The Whole Hog Podcast

Home is Where the Art Is

Season 3, Episode 8: By putting her business skills to work, Darla Moore has reinvented her hometown of Lake City, South Carolina

Photo: Sully Sullivan

Darla Moore at Moore Farms Botanical Garden in Lake City, South Carolina.

Darla Moore knows what it’s like to be underestimated, and so does her hometown. The successful businesswoman and philanthropist always had to prove herself—to make Wall Street bigwigs look past her good looks and Southern accent. But she persevered, making her name (and a couple of billion dollars) in finance and investing, a success that landed her on the cover of Fortune magazine, the first woman to do so, and eventually on the greens at Augusta National, where she became one of the first women to be invited to join the club that hosts the annual Masters golf tournament. While she was away, first in Washington, D.C., and then, in New York City, her hometown of Lake City, South Carolina, a once-vibrant farming community, had come on hard times. But Moore never forgot where she came from, and returned to live part-time in the place her family had called home for generations with a business plan to revitalize her beloved community.

Today, due to many of Moore’s initiatives, Lake City boasts ArtFields, a top-notch art competition and festival; a thriving downtown; and year-round tourism, thanks in part to the Moore Farms Botanical Garden, a sixty-five-acre research garden on Moore’s grandparents’ land. In this episode, we hear about the transformation from Darla Moore at her Lake City home, Mayor Lovith Anderson in Lake City’s Bean Market, and Holly Shady, a director of ArtFields.

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