This area, in what was then Williamsburg Township, was settled as early as 1754 by members of the Dick, Graham, McAllister, Scott, and other families. Several residents served under Francis Marion during the Revolution. By the 1820s this community was sometimes called "the crossroads" for the intersection of two major roads (one from Georgetown to Camden, the other from Charleston to Cheraw), now Main and Church Streets.
This area was known as "Graham's Crossroads" for Aaron Graham, who built a house here ca. 1830. The post office opened here in 1848 was named "Lynches Lake." The town grew after the Northeastern RR was completed in 1857 and was chartered as Graham in 1874. Renamed Lake City in 1883, it was in Williamsburg County until 1912. Its tobacco market, opened in 1899, was among the largest in S.C. Its bean market, opened in 1936, was once the largest in the world.