Information Please Live TYPE Area inside the the Your Guide to Pink/Purple Box Barnwell County Living
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The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 3
is published by The People.Sentinel
P.O.Box 1255 • 10481 Dunbarton Boulevard • Barnwell, S.C. 29812 (803) 259-3501 • Fax (803) 259-2703 Email: email@example.com • Website: www.thepeoplesentinel.com Publisher: Laura J. McKenzie • Managing Editor: Jonathan Vickery Sales Representative: Shawn Roundtree • Bookkeeper: Linda Collins Delivery Drivers: Rodney Creech & Angie Crosby *Editor Jonathan Vickery took the cover photo at the annual fishing rodeo in May 2016 at the Barnwell Fish Hatchery sponsored by the S.C. Department of Natural Resources.
What’s Inside History of Barnwell County........................................5 Barnwell County Government....................................5 Municipalities of Barnwell County.........................6-10 Barnwell, Blackville, Elko, Hilda, Kline, Snelling & Williston
Businesses & Industries.....................................11-14 New jobs, agriculture, Barnwell Regional Airport
Emergency Services...........................................15-16 Health Care, Law Enforcement, Fire Departments
Community Events..................................................17 Community Arts......................................................18 Community Libraries...............................................19 Community History.............................................20-21 Museums of Barnwell County
Community Recreation......................................22-23 Hunting, fishing & boating; Parks; Sports
Community Involvement..........................................24 Civic groups in Barnwell County
Community of Faith.................................................25 Education..........................................................26-29 The People-Sentinel.................................................30 Please support the local advertisers who support this magazine. About this magazine
is an annual publication of The People.Sentinel For additional copies, please call (803) 259-3501 or stop by our office at 10481 Dunbarton Blvd., Barnwell
A note from the editor There’s a saying, “You never know what you have until it’s gone.” That was true for me as I grew up not truly appreciating the wonderful community of Barnwell County. It wasn’t until years later after I had moved away for college and then returned here to work at the newspaper that I truly realized what a great place this is to live, work, worship and raise a family. I’m proud to call Barnwell County home. If you are new to the area or contemplating a move here, please peruse the pages of this magazine to get a glimpse into what our community has to offer. We may be small, but we have a lot to offer. Like any community, we have challenges, but the people of Barnwell County are the best you’ll find anywhere. Being a small community means there are tighter bonds between the people who live here. From raising funds for cancer research at Relay for Life to banding together during the 2014 ice storm that crippled our community but not our spirit of helping, many in our community give sacrificially by volunteering their time, talents and money. Just last year we came together to make coastal evacuees feel at home during Hurricane Matthew. As you’ll see in this magazine, Barnwell County has plenty to do. A church, school, organization, business or town is almost always hosting a community event, which are great opportunities to meet new people. If you love the outdoors, we have several options for you. From the abundant opportunities at the State Park to the walking trail at Lake Brown, there’s no excuse not to get out and enjoy the great outdoors. I recommend filling up bottles with the refreshing water from Healing Springs in Blackville. That’s where I get my drinking water. I would be remiss if I did not mention our businesses both large and small. Last year brought some promising economic news, which we hope will continue into 2017. We have many locally owned small businesses that offer unique goods, some of which are made right here in Barnwell County. Welcome home! Sincerely,
General inquiries or news tips: (803) 259-3501 Send comments and suggestions to Managing Editor Jonathan Vickery at firstname.lastname@example.org 4 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
Jonathan Vickery, Managing Editor of The People-Sentinel
Barnwell County at a glance
arnwell County, once called Winton County, was named after Revolutionary War figure John Barnwell. Like many small Southern areas, Barnwell County grew with the introduction of the railroad. At the time, the railroad linked Charleston to the old town of Hamburg on the Savannah River. Alongside the railroad, small towns, including Blackville and Williston, sprung up creating stops along the railroad. On Christmas Day, 1830, the locomotive “Best Friend” made the first trip along the 136-mile route, averaging 12 miles per hour. At the time it was the longest railroad in the world. By the 1840s, over 100,000 bales of cotton a year were being shipped along it to Charleston. By the 1990s, the railroad tracks had been removed from the area. A highway now runs along the same route. That’s a bit about our past. Read the rest of this magazine to find out about our present and future. Barnwell County Council Freddie Houston (District 1) David Kenner (District 2) Don Harper (District 3) Lowell Jowers (District 4) Ben Kinlaw (District 5) Harold Buckmon (District 6) Jerry Creech (District 7)
Welcome to Barnwell Co.
County Administrator: Pickens Williams Jr. (803) 541-1000 57 Wall Street Barnwell, S.C. 29812
*Council meets the second Tuesday of every month.
Barnwell resident Sondra Knight painted the above map of Barnwell County that includes some of the area’s most iconic buildings and sites.
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Cities of Barnwell Co.
City of Barnwell
ost small communities have a town square where shops and government buildings are centered. The City of Barnwell has The Circle and this wonderful community spirals out from there like points of a star. The city is the county seat of Barnwell County with the courthouse and town hall both on The Circle. Originally known as “Red Hill” or “The Village”, Barnwell was incorporated in 1829 and is the largest community of the county encompassing 7.8 square miles with approximately 4,600 residents. Barnwell shines with a thriving business community whose shop owners know their customers as friends and neighbors. There are plenty of restaurants to enjoy a variety of menus. There are also places to relax such as a sports complex at Lemon Park, fishing and boating at Lake Edgar Brown, walking trails and sports facilities at Fuller Park, a gorgeous garden spot at Collins Park and a local Family YMCA. For the arts-minded, the city is home to the Barnwell County Museum and The Circle Theatre. A modern library is situated on The Circle offering both print and digital resources, a community meeting room, and special events for children and adults. There are four public schools in Barnwell 45, all within the city limits – Barnwell High, Guinyard-Butler Middle School, Barnwell Elementary and Barnwell Primary. The center of Barnwell is only minutes away from a local airport and a public/private golf course. It is also within an hour’s drive of larger cities such as Columbia and Aiken. But most of all, Barnwell has wonderful, caring residents who participate in local events, support fundraisers, and invest in their community while welcoming newcomers to discover what Barnwell residents already know - it is a place to call home.
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Karrie Bolen, 11, Addie Bolen, 4, and Sadie Beyer, 5, have their picture taken with Santa at the city’s Breakfast with Santa event in Dec. 2016.
Who’s in charge Mayor: Edward Lemon
Administrator John Zawacki
City Hall: 130 Main Street (803) 259-3266
Town of Blackville
Cities of Barnwell Co.
Who’s in charge Clerk City Hall: Mayor: Michael Beasley Harriett McKnight 5983 Lartigue St. (803) 284-2444 www.townofblackville.com
lackville is a town with dreams and a future. Public officials and residents want a re-blossoming of their community. But they aren’t just sitting around waiting for those dreams to come true – they’re working at it. A unified Blackville Town Council has its government on track to grow with improved infrastructure and partnerships with business and property owners. The town is working with the Blackville Community Development Corporation to eliminate blighted areas and create a town of 2,034 residents that shows its pride in every aspect. “Appreciation” is a word heard over and over at council meetings and community events – people are appreciated for their participation in making Blackville a place for business, industry and residents to succeed. Blackville is a place that loves festivals. The Music and Arts Festival, the Taste of Blackville (April 15, 2017) and holiday celebrations draw people from all over to this community of 9.035 square miles. The town also hosts several restaurants, some of which are known far and wide for their food and special offerings. Blackville has three public schools and one private school – Blackville-Hilda High, Blackville-Hilda Middle School, Macedonia Elementary and Jefferson Davis Academy.
The Together Sisters organization hosts an annual Halloween party for local children as an alternative to trick-or-treating.
Nearby Blackville is Healing Springs, a fresh-water springs considered to have healing properties. Residents and tourists have been coming there for centuries to sip the water on-site and fill jugs for savoring later. Healing Springs was “deeded to God” and is cared for by one of many churches which make up the spiritual backbone of the community. To the west of town is the Edisto Research and Experiment Center, a major Clemson Extension research facility. Blackville hosts a library, a community building and this year opened a new museum (see story on page 20). Community leaders aren’t content to sit still – industries are being actively sought for its industrial park. Blackville residents invite everyone to be a part of their vision.
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Cities of Barnwell Co.
Town of Williston Who’s in charge Mayor: Jason Stapleton
Administrator Kenny Cook www.williston-sc.com
illiston is all about community. The community has a population of around 3,000 people and is full of families and neighbors who are always willing to lend a helping hand. The town lies in the center of the former Charleston-Hamburg railroad line, the line of the Best Friend locomotive. Williston was incorporated in 1858 and again after the Civil War, during which General Sherman’s troops marched through the town. Over its history the town has suffered significant fires in its downtown area but has risen from the ashes each time to be stronger and better because it has the heart of its residents. The town encompasses 8.996 square miles with its downtown area along U.S. Hwy. 78. Williston is just a short drive to Aiken (roughly 20 miles), and is considered by many as the industrial and manufacturing hub in Barnwell County. Home of the Blue Devils, Williston has three public schools – Williston-Elko High, Williston-Elko Middle and Kelly-
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City Hall: 301 W. Main St. (803) 266-7015
At left, students receive free school supplies during a back-to-school bash held at Williston-Elko High that was made possible because of dozens of local organizations and businesses.
Edwards Elementary School. Community parks, a museum, library and country club provide recreation to all ages. In more recent years the railroad line was converted into a walking trail and dedicated in 2015 to Tommy Rivers who served this community as its mayor for 25 years before turning over the office to Mayor Jason Stapleton. In addition to recreation, local restaurants are places for neighbors to chat over delicious food. When the word “community” is said, there is a sense of togetherness. Residents in Williston pull together in strong volunteer organizations, churches and schools to support the needs of its community. They also reach out to other organizations and towns to enhance that sense of community. It is also home to a new Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) festival to be held in April 2017. Last year’s inaugural festival drew 2,500 people to the community. Williston is a community that has pride in its past but has an exciting present with an eye to the future.
Cities of Barnwell Co.
Mayor Marty Schumpert
Town Hall: 10067 U.S. 78, Elko, S.C. 29826
lko is located on S.C. 37 between the towns of E Williston and Blackville. The town has a population of approximately 200, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
A great example of small-town America, Elko’s Town Hall, post office and fire department share the same building. 2016 marked the seventh year for the town of Elko Farmers’ Market. Pictured above is market manager Jeanne Johnson. The market is open May through November on Saturdays near the corner of U.S. 78 and S.C. 37. It attracts vendors of all types and is a delightful place to purchase fresh vegetables and lovely crafts. Looking to the future, the town hopes to work on water system improvements, install new fire hydrants and purchase or construct a permanent farmers’ market structure.
Mayor William Cave
Town Hall: 55 Railroad Ave., Kline, S.C. 29812
line is located on U.S. 278 and has a population of K approximately 200. Chartered on June 11, 1895, the town was originally named
Brownell. Because its name was similar to Barnwell, it was changed to Kline in 1900. The town has a park, as well as an active recreation department. A project is just getting underway to replace its tiny town hall with an expanded town hall and community center. Every Christmas, the town has a tree-lighting ceremony in front of town hall with Christmas carol singing, special readings, lighting of the tree and food. The tree, planted in front of the town hall, stands over 40 feet tall. It had nearly died, but was brought back to full health. It stands as a symbol of the town’s strength. The town also sponsors a back-to-school bash (pictured) in August where they give away backpacks and school supplies. A large peach operation sells fresh peaches in season.
Town Hall: 35 Railroad Ave., Hilda, S.C. 29813
Mayor John McClary
rains and tortoises are centerpieces in the town of Hilda where life is lived easy. The Depot, which remains from when the town’s main transportation artery was the railroad, is a place for community gatherings such as “Christmas at the Depot” (pictured above). Next to it is a red caboose. Additionally, the old rail bed has been converted into a walking trail. Next to the town hall is a pen which houses the town’s mascots – gopher tortoises including the two oldest - Lucy and Frank. These special stars of the town bring students and visitors to the community. Businesses are situated around the Depot and nearby on S.C. 70. But Hilda’s primary stars are its 450 residents who enjoy a rural lifestyle and love calling Hilda “home”.
Town Hall: 30 Morris St., Barnwell, S.C. 29812
Snelling Mayor Paul Moore
nelling, located along S.C. 64 west of Barnwell, has S approximately 274 residents. In the early 1950s, Snelling was slated to be dissolved to make
way for construction of the Savannah River Site. After changes in the borders of SRS, the town was spared the same fate met by the former towns of Dunbarton, Ellenton and Myers Mill. The town opened their new town hall in 2012. It is connected to the fire department by a conference room. The town holds their annual Christmas tree lighting service in front of the town hall each year. A staple of the town is the Snelling Town Park, which has a walking path for residents to enjoy as well as a picnic shelter and playground equipment for youngsters. The town has several major industries in the S.C. Advanced Technology Park, a 1,606-acre, fully equipped, state-of-the-art industrial park that has rail on site.
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Cities of Barnwell Co.
This circa 1951 photo shows the juxtaposition of old and new. The building on the right, located just outside downtown Ellenton, was known as the "Blue Goose Diner." On the left, a reactor piece is heading to its new home.
The ‘displaced’ parts of Barnwell County
arnwell County encompasses seven municipalities; however, it used to include one more town. The town of Dunbarton was among several communities to be displaced after the U.S. Atomic Energy Commission acquired 123,100 acres from Barnwell County as well as 73,462 from Aiken County and 4,084 from Allendale County to construct a new nuclear weapons facility – now known as the Savannah River Site. Other affected communities included the town of Ellenton (on Aiken/Barnwell County border) and several unincorporated communities, such as Meyers Mill. In all, more than 5,000 people had to relocate. While the town of Dunbarton is long gone, memories of its people and places live on in relics of the past and the memories of former residents. An annual Dunbarton Reunion is held the first Sunday of May every year. The 64th annual reunion is set for Sunday, May 7, 2017 at the Barnwell State Park community building. After enjoying a buffet of barbecue and all the fixings, former residents and their families share stories and browse memorabilia from their former town. “If you don’t show up, you don’t know what you’re missing,” said Margaret Rountree, a former Dunbarton resident who now lives in Elko, during the 2016 reunion. She lives in the same home as she did growing up in Dunbarton because her parents had it moved. She thanks the younger generation of relatives of former residents for keeping the annual reunion alive because it’s important to remember the past. “The cemeteries continue to grow,” she said. As residents relocated to Aiken, Barnwell, Williston and other communities, a number of homes and other buildings were relocated as well. Joyce Branch Baptist Church, which was established in Dunbarton in 1831, only had seven members at the time of 10 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
Deidre Hayes (above) shows photos of the house she bought in Williston that used to be in Dunbarton. She is working to restore it to its former glory.
the announcement, according to former Dunbarton resident Corrie Lee Dicks, who moved to Barnwell. The church building was purchased at auction by Barnwell First Baptist Church for $639.50. It was moved to a site on Hagood Avenue in Barnwell to start a mission church. A steeple and brick walls were added. On Oct. 4, 1953, the first service was held at Hagood Avenue Baptist Church, according to the church’s website. The building was moved again after Hagood Avenue Baptist constructed a larger sanctuary in 1988 to accommodate its growing congregation. The old Joyce Branch Baptist sanctuary is now home to Cornerstone Baptist Church in Aiken. Jessie Burckhalter’s house is another building that was moved from Dunbarton. It was originally located near
Joyce Branch Baptist Church but now is situated on Rosemary Street in Williston. Though vacant for many years, Deidre Hayes recently purchased the home in an effort to restore it. She is the daughter of the late Cliff and Betty Gardner of Barnwell. “I love seeing things brought back to life. I’ve wanted this property since I was a kid,” said Hayes, who spent time playing at the Burckhalter property as a child. After living many years in California, Hayes and her husband moved to Williston five years ago. That’s when she noticed the condition of the home she once admired. “That bothered me,” she said. As the sixth owner of the house, Hayes said she’s had fun researching the home and its former owners. She also has learned about Jessie Burckhalter, a farmer who lived in the house when it was moved to Williston. He rented rooms upstairs to workers who were building the Savannah River Site. His first wife, Annie Laurie, died in 1947. He later married Bertha Johnson, who owned land beside his property in Williston. They decided to marry and join together their properties since he had the house and she had land. Hayes said she wants to keep the original integrity of the house and integrate characteristics from the 1830s when the house was built and 1950s when it was moved. Photos of many of Dunbarton’s buildings as well as other relics were on display at the reunion. Rountree brought a musical horn that used to be on a 1937 Ford Coupe. She remembers it being played as the car was driven through Dunbarton when she was a child in the 1940s. She was later given the horn and recently had it fixed so it could be played at the reunion. To learn more about Dunbarton’s past, visit www.bcvm.org/Dunbarton.
Business & Industry
S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley (center) joins various officials for the July 2016 groundbreaking on an expansion at Swiss Krono’s plant.
New jobs coming to Barnwell County Looking for a job? S.C. Works Center (Barnwell office) 248 Wall St., (803) 450-1000
Good Jobs Build
Opportunities. Good Jobs Build
Communities. Good Jobs Build
Our Industries Provide Good Jobs. As the economic engine of our local economy, our industries create opportunities for service providers and retail businesses, while providing additional tax revenue to fund county services, schools and a great quality of life. Our companies also provide unique and exciting job opportunities for our local residents. You don’t have to leave Barnwell County to find high quality jobs that can make your dreams come true.
ew jobs are on the way to Barnwell County as existing companies expand and new ones move in. While some of the 134 jobs have been filled for the new Orchids Paper Products plant, there are still opportunities as construction continues to make the plant fully operational in 2017 with the addition of a paper mill. The plant makes paper towels, toilet paper and other products. Existing companies are also investing in the area by expanding their facilities and growing their workforce. Most notable is Swiss Krono which is investing $230 million and creating 100 new jobs in its latest expansion of its wood laminate flooring facility near Snelling. An estimated 450 construction jobs are also expected to be created over the next two years as a result of the expansion. “Success breeds more success, as in the case of Kronotex (now Swiss Krono),” said Danny Black, president and CEO of SouthernCarolina Alliance (SCA), a regional economic development organization that represents six counties. “Unitech and Dayco are two other companies in Barnwell County that continue to grow and add jobs here.” “Other county industries have announced or are nearing Continued on page 12
That’s why SouthernCarolina Alliance and Barnwell County continue to work closely with our industries to help them grow, while marketing the Southern Carolina region of our state as the best place in the world to live and work.
Regionalism at Work for Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Colleton, Hampton and Jasper Counties
www.southerncarolina.org | 803.541.0023 The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 11
Business possible announcement of expansions. We have also experienced positive interest from companies looking to locate in this area in the near future. SRS (Savannah River Site) has stated that they intend to hire 2,000 new workers in the next five years,” said Tommy Boyleston, executive director of the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission. “Over the last 20 years, SouthernCarolina Alliance and Barnwell County have laid the groundwork for future success by diversifying our economy and focusing on product development and infrastructure. By recruiting manufacturing outside of the textile industry and SRS missions, which were once the primary employers in Barnwell County, we now have several other industry clusters operating in the area, including plastics and composites, forest products, chemicals, and metal fabrication,” said Black. “In addition, we continue to bring new companies to the area, and we are seeing more of those companies affiliated with the surrounding automotive and aerospace industries.” Another plus for the entire region is the federal Promise Zone designation, which Black believes is a benefit to local and county governments, schools and civic organizations. Being designated as a Promise Zone gives preference to the region on applications for federal grants. SCA is the lead agency. “The S.C. Promise Zone is a ten-year designation that will make it easier for our communities to access assistance for a myriad of projects in our region in health care, housing, education, and economic development, among other sectors. Since October of 2015, the region’s organizations have received almost $14 million in Promise Zone funding; we have also announced $410,450,000 in private capital
FROM PAGE 11 investment and 314 new jobs,” said Black. Both the EDC and SCA are looking forward to the possibilities 2017 brings for Barnwell County. Boyleston said their goals for 2017 include “improving our product (industrial parks and industrial buildings), coordinating with SCA to market Barnwell County to interests around the world, assisting our existing industry as they succeed and grow, providing assistance for small business development and entrepreneurship, working alongside several agencies in workforce improvement, and generally promoting Barnwell County as a good place to live, work, play and do business.” SCA also believes the future of the region is “brighter than ever. Our plans for 2017 include identifying and developing state-of-the-art industrial parks and buildings to attract industries; assisting our counties and municipalities with community development issues such as infrastructure, health care facilities, and schools when requested and within our ability to help; and, of course, recruiting companies from around the world to our area,” said Black. Barnwell County is also home to many small businesses that provide job opportunities and much-needed services, such as restaurants, family owned stores, auto body shops, car dealerships, gift shops and landscaping businesses, to name just a few. Several new small businesses opened in 2016 with more expected to open in 2017, meaning more good news for Barnwell County. The Barnwell County Chamber of Commerce is another resource for local businesses – large and small. It provides professional development opportunities, networking events and free advertisements for its members.
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Business & Industry
Watermelons (above) and peanuts (at left) are two of the crops grown in Barnwell County.
Agriculture in Barnwell County
ot only does agriculture produce food we need to survive, it means jobs and incomes for hundreds of families in Barnwell County. According to the latest data available from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Barnwell County has 412 farms encompassing 92,679 acres. The average farm size is 225 acres. A variety of crops are produced throughout the year, including watermelons, strawberries, soybeans, cotton, peanuts, cantaloupes, peaches, corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, wheat, oats, hay and pecans. The county also has dairies and farms raising chickens and cattle. Many producers, big and small, sell their goods at Barnwell County’s two farmers markets located in Elko and Barnwell. Farmers have a number of resources locally to help them, such as the Farm Service Agency and Clemson Extension. Joe Varn, a Clemson Extension agent, said his job deals with research and making sure farmers are educated about the best practices and latest developments. The Edisto Research and Education Center in Blackville, one of only four such centers in the state, plays a big role in that. They test new products and herbicides against proven products so they can make recommendations to farmers on the best product to use. “Their task is to find better ways to grow and harvest crops, raise beef
cattle, and conserve natural resources. It’s problem solving centers like Edisto REC that make it possible for consumers to shop at supermarkets stocked with an abundance of high quality food,” states the center’s page on Clemson’s website. They also host field days at the research center centered on watermelons, peanuts, soybeans and cotton. These events are not only for farmers but the public as well. Future Farmers To help produce future generations of farmers, the Barnwell County Career Center offers public, private and home-schooled students an agriculture program. Mindy Sandifer, who has been the program’s instructor for 15 years, teaches six courses, which include wildlife management, agriculture science and forestry. She reestablished the program, which had been dormant for 20 years, with just eight students; however, it quickly became one of the career center’s most popular programs as it reaches capacity every year. Sandifer also oversees their FFA chapter, a youth organization associated with the agricultural program that “provides many leadership and career-building opportunities for students on a local, state and national level,” said Sandifer. FFA students compete in career development events, perform community service to meet their motto of “Living to Serve”.
“The FFA members work with Mrs. Shannon Herndon, county 4-H extension agent, the Barnwell County Farm Bureau, and the Colleton Bamberg Young Farmer’s Chapter to build agriculture awareness in the surrounding communities annually,” she said. The BCCC FFA chapter has been recognized nationally as one of the top chapters in the U.S. for several years. The partnership developed by chapter members and Sandifer with the adult members of the local agricultural industry has also garnered them recognition as the Southeast’s best for a couple years. Sandifer said more than 15 of her former students have completed college degrees and returned to the community to work in agriculture over the past several years. “Many of the graduates have full-time positions at the Edisto Research and Education Center, while others hold full-time positions with S.C. Department of Natural Resources, Collum’s Lumber, and local farming or landscaping operations.” Another graduate is the Agricultural Instructor at Aiken High School. 4-H is another resource in the county for children and teens. It’s a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills. Programs include: Science, Engineering and Technology; Citizenship and Healthy Lifestyles. For information on Barnwell County 4-H go to: www. clemson.edu/barnwell and click on the clover. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 13
A pilot from Florida fuels up at the airport before heading to North Carolina in advance of Hurricane Matthew in Oct. 2016.
Barnwell Regional Airport
he pages of Barnwell Regional Airport’s guestbook Maurice “Reese” Still are the airport’s two employees. The new terminal was built in 2007 and offers space to rest are filled with comments praising the general aviation airport for its friendly staff, reliable service and or work. A courtesy van is available for patrons to use. The airport is also popular because it is “easy to get in affordable fuel prices. While you won’t find commercial planes at Barnwell and out of,” said Freer, who has worked at the airport for 10 Regional Airport, the general aviation airport sees plenty of years. Barnwell Regional Airport was originally built as a B-52 traffic from corporate jets to personal planes coming from all across the country, including New York, West Virginia and Mitchell Bomber training base during World War II because Pennsylvania. The military also hosts trainings at the airport the “Columbia Air Base simply did not have enough room for from time to time, including one in 2015 that brought in 65 the expected large number of planes and pilots in the training pipeline,” according to www.barnwellregionalairport.com. helicopters from six states. “It’s a good advertisement for Barnwell,” said P.F. Beck, Construction on the $1 million project started in September chairman of the airport commission. Beck, who has been flying 1942 and was completed in March 1943 after crews worked out of the airport for nearly 53 years, said Barnwell is known around the clock. Several other satellite bases were built around the state. all over the nation in the aviation community. After the war, the U.S. Army turned the air base over to Beck said the airport creates a big impact locally because the state of South Carolina. they sell fuel and rent hangars Barnwell County was granted – their two main sources of ownership in the 1950s. revenue. However, the impact Since that time, many people spreads into the community have enjoyed the airport, as some guests spend time in including John McKay. The the community by eating at 2008 graduate of Barnwell local restaurants, shopping at High School learned how to stores and staying at hotels. fly at the airport. He is now in “That benefits the local the U.S. Navy where he flies economy,” said Beck, who has Business jets often stop in at Barnwell Regional Airport. F-18s off of aircraft carriers. been on the commission since The dedicated folks at Barnwell Regional Airport truly have 2002. The annual Corvair College attracts nearly 100 people a love for what they do, which they are happy to discuss with from all over, including California and Canada, to Barnwell visitors. Beck and Freer said their love of flying and planes Regional Airport. The event teaches people how to convert goes back to their childhoods. Learn more about Barnwell Regional Airport at www. engines from a Chevrolet Corvair car for use in an airplane. barnwellregionalairport.com or by calling (803) 259-1090. It is The 2017 event will be held in March. Barnwell Regional Airport plays a part in economic located at 155 Airport Road, Barnwell. development efforts in that they provide a place for CEOs and other officials from corporations to fly in and visit. Some own existing industries while others may be looking at the area for a possible site. “What they see here is the very first impression they have of Barnwell County,” said Beck of why they seek to make the airport a clean, welcoming and accommodating place. That’s why the airport’s staff and commission have worked hard over the years to make improvements to the facility, including a new terminal, refurbished runway, new fence and new runway lights. Approximately $9 million in grants have helped make many projects possible during Beck’s tenure on the commission. They maintain a good working relationship with the Federal Aviation Administration’s Columbia office. “We wouldn’t have any traffic here if we didn’t have a nice terminal,” said airport manager Tim Freer. Freer and lineman The airport offers a relaxing spot for pilots to take a break. 14 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
emergency services In an emergency, dial 911 Barnwell County Emergency Management Director: Roger Riley (803) 541-1001 Medshore Ambulance Service Williston, S.C. 29853 (803) 266-7019
Ruby, a drug-sniffing dog, is the sheriff’s office’s newest resource in the fight against drugs.
group of men and women are ready to lend a hand whenever the community needs them. Barnwell County has four law enforcement agencies to keep the county safe and bring criminals to justice. While the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office watches over the whole community, the city of Barnwell and towns of Blackville and Williston each have their own police force. There is also a county-wide drug/ gang task force that was started in 2014. It is run by the sheriff’s office and funded by the county and all seven municipalities. So far, a number of arrests have been made and drugs and weapons have been taken off the streets. Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley and his staff are there in times of need, including Hurricane Matthew in October 2016.
Even though Barnwell County is approximately 100 miles from the coast, the storm still brought heavy rain and wind that toppled many trees. As a result of an ice storm in 2014, the idea to build a “Power Wagon” was born as a way to charge emergency communication tools and boost cell phone service in times of need. Thanks to students at the Barnwell County Career Center, the Power Wagon was created at little cost. The power wagon has been used during emergency operations across the state, garnered numerous awards and inspired other counties to build similar trailers. Besides law enforcement and emergency management officials, Barnwell County is fortunate to have a dedicated group of mostly volunteer firefighters at 11 departments spread across the county, 911 operators, and paramedics. Barnwell County Fire Coordinator: Timbo Williams
Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office Sheriff Ed Carroll (803) 541-1052 Barnwell Police Department Chief Reuben Black (803) 259-1838 Blackville Police Department Chief John Holston (803) 284-2333 Williston Police Department Chief Rodney Pruitt (803) 266-7011
FIRE Departments •Barnwell City - District 1 • Chief Tony Dicks •Blackville - District 2 • Chief Hariel Corley
•Elko - District 3 • Chief Michael Schumpert
•Hilda - District 4 • Chief Thomas Sharpe •Kline - District 5 • Chief Sims Morris •Snelling - District 6 • Chief Bobby Morris •Williston - District 7 • Chief Milton Widener •Red Oak - District 8 • Chief Joe Gaines •Friendship - District 9 • Chief Wayne Ray •Barnwell Rural - District 11• Chief Jessie Elmore •Long Branch - District 12 • Chief Andy Hogg
S.C. Forestry Commission
To be eligible to burn yard debris outside the city limits, call the S.C. Forestry Commission to report where you will be burning. For Barnwell County, call (800) 895-7061.
The CodeRED Weather Warning system provides county officials the ability to quickly deliver messages to targeted areas or the entire county. It taps into the National Weather Service’s Storm Based Warnings. Sign up at www.coderedweb.com.
The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 15
Health Care in Barnwell County Barnwell County has a variety of healthcare options locally and regionally. Barnwell County and Low Country Health Care are working together to provide an urgent care facility with extended hours on weeknights. Hospitals in Allendale, Aiken, Orangeburg, Columbia and Augusta (Ga.) are not far away for specialized care. Medshore provides ambulance services to get patients where they need to be for emergency or critical care. Medshore has substations located throughout the county for quicker response on scene by EMTs and paramedics.
Air Methods serves Barnwell County with helicopter transport and offers a special insurance package for Barnwell County residents to cover potential emergency transportation costs. Many Barnwell County firefighters also have first responder certification to offer additional emergency medical response. There are medical practices in Barnwell, Blackville and Williston, three nursing homes providing short and long-term services, specialists and a variety of public health organizations offering personalized care for both body and mind.
In case of an emergency, always dial 911
Axis 1 Center The county’s only provider of substance abuse treatment and prevention services. Help is available for individuals and families affected by substance abuse from newborns to adults. They also have a 24-hour crisis line and food bank for those who are in need of assistance. Director: Cheryl Azouri Long 1644 Jackson Street, Barnwell (803) 541-1245 - www.axis1.org
Laurel Baye Healthcare of Blackville 1612 Jones Bridge Road, Blackville (803) 284-4313
S.C. Department of Health & Environmental Control/ Barnwell County Health Department 11015 Ellenton Street, Barnwell Hours: 8:30 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday - Friday (803) 541-1061 Allendale/Barnwell Disabilities & Special Needs Board 20 Park Street, Barnwell Director: Brent Parker (803) 584-5050 Generations Unlimited Operates the Gail Reyes Senior Center in Barnwell and Golden Retreat Center in Blackville as well as the Local Motion transportation system. Director: Lisa Firmender 10915 Ellenton Street, Barnwell (803) 541-1249 16 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
Laurel Baye Healthcare of Williston 5721 Springfield Road, Williston (803) 266-3229 PruittHealth - Barnwell 31 Wren Street, Barnwell (803) 259-5547
Community fun all year long
Barnwell Elementary Veterans Day program
Barnwell Christmas Tree Lighting
Barnwell County Special Olympics
No matter what time of year it is, there is always something Community events special to do in Barnwell •Easter Egg Hunts County. There are festivals, Early to mid-April workshops, sporting events, •Stations of the Cross parades and special events. Good Friday Festivals include the Science, •Special Olympics Engineering, Technology and late spring Math (STEM) Festival in Williston in the spring, the Taste of Blackville •Relay for Life late spring (April 15, 2017) and Blackville Music and Arts Festival during the summer and fall months, as Christmas well as “mini” festivals on The Celebrations Circle in Barnwell. •Snelling - Tree Lighting The entire community gathers first Sunday after Thanksgiving at Veterans Memorial Park in •Barnwell - Tree Lighting Barnwell for the annual Fourth of Thursday after Thanksgiving; July celebration with fireworks. Christmas Parade - first All during the school year residents can be found cheering Saturday in December on their teams at local athletic •Kline - Tree Lighting - first events, both boys and girls, for the Sunday in December Barnwell Warhorses, Williston- •Williston - Christmas Parade Elko Blue Devils, Blackville- & Tree Lighting - first weekend Hilda Hawks or Jefferson in December Davis Academy Raiders. The recreation departments in the •Blackville - Christmas Parade & Tree Lighting city of Barnwell and towns of second weekend in December Blackville and Williston also offer several programs, such •Hilda - Christmas at the as basketball, cheerleading, Depot - December baseball and soccer, throughout the year. It’s not just local teams – Lemon Park draws Dixie Youth teams from across the state to play tournaments at the facility. On the rare occasion you can’t find a special event to attend, Barnwell County’s parks and natural resources offer a breath of fresh air. You can picnic at Kilkenny Park, take the kids to play at Lemon Park, go fishing at Lake Brown, walk around the track at Veterans Memorial Park or Snelling Town Park, or explore Barnwell State Park. Williston’s Town Park has playground and sports venues. Like to run? 5K and walk/run races are scheduled throughout the year as fundraisers or just for fun. Holidays are special times for Easter egg or Candy Cane hunts, parades, concerts, and Christmas tree lightings in every community. Additionally, non-profit organizations sponsor events such as Relay for Life, Back-to-School fairs, Mother-Son and Father-Daughter dances or workshops and much more.
Night of the Unleashed fundraiser for The Animal Advocates The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 17
Arts in Barnwell County
ou don’t have to go very far to find talent. We’ve got it right here in Barnwell County! Do you love watching a play? There’s a little gem in the City of Barnwell that will make you laugh or cry, and possibly both, depending on the play. Circle Theatre, located on Academy Street, has been in existence for more than 40 years. It offers three plays each year, plus a summer camp for youngsters. Recent seasons have brought some big name musicals to the small stage, including 1776. To make any play a reality, Circle Theatre relies on volunteers. They are always seeking actors, crew members, set builders, and others interested in being a part of the theatre. Details on the current season are available online at www. barnwellcircletheatre.com as well as on their Facebook page. Salkehatchie Stew serves up recipes of the creative juices and rich histories of Barnwell, Bamberg, Allendale, Colleton and Hampton counties with their annual plays, which are presented each spring throughout the five-county region. The play takes real life stories of people - past and present - from the Salkehatchie region and weaves them together into a creative script. In addition, several schools put on plays for the community. Williston-Elko High School has been producing a big play each spring for over 20 years under the direction of teacher Betty Alsept. You can also usually find a concert, whether at a church or school, where you’ll hear some of Barnwell County’s talented individuals perform. The county is also home to a number of artists who craft unique items, such as pottery, paintings, soap, jewelry and more.
Above, Cruella de Vil is captured by the dog catcher in “101 Dalmations” at Circle Theatre while students from Williston-Elko High perform “The Little Mermaid” (below).
Barnwell County Arts Council The mission of the Barnwell Director: Dana Bell County Arts Council, to educate www.barnwellarts.com and stimulate participation in the email@example.com Cultural Arts, is brought to life through the council’s yearly events and outreaches. The council promotes artistic education by presenting programs of visual, literary and performing arts and artists. Concerts, fundraising events, membership drives, donations, generous sponsorships and grants enable the Barnwell County Arts Council to fulfill its mission. The Barnwell County Arts Council is governed by a 12-member board which oversees its programs. The board meets every other third Tuesday of the month at 5:30 p.m. The Barnwell County Arts Council’s office is located in the Barnwell County Museum at 9426 Marlboro Avenue in Barnwell. 18 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
While many people still come to the library for books, the computers have become a popular feature.
Libraries offer more than books
Barnwell County Branches
Barnwell Branch Manager: Kim Hatfield 40 Burr Street (803) 259-3612 Hours: • Monday-Wednesday, Friday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. • Thursday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. • Saturday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. • Sunday: closed
Blackville Branch Manager: Ruthie Hewitt 19420 Solomon Blatt Avenue (803) 284-2295 Hours: • Monday, Tuesday, Thursday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 to 6 p.m. • Wednesday: 2 to 6 p.m. • Friday-Sunday: closed
Williston Branch Manager: Jo Crider 5121 Springfield Road (803) 266-3027 Hours: • Monday-Thursday: 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., 2 to 6 p.m. • Friday-Sunday: closed E-Newsletters: Subscribe to e-Newsletters offered by the ABBE Regional Library System including an edition about programs and events at the Barnwell County Public Library and This Just In, a monthly compilation of the newest books, audiobooks, and DVDs available to library cardholders. Visit www.abbelib.org to subscribe.
arnwell County’s three public libraries offer more than just books on a shelf. The Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield (ABBE) Regional Library System operates the Barnwell, Blackville and Williston branches in Barnwell County. “The Barnwell County libraries continue to serve as destinations in their communities where people of all ages come together for programs, lifelong learning opportunities, recreational reading, school support, and job seeker services,” said Mary Jo Dawson, director of the ABBE Regional Library System. Use of the libraries in Barnwell County is growing. During the 2016 fiscal year, the libraries in Barnwell, Blackville and Williston were visited 167,000 times. This is an increase of 12 percent more than the 2015 fiscal year gate count of 148,000 visitors to the public libraries. During the visits, patrons checked out a total of 49,000 library items - 31,000 in Barnwell, 3,000 in Blackville, and 15,000 in Williston. The ABBE Regional Library System’s Digital Branch Library continues to grow in popularity with 30,500 downloads during the year. Patrons can select from a variety of eBooks, audiobooks, movies, and music by visiting www.abbe-lib.org and clicking on the Digital Branch Library link. The library system offers events throughout the year to engage residents of all ages, including weekly story time for preschoolers. The library’s annual summer reading program remains one of its most popular events of the year with 360 children and teens registering and participating in the reading goal. During the months of June and July, more than 1,150 children and teens attended a summer reading program at one of the libraries. In recent years the ABBE Regional Library System has upgraded its online services, such as adding Hoopla, a digital service that makes movies, television shows, music albums, eBooks, audiobooks and comics available to all library card holders. “We are aware that there is increased demand for mobile and digital technologies that allow patrons to view content outside our walls so we expanded a digital branch library to include access to Hoopla. It’s free and easy to use, there is no waiting period for popular titles, and automatic return means no late fees,” said Dawson. The Hoopla service at the ABBE Digital Branch Library makes more than 300,000 titles immediately available for borrowing online. Patrons can check out up to eight items per month. This is in addition to the materials already offered on ABBE’s 3M Cloud Library and Overdrive services. Dawson said they have more people utilizing their facilities for online services, such as filing taxes and using the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce website looking for work. “Thanks to a federal grant received in fiscal year 2014, the public libraries in Barnwell and Blackville are now offering access to specialized computer workstations with software and databases geared to users who are creating resumes, writing cover letters, searching for jobs, and completing online job applications,” she said. In the past fiscal year, the Barnwell branch had 16,142 sessions on their computers, while Blackville and Williston had 3,600 and 4,300 sessions, respectively. While use of the library’s standalone public computers has declined in accordance with nationwide trends, the 24/7 free WiFi, which is available both in each of the Barnwell County library buildings as well as on the grounds - remains popular as more citizens acquire smartphones, tablets, and laptops. “The public libraries in Barnwell County improve the quality of life for each of the communities we serve,” said Dawson. “I hope that every citizen in Barnwell County will visit one of our buildings in 2017 and take advantage of the programs and services we offer.” The library system receives funding from local governments, but also relies on donations. The Friends of the Libraries of Barnwell County is a non-profit group that seeks to raise funds for the three Barnwell County branches. Mail donations to P.O. Box 183, Barnwell, S.C. 29812 or learn more by calling Dawson at (803) 642-7575. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 19
Barnwell Co. Museum turning 40
he Barnwell County Museum staff and volunteers are T gearing up for the 40th anniversary of the museum, which opened to the public on June 22, 1978.
Anyone interested in donating artifacts pertaining to the history of the old Barnwell District (including present day Allendale and Bamberg counties) should contact the museum to make an appointment. The Effie Mae Fuller Community Center, located behind the museum, is available as a community rental space for family reunions, business meetings and other private events. Events for 2017 include a Black History Month program in February, a historic church tour in the spring, the Centennial of World War I in April, Jewish Heritage Month in May, second annual “Spirits Alive: Folk Tour” in October, and the Annual Donor Reception at the Historic HolmanFuller House Museum in December. Throughout the year the museum will focus on educational outreach for 3rd, 8th, and 10th grade levels, featuring the subjects of archeology, art and U.S. History. Featured exhibits will include the Centennial of World War I and the 75th Anniversary of World War II. The museum is seeking information regarding Barnwell, Bamberg, and Allendale County veterans of WWI and WWII. The museum is collaborating with Barnwell District Genealogical and Historical Chapter (a chapter of the South Carolina Genealogical Society) to preserve and record the history of Barnwell District (Barnwell, Bamberg, and Allendale counties). The museum manager’s office, genealogy research center, and collection of William Bartram prints are located in the Anne Hagood Gallery of the Effie Mae Fuller Community Center. The museum is working to repair the old German Prisoner of War guard shack, commonly known as the Old Police Station that sits on the Circle in downtown Barnwell. Chief Rueben Black and the Barnwell Police Department participated in “No Shave November” in 2016 to raise money to conserve the building.
Musical performers dress up as colonial people to promote a traveling Revolutionary War display that came to the museum.
The police station’s history dates back to 1944 when it was built by Charles C. “Carl” Cheek with the assistance of German prisoners of war who helped draw up the plan and worked on construction. Before it became the police station, the structure was used as a guard house during World War II for the prisoner of war camp at the corner of Hagood Avenue and Park Street in Barnwell. “We are close to reaching our fundraising goal and would love to see the guard shack restoration complete in time for the annual Barnwell City Tree Lighting and visit from Santa in 2017,” said Jerry Morris, chairman of the board. Donations are needed and can be sent to the Barnwell County Museum, Attn: Preservation Campaign, P.O. Box 422, Barnwell, S.C. 29812. The museum is open Tuesday through Thursday from 3 to 5:30 p.m. and by appointment. Contact the museum at (803) 259-1916, barnwellmuseum@ gmail.com or www.facebook.com/BarnwellCountyMuseum.
New museum shares Blackville’s heritage A
n effort started a number of years ago came to fruition in 2016 with the opening of the Blackville Heritage Museum at 655 Main Street, Blackville. Myrtle Quattlebaum, members of the Blackville Area Historical Society (BAHS) and local dignitaries broke ground Saturday, April 18, 2015 at the site to begin construction of the building. The museum building is now complete and houses a collection of artifacts. “We want the museum to be an asset not only to the Town of Blackville but also to the whole surrounding area. Each one of you is a part of Blackville’s history,” she said. As part of an ongoing project, she invites residents to share their genealogies and artifacts to be placed in the museum. BAHS members are arranging the displays and getting ready for a formal grand opening in 2017 at a date to be announced. In the meantime, the museum is ready for visitors. Two special contributions to the museum are a pair of antique cars. “The cars were donated by the Frank J. and Lucy C. Hartzog Memorial Foundation, Inc. to the Blackville Area Historical Society. They are a 1926 Ford Model T and a 1931 Ford Model A. They were both completely restored by the late W. S. “Buck” Guess Jr. of Blackville. He was the husband of Ms. Arie B. Guess, a long-time school teacher and guidance counselor, who still resides in Blackville,” said Quattlebaum. 20 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
The Blackville Heritage Museum is now open and includes items that were in the kitchen of the old Shamrock Hotel. BAHS members said they hope these are the first of many contributions to the museum to document Blackville’s history and highlights.. The museum is open on Tuesdays from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and by appointment by calling (803) 284-3267, (803) 284-2525 or (803) 300-1578.
Williston Museum is a treasure
ver the decades much of Williston’s history was lost to fires but in 1989 the current museum was founded by the late Billie Jean Martin Sprawls. Sprawls and others searched for and gathered items to be placed in an early Williston school house. The museum shares the building with the community’s library. On display are mementoes of Williston’s agricultural history as “Asparagus capital”, a country store, dentist office, and items from notable former residents and those service men and women who have sacrificed for freedom. Additionally there are items from Wonderful Williston Weekend festivals and Williston-Elko Blue Devil memorabilia, clothing worn in the early 1900s, and articles related to the Best Friend train of Charleston. Sprawls served for many years on the Williston Town Council as well as serving as curator of the Williston Museum until her death in 2003. Following her death, the Williston Museum was closed for several years. The Williston Town Council eventually established the Williston Museum Committee to oversee the operation of the museum. The Williston Museum Committee worked for several years to renovate the museum building and to expand the museum’s collections. The museum reopened to the public Oct. 25, 2008. The museum is open Tuesday and Thursday from 2 to 4 p.m. Admission is free. The museum is located at 5121 Springfield Road, Williston. To see the museum at another time, schedule an event or volunteer, call the Williston Town Hall at (803) 266-7015. At right, this switchboard was in the bedroom of the Lee Hightower family. Mr. Hightower was the lineman and Mrs. Ruby Hightower was chief operator and bookkeeper. She provided 24 hour service if needed.
Museum remembers agricultural past Located between Blackville and Elko, the Agricultural Heritage Museum interprets the historical and cultural influences of agriculture on the area, according to its website. Displays and equipment tell visitors the story of agriculture from the 18th to 19th centuries. The building itself is located on the campus of Clemson University's Edisto Research & Education Center, three miles west of Blackville on Hwy. 78. This provides a unique opportunity for the public to revisit the past and observe modern agricultural research as it is being conducted. Groups and families of all ages are welcome. Custom school field trips are available. Admission is free for students K-12; $2 per person for group of 10 or more. The museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. by appointment only. To set up a tour, contact Don Still at (803) 266-3925 or Jennings Owens at (803) 260-2534. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 21
Enjoy the great outdoors
This photo of Lake Brown, courtesy of Melissa Roberts Photography, shows some of Barnwell County’s natural beauty.
ove the outdoors? Barnwell County is the perfect spot for hunting, fishing, boating and camping. Whether you are looking for a spot to picnic or are serious about playing a sport, there are many parks and sites within Barnwell County to find outdoor recreation. Additionally, Barnwell County is bounded by the scenic Savannah River. Barnwell State Park is a community favorite situated between Barnwell and Blackville. It is one of 16 state parks built by the Civilian Conservation Corps during the Great Depression. Barnwell is best known for its great fishing spots. Three small lakes host a large population of crappie, bream, bass and catfish. Overnighters can take advantage of the Barnwell State Park cabins and campground, both of which sit only a short walk from the park lakes. Recreational opportunities include non-motorized fishing boat rentals, picnicking
Public Parks Barnwell
•Collins Park •Darnell Park •Fuller Park •Jack Phillips Park •Kilkenny Park To reserve a park in Barnwell, call (803) 259-3317. •Lake Edgar Brown •Lemon Park •Veterans Memorial Park
and a nature trail that winds around one of the lakes. A community building is available for meetings, reunions, weddings and other group gatherings. Admission is free. The park is open each day from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. with extended hours during Daylight Savings Time. The park’s office is open daily from 11 a.m. to noon and 4 to 5 p.m. Pets are not allowed in or around cabins and other lodging facilities. Pets are allowed in most outdoor areas provided they are kept under physical restraint or on a leash not longer than six feet. Owners will be asked to remove noisy or dangerous pets or pets that threaten or harass wildlife. Lake Edgar Brown encompasses 100 acres and can be accessed within the City of Barnwell by a boating ramp and small piers. There is also a lighted walking trail surrounding a portion of the lake. The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources recently reopened its 15-acre Fish Hatchery in Barnwell. The mission of the fish hatchery program “is to propagate those species of fish in sizes required to accomplish fishery management objectives as recommended by the biological staff and approved by administrative personnel, and to provide pond owners, at cost, largemouth bass, redear sunfish and bluegill for private pond management purposes.” It is located at the intersection of S.C. 64 and U.S. 278 within the city limits of Barnwell. The hatchery has the capacity to produce over 400,000 fish annually, according to the DNR.
•Barnwell State Park, For reservations, call (803) 284-2212. •Healing Springs
•Snelling Town Park, For reservations, call 259-1464.
•Williston Town Park, For reservations, Town Hall at (803) 266-7015. There is no cost, but an agreement must be signed. •Library Park 22 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
218 Main St. Barnwell, SC (formerly Edisto Outdoors)
Recreation Director Pamela Davis: (803) 259-3317
he City of Barnwell’s recreation department has added activities — many are non-athletic and geared toward all ages from toddlers to senior citizens. Three times a year, the recreation department publishes a guide for upcoming activities. They are available online and at city hall. The Barnwell Recreation Department still offers traditional athletic programs, including baseball and machine-pitch baseball for children from 6 years old. Five-year-olds can play T-ball. There is also softball for girls. Registration for these sports starts in March. The season runs from April through June. At the close of the regular season all-star teams are chosen. Barnwell’s football season starts in mid-September and runs to the end of October for children 4 to 12 years old. Registration begins in August. Teams may include 7- to 8-year-olds, 9- to 10-year-olds and 11- to 12-year-olds. There are also flag football teams. Running parallel with football season is cheerleading for girls ages 3 to 13 years old. Registration is the same time as football. Barnwell’s basketball season runs from January through March. Sign-ups are in November. Barnwell also offers several adult leagues.
Blackville Recreation Coordinator Bridget Brown: (803) 300-1624
From softball to soccer, there is always a sport for youth to participate in.
lackville offers a slate of core sports for children to adults. Blackville has T-ball for children 5 to 8 years old. Youth baseball teams are for 9- to 12-year-olds. Registration is in April. Blackville’s football program runs from mid-September to the end of October with sign-ups at the start of August. The program has three age divisions: flag football for 5- to 7-year-olds; Pee-Wees for 8- to 10-years-olds and 11- to 12-year-olds. Its cheerleading program runs with its football program for girls from 5 to 12 years old. Blackville’s basketball program has co-ed teams of 8- to 12-years-olds. Bridget Brown is the basketball program director. Blackville has men’s and women’s adult league softball with the season running from March to July.
Williston Recreation Director James Hewitt: (803) 300-0285
illiston offers a variety of youth athletics. Williston has baseball, girls’ softball and T-ball from mid-March to mid-May. Sign-ups begin in mid-February until the end of March. Williston football runs from September to the end of October with registration starting the week before school begins. Williston fields different age divisions, one for 9- to 10-year-olds and another for 11- to 12-year-olds. Cheerleading season runs with its football season for girls 9 to 12 years old. There is basketball for boys and girls from 7 to 12 years old. Its season runs from January until mid-February. Registration is in November/December. Williston offers co-ed soccer for 5- to 8-year-olds and is played on the town soccer field. Its season runs from mid-September through the third week of October with sign-ups during September. Williston has two tennis camps for children 4 to 7 and 8 to 12 years old in June. Keep up with all the local teams on the sports pages of The People-Sentinel. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 23
A Fun Run with Color 5K sponsored by Hagood Avenue Baptist raised money for a mission trip to Haiti.
Project Care Day promotes community service and is sponsored by the United Way and Savannah River Site.
Getting involved and giving back Barnwell County residents love to help others. There are countless civic groups and opportunities to give back to the community. Regardless of your personal skills, interests and hobbies, there is probably a group for you to get involved with. Animal lovers have the Barnwell County Animal Shelter or the Animal Advocates. Health-minded people have the American Red Cross, Axis 1 Center of Barnwell, and American Cancer Society. Veterans have several groups to get involved with, such as American Legion posts, Marine Corps League or Vietnam Veterans of America. There’s also the Barnwell County Rotary Club, Lions Club, and NAACP BarnwellBlackville Chapter, just to name a few. The Barnwell County United Way helps provide funding to several agencies and groups. Several businesses, such as the Savannah River Site, and its employees pledge money annually to the United Way.
Children from Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville collected canned food items for the Axis 1 Food Bank after learning the food bank was empty.
Over the years, other groups have started after noticing a need. In response to a murder in the Town of Williston, a group of citizens united to form the Williston-Elko CommUNITY Coalition. One way they help is by sponsoring an annual
back-to-school bash. Sometimes it’s not one particular group to respond to a need. That was true in October 2016 as residents and businesses helped coastal evacuees during Hurricane Matthew by taking food and other items to the emergency shelter.
Children at Barnwell First Baptist bring Operation Christmas Child shoe boxes to send to children in third world countries. 24 • Information Please 2017 • The People-Sentinel
Community of Faith
Faith, Family & Fellowship Members of Hagood Avenue Baptist Church in Barnwell portray Jesus and the disciples during the annual Passion Play.
arnwell County is home to many churches, including the oldest original Catholic church in South Carolina. Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church, which is on Madison Street in the city of Barnwell, was built in 1831. It’s the oldest religious structure in Barnwell as well as the oldest original Catholic church in the state. While much of Barnwell was burned by Sherman’s army in the Civil War, Saint Andrew’s was spared. There are more than 30 churches in and near the city of Barnwell, more than 15 churches around the towns of Blackville and Williston and at least one church near each of the smaller towns of Elko, Hilda, Kline and Snelling. Whether a Gospel Festival, Vacation Bible School, revival or community outreach event, area churches are involved in the community development of Barnwell County. With this many churches around, it is impossible to say that you can’t find one to go to. The churches in Barnwell County have a wide variety of denominations, and all of them welcome visitors with open arms. The People-Sentinel welcomes churches to submit announcements about events and happenings to be published on the Faith page.
Dozens of residents linked arms as they joined in prayer on May 5, 2016 for the annual National Day of Prayer observance around the Sundial in downtown Barnwell.
Dozens of red flowers covered the base of the cross outside Williston Presbyterian Church after a Holy Week service in March 2016, signifying the blood Jesus shed over 2,000 years ago. Keep up with all church happenings on the Faith page of The People-Sentinel. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 25
•Barnwell Elementary, (803) 541-1285 •Barnwell High, (803) 541-1390 •Barnwell Primary, (803) 541-1321 •Barnwell School Dist. 45, (803) 541-1300 •Guinyard-Butler Middle, (803) 541-1370
Education: An important lesson in Barnwell County
•Barnwell County Career Center, (803) 259-5512 •Barnwell Christian, (803) 259-2100 •Blackville-Hilda Middle, (803) 284-5900 •Blackville-Hilda High, (803) 284-5700 •Barnwell School Dist. 19, (803) 284-5605 •Calvary Fellowship Mennonite, (803) 284-2876 •Jefferson Davis Academy, (803) 284-2476 upper school, (803) 284-2017 lower school •Macedonia Elementary, (803) 284-5800
•IHS Christian School, (803) 266-7372 •Kelly Edwards Elementary, (803) 266-3737 •Williston-Elko Middle, (803) 266-3430 •Williston-Elko High, (803) 266-3110 •Williston School Dist. 29, (803) 266-7878
•Aiken Technical College, (803) 593-9231, www.atc.edu •Augusta State University, (706) 737-1405, www.aug.edu •Denmark Technical College, (803) 793-5176, www.denmarktech.edu, Barnwell facility, (803) 259-9331 •USC-Aiken, (803) 648-6851 www.usca.edu •USC-Salkehatchie, West campus (803) 584-3446, East campus,(843) 549-6314, www.uscsalkehatchie.sc.edu •Voorhees College, (803) 780-1234, www.voorhees.edu
Barnwell High School’s Class of 2016 started a new tradition of wearing their caps and gowns while walking the halls of Barnwell Primary School. Each year, educators work hard to equip thousands of Barnwell County students with the knowledge and skills they need to be successful, productive members of society. A majority of students go to one of the county’s three public school districts – Barnwell District 45, Barnwell District 19 (Blackville-Hilda Public Schools) and Williston District 29. Parents looking for other options have Jefferson Davis Academy in Blackville. The private school, which is the home of the “Raiders” and recently celebrated 50 years, serves students of all grade levels. A number of families also homeschool their children. District 45 is the home of the “Warhorses” and is the largest of the three districts, serving approximately 2,500 students from Barnwell, Kline and Snelling communities. District 19 takes flight as the “Hawks”, guiding nearly 700 students from Blackville and Hilda communities. District 29’s “Blue Devils” includes more than 900 students from Williston and Elko. The school districts work individually to serve their local students but also cooperatively to offer more services while sharing the cost. The three districts also share use of the Barnwell County Career Center, which was established in 1969 on a 160-acre site on Reynolds Road near Blackville. The career center offers more than 300
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Macedonia Elementary School Principal Teresa Reid Brown allowed students to tape her to the wall with duct tape to raise funds for Relay for Life in April 2016. high school students – public, private and homeschooled – a chance at hands-on learning through 11 courses – welding, drafting, business education, building construction, computer repair, health science, criminal justice, electricity, agriculture, cosmetology Continued on page 27
Students at Jefferson Davis Academy catch up on the first day.
A mother walks her daughter to Kelly Edwards Elementary School in Williston on the first day of classes in August 2016.
Schools and automotive technology. “This centrally located facility provides – at minimum cost – the best career training for all students and citizens of Barnwell County,” according to the school’s website. Students often put their training to use to help others. Following an ice storm and train derailment, the students worked with emergency management officials to create a mobile “power wagon” – a project which has since won statewide recognition and awards. The power wagon was used extensively during floods which impacted South Carolina in October 2015. All three of Barnwell’s public school districts and the Career Center have been accredited by AdvancED, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that conducts rigorous, on-site external reviews of PreK-12 schools and school systems to ensure that all learners realize their full potential.
FROM PAGE 26 For those looking to further their education, Denmark Technical College has a facility in the city of Barnwell, though several colleges, universities and technical colleges are within an hour of Barnwell County. The Salkehatchie campus of the University of South Carolina also just celebrated its 50th anniversary and is just a half hour away in neighboring Allendale County. The Allendale campus recently opened its first on-campus dormitory.
Blackville-Hilda High School’s graduating seniors from the Class of 2016 celebrate receiving their diplomas by singing their school’s alma mater at the end of commencement festivities.
Barnwell High School cheerleaders lead a spirit contest between classes at Barnwell Elementary School during a pep rally held before the first football game of the 2016 season.
The People-Sentinel regularly publishes an Education page about what’s happening at Barnwell County’s schools. The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 27
Williston D29 Half Page Color
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Teachers of Year share passion for teaching B
arnwell County’s three District Teachers of the Year have a collective 55 years’ worth of experience in the classroom. Tina Sanderlin (Barnwell District 19), Teariney Tobin (Williston District 29) and Kia Valentine (Barnwell District 45) are the 20162017 District Teacher of the Year from their districts. Sanderlin, pre-kindergarten teacher at Macedonia Elementary, has been a teacher for 34 years, 33 of those in Blackville. “I used to say that I was sure that my blood was maroon and gold. I am so honored to represent the school district that I love. I am so happy that God has allowed me to do the job that I love,” said Sanderlin. Tobin is a third grade teacher who has worked five years at Kelly Edwards Elementary in her hometown of Williston. “It’s been such an amazing journey to come back here to teach and give back,” said Tobin. “I’m truly blessed to work among great people. I ran up against some tough competition.” Valentine is the fine arts teacher at Barnwell Primary School. She has taught for 16 years, including in her hometown of Williston, but has been back in Barnwell three years. “It thrills me to think that being chosen as Teacher of the Year is an indicator that our teachers, administration and community recognize the value of arts education,” said Valentine, who came to Barnwell three years ago to restart the fine arts class. All three teachers attribute their love for teaching to students. “I am passionate about teaching children the things they need to know to be successful in life. I try to be concerned with their spiritual growth as well as their academic growth. I want to make learning fun and exciting,” said Sanderlin. “I have had the privilege of teaching some of the best students in the world.” Though there are tough days, Tobin said her students make each day special and unique, which motivates her to put her
Tina Sanderlin (Barnwell District 19), Kia Valentine (Barnwell District 45), Molly Spearman (S.C. Superintendent of Education), and Teariney Tobin (Williston District 29) pictured at the S.C. Teacher Forum in Myrtle Beach in November 2016. “whole heart in it” so she can make a positive difference in their lives. “Every child can learn, but it is the teacher’s job to figure out how to be sure that each student is reaching their maximum learning capabilities,” she said. “The joy of my job comes from witnessing our students grow in creativity, problem solving, self-confidence, compassion, and an understanding of differences through the exploration of the arts. However, a greater joy comes from seeing former students continue to develop and share their artistic talents to serve and inform others of the importance of the arts in our everyday lives,” Valentine said.
The People-Sentinel • Information Please 2017 • 29
165 years of hometown headlines
hen looking across Barnwell County at all the businesses that have sustained and thrived through the years, The People-Sentinel is at the top of the list. The newspaper dates back to 1852 when The (Barnwell) Palmetto Sentinel was established. In 1925 it merged with the Barnwell People, which began publication in 1877. While this is a weekly print publication, The People-Sentinel also provides breaking news daily with its web page at www.thepeoplesentinel.com, and its Facebook page at www.facebook.com/thepeoplesentinel. You are just a click away from local news. We’d love for you to “Like” us digitally and love us in print. Over the years this publication has won numerous awards for excellence for its print, advertising and digital products. Our offices are located at 10481 Dunbarton Blvd. in Barnwell. Come see us! The People-Sentinel has changed over the years in size, shape, staff and location but one thing has never changed – the commitment of its staff to provide the very best in news, features and advertising to its readers. Call us today for a subscription and save money over the newsstand price. Contact us for a variety of services – both in print and digital. We love our readers!
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A guide to Barnwell County, SC