St. George to house new history center

  • Friday, January 31, 2014

Dorchester County residents no longer have to travel to Summerville to learn about county history, thanks to a new lease between the Upper Dorchester County Historical Society and Dorchester County Council.

At its Jan. 21 meeting, Council approved a lease between the county and the society for 2,600 square feet of the Dorchester County Offices Annex in St. George. The society will use the space to house the future Dorchester County Archives and History Center.

The five-year lease requires the society to pay $1 of rent per year.

Dorchester County will be responsible for paying for “light, heat and air conditioning” in the space, according to Councilman George Bailey, who proposed the motion. The society will be responsible for paying for renovations.

Similarly, the Town of Summerville leases the property at 100 E. Doty Avenue to the Summerville Dorchester Museum for $1 per year.

The Upper Dorchester County Historical Society first asked council to use space at the offices annex at its Sept. 16 meeting. The society presented Council with a business plan and budget for the history center.

“We feel there’s a great need to collect all of the history for the county and put it under one roof. Previously bits and pieces have been scattered,” said Phyllis Hughes, society president.

Hughes said she is confident the society will be able to raise all of the funds needed to operate the archives and history center.

Some of the society’s ideas for the space include creating a genealogical library and research room, preservation room and gift shop, in addition to the history center.

“We’re asking you to task us with creating something Dorchester County has never had,” Hughes said. “Some of our research dates back to the 1600s and we want to complete the history of Dorchester County.”

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