UNION — The more that 500 visitors who signed the guest register at the Union County Museum during a four-month period included residents of some of South Carolina’s largest cities and residents of some of its smaller communities.
Museum Director Ola Jean Kelly said that from the beginning of March through the end of June, a total of 541 visitors signed the museum’s guest register. The number of visitors included:
• 172 in March
• 112 in April
• 109 in May
• 148 in June
Kelly said the visitors to the museum during those months included South Carolinians from throughout the state.
“They came from thirty other cities and towns in South Carolina,” Kelly said. “Some of the larger places were Charleston, Columbia, Spartanburg and Greenville. First time visitors from smaller places were from Seabrook, Ruffin, Hodges and Varnville.”
Kelly said that the large number of visitors that signed the museum’s guest register suggests an even larger number of visitors as many who visit the museum do not sign it.
“We track attendance the attendance was good,” Kelly said. “Over one hundred people signed the register every month. We know a lot do not, perhaps they are afraid we’ll sell the list to telemarketers, but we don’t do that. This is for our private information. We use it to track where our visitors come from.”
Kelly said that in addition to those interested in viewing the items from the county’s history on display in the museum, many visitors are there for genealogical research, making use of the museum’s extensive genealogy collection. She said that this time of year there is an especially large number of visitors to the museum doing genealogical research.
The large number of visitors, especially those doing genealogical research, also has a positive impact on the museum’s gift shop which Kelly said is doing very well. She said that in addition to its genealogy collection, the museum has a large number of books available for purchase that can be used by genealogical researchers. Kelly said that many of those who come to do research through the genealogy collection often buy the books as well.
In addition to the books about genealogy, Kelly said the museum also has works of fiction for sale as well.
Speaking of books, the museum has recently added “Images of America: Union County” to its shelves.
“Our new book came out,” Kelly said. “It’s of Union County pictures and it’s called ‘Images of America.’ It was put together by our former employee Peter Triggiani who was assisted by an intern from USC Union, Amber Jackson. It’s an excellent book with photos of Union County landmarks and a great table of contents.”
Kelly said the cover of the book features the picture of a now long gone educational institution.
“The cover picture is the Clifford Female Seminary,” Kelly said. “It was located where the YMCA and parking are located now. It was a 45-room mansion and had 75 girls as boarding students. Boys were accepted as day students.”
The Union County Museum is located at 127 W. Main St., Union. For more information about the museum call 864-429-5081.
Union County’s history has its colorful side as this miniature still on display at the Union County Museum demonstrates. The still was also a featured exhibit in the Ag + Art Tour in June.
Charles Warner can be reached at 864-762-4090 or [email protected]