FLORENCE, S.C. – Signs for the Hewn-Timber Cabins on the campus of Francis Marion University will be unveiled during a ceremony at 11 a.m., Wednesday, April 16.
The public is invited to attend the ceremony. Visitors should enter campus on Wallace Woods Road through Gate 6 from U.S. Hwy. 76/301.
The Hewn-Timber Cabins were built around 1836 by slaves who once occupied them. Only two of the original eight cabins are still standing. In 1974, these two remaining cabins were placed on the National Register of Historic Places, and in 1980, nine acres of land were donated to FMU as a permanent site for their location.
The South Carolina State Museum and the Smithsonian Institution expressed interest in ownership of one of these houses until the house was heavily damaged during Hurricane Hugo in 1989. Both cabins have now been repaired and restored to their original sizes, deleting some additions that had been made since the emancipation of the slaves.
As the cabins were restored, artifacts that are reminiscent of that period of history were collected and added, and the cabins were opened to the public for tours, mainly to school groups. The cabins appear in the brochure, “South Carolina’s African-American Sites at Mars Bluff.”
Information pertaining to the history of the cabins was compiled, cataloged, and made accessible to the public in 1998 via FMU’s James A. Rogers Library. In 2002, lesson plans for elementary schools were developed, and a website was created this year.
Two signs detailing, through photographs and commentary, the history and family life of African-Americans, will be unveiled April 16. The purpose of the signs is to involve the public in exploring the story of African-American life at Mars Bluff. The signs are funded in part by the Humanities Council SC, a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.
The cabins are open to the public on the second Wednesday of each month from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. To see the cabins at other times, persons must make an appointment with Karl McAlister at 843-661-1311. More information about the cabins is available on the Internet at www.fmarion.edu/htc or by sending an e-mail to HTC@fmarion.edu.
#141 / 4-9-03