UNION — The Union County Museum is using the social media of today to tell the story of Union County’s past through an online virtual exhibit of postcards from the past 130 years.
Peter Triggiani, assistant to the museum’s director, said Thursday that the museum has posted 30 postcards, some of them dating back to the 1880s, on Facebook. He said the postings began on Saturday and are part of the museum’s plans to create a virtual exhibit of postcards and, eventually, other historical materials online.
“We have a historic postcard virtual exhibit online,” Triggiani said. “If you go to the museum’s website which is unioncountymuseum.com it will take you to a link which takes you to Facebook and our virtual exhibit of postcards. You need not be a member of Facebook to see the virtual postcard exhibit but if you are on Facebook you can look up the Union County Historical Society’s page. We not only have the postcards but also old photos of the city.”
Triggiani said museums today are using the Internet today to exhibit their collections. He said the museum chose to exhibit the postcards on Facebook because of its popularity and the opportunities it provides for public interaction.
“It’s a popular thing right now for museums to put their exhibits online through the virtual exhibit,” Triggiani said. “We chose to put it on the Facebook platform because of the popularity of the social media now. Not only can people see the postcards, they can share them with their friends and families online, comment on them, vote on which is their favorite, and reminisce.”
Triggiani said the postcards, some of which are in color while others are black and white, depict a number of historic landmarks, scenes from every day life over the past 130 years, the changing face of Union County during that time, and even a catastrophe.
“Some of the images go back as far as the early 1880s,” Triggiani said. “They are of our business district, churches and some historical things. There’s a postcard of the 1901 flood of the Pacolet River.”
One postcard depicts the old Union High School on Main Street. Five people have voted on Facebook that they like the postcard while another two have posted comments, one saying they “enjoyed looking at the old postcards” and another recalling that “I went there 2 yrs good ole days.”
Another postcard is a photo of “M.E. Tinsley’s Jewelers Parade display 1910.” Five people like it and there have been two shares.
One postcard, titled “Modern Stores on Main Street, Union, S.C.” depicts the McClellans’s 5 & 10, Glamor Shop, and Graham Cash Co. stores. Six voted that they like the postcard and one person commented that “loved that Dime store as called it back in the day.”
A postcard with a photo of the first Union County Courthouse which was demolished before World War I bears a Spartanburg postmark. It has drawn five likes and two shares.
The postcard with a photo of Finchers Bar-B-Q Restaurant on Pickney Street was provided by the Union Progress Club. Triggiani said that as of Thursday afternoon it was the most popular with a total of 24 people voting that they liked it and four persons commenting, reminiscing about their experiences at the restaurant. One commented that they used to get the fried catfish served at the restaurant while another recalled “So many memories. Cruising on Sundays Chicken salad was the best…..” Another recalled how they had “Many Saturday lunches there while working at Belk on Main St. The chicken salad sandwich, toasted, extra pickles and a pepsi!!!! Oh my goodness!!!” One person recalled how their first job was at Finchers where they “filled plates and made salads and deserts. I worked for $5 a day plus supper. Then I went into the mill and made real money, $1.20 per hour. Lord I was rich!!!”
Speaking of mills, the postcard with a photo of Monarch Mill drew 11 likes, three shares and three comments including one person who said “We are proud Monarch people… I know we all got our start in life here.. I think we turned out pretty good.” In response to this, another person commented “Yes we did going to look weird when the mill is not there Monarch Mill is a landmark for Union County. It’s a shame all that industry has gone to China.”
Triggiani said the museum plans to expand the number of postcards it has in the virtual online exhibit and asked for the public’s help in doing so.
“We’re going to be adding to the exhibit,” Triggiani said. “If people have postcards they want included they can stop by the museum and we’ll scan them in.”
The Union County Museum is open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday and from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday.
For more information about the Union County Museum call 429-5081 or visit unioncountymuseum.com.
Editor Charles Warner can be reached at 864-427-1234, ext. 14, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.