Historical Commission entrusted with Mason artifacts

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

The Darlington County Historical Commission Board of Directors held their monthly meeting November 5 at the Society Hill Railroad Depot. Board members seemed very impressed with the carefully restored building, which is now available to host business and social events in the gleaming front rooms and the spacious, rustic cargo bay.

Historical Commission director Brian Gandy informed the board that efforts to secure artifacts from the St. David’s Masonic Lodge have met with success. Gandy said donations should include lodge records from 1840 through 1970, a Darlington Knights of Pythias sword, and some Darlington York Rite lambskin aprons.

Acquiring these records and artifacts will allow the Commission to properly preserve and store them, prolonging their viability and keeping this chapter of Masonic history alive for future generations.

Gandy also outlined several other donations acquired last month, including the E.G. Parks letters (a correspondence between Mr. Parks and his wife detailing his Civil War service and Gold Rush ventures), 15 framed and matted photos of Darlington County Council from 1960 to 2012, 21 pages of information on John Witherspoon DuBose, a Times of Tribute edition with entries on Billy Farrow, information on the historic Dove Dale Plantation, and historical information on the Abson family.

The board voted to proceed with the publication of a tourism and history guide, tentatively titled “Top 50 Things to Do in Darlington County.” The Historical Commission will pay one-third of the cost to create the guide, totaling about $2,400, with Darlington County Parks and Recreation and Darlington County administration paying the remainder.

Board chair Bill Segars said Darlington County administrator Terence Arrington confirmed the county would pay publication costs for the guide, which should be a pocket-sized color book filled with photos, maps, and information about county historical sites and recreation activities.

The Historical Commission received 192 visitors in October, up over 70 from last year. Several of these visitors were business students from the Netherlands (part of a SiMT tour) who seemed eager to learn more about rural America and round out their cultural understanding, just in case future business ventures bring them back to this neck of the woods.

Upcoming events of interest include: The Byrd Family reunion on Nov. 21, and a workshop focused on the history and ancestry of female African Americans scheduled for March 4 and 5, 2016.

The next board meeting is scheduled for Dec. 3 at the Darlington County Historical Commission building, located at 204 Hewitt Street in Darlington. Visit or call 843-398-4710 for more information.

Author: Jana Pye

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