If you’re ever passing through Bishopville, South Carolina, a visit to the South Carolina Cotton Museum is mandatory. Naturally I sought the place out because of Lizardman, who is the unofficial star of the place and the mascot of the entire town, but the place is chockfull of interesting stuff, even for a born and bred southerner like me, who knows a lot about “King Cotton” to begin with.
The docent for the day of my visit, a gentleman named Eddie, made a presentation that could have been, handled by a less personable sort, rather dry truly interesting. The area Veterans Museum shares the same building as the Cotton Museum, and they have some neat military weapons and uniforms on display as well.
As for the Lizardman stuff, they have a sign from the legendary Elmore Butterbean Shed (sadly no longer standing) and a couple of plaster casts of Lizardman footprints. One thing that struck me seeing them in person is just how big they are. Lizardman had some hell big feet!
They do have some cool Lizardman T-shirts and caps in their gift shop, as well as some official butterbeans gathered from the Elmore’s shed where Lizardman made his only reported attack on a human, but they’re really missing an opportunity, too. If they’d had reproductions of those Lizardman tracks, or “Lizardman Crossing” novelty signs, or Lizardman whatever, I would’ve bought it. Bishopville overall seems to have embraced its celebrity monster, not to the extent of, say, Point Pleasant, West Virginia and its Mothman, and certainly not so much as Rhinelander, Wisconsin loves its Hodag. But more than Elkhorn, Wisconsin has capitalized on its Beast of Bray Road, for sure.
I think the town or the County or the State or whoever needs to set up historic markers at each of the locations of a Lizardman sighting and encourage tourists to come hike Scape Ore Swamp. There are a lot of weird people out there, like me, who would love to do just that.
Stop by the Cotton Museum and let them know you appreciate them keeping the Lizardman legend growing!