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Our 1st Visit to County Council

Laurens County planning for 250th anniversary of the American Revolution

STAFF REPORT Sep 19, 2021 Updated Sep 19, 2021

Laurens County is examining ways to appoint 11 people to a Laurens County Sestercentennial Committee, that could plan events in coordination with the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission.

2026 is the 250th Anniversary of the American Revolution. National and state officials believe people from throughout the world will travel to the United States, as well as citizens interested in history traveling within the U.S., to learn more about the earth-shaking event that led to the founding of the world’s most powerful nation.

These people will stay in local hotels and eat in local restaurants, Dianne Culbertson, Chaplain, the South Carolina American Revolution Sestercentennial Commission, reminded Laurens County Council at its Tuesday meeting.

County Attorney Sandy Cruickshanks will work on a mechanism for making these appointments.

The current ad hoc committee, which has been working on possible events for more than a year, is:

-- Walter Allen, historian;

-- Sarah Jane Armstrong, historian;

-- Durant Ashmore, battlefield preservationist;

-- Dianne Culbertson, SC Rev Commission;

-- Dr. Booker Ingram, retired PC History professor;

-- Bud Marchant, Laurens County Trails Association;

-- Amanda Munyan, LC Chamber of Commerce;

-- Ernest Segars, commission chair, LC Museum board;

-- Carolyn Beasley Shortt, LC Museum Board;

-- David Tribble, County Council liaison; and

-- Debbie Vaughn, LC Museum Board.

Ashmore has been giving lectures and coordinating tours through the Laurens County Museum related to the Revolutionary War, and Laurens County’s role in the battle for independence.

Laurens County has 17 significant Revolutionary War sites.

Culbertson said in a letter to the council, “This committee strives to celebrate the promote Laurens County’s role in the American Revolution by educating, engaging, and inspiring Laurens County residents and visitors alike. With over 17 significant Revolutionary War sites, Laurens County played one the most significant roles of any county in America. Now is the time to honor the role of Laurens County for generations to come. In addition to educating Laurens County residents about the important role the county played in the Revolution, the committee wants to support and promote the county’s 250th anniversary events, arts, preservation, heritage tourism and corresponding economic development.”

The committee will need money for land acquisition and parking areas, but has not yet developed a budget request for the Laurens County Council. That will be coming soon, Culbertson said.

Tribble said the temptations might be to do this celebration “on the cheap,” but with a proper investment Laurens County could have sites that people will visit for years to come, similar to Cowpens and Kings Mountain.

Laurens County already has Musgrove Mill State Historic Site, near Clinton, which is the site of a small, but important Revolutionary War battle.

Local communities will be eligible for $3,000 grants from the state to conduct and promote events, Culbertson said.

Also, South Carolina is developing the Liberty Trail, encompassing 72 sites statewide - and 10 of those are in Laurens County.



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