Smithsonian Exhibit Water/Ways – Last Week in Hampton

South Carolina Humanities, in cooperation with the Smithsonian Institute’s Museum on Main Street program, is pleased to present the traveling Smithsonian exhibit Water/Ways in South Carolina. The exhibition dives into water–an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically. The exhibit will travel to its second venue in South Carolina at the Hampton County Library, hosted by the Hampton County Historical Society, on Friday, August 14. Water/Ways will be on display at Hampton County Library (12 Locust St E, Hampton, SC 29924) through Wednesday, September 23. Entrance to the exhibit is free. There are several other activities to enjoy in and around Hampton County.

Water is life. It forms our world and our lives. It allows us to travel; and it blocks our paths. It is crucial in determining where we live and work and what we eat and drink. It is an essential biological and natural resource that people struggle to access and control. Water shapes human culture — our ways of life. It is central to many rituals and ceremonies around the world. It inspires art and music. The Smithsonian’s Water/Ways exhibit explores our relationship to water and how all of these factors play out in our world.

Dr. Randy Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities, said: “SC Humanities is delighted to be sponsoring the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Water/Ways throughout the state.   It would be hard to find a topic more central to South Carolina.   Beyond the obvious fact that water is crucial for human existence, water plays a dominant role in the environmental, cultural, economic and historical fabric of South Carolina.”

In addition to the Water/Ways Smithsonian exhibit, the Hampton County Historical Society will also present a local exhibit at Hampton County Library about local waterways and history in Hampton County.

SC Humanities advises that the following safety precautions be taken when visiting the exhibit: 1) please wear a mask; 2) please sanitize hands; 3) the number of guests entering the exhibit room may be limited; 4) Practice social distancing, 6 feet apart please; 5) If you’re not feeling well, stay home for the safety of all.

Special Events in Hampton County

Opening Ceremonies
Hampton County Library
August 14
10 AM – 11 AM
Hampton County Library
12 Locust St E
Hampton, SC 29924
Savannah River Steamboats
Open Arms Fellowship Church
September 12
2:30 PM
Open Arms Fellowship Church
402 Hoover Street
North Hampton, SC 29924
Education Program
by Lowcountry Regional Water System
Date TBD
Time TBD
Fennell Elementary and Estill Elementary
Communal Pen
Virtual Writing Workshop
(Part 1)
August 22
10 AM – 12:30 PM
Virtual meeting
Click here to register
Communal Pen
Virtual Writing Workshop
(Part 2)
August 29
10 AM – 12 PM
Virtual meeting
Click here to register


After Water/Ways closes in Hampton, it will travel to four other venues in South Carolina: the SC Maritime Museum in Georgetown (September 28 – November 8, 2020); Congaree National Park with the support of Friends of Congaree Swamp (November 13, 2020 – January 13, 2021); the McClellanville Arts Council (January 18 – March 1, 2021), and the Historic Railway Depot in Westminster (March 6 – April 17, 2021). Previously, it was on display at Hickory Knob State Park in McCormick County from June 27 – August 8.

Water/Ways is a part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress. Support for the South Carolina tour of Water/Ways has been provided by Dominion Energy.