Button King Museum — Bishopville, South Carolina
SC Picture Project | Lee County | Button King Museum
This roadside attraction in Bishopville was created by the self-proclaimed Button King, Dalton Stevens. Stevens began his unusual hobby while suffering from insomnia a few decades ago. He decided to distract himself from sleepless nights by sewing buttons on a suit and ended up with his first masterpiece – a suit of 16,333 buttons – 10 months later. That suit, plus many more button-covered displays, are featured within the metal building constructed by his children in 2008 to house his vivid collection. Sadly, Stevens died on Monday, November 21, 2016 at the age of 86.
Visitors to the Button King Museum will encounter everything from hearses to guitars to toilets, all garnished from top to bottom in buttons. Stevens’ skill at affixing buttons to so many articles caught the eye of television hosts such as Johnny Carson, David Letterman, and Kathie Lee Gifford, all of whom have featured him on their shows. Hi s hobby even earned Stevens a place in the Guinness Book of World Records as the owner of the world’s largest button collection of over 1 million buttons.
While entrance to the museum is free of charge, donations are welcomed. The next time you find yourself passing through Bishopville – maybe visiting the Pearl Fryar Topiary Garden – don’t pass up an opportunity to visit the one-and-only Button King Museum.
More Pictures of the Button King Museum
Reflections on the Button King Museum
The Button King Museum invites many fond reflections. Contributor Treva Thomas Hammond shares, “When you come to the end of this country road and see The Button Museum, you have no idea what to expect when you enter the metal building. It is filled with items such as a hearse, toilet, piano, and coffins – all covered in thousands and thousands of buttons! Dalton Stevens is the Button King who put it all together. It’s a tourist attraction you won’t forget!”
Wendi Brazell, who captured one of the portraits of Stevens above, writes, “We were driving through Bishopville on a hunt for the Lizard Man when we saw a sign for the Button Museum. This man’s collection was absolutely incredible; he had everything from toilets to cars covered in buttons. This hat and guitar were featured, along with the Button King himself, on Johnny Carson. Anyone who goes to Bishopville should stop by and visit.”
Thia Beniash adds, “The Button King is listed in the Guinness Book of World Records. He (Dalton Stevens) is a friendly man – 86-years-young – and still plays a button-covered guitar. He plays every Friday night for free. [This is] a museum and person worth visiting. The museum cost is donation only.”
Button King Museum Info
Address: 55 Joe Dority Road, Bishopville, SC 29010
GPS Coordinates: 34.238109,-80.350281