Exhibits showcase marble industry, history and sculptures
The Pickens County Chamber of Commerce is now home to an expansive museum that showcases the history of Pickens County marble, from mining to monuments and more.
Pickens Chamber of Commerce leaders are excited to bring the museum back to the Chamber building, and see it as way to showcase the county’s marble history for locals and travelers alike.
The museum features several marble sculptures made from marble mined in Pickens County, marble mining items and other artifacts, information about the county’s marble history, and vintage photographs and newspaper articles. It will feature short films, one from Polycor – a marble plant in Tate – and another Pickens Chamber film about Pickens County.
“The Pickens County Marble Museum is for the community, and it’s centralized in the community,” said Pickens Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Amberle Godfrey. “We have the Visitor’s Center here so we have a lot of traffic coming through and I think it affords more of our local residents a chance to see the history of our marble heritage.”
The chamber Tourism Director Michelle Kuriger said “I think it’s wonderful because the Chamber is the Visitor’s Center now and it’s where people stop and get information. One of the questions we always get is ‘Where can we go see marble or information about marble?’ Now we can point them in the other room.”
At one time the museum was in the Chamber building, but it was relocated to Nelson City Hall where Sue Cochran and Annette Kellette managed and expanded it.
“It was about three years ago when we really started talking about moving it back here,” said Godfrey, who had her eye on relocating the museum since she took her position with the chamber.
The Chamber renovated a large space in the building and forged ahead with plans. Barring all but one sculpture, everything in the museum came from Nelson City Hall, which will eventually have its own museum dedicated to Nelson’s own unique history.
Kay Lawrence, Cindy DeMaio, Godfrey, and the Pickens Chamber Tourism Committee were responsible for curating the current museum and for layout and design.
The Chamber held an open house and ribbon cutting on September 26, and it is now open to the public during regular Chamber hours. Current hours are Monday through Friday 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. They eventually hope to expand to some weekend hours.
Admission to the museum is FREE.