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Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective

July 27, 2018
By Elise Osteen

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Bishopville Mural

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Car at Button Museum

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Button Man

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Butterfly at Topiary Garden

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Cotton Museum

I was told today was my day to explore the recreational side of the counties that form TheLINK. And, to spice things up, I went beyond Sumter County into Lee County to visit Bishopville. I’m a little embarrassed to say I’ve never been, but experiencing a town through new eyes ended up being really helpful to enriching my experience.

            First, I started my morning out the way it should always start- with coffee. I cheated a little and got Starbucks instead of going local like I had previously promised myself I would do this week, but the drive-thru seemed like my best option so I could get going on my drive to Bishopville. When I got there, I obviously had to visit one of the town’s most well-known attractions, the topiary garden of Pearl Fryar. I hadn’t been since I was too young to even understand what I was looking at, but, wow, coming back and being able to take it all in is truly amazing. It’s quite the place over there and definitely worth the drive. I spoke to the man himself, briefly, but I’m sure it takes a lot of time to create and keep up with that insane garden of his. If you’re looking for a new spot to take pictures, which I always am, this is it (thanks to my friend Sarah for being my model for the day. If you’re reading this, you’re the best.) I might have gotten attacked by fire ants after accidently stepping in an ant bed (totally my fault, by the way,) but that didn’t change my mind about the gardens, thankfully. And, right across the street just so happened to be where I was going to stop anyway for lunch, so Harry and Harry Too became my next point of interest. I’m always up for a good wrap, so I ordered the Cedar Creek wrap and fruit, which was delicious. It’s always nice to find a new spot to eat other than Chick-fil-A or Cookout, A.K.A. my second homes.

            Now, Sarah and I’s next stop was something neither of us ever even thought of being able to see. You guessed it, The Button Museum. After driving to what seemed like the middle of nowhere, we finally made it. I’ll admit, Sarah really didn’t have a say in whether or not we came here, but I think I speak for both of us when I say that was a pretty unique experience, and I have never seen anything like it, that’s for sure. The overwhelming amount of buttons is a lot to take in, but trust me, not every state can say they have an actual button museum. Not only that, but it was listed as the largest button collection in the 1990 Guinness Book of World Records. Pretty cool, huh?

            While in downtown Bishopville, we stopped at Get Down Pound, the local bakery. Seeing as how I had lots of options to choose from, I decided to get a variety of cakes and such to try. I bought a slice of strawberry cake, red velvet cake, and strawberry cheesecake (obviously.) I “taste-tested” the strawberry cheesecake and strawberry cake, which ended up just being me eating way too much cake and telling myself “it’s for the blog” as an excuse. I also got a cup of banana pudding that I unfortunately did not get to try because of something I like to call “the younger sibling advantage,” meaning he gets to eat my food without asking with no repercussions. Thanks a lot, John. I also received a free slice of pound cake on the house for being a first-timer at the bakery. Thankfully, I’m able to tell you that it was really good, since I found it before my brother did. But, in all seriousness, it really was some of the best cake and best service I’ve ever had, so go get your free pound cake, first-timers.

            We finished our day off with everyone’s favorite, the Cotton Museum. For just three dollars each, we got to see not only the Cotton Museum, but also the Veteran’s Museum. As a bonus, I got my change back in two dollar bills that were made out of 80 percent cotton. Wild, right? We also got a personal tour of part of the museum from Eddie Grant, the Executive Director. He also managed a fully integrated cotton mill for over thirty years, and is very knowledgeable in the cotton and veterans parts of the museum. I’ll be back there soon to buy the famous Lizard Man shirt, I can promise you that.

            Other than getting a speeding ticket on the way home (sorry dad,) the day was over-all pretty exciting with plenty to keep us busy. Thank you, Bishopville, for showing me that the term “small-town” has nothing to do with the quality of entertainment this town provided for me today. I can’t wait to bring more people to enjoy one of the world’s largest button collections- they’re missing out.


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Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Bishopville Mural

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Car at Button Museum

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Button Man

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Pearl Fryar's Topiary Garden

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Butterfly at Topiary Garden

Bishopville - A Teenage Perspective
Cotton Museum