Legendary Speakers to Present at Fairfield County Historical Society Annual Meeting | Community Spirit
The Fairfield County Historical Society plans its annual bash on May 16 at 6 PM at Honeysuckle Acres Bed and Breakfast Inn in Winnsboro. Architectural historian Wade Fairey of Rock Hill will present an introduction to the Roots and Recall website he has created with fellow historian Rusty Robinson, featuring the cultural heritage of several upcountry SC counties, including Fairfield. In addition, Dr. Virginia Schafer will be on hand to present the publication of her new book about Fairfield County called Legendary Locals of Fairfield County.
The Fairfield County Historical Society and other local individuals and organizations are partnering with Wade Fairey on the website RootsandRecall.com as an encyclopedic site dedicated to the preservation of community. The website presents information through “address based history”. Recognizing that our sense of being is tied to our homeplaces, the website features historic buildings past the half-century mark using Sanborn maps, historic images, city directory data, family stories (contributed by readers and other sources), and other materials to create a tool for tracking architectural changes in structures, family connections, community evolution, and of course, to entice visitors to our area.
Roots and Recall invites participation of the viewer in sending family stories and photos to be included on its pages. Seeing granddad's home on a Sanborn Insurance Map and his occupation listed in a city directory provides a strong understanding of who and where we came from. This technology allows the user to share, and thus preserve photographs and information making it available to relatives virtually anywhere in the world. As one user shared, "I live in California and this is the first time I have ever seen my great grandparent's home in South Carolina. Thank you!"
Wade is a lifetime preservationist and craftsman who has been largely responsible for most of the preserved structures seen in the historic farm village of Brattonsville in York County. He served from 1981 to as the executive director of the award-winning historic village/museum, where one of the first successful upcountry Revolutionary battles against the British (Huck’s Defeat) took place in 1780. Four Bratton family homesteads dating from the pre-Revolutionary period through the late 1800s have been meticulously preserved in this York County rural history park.
From Wade’s early introduction to the remaining historic structures of the Bratton farm by his parents in the early 60s, he became enamored with the integrity of early craftsmen and their materials and began building furniture reproductions. He and his wife Cathy have restored and lived in several houses during their marriage years. As an early director of Historic Brattonsville, he preserved a number of endangered architectural structures by moving and rebuilding them at the 720-acre park. Many of us remember seeing Mel Gibson’s 2000 movie, The Patriot, with its scenes set in the Brattonsville plantation house. Most recently, Wade has spearheaded the restoration of the historic White Home in Rock Hill, raising over $2.2 million for its purchase and preservation.
Virginia Schafer appeared in the Museum a little over a year ago offering her volunteer efforts to help in promoting the museum. She had been working with Arcadia History Publishing Company on a projected historical book on Fairfield County and was considering the purchase of a home in Winnsboro to cement her connections to the community that she had chosen for her new home, having lived in several states previously. Her German /Canadian husband Peter had taken the directorship of a Columbia based private hospital and they were temporarily living in Blythewood. Both Virginia and Peter are medical practitioners by training.
The Schafers purchased the Bratton Street house of recently deceased Mrs. Walter (Tan) Brown and began restoration and additions to have enough room to eventually bring her elderly parents to Winnsboro from Atlanta. In addition to her many volunteer projects, Virginia teaches courses at the Columbia campus of Midlands Tech in medical terminology and work skills. In a scant year and a half in our town, she has made inroads on several fronts and is a welcome addition to our town and county.
Virginia’s book Legendary Locals of Fairfield County is a collection of photos and facts spanning several generations, starting with the early residents and Native Americans of Fairfield County. It includes vignettes of some early settlers, military figures, religious leaders and educators, business men, politicians and beauty queens, and artists and musicians. The book follows the progress of Fairfield County through pictures that feature the movers and shakers in many walks of life…and a book about Fairfield County is not complete without mentioning the legends - the ghosts, the cowboy stories, the unique and the tragic.
The books are now available at the museum and other businesses in town. Proceeds from the sales of the Legendary Locals of Fairfield County will be donated to the Fairfield County Historical Museum.
Dr. Virginia Schafer is a newcomer to Winnsboro and even though she has been trained in medicine and is a medical writer by trade, she has a keen interest in research and history and would like to continue producing books about our community. She writes, “Preservation of our pictures, memories and history is of utmost importance. If we don’t know where we come from, we don’t know where we are going. Thanks for letting me take a peek, Winnsboro!"
Planning to Attend???
The annual historical society membership meeting and reception will be held at Honeysuckle Acres at 6 PM on May 16. Heavy hors d'oeuvres will be served and the cost per person is $20.00 . Reservations should be sent to Mrs. Pam Laird at 202 W. High St. Winnsboro, SC, 29180. Anyone may become a member by contacting firstname.lastname@example.org or stopping in the county museum for a form.