Dialog with the Past – Collecting and Preserving Chester County’s Black History

The Chester County Historical Society will implement a major effort to explore and collect the history of black citizens of Chester County. Monthly history harvest events will take place at communities around Chester County from November 2015 – April 2016 where images, stories, and documents will be collected and digitized. Images from the existing Henry O. Nichols Photography Collection will be used to instigate dialog and conversation at each program. SC Humanities supported this project with a Major Grant in September 2015.

The “Dialog with the Past” project will be the first official effort in Chester County to preserve the significant history of black residents. The Chester County Historical Society will especially seek to document the history of “black” organizations that were once prevalent in the segregated South, including the Black Farmers’ Cooperative, the Eastern Star, and the Burial Aide Society.

The materials that are collected at the history harvest events will be scanned and digitized on site for the participants, and the collected materials will be made into a catalog and digitized in permanent online collections.

The dates and locations of the monthly history harvests are as follows:

November 21, 2015 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Chester County Library (100 Center St, Chester, SC 29706

December 12, 2015 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Great Falls Library (39 Calhoun St, Great Falls, SC 29055)

January 16, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Fort Lawn Community Center (5554 Main St, Fort Lawn, SC 29714)

February 20, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
St. Paul Hasellville Church (2344 West End Road, Chester SC 29706)

April 23, 2016 | 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.
Lowrys Community Center (2266 Old York Rd., Lowrys, SC 29706)

The Chester County Historical Society is dedicated to the preservation of Chester County history, and in promoting historical tourism by displaying the artifacts and the history of Chester County, SC. More information is available at: http://chesterschistory.org.

The mission of SC Humanities is to enrich the cultural and intellectual lives of all South Carolinians. Established in 1973, this 501(c) 3 organization is governed by a volunteer 23-member Board of Directors comprised of community leaders from throughout the state.  It presents and/or supports literary initiatives, lectures, exhibits, festivals, publications, oral history projects, videos and other humanities-based experiences that directly or indirectly reach more than 250,000 citizens annually.

Image courtesy of Chester County Historical Society – Henry O. Nichols Collection