Upcoming exhibit features what people in the past did for fun

Permanent exhibit at Greer Heritage Museum features recreation, entertainment
The new exhibit features a reproduction of the Greer Theatre marquee and its original ticket box.
Published: Sep. 16, 2022 at 5:30 PM EDT
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GREER, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The Greer Heritage Museum is already filled with artifacts from the community’s history but the latest addition is a new permanent exhibit.

A reproduction of the marquee for the former Greer Theatre and its original front ticket window frame the entrance to the new exhibit. While parts of the exhibit resemble the interior of an old movie theater, museum visitors can view photos and articles that chronicle forms of entertainment and recreation from the past.

“There was a period where this was a completely agriculture area,” David Lovegrove, museum director, told FOX Carolina. “You were working sunrise to sunset and had very little time for recreation.”

Lovegrove said the spare time people did have were usually spent with friends.

“You would go to someone’s house. You would go play games. You would go down to the piano and sing together. It was a group event,” Lovegrove said.

Photos show some of the popular activities that generated crowds
Photos show some of the popular activities that generated crowds(WHNS)

The exhibit also reveals more about the cultural dynamics - including a photo about a Negro League baseball player and the release of the movie “The Birth of a Nation.”

“It was really the story of the Ku Klux Klan and made it sound like the greatest thing that has ever happened,” Lovegrove said. “It caused a significant rise in racism.”

According to the exhibit, John Gary Evans, a former governor of South Carolina, received “tremendous applause” after speaking in Greer in 1922 about slavery and the Ku Klux Klan.

“He legitimized it,” Lovegrove said. “I would say it was one of the darkest moments in Greer’s past.”

Director David Lovegrove says the museum's first permanent exhibit opens to the public on Sept. 24

While the exhibit and other artifacts reveal more about Greer’s divided past, a visitor need only step outside the front door during a downtown event to see the contrast.

“Today you come to an event and it’s completely mixed,” Lovegrove said. “That’s a wonderful thing but it certainly took us a while.”

The new exhibit opens to the public on Sept. 24.