Arts and Culture 2011

Amy Holtcamp

SOUTH CAROLINA INSIDER

 

Museum of the Week – The Greer Heritage Museum

Posted 3/29/2011 4:19:00 PM

The Greer Heritage Museum has always been a great place to learn about the history of the Greer area, but now the building that houses the museum is an official “Historic Place.”

After a three-year application process, The National Park Service recently added the structure at 106 S. Main St. to the National Register of Historic Places. Before it was a museum, the building was the Greer post office.

Built in 1935 as a WPA project, the museum still retains many of the post office’s original details, including its terrazzo floor, civil service bulletin boards and a lobby mural titled “Cotton and Peach Growing” by WPA Federal Art Project painter Winfield R. Walkley. When you visit, ask one of the museum staff to point out another interesting detail from the building’s post office past: the observation point from which the postmaster could peer into the work room and make sure that the postal workers weren’t loafing on the job.

In addition to its architecture, the museum offers interesting artifacts from Greer’s past. There is a coffin-shaped wicker basket once used by Wood Mortuary to transport corpses, a collection of ladies’ hats from the 1930s to present, an old optometrist’s cabinet from Kirkwood’s Optometry, and a dollhouse replica of Hammet House in Taylors.

On a mantel in the Greer Heritage Museum you will find a multi-generational collection of family photographs. A formal portrait of the Davenports sits beside a photo of the Waddell family’s huge clan. There is a feeling that all of Greer is an extended family and that warmth is in evidence by the greeting you’ll get from the enthusiastic museum staff.

If you have time, ask to see one of the many excellent historical documentaries on Greer. There are several to choose from, each giving insight into a different facet of the region’s history.

The Greer Heritage Museum is open Friday and Saturday only from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Admission is free, but donations are appreciated.