Whether you’re there for the first time or you’ve been there a dozen times before, anyone and everyone who visits the Union County Museum is urged by the museum’s director and staff to sign the guest register.
In May, 216 people signed the guest register which is located at the Main Street entrance to the museum. However, Director Ola Jean Kelly pointed out that the actual number of visitors is probably much higher because not all those who visit the museum sign the register. Kelly said it is important that visitors to the museum sign the register as it enables the staff to keep an accurate count of how many people visit the museum each month. She said even if a person has visited the museum previously and signed the register, they should again sign it each time they return.
“The staff and I still struggle to get visitors to sign the guest book,” Kelly said. “Many repeat visitors think that once they have signed the book they need never sign again, but we strive to educate them by stating that this is a monthly count.”
In addition to signing their names, Kelly said visitors are also encouraged to list their place of residence so museum staff can have an accurate idea of how many visitors are from Union County, other parts of South Carolina, other states, and from outside the country.
Of the 216 visitors who signed the register in May, Kelly said 54 were from other South Carolina communities including Aiken, Chapin, Cherokee County, Columbia, Darlington, Greenville, Greer, Inman, Isle of Palms, Liberty, New Ellenton, Pacolet, Pawley’s Island, Prosperity, Richburg, Simpsonville, Spartanburg, Westminster and Woodruff. Eighteen were from other states including Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, North Carolina, Texas, Vermont, Virginia and Washington State. There were no international visitors.
While not necessary for the purpose of an accurate count of the number of visitors to the museum each month and their places of residence, visitors are also encouraged to write comments in the register about the museum. Just as not all visitors sign the register, not all write comments, but those that do have had nothing but good to say about the museum. This continued to be the case in May with visitors from throughout South Carolina and beyond expressing how much they enjoyed their visit, with two of them promising return visits.
• “Beautifully displayed.” — Greenville visitor
• “Very helpful! Great work!” — Hoover, Alabama
• “Very enjoyable and informative.” — Inman, SC
• “Excellent. Good work.” — Isle of Palms
• “1st time. This place is incredible. Love it. Will be back.” — Union native
• “We will be back when we have more time.” — Winder, Georgia, doing genealogical research
In addition to its main floor display area and genealogy research section, the museum has a meeting room in its basement. Many organizations make use of the room for meetings each month and May was no exception.
Kelly said the groups that met in the meeting room during May included the DAR; Jolly Christians, a senior citizens group from the Chapin United Methodist Church; the Union High School Class of 2002 Reunion Committee; Leadership Union; a business recruitment meeting; and the Union County Education Association.
For more information about the Union County Museum, its displays, genealogical research facilities, meeting room and other services, call 429-5081. The museum is located at 127 W. Main St., Union, and is open Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9 a.m.-4 p.m. and Saturday 2-5 p.m.