The folks in Barnwell County know a good thing when they see it. That is why the house deeded to the county by the Fuller family in 1953 for use as a library was repurposed some 60 years later for the county museum after the library outgrew the location.
The house was home to contractor C.G. Fuller and his wife, Effie Mae. The couple moved to the area from Ohio in the 1920s and stayed through the Depression and beyond as Fuller made a fortune paving roads. He later became the mayor of the city of Barnwell.
The building itself is a beautiful artifact – a testament to the 1920s building style. Inside exhibits include an American Indian section and Civil War artifacts.
Barnwell was burned during the Civil War by U.S. troops making their way to Columbia from Savannah. Only a handful of buildings, including several old churches were spared.
The museum also includes a collection of items about one of the county’s most famed residents – Solomon Blatt Sr. Blatt served more than 50 years in the South Carolina House of Representatives, many of those as speaker of the House.
The museum also includes information on the Fullers and each has a room. (Mrs. Fuller was proficient at needlework.) One gallery changes its focus periodically with new exhibits.
Upstairs exhibits include a dollhouse and exhibits about more recent Barnwell history.
The museum is open 3-5:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Thursday and for special events. It is located at 2003 Hagood Ave. in Barnwell. For more information, call (803) 249-1916.