Of many free museums in the Greenville area, two local museums are giving members of the public a look into national and local history.
The American Legion Post 3 preserves a slice of national history in a war museum by housing a collection of military uniforms, weapons and other significant artifacts from all United States’ foreign and domestic conflicts since the French and Indian War. The American Legion Post 3 War Museum was founded in 1933 with the purpose of protecting this history for future generations and educating people on these major conflicts and the soldiers who fought in them.
The American Legion Post 3 was formed in 1919 as a local chapter of the American Legion, a nonprofit organization made up of veterans. The war museum, which has no admission cost, is one of a number of community support programs the chapter operates.
The museum staff consists of Post 3 Legionnaires who can provide their own knowledge and expertise about the exhibits. Many of the artifacts are donated by veterans and their families. Exhibits include not only guns and uniforms, but also medals and select personal items from soldiers who fought in each war.
The exhibits are arranged chronologically and are designed to show the context behind the artifacts. Another section of the museum holds exhibits related to the history of the American Legion Post 3 and other affiliated groups. The war museum is located at 430 N. Main St. in downtown Greenville and is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays and 1-5 p.m. Sundays.
Another museum in the area, founded 80 years after the war museum, offers a deep look at local history. Since 2013, the Travelers Rest Historical Society has maintained the History Museum of Travelers Rest.
According to Rosemary Bomar, the president of the TRHS, the idea behind the museum started when the historical society was formed following the city’s centennial celebration.
The museum shows the city’s storied history, starting with the building housing the museum. Although the building was originally constructed in 1926, it was relocated to its current location at 3 Edwards St. in 2010. In 2011, after the demolition of Travelers Rest High School, the TRHS used the bricks from the school to build the front of the museum.
The museum showcases the small town’s 300- year history as a stopping point for travelers heading between the mountains and the ocean. Artifacts for the museum come from community members who donate or lend them to the historical society.
The newest exhibit features artifacts from the Spring Park Inn, a home and inn that operated in the city during the mid1800s and was influential in the development of the city.
The TRHS is currently restoring the building, which was donated to the TRHS last year, to how it appeared in the late 1800s.
The Travelers Rest History Museum reopened to the public on March 20 after being closed because of COVID-19 and is open from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.