To preserve the rich history of Fountain Inn’s charming town, the historical museum is hosting a fundraiser Gala with Cajun flavors on Thursday, October 18th. A silent and live auction will allow citizens to bid on exciting giveaways. Attendees can warm up with movement to methodical music. Like Fountain Inn’s most famous historical figure, Peg Leg Bates, guests will dance the night away with carefree fun.
Inspired by the collection of unofficial historian, John Hellams, an idea to construct a history museum was planted long ago. Hellams dreamed of displaying his collection to tell the Fountain Inn story for generations. In 2010, members of the community and chamber joined forces to help build the museum based on Hellam’s original initiatives. The museum facility keeps community treasures in a replica of a train depot. Citizens can donate artifacts to become museum property or loan them if they have noteworthy items. John Hastings, volunteer and treasurer, explains where the displays come from, “We cover the entire golden strip area including Simpsonville, Mauldin, Gray Court and Fountain Inn.” Interesting pieces of history including the fake leg of Clayton “Peg Leg” Bates are presented with a story. Peg Leg lost his appendage in factory machinery and went on to become a famous tap dancer. He appeared on the Ed Sullivan Show more than any other performer. Another notable name shown in the museum is Robert Quillen who started the Fountain Inn Tribune, which later became Greenville’s Tribune Times. Personal belongings and pages of paper tell an interesting tale of his journey for spectators. Steve Cox, Board Share member describes why the history museum is significant; “I think it’s important to know where we come from and how hard people have worked to get us here.” Kids and adults can browse the museum to learn what life was like back then and appreciate our easier lifestyle.
In hopes to enhance the experience for all, the museum strives to raise funds to add new programs, interactive learning displays, rebuild the Annex and update displays. Hastings shares the added offerings will help with growth, “This will help keep us afloat.” The Gala will assist them in achieving their goals and bring the community together for a fun evening! Participants can submit a monetary amount to compete against others for a long weekend getaway, beautiful photography, a quilt, a robotic grass cutter, an outdoor heater and more! A hired DJ will jam with crowds to catchy beats and a mouthwatering low country boil will satisfy southern pallets.
The event starts at 5:30 p.m. and ends at 10 p.m. Tickets are $40 and are available at the museum. Stop by 102 Depot Street, Fountain Inn, SC for a fun night and help keep our past apart of the present. ♦