UNION — Whether they do so online or in person, people come from all over the world to visit the Union County Museum.
“We had visitors this month from many different places,” Museum Director Ola Jean Kelly stated in her report for the month of October.
Visitors to the museum are asked to sign its guest book, writing down not only their names but also where they are from and how they learned about the museum.
Kelly said that in October, 204 visitors to the museum signed the guest book and listed their places of residence. October’s visitors to the museum included residents of Union County as well as residents of other South Carolina communities including Blacksburg, Charleston, Columbia, Laurens, Myrtle Beach, Pageland, Rock Hill, Sharon, Spartanburg and Summerville.
Visitors from outside of South Carolina included residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Florida, North Carolina, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Texas, Virginia and Washington state.
“Since we began keeping these records we’ve entertained visitors from 48 of the fifty states, with the Dakotas missing,” Kelly said. “Recently we had a couple who stated that he was from North Dakota and had recently moved to this area and he actually wrote N.D. in the book as his residence. We decided to claim him for S.C. and perhaps one day soon we’ll welcome folk from the Dakotas.”
From time to time the museum also attracts visitors from overseas and October was one of those times.
“Our international visitors were a couple from Budapest, Hungary who have family in this area,” Kelly said.
The 21st century is the age of the Internet with any and all institutions having a presence on the web in general and social media such as Facebook in particular. The museum is no different in this respect from other institutions, and its Facebook page has enabled it to attract a growing number of online fans.
“Our “likes” on Facebook have climbed to 1,936 and could easily reach 2,000 soon,” Kelly said.
While its main floor houses the majority of its displays as well as its archives, gift shop, and offices, the museum’s basement houses its meeting room which is often used each month by a variety of local and area groups.
Kelly said that during October the United Daughters of the Confederacy, the Union Music Club, and the Union County Clemson Club used the meeting room.
“We are grateful for the financial support these three fine organizations give us,” Kelly said.
In addition to serving individual visitors, the museum also hosts special tours by educational and other groups.
Kelly said that during October the museum was visited by three second grade classes from Monarch Elementary School who walked there from the school accompanied by teachers, parents and chaperones. She said that both Leadership Union and their leader along with a group from USC Union were given special tours.
The Buffalo School Reunion Group did not request an on-site tour, but Kelly said the museum did share its photographs with them for their event.
Mark Dec. 5 in your calendars because that’s the day of Christmas at the Cross Keys House, an event that Kelly said will feature a number of entertaining activities.
“We are partnering with the Boogaloo group for a special afternoon at the Cross Keys Plantation from 11-4,” Kelly said. “Actors will be in various locations on the grounds and in the buildings. There will be music, tours, interactive drama and period decorations as well as strolling carolers. Father Christmas will be present in the parlor for pictures.”
Kelly said that Christmas at the Cross Keys House “will be a ticketed event and we need lots of volunteer help both on the day and prior to that for cleaning and preparing the facilities. Call the museum at 429-5081 to sign up.”
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or firstname.lastname@example.org.