Writer Mark Jones returns to Barnwell

First Byline: 
Susan Delk - Managing Editor

A large crowd turned out to hear a presentation on the history of Jazz and the Jenkins' Orphanage Band Feb. 9.
Mark Jones, now a Charleston author, returned to Barnwell to present the program during the Barnwell County Museum's Black History Month celebration.
Jones, a 1977 Barnwell High graduate, has written five books and his latest, Doin' the Charleston, brings alive South Carolina's contribution to the history of Ragtime and Jazz.
Jones' book chronicles the Jenkins Ophanage Band under the leadership of Rev. Daniel Jenkins, who was a freed slave from Barnwell County.
Barnwell County Museum Boardmember Mrs. E. Mitchell Lebby actually saw the Jenkins Orphanage Band perform during a class field trip when she was in third grade, she said.
Rev. Jenkins ended up in Charleston and when he saw a group of abandonded African-American children huddled around a fire to keep warm, decided to open an orphanage.
Rev. Jenkins had the children to learn to play instruments and he began to tour the newly-formed band around the country to fundraise for the growing orphanage.
Jones, a tour guide in Charleston, said he stumbled upon the history of the Ophanage Band during research for his tours of the city.