The Daily Gamecock

McKissick Museum showcases Columbia history

<p>The McKissick Museum's latest exhibit that opened Sept. 5 shows items from the celebration of Columbia's 150th anniversary which took place in 1936.</p>
The McKissick Museum's latest exhibit that opened Sept. 5 shows items from the celebration of Columbia's 150th anniversary which took place in 1936.

The McKissick Museum is offering students a look into Columbia’s past with its new exhibit titled “Looking Back/Looking Ahead: Columbia's Sesquicentennial Time Capsule.”

This exhibit focuses around the contents of a time capsule that was buried in 1936 as part of the celebration of the sesquicentennial, or 150th anniversary, of the founding of Columbia. The time capsule was first opened in 1986 in honor of the city’s bicentennial, or 200th anniversary, and this exhibit displays many of the items that were originally placed in the capsule.

“The museum tries to highlight important events in Columbia so when we have enough objects in our collection to do that, that’s part of our mission and that’s what we try to do,” McKissick Museum Communications Manager Amanda Belue said.

The exhibit showcases a variety of antique items including old newspaper pages, pictures of the sesquicentennial parade and grand ball, items given away at the celebration in 1936 and several other items that chronicle the history of Columbia.

“We’ve got a lot of the olden materials we’ve printed and reproduced so you can see them,” Belue said.

While the items represent a version of Columbia from long ago, Belue believes that students, especially undergraduate students, can find some valuable and interesting information by visiting the new exhibit.

“If they’re a traditional undergraduate student then they wouldn’t have been alive in 1986 or 1936 so it tells the story of a Columbia that they don’t know,” Belue said.

Belue went on to speak about the importance behind the making of the time capsule and what it means for young people today.

“They decide as the upcoming generation what is important for them to remember and what is important for them to preserve for the upcoming generations and it just kind of tells that story about how people in the past have done that and what they chose to view as important,” Belue said.

The exhibit will be running on the third floor of the museum until Dec. 17. Admission is free and he museum is open from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. 

In addition to the time capsule exhibit, the McKissick Museum currently holds several other exhibits including one that honors famous South Carolina politician James Byrnes and another that celebrates the 40th anniversary of the museum. The museum is also offering two different tours during Parents Weekend. The Behind-the-Scenes tours will show visitors the many items that McKissick has in their storage areas and the Tour of Mckissick Museum's Exhibitions will be a curator-led tour of some of the current exhibits in the museum.