AGRICULTURAL HERITAGE CENTER
At the Clemson University Edisto Research and Education Center
Highway #78 near Blackville, SC
The Mission of the Agriculture Heritage Center is to Illustrate the Varied and Distinctive  History of Southern Agriculture and Rural Living.
  This provides a great opportunity to share our rich heritage with younger family generations, school groups, organizations, and visitors.
Visits can be scheduled that will be hosted by local farmers who will provide explanations of the exhibits and their significance to our community.
 
For information please call any of the following: 803/300-1578,  803/266-3925.  803/260-2534
A Preview of Some Exhibits
For many years before tractors were available mules provided the power for most farm operations in the fields.  The most common were implements pulled by one mule with the worker walking behind holding the handles to guide the implement along the crop rows and controlling the mule with ropes--the reins--attached to the bridle on the mule's head.  This was physically demanding labor and required significant skill and experience.

The implements shown here were for plowing the soil, spreading fertilizer, and planting seeds.  
Cutting grain, especially oats and wheat, was a manual process using the device shown here, a  cradle scythe. The scythe is the blade that cuts the grain as it is swung by holding the handles.  The cradle is the framework that catches the grain as it is cut.

The grain can then be bundled.  
Here a barn replica provides a display for the items used to "hitch up" a mule to the farm implements,  The large soft collar is placed around the neck against the mule's shoulder and provides a padded contact for pulling. The hame (somewhat like a yoke) is fastened around the collar and connected to the traces (chains) that are then connected to the plow. Here a local farmer demonstrates how this is done,
 
Most farm families raised and butchered hogs to provide meat throughout the year.  Before food freezers were available meat had to be cured or "preserved" so it could be stored at normal temperatures,  This was done by butchering in cold weather and salt curing.  The large trough shown here was used to pack meat with salt for the curing process. Instead of salt curing, the meat was often smoked to add flavor.
Farms often had a dedicated smokehouse for curing and storing the meat.
 
   
Over the years barns have served many purposes in our rural life, from housing  farm animals to hosting community social activities and barn dances.

An extensive exhibit showing the history and role of barns provides a journey back in time and to this part of our heritage. 
Before electricity came to the rural areas and farms,  doing the laundry was very different and required much more human labor, usually by the women.
The process usually began and finished out in the yard with heating water in a wash pot and then hanging the clothes to dry on the clothes line.
Shown in this exhibit are the washtubs, a ringer to squeeze out the water, and a washboard to scrub the clothes on to help remove dirt and other stains.
The irons were heated on the stove or in front of an open fireplace.  A family would have several so they could be rotated between heating and ironing the clothes.
The typical kitchen had a wood burning cook stove as shown here.  Sometime there was a small heater, shown here in the corner, for heating water, especially for bathing,
The library is an excellent resource for reading about many topics relating to agriculture and rural life in the past.  A significant record of our rich heritage.
This website was developed and is managed by Perry Sprawls, co-owner and operator of the Sprawls Heritage Farm located on Sprawls Farm Road near Williston.
The farm has now been in the Sprawls Family for over 200 years and is designated as one of South Carolina's Heritage Farms. 
The house was built in 1856 and is one of the few to escape
burning during the Civil War because there was someone sick in the house, and  the Union soldiers said they did not burn houses with sick people.
Contact: [email protected]