Memories retained at Blackville Museum
The Blackville Museum took people on a walk down memory lane during its Nov. 12 open house.
There was a good turnout for the event, which was held as a way to showcase all the work that’s been done recently to preserve the town’s history. The museum opened in 2016 at 655 Main Street.
“I think it’s wonderful. They’ve done a good job,” said Blackville resident Arie Guess.
A pair of classic cars restored by her husband, the late W.S. “Buck” Guess Jr., are two highlights inside of the museum. The 1926 Ford Model T and 1931 Ford Model A were donated by the Frank J. and Lucy C. Hartzog Memorial Foundation to the Blackville Area Historical Society to be part of the museum’s collection.
“They are immaculate. He always did things perfectly,” said Guess of seeing the cars her husband restored on display for the community to enjoy. She said her husband won many awards for his restoration work on cars.
Buck Guess’s fascination with Model T’s and A’s began when he was just 15 years old. He and his brother Bobby would drive their tractor to Riser’s Ford Dealership in Olar to get parts for a broken down Model T they purchased for $5. In the years to follow, Guess would restore many Model T’s and A’s with original or reproduction parts. Many were seen in parades and featured in films, magazines and newspapers, according to information provided by the family.
The museum also includes an array of other relics, such as farming equipment, a small scale reproduction of Holman’s Bridge, an 1878 photo of town council, and information on the Blackville Emerson Industrial Institute. The latter was a school founded in the late 1880s for the black community through the Freedmen’s Bureau.
“The collection is fascinating with enough variety to please and interest anyone from the age of six to 96. I will definitely be back,” said Jeannie Davisin a post on the museum’s Facebook page. She attended the open house.
The museum also recognizes important former residents of Blackville, such as those displayed on the Hall of Fame wall. Among those highlighted are NFL football player Troy Brown and the late Solomon Blatt Sr., who served in the S.C. House of Representatives for more than 50 years.
Three documentaries about the town, including one on Healing Springs, can be viewed while sitting on a double-sided bench that used to sit in the town’s train depot. The depot building now houses the library.
Bill Quattlebaum, president of the Blackville Area Historical Society, said there was a great turnout for the event. He said the museum means a lot to his mother, Myrtle Quattlebaum, who led the effort to build a new museum. The previous museum closed many years ago and was housed in the town’s old jail downtown, but that building is in need of a lot of work.
Across the street from the new museum is what remains of the former Shamrock Hotel. Bill Quattlebaum said his father, the late Hugh W. Quattlebaum Sr., owned the hotel building in the 1960s and ran a radio and television repair shop on the first floor. The family even lived in the hotel for a year.
The museum always accepts new pieces for its collection as well as donations to help them continue their mission of preserving the town’s past. They also welcome volunteers.
The Blackville Museum is open Tuesdays from 2 to 4 p.m.; however, they welcome people, including tour and school groups, to set up appointments at other times. They recently had a group from Greer to visit.
Contact the museum at (803) 284-2525.