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Take a Trip Through History at The Agricultural Museum of SC

PENDLETON, S.C. — This summer, make your way to the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum of South Carolina for an educational and entertaining experience. Nestled off Highway 76 in Pendleton, this official state agricultural museum offers visitors a unique glimpse into the rich history of agriculture in South Carolina.

Open Thursday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the museum operates on an admission-by-donation basis.

“Anyone that comes in is welcome to tour the museum, and there’s usually no cost unless you want to throw something in the bucket,” Josh Johnson, the museum’s site coordinator, explained.

The museum showcases a comprehensive timeline of agriculture, covering everything from Native American farming techniques to modern innovations like drones and hydroponics.

“We try to educate people about the history of agriculture in the state and show where we came from and where we’re going,” Johnson explained.

A highlight for many visitors is the museum’s animal residents, including two pigs, Lily and Petunia, and several breeds of chickens.

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“They’re kind of my favorite coworkers,” Johnson admitted. “I really enjoy playing with them and educating with them.”

The museum is not just about static displays; it features dynamic demonstrations of traditional skills. Visitors can watch blacksmithing, dyeing, and other practices that are integral to South Carolina’s agricultural history.

“These lost arts and practices are core to the history of South Carolina and our agriculture,” Johnson noted.

The museum’s collection is vast and varied, including donated artifacts from all eras of the state’s farming history. From large plows and mule-drawn machinery to historic structures like a late-1800s granary and a 1930s schoolhouse, the exhibits cover the full spectrum of agricultural life. Additionally, the museum boasts a significant Native American collection and artifacts related to the rice and cotton plantations of the past.

One of the museum’s significant programs is the South Carolina Century Farm Program, which honors farms that have been in the same family for at least 100 years.

“We have about 500 Century Farms in the state currently,” Johnson explained.

Each year, the museum hosts a banquet to celebrate these farms’ contributions to the state’s agricultural heritage.

Adjacent to the museum is the Iron Oak Barn, a historic structure originally built in the late 1800s in Starr, Iowa. This barn, once used for stock trading by the McGee family, has been repurposed as an event center. It now hosts weddings, Christmas parties, and various other events, adding another layer of historical significance to the museum’s offerings.

The Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum is a treasure trove of South Carolina’s agricultural past and present. Whether you’re interested in learning about traditional farming methods or modern agricultural practices, this museum offers a rich and engaging experience for visitors of all ages.

Plan your visit to the Bart Garrison Agricultural Museum, located at 120 History Lane Pendleton, SC 29670, and take a fascinating journey through South Carolina’s agricultural history. For more information, visit their website, www.bgamsc.org, or follow them on social media (Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok).

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