Williston Museum is a treasure
ver the decades much of Williston’s history was lost to fires but in 1989 the current museum was founded by the late Billie Jean Martin Sprawls. Sprawls and others searched for and gathered items to be placed in an early Williston school house. The museum shares the building with the community’s library. On display are mementoes of Williston’s agricultural history as “Asparagus capital”, a country store, dentist office, and items from notable former residents and those service men and women who have sacrificed for freedom. Additionally there are items from Wonderful Williston Weekend festivals and Williston-Elko Blue Devil memorabilia, clothing worn in the early 1900s, and articles related to the Best Friend train of Charleston. Sprawls served for many years on the Williston Town Council as well as serving as curator of the Williston Museum until her death in 2003. Following her death, the Williston Museum was closed for several years. The Williston Town Council eventually established the Williston Museum Committee to oversee the operation of the museum. The Williston Museum Committee worked for several years to renovate the museum building and to expand the museum’s collections. The museum reopened to the public Oct. 25, 2008. The museum is open Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located at 5121 Springfield Road, Williston. To see the museum at another time, schedule an event or volunteer, call the Williston Town Hall at (803) 266-7015. At right, this switchboard was in the bedroom of the Lee Hightower family. Mr. Hightower was the lineman and Mrs. Ruby Hightower was chief operator and bookkeeper. She provided 24 hour service if needed.
Museum remembers agricultural past Located between Blackville and Elko, the Agricultural Heritage Museum interprets the historical and cultural influences of agriculture on the area, according to its website. Displays and equipment tell visitors the story of agriculture from the 18th to 19th centuries. The building itself is located on the campus of Clemson University's Edisto Research & Education Center, three miles west of Blackville on Hwy. 78. This provides a unique opportunity for the public to revisit the past and observe modern agricultural research as it is being conducted. Groups and families of all ages are welcome. Custom school field trips are available. Admission is free for students K-12; $2 per person for group of 10 or more. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. To set up a tour, contact Don Still at (803) 266-3925 or Jennings Owens at (803) 260-2534. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 21
A guide to Barnwell County, SC