Society Hill hosts council meeting at The Depot

Mayor Tommy Bradshaw and Depot committee member Gail Gandy give a tour of the rear part of the Depot after the town council meeting. Photo by Jana E. Pye

Mayor Tommy Bradshaw and Depot committee member Gail Gandy give a tour of the rear part of the Depot after the town council meeting.
Photo by Jana E. Pye

By Jana E. Pye, Editor,

The monthly meeting of the Society Hill town council was a treat on October 13, as it was the first official event held at the newly restored Depot, the historic train depot station on Main Street.

The contractor for the project, Bill Segars, spoke to the council and community members in attendance about the building: “Society Hill is gold mine,” said Segars. “On a personal note, we have enjoyed working with this committee and working in Society Hill,” said Segars. “I want to challenge council and the town of Society Hill to use the building. It was designed and laid out for day-to-day use with bathrooms, a kitchenette facility. It was designed to be a good conference area, I want to see it used by all members of Society Hill. Society Hill from a historical standpoint is a gold mine. Historical tourism – it’s here in Society Hill. The Depot is a wonderful place for people to come and start their trip through the town. It’s going to have to be promoted and worked on, but the potential is here within the building and within Society hill. You are all locals and you take it for granted, but I am telling you I have had people that have come specifically to look at this building and when they ride up and down. People like to come to a place where they can see a lot of history at one time in one place and it’s easy. You have 14 historical signs within Society Hill – there are 74 in Darlington County. Historical tourism is becoming a big thing, and this can become a wonderful place if it is worked and handled right. The Depot committee is coming up with rules and guidelines on how it will be used. Enjoy and support the building – not just financially, but by enthusiasm and support.”

After the meeting, Mayor Tommy Bradshaw gave a tour of the building.

“We are still fundraising to get the last finishing touches done,” said Bradshaw. “At that time, will install al plaque with all the donors to show for posterity all the people that contributed to preserve this historic building. We will be adding items to decorate it, and I think it will bring back a lot of memories for people of Society Hill, and draw in people from across the country who are fascinated with train depots. We are rare with this unusual flat roof.”

In other news, the town sold the old refrigerator, and bought a new one.

Council voted to approve for the following items to be paid for:

• Graham Locksmith will be contracted to “re-key” the town hall building, and other properties owned by the town.
• The property at the river will be rented on November 1st, but during an inspection termites were found in the rear of the building. It needs to be treated, and put on a schedule for annual treatments to insure the pests do no more damage.
• Floodlights will be repaired at the town entrance; an electrician will be hired to do this.

The new executive director of the Greater Darlington Chamber of Commerce, Sabrina Derry, spoke to the council, and offered her assistance in promoting Society Hill. She encouraged them to consider hosting a Business After Hours at the renovated Depot, and asked that they find a member from the community to join the board to represent the town at the board meetings. She also invited them to attend the Toast of Darlington on November 5th, and said that there is still time to register as a food sponsor for the event.

The Annual Catfish Festival will be held in Society Hill on November 7th from 9 – 4 p.m. and chair Carolyn Oliver said that anyone that wishes to be a vendor or to assist as a volunteer may contact her at: “I especially need servers for the catfish stew,” said Oliver. The parade will begin at Welsh Neck Baptist Church, and end at the Festival Grounds at St. David’s Academy lawn on Main Street. Mobile users, please click link to see more photos: Society Hill Depot

Author: Jana Pye

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