From “that museum” to “our museum”

Brian Gandy, Executive Director of the Darlington County Historical Commission and Museum studies plans for the new museum. PHOTO BY DAWSON JORDAN

By Dawson Jordan

The Director of the Darlington County Historical Commision, Brian Gandy, could not be more excited about the progress for the upgraded Darlington County Museum. Every day is a 16-hour workday, Gandy shows up to work excited to make a difference for the community.
“There are times in your life that classify as your most defining moments, and this is mine!,” Gandy exclaimed working out the display layouts for the exhibit room. “This is my opportunity to leave a legacy.”
As head of the Historic Commission, Gandy is the one man who gets all the questions. Some days, he finds himself stuck working with the architect about layout problems, and other days he is tied up working with his vast team of committees pulling together drafts of exhibit material.
People often ask Gandy if he can pull it off. Gandy always responds saying, “From day one, I knew that if I cannot do this, I will step down and let someone else do it.”
Gandy has done far more for this project than work with the building’s layouts. Early in the development, Gandy put together several groups of committees to ensure the content would be perfect for the county he serves. One committee, the Exhibit Theory Committee, is responsible for representing each demographic of Darlington County, ensuring that every race, age, education level, social, and economic group is represented in the museum. Another committee, the Research Committee, is responsible for reviewing all the archives in the original building. Made up of 16 people, they are broken up into different time periods and bring together all the highlights from that era.
“Both committees will meet and discuss the good and difficult experiences,” Gandy explained. There will be many things to celebrate and some topics to look back on and understand that we must do better.
“Everyone is welcome and has the cause of celebration and cause to change,” Gandy added.
Gandy mentioned that a visitor referenced the museum in the past as “that Museum,” and then said it had become “our museum,” which is Gandy’s goal.
The estimated completion date for the construction is set for July 2023, however, Gandy doesn’t expect the exhibit to open until three months later or even November 2023.
The Darlington County Museum is still open for visitors, but please call in advance at 843.398.4710
The construction for the New Courthouse and the Museum can often make it difficult for visitors to come by.
The future Darlington County Museum will be one that stands out from all others in the state, thanks to the hard work and dedication from Gandy, the staff, the committees, and the community of supporters.

Author: Stephan Drew

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