Located in the area referred to as Gaffney's Old Field and the site of the historic Central School, the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum is also home to the offices of its governing body, the Cherokee Historical & Preservation Society, Inc.
Phase One of the facility opened in May 2008. The Museum houses nearly 8,000 sq. ft. of permanent exhibits ranging in topic from Native Americans and the American Revolution to Geology and Moonshiners. Since opening the Museum has hosted special exhibits such as the Corridor of Shame, Artful Bra Project, and a presentation of pieces by internationally-known artist Johnnie Lee Gray, immediately following their display at the 2009 Presidential Inauguration.
In 2011, the Museum commemorated the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 attacks through the exhibit Eyewitnesses to 9/11: From Tragedy to Transformation. In addition, the Cherokee Historical & Preservation Society partnered with Gaffney High School for the "Where Were You?" oral history project. In May 2013, the Museum presented the special exhibit Pirates, Privateers, and Buccaneers in celebration of its fifth anniversary and hosted Cowboys: Dust of the Trail in summer 2014. Most recently, local football was celebrated with the Mud, Sweat, and Cheers football exhibit.
A partnership with the Limestone College communications department has allowed for installation of a smart-layer in the Museum galleries which allows visitors an interactive experience through videos about the objects and stories that make our collection so great. See the video below for a sample:
The Museum is quickly becoming a popular rentable space having hosted various events including business conferences, wedding receptions, reunions, and more.
Renovations on Phase Two of the building have been completed increasing the amount and quality of rentable spaces thanks to a generous grant from The Timken Foundation. Upon completion of Phases II and III, the History & Arts Museum will house over 20,000sq. feet of exhibits, meeting spaces, and educational resources for Cherokee County residents and visitors.
The Museum recently completed the Museum Assessment Program through the American Association of Museums and has been named a Blue Star Museum by the National Endowment for the Arts for the past three years.
Permanent Exhibits and Displays
With a collection of over two-thousand items and thousands of square feet of display space, the Cherokee County History & Arts Museum has dozens of displays on almost every topic. The Museum consists of four exhibit galleries, the main hallway, a foyer, and plenty of nooks and crannies throughout the former elementary school building. Below are just a few, so be sure to visit today for a more thorough experience.
Land of Revolutions: Transitions in Politics, Culture, and Geography
Displays and interactive tools about Native Americans, The War for Independence, Fort Thicketty, Geology, and Mining.
Road to Prosperity: Infrastructure and Society that Have Brought us to Today
Exhibits and educational experiences about the Railroad, Interstate Highways, Textiles, Modern Industry, Social Life, and Agriculture.
Gallery of Heroes: Military and Political Service Honored
A room dedicated to those who have served our nation in military and political service is enhanced by period uniforms, furniture, and other objects.
Heritage Hall: Local Memories Recalled
Various niches that highlight people, places, and things from and related to Cherokee County.
A 90ft mural, by artist Bill Briggs, is used to explain the role backcountry South Carolina played in the American Revolution.