"Court House, Sumter, SC," postmarked 19.. (last two digits illegible)
In 1820, the state's Board of Public Works decided to construct a new courthouse for the Sumter District. The image pictured here shows the district's second courthouse built using plans from the architect Robert Mills.
"Court House, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c.1920
William Augustus Edwards started designing this new county courthouse in 1905. He designed 9 other courthouses like this one in the state. Additions were added in the 1960s and the site was listed on the National Register in 2004. Learn more about the National Register listing here.
"Post Office, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c. 1920s
"A.C.L. Passenger Station," c. 1910
The Atlantic Coast Line Depot was constructed in 1904.
"A.C.L. Depot, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c. 1920
"The Sumter Telephone Manufacturing Company, Sumter, S.C.," postmarked February 26, 1910
Charles Mason organized The Sumter Telephone Manufacturing Company in 1899. It was one of the largest factories in the US and the only one in the Southeast. The company won a bronze medal at the Paris Exposition in 1900 for one of their telephones. See one of their telephones at the museum!
"Sumter Telephone Manufacturing Co.'s Works, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c.1920s-1930s
Was located on South Harvin Street.
Carnegie Library, c. 1920
This building served as Sumter's first and only public library from 1917-1968. It was built with monetary assistance from the Carnegie Foundation.
Located on Liberty Street.
"Academy of Music, Sumter, S.C.," postmarked October 1907
The opera house was completed in December 1872 as a town hall and marketplace featuring a 500 seat theater. The building was originally known as the Opera House, but was renamed in 1873 at the Music Hall. Opera star Clara Louise-Kellogg, Sumter native, was the first nationally acclaimed performer there. In 1889, the name changed to the Academy of Music. At this time, renovations including increasing the seat number to 700, adding fifty electric lights, and installing an inclined floor enhanced the visitor experience. In 1892, a fire broke out during a performance. Visitors escaped safely, but the town records which were kept on the 2nd floor were destroyed. After the fire, the city built a new Opera House/City Hall with a clock tower, the one pictured here, in 1893-1895.
In 1936, the Opera House was transformed into a movie theater with an admission price of .35 cents for adults, and .10 cents for children. The building closed down in 1982. In 1984, however, the City of Sumter realized they needed more office space and moved into the Opera House. The building underwent renovation that was completed in 1987. Today, Administration, Information Services, and Business License utilize the top levels of the building. The auditorium on the first floor continues to be used for concerts, school events, and other local events.
Learn more about the history of the Opera House here.
"Sumter's Opera House," c. 1980s
"Newly restored building on Main Street now houses city offices. Built in 1893 on the site of the old music hall, it has served as the City Hall, Opera House, and movie theatre. It now boasts a modern 600 seat auditorium."
What has changed from the picture of the Opera House above and this one?
Original Y.M.C.A Building, c. 1910s-1920s
The Sumter Young Men's Christian Association was organized in 1910. This building dates to the same year. The building was demolished in 1966. The gymnasium in it was known as the "largest and finest in the South."
"Bank of Sumter and North Main Street, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c. 1910s
This building opened for business in 1913.
"Farmers Bank and Trust Co. -Elks' Club. Sumter, S.C., no postmark, c. 1910s-1920s
The Farmer's Bank and Trust Co. was founded in 1905 in Sumter by C.G. Rowland. The bank moved into the original county courthouse (pictured above). The Farmer's Bank and Trust Co. turned in to the National Bank of South Carolina (NBSC) which formed in 1983.
"City National Bank, Sumter, S.C., 1912," postmarked September 11, 1913
The City National Bank was known as Sumter's first, only, and last skyscraper. It was located at the corner of Main and Liberty streets. This building was completed in 1912. The bank occupied the ground floor and the other six stories served as offices for local businesses. The Dixie Life Insurance Company purchased the building in 1949. The building was demolished in 1973.
"City National Bank, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c. 1920s
This postcard is about 10-20 years younger than the postcard above of the same building. What differences do you notice between the two images?
"Sumter Hospital, Sumter, S.C.," postmarked December 19, 1910
This is an image of the Sumter Hospital, which in 1913, three years after this postcard was mailed, became Tuomey Hospital.
"Tuomey Hospital, Sumter, S.C.," no postmark, c. 1916
Back- "Tuomey Hospital was named for its generous donors, Mr. and Mrs. Timothy J. Tuomey. It has a capacity of fifty beds, and is equipped for the treatment of Medical, Surgical, Obstetrical and Pediatric patients. Modern X-Ray, and Pathological Laboratories. Trustees:- Mr. I. C. Strauss, Mr. Neill O' Donnell, Dr. H.M. Stuckey.
How do you think their Modern X-Ray and Pathological Laboratories in 1916 compared to ours today?
"Tuomey Hospital, West Calhoun St., Sumter, S.C., no postmark, c. 1930s