EASLEY — The historic Martin House at 201 S. Pendleton St. is transforming to become home to the Easley Area Museum, the first local historical display museum dedicated to sharing the story of Easley.
The museum’s mission is to promote the collection, preservation, educational interpretation and display of artifacts, documents, and events most representative of the Easley area.
With a planned opening for this fall, the house and grounds are undergoing preparations for public activity, including access and parking, guest conveniences, and display design and set-up.
“A small number of charter museum members and board of directors has worked during the past year to get to this point,” said Chad Stewart, president of the board. “The goal to preserve our heritage for the benefit of our citizens and to serve as a teaching tool for museum visitors has been our guide in establishing operational plans for acquisitions and displays.
“Many projects for exhibit, display artifacts, documents, antique pieces and photographs are already obtained,” he added. “However, we are searching for much more. We are extremely interested in having items donated to us from the community to complete our initial collections.”
The museum will focus its displays in specific areas of interest initially. Churches, schools and education, the railroad, business development, industrial jobs and the textile mills, sports and recreation, and government are identified as targeted topics for exhibit.
Other significant occurrences, such as Easley’s bicentennial celebration, are also of interest.
“We are hopeful that folks will share photographs, memorabilia, official documents, and artifacts with us,” said Stewart. “The Museum is willing to consider any artifact even if you’re not sure about its relevance.”
For each donation accepted and placed on display, the museum will publicly identify its donor and its historical significance.
In addition to display items, a project is underway for preserving the oral history of the community. Depending on funding and receipt of grants, the project will include videotaped conversations with some of the town’s oldest citizens to capture their experiences and stories of life growing up in and around Easley.
Collecting and documenting the first-hand accounts of history is an invaluable tool to a museum and the information learned will be used in a variety of ways, Stewart said.
Contact Stewart, who is also chairman of the Collections Committee, at 864-423-5642 or by email at [email protected] to have an item reviewed for donation to the Museum.
Contact Bob Martin, vice president of the board and chairman of the building committee, at 864-419-5926 or by email at [email protected] if interested in helping with the physical building readiness and projects.
The Easley Area Museum can also be found on Facebook at facebook.com/easleyareamuseum.
The Easley Area Museum is a non-profit 501(c)-3 organization whose purpose is to promote the collection, preservation, educational interpretation, and display of artifacts, documents, and events most representative of the Easley area – its prehistory, and history, its people and institutions, its culture, and economic development.