Historical Commission receives generous gift to start new year
By Jana E. Pye, Editor, email@example.com
The Darlington County Historical Commission receives frequent emails and postal mail each week asking for assistance with geneology, but they received one envelope after the holidays with a generous gift – $4,000 from Anita and Steve Nail from Greenville, MS.
“Their note specified that the gift was given in memory of Anita’s Darlington and Chesterfield ancestors, and specifically asked that we use it to buy something tangible, not just added to the ‘pot’,“ said DCHC director Brian Gandy told the commission board of directors at their January 2016 meeting. The money will go 100% for document conservation, and will be used to stabilize deteriorating documents.
Later in the meeting, the commission board discussed their historical marker program. They have planned on dedicating two sites a year, and have planned out as far as the year 2050. The next two markers will be the Lumber community, and the Darlington Manufacturing Company location.
Several sites have been slated for historical markers paid for by private owners or groups.
A future publication collaboration between the Darlington County Recreation Department and Historical Commission will be a paperback book entitled “Top 50 Things to Do in Darlington County” that will feature 25 historical locations that are easily accessible to visitors. That project will begin in the next few weeks with a writer from Greenville.
A PayPal account has been set up for the Commission for payment for documents, “and for contributions, hint-hint!” said director Brian Gandy.
A new brochure is in the works, that will help illustrate what the Commission has for records, services they provide, and suggestions for what they would like for donations.
Expansion for the Commission’s website will greatly enhance the search for genealogy enthusiasts that are unable to visit in person. A “Genealogical Starter Kit” for new genealogists is yet another project that the Commission is looking forward to sharing.
Recent donations to the Commission included photographs and negatives from the News and Press; two portraits of Mr. & Mrs. A.F. Edwards from 1800’s; 14 aerial photographs of manufacturing facilities in Darlington County; three books: “Barnwell Blarney” b Eugene Ziegler, Harper’s Weekly on Civil War, and 1880 John Dargan Howle and Martha Vann Family Bible; Jill K. Lyles genealogical files; and 1940 wedding dress, Suzanne DeMaurice Peterson.
Over 95 visitors stopped by the Commission in December; for the year 2015, 1,150 walk-in patrons were logged, including one vistor from Hawaii and one from Switzerland. North Carolina topped the list of states with the most frequent visits. For the coming year, staff will begin tracking telephone and email requests to provide a more accurate representation of daily workloads and patron volume.
A special visitor to the Commission during the January meeting was two time Purple Heart recipient Roosevelt Wallace. Wallace brought his medal to the Commission by request. He received the honor twice while serving in the Viet Nam War; the medal is bestowed for the first injury; subsequent injuries are awarded an oak leaf cluster, which is attached to the ribbon.
Wallace is a member of the Military Order of Purple Hearts for the Pee Dee area, and assists veterans with receiving benefits and honors that they often are not aware of.
His group is currently assisting with honoring a 94-year-old veteran from Timmonsville that never received his medal for his service in WW II.
For more information on the Purple Heart organization, contact Wallace at: 843-858-3943.