Dr. W.T. Holmes to present history of Burrel Hemphill

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By Staff Reports

Local community leader Dr. W.T. Holmes is steeped in history. He is a member of the S.L. Finley Restoration Association, a fount of local community knowledge, the driving force behind the East Chester Renaissance Project and has worked to help shape Chester County’s future as a member of the Chester County Natural Gas board of directors.

One piece of historical information is especially near and dear to his heart: he grew up on and worked the farm in Blackstock that was originally owned by his great grandfather.

Dr. Holmes will share that history of his great-grandfather this Saturday in a talk about his ancestor Burrel Hemphill’s history and the history of the farm. The talk is scheduled for 10 a.m. at Hopewell ARP Church, 1341 Hopewell Church Road, in Blackstock.

In an earlier interview, Dr. Holmes recalled that his great-grandfather purchased the land, a total of 67 acres, for $300 in April 1863.

Dr. Holmes recalls growing up on the farm where his parents planted and harvested cotton, corn, sweet potatoes and peanuts. The family also had dairy cows and they sold the milk to the Borden dairy company in Chester.

This talk is part of the local programming designed to complement “The Way We Worked” travelling Smithsonian exhibit in Chester through Aug. 6.


Many other local programming events are continuing this weekend, including:


•       Chester Farmers and Artisans Market

June 24 – Aug. 6, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays 7:30 a.m. - 1 p.m.

111 Columbia St., Chester, 803-444-4327

Local, fresh produce and high-quality artwork for sale. Agricultural display sponsored by The Market and Clemson Cooperative Extension, Chester County.



•       Chester Through the Decades

June 24 – Aug. 6, Open during business hours.

Chester County Chamber of Commerce

109 Gadsden St., Chester, 803-581- 4142

Scrapbook collection of thousands of local newspaper clippings from 1950 to present day.


•       Through the Lens of Henry O. Nichols: The Way We Worked in Chester County

June 24 – Aug. 6

Chester County Historical Society Museum & Archives

107 McAliley St., Chester,  803-385-2332

Large Native American Collection & Display – Springs/Textile Display – Military & Gun Display – Cotton & Agriculture, and the amazing photography collection of Henry O. Nichols.  The Nichols collection is part of the South Carolina Digital Library – scmemory.org  Check our website for more information: chesterschistory.org. Guided tours top of every hour.  


•       Transportation Showcase

June 24 – Aug. 6, Tuesdays, 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sundays, 2-5 p.m.

Richburg Town Hall

201 N. Main St., Richburg, 803-789- 3636

Various images and transportation artifacts will be on display. Collaborative effort by the L&C Railroad and the Richburg Fire Department.


•       Great Falls: Native Americans, Hydroelectricity and Textiles

June 24 – Aug. 6, Fridays, 1- 4 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.- 5 p.m., Sundays, 2-4 p.m.

Great Falls Town Hall

808 Dearborn St., Great Falls, 803-482-2370

Exhibit created by the Great Falls HomeTown Association celebrating Great Falls’ rich heritage of hydroelectricity and textiles.


•       Antique Tractor Showcase

June 24 – Aug. 6, 9 a.m.-7 p.m.

Cotton Hills Farm

2309 Wilson Road, Lowrys, 803-581-4545

Unique display of antique farm equipment, fresh produce and hand-dipped ice cream for sale at the market.


•       Blackstock Bluegrass

June 24 – Aug. 6, Fridays, 7 p.m.

228 School Road, Blackstock,  803-385-5261

Listen to country, gospel and bluegrass music and join in on the fun and fellowship. Potluck dinner served every Friday at 6 p.m.