Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Two, Count 'Em, Two Museums

It's Friday morning and we're in no hurry as we only have an hour or two to travel today. We're headed for Lugoff, South Carolina, on I 20 close to halfway between Columbia and Florence.

We ignored the GPS's attempt to route us again through teeny tiny side roads going back to I 77 heading south. We soon got to our exit and took SC 34 east to Lugoff. Just before we reached our turn onto US 691 we spotted a Shoney's, just right for a late lunch and pitstop.

Lugoff is a small town situated mostly just north of I 20 although its borders overlap I 20 and include the Columbia-Camden RV Park we are headed for. The park is south of I 20 just off South Carolina Route 12.

Although quite near the interstate, you can't hear the traffic. It doesn't seem to have much in the way of amenities like swimming pools and the like but that's reflected in the low price.

It is nicely laid out and keeps an area for short stay RV'ers like us or those just wanting an overnight on their way from one place to another. We definitely liked it a lot better than the more expensive Crown Cove.
The next day we headed for nearby Bishopville and two museums conveniently located right next to each other, in fact they overlap each other on the inside. Many online references refer to the Lee County Veterans Museum having a home at the South Carolina Cotton Museum. 
The Veterans Museum houses collections of military objects collected by local veterans and has an interesting exhibit of these uniforms and equipment such as the hanging dogtags shown to the right. It is also where several local veterans groups meet and has space to host community events. Although worth looking at if you are there, it alone is probably not worth visiting.

It is the South Carolina Cotton Museum that makes the stop worthwhile. We have to admit that until this visit we knew only a very little about the whole process and history of growing and processing cotton. 

Cotton grows in fields on bushes ... briefly being a flower and then becoming a boll that, when it is ripe, splits open showing the soft cotton fibers within. These fibers are what is harvested and then processed to remove the seeds. At this point it is packed into bales that are shipped by wagon, train, and ship to lots of places. After this it is processed into thread, fabrics, and even into paper such as is used for currency.

There's a gigantic model of a boll weevil which is actually quite tiny, averaging about 1/4 inch in size. Much is explained about how this little bug can ruin crops and what has been done to get rid of it. The exhibits show many of the ways used over time to transport the raw cotton and to process cotton fibers into thread and then into fabric and includes cotton related artwork.

Of course I spent some time in the gift shop, buying a cotton boll, and a lovely little undyed throw and of course a ball cap! I think I restrained myself rather well on this trip ... six places to stop at and only three new ball caps for the collection. Okay, truthful disclosure ... one stop, the phone museum, got eliminated, and neither the veterans museum nor the Lee County museum had ball caps. I'll let you do the math.

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