This neoclassical manse in downtown Bishopville first belonged to Edward W. Tisdale, a successful cotton merchant and Sumter native (1). Tisdale hired Sumter architect James Herbert Johnson to design the lavish home (2). Begun in 1914, it was completed in 1918 (2).
In the early 1900s, Tisdale relocated to Bishopville from Sumter to profit from Lee County‘s booming cotton market (2). Not only did he grow the crop on his vast acreage, but he also established two cotton gins in town – one on Main Street and another on Durant Street (2). Both were operating by 1909 (2). The great wealth he accrued from planting allowed him to construct this impressive home, which he called The Manor.
In the early 1920s, the boll weevil decimated the cotton industry. Production dwindled. By 1923 neither of Tisdale’s cotton gins were in operation. Tisdale’s financial decline continued when he lost most of his savings in the stock market crash of 1929. However, he was able to retain his home.
Edward Tisdale lived with his son and two daughters – Woodrow Wilson Tisdale, Miriam Eddy Tisdale, and Mary Elizabeth (“Bess”) Tisdale – until his death in 1960 (1). The house next passed to Woodrow’s two daughters, Miriam (“Mima”) Laney and Angelle Horton, who are the present owners (1).
The Manor is listed in the National Register:
Tisdale amassed a sizable fortune through the cotton industry by 1914 when he began his house on Main Street. The house is a two-story, rectangular brick building with a gable roof and two interior brick chimneys. On the main façade is a free standing, two-story portico with six wooden Corinthian columns. Above the columns is an entablature with round medallions in the frieze and dentils. On the roof of the portico is a balustrade and decorative railing. The interior details include coffering in the ceiling, dentils, urn and garland designs and other classical motifs. At the rear of the house are two original, one-story brick, hipped roof buildings which serve as a garage and storage area for the main house.
The Manor: Our Resources
1. Angelle Horton, Personal Correspondence with Bill Segars, April 11, 2020.
2. National Register of Historic Places, Nomination Form, December 12, 1985.