The Aiken County Historical Museum opened its newly renovated exhibit on Thursday evening celebrating the 150th anniversary of Aiken County.
“This is an opportunity not only to celebrate the history of Aiken Town, but the history of Aiken County and it is a chance for us to build with our community and represent a bit of history. from each region, ”said Lauren Virgo, executive director of the Aiken County Historical Museum.
Over the past year and a half, the museum has used sales tax money on capital projects to renovate the structure of the building. The oldest part of the building dates from 1862 and the most recent part from 1931.
“One of the things we have done with our Aiken County 150th Anniversary exhibit on the history of Aiken County is to incorporate new technologies into it. Since we can no longer use the interactive touchscreen carts that you sometimes use in museums, we had to find other ways to engage visitors, ”said Virgo.
The museum is trying to engage more in the digital age with the use of social media. Aikencounty150.org features YouTube videos from the museum that feature a variety of historians from across the county talking about history in different parts of the county.
The museum tries to bring history to the fore with precision, without bias, and will tell stories of injustice, stories of happiness, the Great Depression and more, Virgo said.
“Life isn’t always pure moments of greatness, it’s also times of defeat and times when we could have done a lot better,” said Virgo.
Carol Wood, a guest at the inauguration, said she was thrilled to come to the exhibit to see what they’ve put together. Wood said the museum is important because it contains a lot of things that have been donated so that people in the present can see how things were done in the past. Wood said she knew a lot about some of the items that were donated.
“These girls have been working extremely hard on this, there are countless hours of finding and positioning the objects, so the physical part is over so that’s what excites me, but more importantly, it’s a great overview of the county, ”said Phillip Strawbridge, chairman of the Aiken County Historical Commission.
Strawbridge said there was something for everyone at the museum, and noted there was a clear effort to represent all parts of the county.
The museum is working on a five-year plan to renovate other exhibits throughout the museum. The military exhibit at the museum is the next to be worked on.
The Aiken County Historical Museum is planning to hold a party on October 1 to celebrate the 150th anniversary of Aiken County.