Looking for a Museum in Hampton County?
There are FOUR to keep you entertained!
The Hampton Museum & Visitor’s Center is located at 15 Elm Street, across from the County Courthouse. Visitors are welcome to browse the displays on any given Tuesday, Thursday or Saturday, from 2 – 5 p.m.
This architecturally significant building started life as the Bank of Hampton in 1892. The two-story Italianate influenced brick building was designed by French architect Vincent Fontaine. It is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The bank closed its doors in 1930, but the upstairs space was rented as a law office until the 1960s. The structure was given to the town in 1987 and it became a museum shortly after. The bank’s original vault and safe with hand painted doors are still intact today.
This museum and visitors center exhibits collections relevant to Hampton County. Visitors will find exhibits of Indian lore, military artifacts, antique medical equipment and Watermelon Festival memorabilia. A children’s room is included for younger visitors. Local artists and craftsmen also display their creations here. Genealogy information for this area is also available. Information on a self-guided walking tour of downtown Hampton can be found inside as well. A trip to the museum and visitors center is free, but donations are accepted. 803-943-5318
Just down the street at 702 1st St West, visitors will find the Hampton County Historical Society and the Hampton County Museum @ The Old Jail!
The Hampton County Historical Society takes great pleasure in enriching the lives of residents and visitors through interpreting and promoting the rich history of the many communities within Hampton County. Collected and preserved artifacts, materials and family histories are exhibited for the benefit of residents and visitors through the society-sponsored museum.
The society also develops and presents public educational programs and events that highlight and explore Hampton culture and heritage, and the society encourages historic preservation by supporting the placement of historical markers at sites of significant interest throughout the communities of Hampton County.
Located in the old jailhouse, the Hampton County Museum artifacts include Civil War memorabilia, maps and uniforms. Visitors can also find exhibits from World Wars I and II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War. The County Jail was built in 1878 and served the people until 1976. Second floor cells have been preserved and are a distinctive museum attraction for the County Historical Society. This building is also on the National Register of Historic Places. The Hampton County Museum at the Old Jail is open Thursdays from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. & 3 – 5 p.m. 803-943-5484
The Hampton Colored School can be found at 608 1st St West. Built in 1929, this was the educational facility for Hampton’s African American children.
This structure replaced a dilapidated one-room schoolhouse. The land was purchased by local citizens. Once the acreage was secured, Ervin Johnson, an African American carpenter, constructed the frame building with help of volunteers from his community.
The school served students through the eighth grade. When Hampton Colored High School was built in 1947, this school became its cafeteria. The facility has been restored and named to both the South Carolina and the National Register of Historic Places. The museum serves as a repository of Black History in Hampton. The museum is open Wednesdays 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. 803-943-2951
Brunson Museum and Visitors Center is housed in the original town hall. This unique museum contains a wonderful collection of artifacts, paintings and other memorabilia documenting the history of the Brunson area. The building was listed in Ripley’s Believe It Or Not, as the only octagonal town hall ever built on stilts.
Built 1906, this structure was used as a municipal office and meeting place for the mayor and councilmen of Brunson. It was built over the town’s artesian well to provide protection and shade. Benches were placed around the well to provide a recreational spot for the towns people. While the open arena under the town hall was planned for pleasure, it was also used as the town’s voting place. It was even the scene of one election slaying. Townspeople will tell you that many of cotton crops were planned there. In 1952 the artesian well was covered and a modern water supply was installed. The tiny town hall was crowded out by the modern highway and rail systems, so in 1959, it was moved to its current location and the stilts were removed. The town hall continued to serve as the center of town government until 1996.
The museum offers a wonderful collection of artifacts, photographs, paintings, and other memorabilia documenting the history of Brunson and the surrounding area.
The Brunson Museum and Visitors Center is operated under the authorization of the Town of Brunson through a volunteer board. Hours of operation are Thursday 2-5 p.m. or by appointment. The Museum is located at 800 Railroad Avenue in Brunson. 803-632-3363
For more information on Hampton County attractions visit the southcarolinalowcountry.com.