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Aiken has fascinating back story

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Elliott Levy was surprised at the response.

When patrons at last year's Aiken County Historical Museum and University of South Carolina Aiken lecture series were asked how many had lived in Aiken for less than five years, all 75 of them raised their hands.

Mr. Levy, the museum's executive director, said he was surprised that Aiken natives were not a part of the crowd.

"They are really missing out," he said.

The lecture series -- The Many Facets of Aiken -- will be from 10:30 to 11:30 a.m. on four consecutive Tuesdays, beginning Jan. 22.

The series is limited to 75 people on a first-come, first-served basis, and slots fill up quickly, he said.

"Every year, we turn people away," he said.

The first speaker will be Owen Clary, Aiken County Historical Commission chairman, who will outline the county's history.

"He probably knows as much as any person around" about the county's past, Mr. Levy said. "He brings in interesting anecdotes you won't find in books. He shares a broad scope of what has happened in Aiken."

Other speakers will include Walt Joseph, who worked at the Savannah River Site from 1954 to 1993 and will speak on the site's impact on the area; and Rosamund McDuffie, whose family lived in Aiken's old Winter Colony.

When Ms. McDuffie talks about the Winter Colony, Mr. Levy said, "You can close your eyes and picture what this place was like then."

Also, Wilkins Byrd will give an overview of the Winter Colony, the homes and their architecture.

The cost of the lecture series is $30, which includes a $15 contribution to the Friends of the Aiken County Historical Museum and a one-year membership.

Checks should be made payable to the University of South Carolina Aiken and mailed to USC Aiken Continuing Education, Campus Box 20, 471 University Parkway, Aiken, SC 29801.

Reach Charmain Brackett at czbrackett@hotmail.com.


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