Sumter County Genealogical Society to present 'Echoes of Sumter's Past' Monday

BY IVY MOORE
Special to The Sumter Item
Posted 3/15/19

The Sumter County Genealogical Society will present featured speakers Diana Roof and Becka Smilowska at its 7:30 p.m. Monday meeting at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church. Their presentation, "Echoes of Sumter's Past," will comprise tales of some of …

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Sumter County Genealogical Society to present 'Echoes of Sumter's Past' Monday

Posted

The Sumter County Genealogical Society will present featured speakers Diana Roof and Becka Smilowska at its 7:30 p.m. Monday meeting at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church. Their presentation, "Echoes of Sumter's Past," will comprise tales of some of Sumter's past residents who are buried in the Oakland Avenue cemeteries.

Roof and Smilowska represent Dearly Departed Tours, which offers virtual tours of some of Sumter's historic areas. They'll be dressed in period costumes to share "tales of history, mystery, mayhem and even murder" of several people buried in Sumter Cemetery, Temple Sinai Jewish Cemetery, Saint Lawrence Cemetery, Walker Cemetery and the Bradford/Brunson Cemetery.

Included in the presentation are Martha Williams-Brice, for whom the University of South Carolina football stadium is named; Antonia Gibson, a Sumter city nurse; Octavia Harby Moses, whose home is now the Sumter County Museum; Capt. Lucius Pitts Loring; and George W. Washington, body servant to Lt. Alexander McQueen, and several others.

Roof and Smilowska say of their research and presentation, "Everyone has a story to tell, whether they are dead or alive. We just need to listen."

The public is invited to attend the presentation and can join the society following the meeting.

The Sumter County Genealogical Society meets monthly from September through May at Swan Lake Presbyterian Church, 912 Haynsworth St., on the corner of Bland Avenue and Haynsworth St. Visitors are welcome and encouraged to attend. Admission is free to the public, and refreshments will be served following the presentation.

Membership includes nine monthly newsletters during the year and free use of the Sumter County Genealogical Society Research Center. Annual dues are $30 for an individual membership and $35 for a family. Call the society's Research Center for more information at (803) 774-3901.