Hartsville Museum expanding into new facility

By Samantha Lyles, Staff Writer, slyles@newsandpress.net

Located in the old Post Office / Hartsville Library building at the corner of Fifth Street and Home Avenue, the Hartsville Museum is something of an artifact itself, housed in a building that dates back to the 1930s. But the museum is also casting an eye toward the future by expanding into a building across the street, with plans to offer new exhibits and services to the community.

“Years ago we bought that building with plans to move all of our offsite storage into a safe location with good air conditioning, heating, and security. We accomplished that goal back in 2010 when we converted the section of the building that used to be Quality Hardware and turned that into storage,” says Kathy Dunlap, Hartsville Museum director.

“Now we have started Phase Two, the final phase, which is to turn the front of the building into a very large event venue. It will focus on exhibits and events, but it will also be available as a rental for people in the area,” says Dunlap.

The new space will feature some unique architectural details, such as a covered courtyard, an artsy floor in the events gallery (designed by architect Robert Goodson), drop ceiling “clouds” (designed by Lexi Black), and a spacious conference area.

“It’s going to be a nice addition to the museum’s programs and also to the town,” says Dunlap. “Through the years, people have asked us over and over if we have space in the museum to have events, and now we’re finally going to be able to offer that.”

Construction is currently underway and should be complete early this fall. Dunlap says the building could be open and available for use by the public by the end of the year.

All of the current history exhibits and art galleries, such as the W. Reaves McCall Gallery and Lawhon History Gallery, will remain in place. Those galleries feature local history and art exhibits and offer unique insights into the history of Hartsville, the Pee Dee region, and the state of South Carolina.
Museum tours can be scheduled for groups of students, churches, and seniors. Focused tours can concentrate on Native Americans, Cotton and the Early 20th Century Kitchen. General and special tours are scheduled at least 2 weeks in advance and limited to 25 persons per tour. While there, be sure to visit the museum gift store and check out their selection of books, postcards, and souvenirs.
The Hartsville Museum is located at 222 N. Fifth Street. Visit them on Facebook for the latest news on the new expansion, upcoming exhibits and more. Phone ahead to inquire about tours at 843-383-3005.

Author: Duane Childers

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