Please welcome guest author Joshua Salmans. Salmans has lived in the Upstate of South Carolina for 17 years in a city not too far away from Anderson. He’s a quirky, librarian type who feels comfortable in the foothills of Appalachia, but has found adventure traveling and being a cultural exchange agent in this little blueberry of a planet. Currently, he has returned to Greenville to teach Adult Basic Education courses and contribute to Appalachianhistory.net and The Dictionary of Literary Biography.
You’ve felt it before. You’re getting your haircut at the local barbershop or having dinner at the diner that has been in town since before you were born. On the walls, you see newspaper clippings, pictures and other memorabilia from the past. Feelings of vague nostalgia strike you in an almost telepathic way: as if the images momentarily break free of their two-dimensional surfaces to speak to you, “Don’t you remember me?”
A tinge of guilt now permeates your thoughts as you realize you’re not as familiar with these legends of your own town’s history as you would like to be and should have paid more attention to your grandmother’s endless stories she told about growing up in Appalachia while gently swaying on the rocking chair. You comment to those around you, “These old pictures belong in a museum, or even a hall of fame.”
Halls of fame can be found in many iconic cities in and around Appalachia and are profound reminders that we must not forget those who gave their passion to creating something meaningful in our communities. You do not always have to travel far to find one of these halls of fame: you may have one in your own county.
Many localities, such as Anderson County in South Carolina, are discovering just how much they can successfully showcase their members’ contributions to the broader scene in Appalachian history and culture.
On October 14th of this year, Reverend Moses Holland and Manley McClure will join twenty-eight other inductees in the Anderson County Museum’s Hall of Fame. Among the other twenty-eight new companions are a sports announcer and writer, a brigadier general, a South Carolina governor, textile industry leaders, agricultural leaders and many others. With such a diverse gathering of influential individuals, ACM has established Anderson’s relevancy in the dynamic development of Appalachian culture.
Reverend Moses Holland (1758-1829) was not born in Anderson, but in Culpepper County in Virginia. According to some genealogy sites, he was a drummer boy in the Revolutionary War “and was present at Lord Cornwallis’s surrender at Yorktown in 1781.”
Around the year 1787, he moved to South Carolina and went on to become the founding pastor of Big Creek Baptist Church in Williamston, SC, and was also one of the founders of the Saluda Baptist Association—which is still in existence today. His tombstone claims that he founded over twenty-five other churches, including Hopewell, Neal’s Creek, Friendship, Barker’s Creek, Washington, and Standing Spring.
Holland had two marriages that produced twelve children, who continued in their father’s strong Baptist persuasion. Arlette Copeland, Special Collections Assistant for Jack Tarver Library at Mercer University, even suggests that “it isn’t too far a stretch to expect the Hollands passed along that spiritual persuasion for the next century-plus.” Still serving as the senior pastor at Big Creek Baptist, he died on September 8, 1829, leaving behind a strong Baptist tradition in Anderson as well as being a participant in a pivotal moment our nation’s early history.
Manley “Doc” McClure (1900-1977) improved farming practices in Anderson County and the surrounding areas through innovative and progressive agricultural techniques. At the age of 21, he started his career in the farming business. What made his farming unique was his practice of soil conservation and diversification well before either technique was the norm in farming. He also revolutionized the cattle industry in Anderson County by bringing in purebred Hereford beef cattle and implementing a year-round grazing system, which led to the county becoming the state’s leading producer of quality beef cattle. In recognition of these things, the Progressive Farmer magazine in 1953 awarded him the title of Master Farmer. He married a farmer’s daughter by the name of Sally Williford and had one daughter with her. He died July 18, 1977, having literally changed the face of the earth in Anderson County.
Rev. Holland’s contribution to a strong family legacy in the Baptist tradition—as well as being an eyewitness to a crucial historical event in the nation’s early beginnings—taken together with McClure’s advancements in progressive farming techniques leading to his commendation by a well-recognized farming magazine, have made ACM’s Hall of Fame a good home for them.
Beverly Childs, the Museum’s Executive Director, said that it has been inducting “deserving individuals into the ACM’s Hall of Fame in recognition of their accomplishments and contributions to Anderson County and South Carolina” since 2003. Donna DeHoll, a volunteer at the Museum and life-long resident of Anderson, exclaimed, “We’re proud of it!” Indeed, their confidence is not misplaced as ACM’s venue boasts “13 permanent exhibits, a temporary exhibit gallery, and multiple changing exhibits.”
Displayed in a 26,000 square-foot facility, these stylishly modern and interactive exhibits feature 20,000 artifacts and the county’s history of transportation, textile industry, religious and educational institutions, and military contributions. Best thing of all is that ACM has free admission for both residents and tourists.
If you want to avoid that tinge of guilt for not recognizing local legends in your community and how they contributed to Appalachian history, ask around and find a museum in your area. Or if you are in Anderson County or traveling through Upstate South Carolina, be sure to visit Anderson County Museum.
If you want one of your relatives inducted into ACM’s 2015 Hall of Fame, your relative must have been born in Anderson County and have gained recognition there or somewhere else. Also, they can have been born elsewhere and gained esteem and notoriety in Anderson County. You can fill out an application at www.andersoncountymuseum.org.
http://www.theelectriccitynews.com/previous-edition111/ August 28, 2014.
 http://www.theelectriccitynews.com/previous-edition111/ August 28, 2014.