Originally created 12/24/06

Museum preserves the history of Aiken County



I am new to the area. When I arrived in September, I began to learn about the fascinating history of Aiken County.

I came from Poland Spring, Maine, and this is my first December with 70 degree weather. My wife lived here for 11 years. I met her here, and it was love at first sight. It took me 12 years to persuade her to marry me, but that's a long story. We came here to become snowbirds, but I became the director of the Aiken County Historical Museum (Banksia) in September.

Many changes are taking place at the museum. I believe that a museum must change exhibits regularly or people will become bored, so, through the help of the staffers and volunteers, we have begun making adjustments and changes, which I hope you will visit Banksia and enjoy.

As this column is being written, the Little Red Schoolhouse is receiving a much-needed two coats of stain, and the 1808 log cabin also is being coated with a clear preservative specifically for log cabins.

This past month, we had more than a dozen master gardeners review the needs of the Banksia grounds. The weather is so great down here, there should be flowers blooming year round on the property. With their expertise and the help of the Rose Society, the Camellia Society and the Hydrangea Society, we will have beautiful floral displays for you to enjoy.

We have prepared the museum for the holiday season. The ballroom and the living room have been decorated by the volunteers and staffers for Christmas, Hanukkah and Kwanzaa.

The Aiken County History Room has been reorganized for a better timeline. Did you know that the railroad came through Aiken in 1835 because of a love story; that at one time Aiken County was the Asparagus Capital of the United States; that Aiken was the site of the last Confederate victory in the War Between the States?

Also, the post office room has been painted, and changes for the season have been made, featuring beautiful Victorian postcards.

The January exhibit in the ballroom will be a photo exhibit called My Favorite Horse. We are asking people to send in framed 8- by-10-inch horse photos ready for hanging. The exhibit will be Jan. 3-31.

If you haven't been to Banksia recently, you are missing some interesting stuff.