carolina state legislator
  • Monica Helms, creator of the Transgender Pride flag
  • Gloria Conyers Hewitt, mathematician
  • Clara Louise Kellogg, opera singer
  • Terry Kinard, a first round draft pick of the New York Giants, played in the 1986 Super Bowl and had an eight-year NFL career
  • David A King, former Director of NASA Marshall Space Flight Center, Huntsville, Alabama
  • Major General George L Mabry, Jr, Medal of Honor recipient and second most decorated soldier of World War II
  • Bob Montgomery, former lightweight boxing champion
  • Nancy O'Dell, television personality, anchor of Entertainment Tonight
  • Cleveland Pinkney, former professional football player, played with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Carolina Panthers, and the Detroit Lions
  • Jamie Pleasant, first African-American to graduate from Georgia Tech with a PHD in Business, in 1999; 2016 recipient of the President of The United States Lifetime Achievement Award,23 best selling author, and pastor24
  • Jason Ratcliff, NASCAR crew chief for Matt Kenseth at Joe Gibbs Racing25
  • Bobby Richardson, second baseman, three-time World Series champion with the New York Yankees
  • 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 South Carolina USA, Miss USA, and Miss Universe 1980


  1. ^ a b "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  2. ^ "US Board on Geographic Names" United States Geological Survey 2007-10-25 Retrieved 2008-01-31 
  3. ^ "Find a County" National Association of Counties Retrieved 2011-06-07 
  4. ^ "American FactFinder" United States Census Bureau Retrieved 2011-05-14 
  5. ^ history
  6. ^ government
  7. ^ National Park Service 2010-07-09 "National Register Information System" National Register of Historic Places National Park Service 
  8. ^ "US Gazetteer files: 2010, 2000, and 1990" United States Census Bureau 2011-02-12 Retrieved 2011-04-23 
  9. ^ "Annual Estimates of the Resident Population for Incorporated Places: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2015" Retrieved July 2, 2016 
  10. ^ Sumter, South Carolina SC - Sperling's BestPlaces
  11. ^ city data
  12. ^ city crime stats
  13. ^ city crime 2008; CQ Press
  14. ^ Sumter SC
  15. ^ "2009–2010 SSD17 Fast Facts" Sumter School District 17 
  16. ^ Rail Transit Study
  17. ^ Sumter Braves; The Baseball Reference;
  18. ^ Sumter Flyers; Baseballcom
  19. ^ P-51s
  20. ^ Sumter, SC
  21. ^ "Board of Director Biographies" John Deere Retrieved March 5, 2017 He is a native of Sumter, South Carolina 
  22. ^ "Sumter General Dies" Sumter Daily Item Sumter, SC January 17, 1970 
  23. ^ suwanee-pastor-clark-atlanta-professor-receives-white-house-honor
  24. ^ Sumter Business
  25. ^ "Crew Chief Jason Ratcliff Bio | Stock Car Racing Magazine Article at Automotivecom" Circletrackautomotivecom 1967-12-08 Retrieved 2010-12-09 

External linksedit

  • City of Sumter SC
  • Sumter County SC
  • Sumter Chamber of Commerce
  • South Carolina portal

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