The Jones-Carter Gallery in Lake City takes its name from the Jones and Carter Feed and Seed store that originally occupied this building. The brick warehouse was built around 1920 and sold grains, produce, and fertilizer to local farmers. Lake City was at one time a booming agricultural market boasting the highest strawberry production in South Carolina and the largest bean market in the world.
The building was vacant when it was restored in 2013 for a state-of-the-art gallery. The 3,000 square-foot space is the only Smithsonian-qualified gallery in the region, a designation it earned after a lengthy and discriminating application process which addressed details such as security and light filtration. The Jones-Carter Gallery opened in time for Lake City’s inaugural ArtFields festival and competition, showcasing works to art lovers from all over who attended the celebration.
The Jones-Carter Gallery is listed in the National Register as part of the Lake City Downtown Historic District:
The Lake City Downtown Historic District is a collection of sixty-two commercial buildings, forty-four of which are contributing to the character of the district, which illustrate the commercial development of the town between roughly 1910 and 1930. The district’s buildings reflect the one- and two-part commercial blocks found in towns throughout the nation, and represent stylistic influences ranging from the late Victorian period examples displaying elaborate brick corbeled cornices and pediments to the more simplified and stripped down Depression-era examples with typical low relief detailing and vertical piers. Corner stores and banks featuring either a Classical or Renaissance Revival style and the brick depot and surrounding brick warehouses help anchor the district along both the town’s Main Street and its broad intersecting railroad corridor.
Lake City once had the most diversified agricultural market in both North and South Carolina, marketing such produce as strawberries, snap peas, cucumbers, squash, limas and other assorted vegetables. From its season opening the last of April through the end of July, the city’s agricultural market sold assorted produce. From August 1st until late autumn, the area operated as the state’s second largest tobacco market. As a result of the growth of agriculture in the area in the early twentieth century, the downtown area businessmen began replacing older frame buildings with new brick structures. The success of local cash crops gave a more expendable income to the average farmer in Lake City and was extremely instrumental in changing the face of the downtown area.