From great Bar-B-Q to live music, fun for the entire family is promised at the third annual Summer Celebration of the Laurens County Delegation. Senator Danny Verdin and Representative Mike Pitts joined board members of the Laurens County Museum yesterday to announce this year’s event on September 5th is to be a kick-off for a capital campaign for the new museum on the Square on Main Street.
Board member Faye Edge noted yesterday that the museum is already being recognized for its exhibits and special events. “We were real fortunate about a week ago to be selected by the Greenville News as the Best Museum in the Upstate. We were excited about that. That’s a wonderful feather in our cap.” She said that stabilization work has already been done on the building, and they’re now getting ready to start working on the façade that faces the Public Square, letting residents see that work is underway. “We are ready to start doing some work on the façade. We’ve got windows ordered, they should be here soon. And once we get started working I think our community is going to come forward and see that we are serious, we want to get this museum going, we want to help our Downtown area and we want to help the education of our children.”
Museum Board Chairman Phil Adair told about some of the advantages the new museum building on the Square will offer. “We’ve got two floors that are completely open. We’re going to have approximately five times more exhibit area in this building that we currently have.” Phil Adair said the new museum will also have a lecture room for improved presentations as well as teaching space for students from District 55 and 56 schools. He said the new building will also be an asset for the Downtown Business community. “It’ll also help the merchants around the square…the restaurants, the shops. Hopefully it will revitalize the square just a little bit more.”
Representative Mike Pitts also noted the economic importance of the new Museum for the community. He said because of that the Laurens County Delegation had state funding for the new museum approved in the Senate and the House. However, when the Governor vetoed that funding, they were unable to override the veto in the house. Representative Pitts defended his attempt to get state funding for the Museum. “If you look around the square in Laurens you’ll see where the state provided grant money for Downtown revitalization over a period of years. So we have an investment in Laurens County to begin with and this building is a part of that investment.”
Representative Mike Pitts said having a museum for Laurens County’s past is important so that our youth have a place to learn about our local history. “Folks without museums and the work that this board does we lose our sense of culture, we lose our sense of where we came from. And we all know that history repeats itself, and if you don’t know the history you have a tendency to make mistakes over and over.”
Senator Danny Verdin spoke on behalf of the Laurens County Delegation, saying they’re happy to be using their third annual Summer Celebration to focus attention on the new Laurens County Museum on September 5th. He said the Museum will be a great asset for the County.“I have a small business on the way into town here and for years, especially on Saturdays, I’ve had numerous out-of-towners stop in the store and say, ‘are we close to Laurens, are we in Laurens yet? We’re from so-and-so’ some state, 3, 4, even on the West Coast, looking for their ancestral roots….looking to reestablish connection with their historical heritage. And it’s going to be so nice to have one more resource to integrate and tie people from all over the country into Laurens County’s history here.”
Senator Verdin stressed the Fund-Raising event is not just for Laurens County residents, and he encouraged everyone to use their social media contacts to invite our friends from all over to come to the special event at the Little River Park. There is no charge to attend, but opportunities to donate to the $750,000 to $1 million campaign will be given.
The museum building was given to the County by a Texan with ties to Laurens County, who then also provided funds that stabilized the building. Now, they hope to raise between $750,000 and $1 million to complete the master plan for renovating the three-story structure with a modern interior but an 1880s look on the outside.
The fund-raising kickoff will be held Thursday, September 5th at the Laurens Little River Park from 4 until 7pm. there will be fun for the entire family, including live music and great bar-b-q. It’s all free, but there will be an opportunity for folks to donate to the Capital Campaign.