Friends of Aiken County Historical Museum Host County 150th Anniversary Lecture Series | News


The Aiken County Historical Museum’s five-part lecture series, titled “Biography of Our Home: 150 Years in Aiken County,” began Sunday afternoon.

The first part of the lecture series, entitled “The Founding of Aiken County”, was presented by Lauren Virgo, Executive Director of the museum.

“Every time you see an exhibit, a program, every time you see a restored and maintained artifact, it’s with funding from the Friends, that’s why they have fundraisers like this with the series of Friends conferences, ”said Virgo.

Many people are unaware that the Aiken County Historical Museum is a hybrid public-private organization, which means the county government maintains the building and grounds and pays the salaries, Virgo said.

During the presentation, Virgo explained the story in an exciting tone that kept the crowd engaged while providing a brief history covering topics such as American Indians, Colonial Era, Antebellum, Civil War, reconstruction, the Victorian era and the world wars.

The four remaining course topics are:

23 May: “The Impact of the Savannah River Site,” presented by Derek Berry.

June 6: “Three Classic Movers and Shakers in Aiken County: Evans, Jackson and Thurmond”, presented by Tom Mack.

June 13: “African American Stories from the Turn of the Century – The Seawright-Ellison and Thompson Families”, presented by Dr. Walter Curry.

June 20: “Exploring the four corners of Aiken County”, presented by Linda Johnson.

Johnson is a guide with the friends and is the organizer of this event.

“The topic was pretty obvious as it’s Aiken County’s 150th anniversary so I wanted to show it,” Johnson said.

“In choosing who would speak, I wanted to choose different aspects of the county that really affected him,” Johnson continued.

Johnson is also encouraging people to come back to the museum to see the changes that were made during its closure. The Friends are delighted to have completely reopened and invite people to come and see the history of their area, Johnson said.

“It’s just a joy to us that over the past year, we’ve been planning things and not being able to organize a single one and that we are (able to do it) again,” said Kathy. Cunningham, president of the Friends.

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Patrick F. Williams