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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
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March 27, 2009     The Columbia Star
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March 27, 2009
 

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The Columbia Star - SC T~l/His[ol'y MARCH 27. 2009 o 1 1 Tr~n,~id C~IrQIII~ Chester, South Carolina Driving Distance: i Hours 7 minutes from Columbia Contributed by the City of Chester. Chester City Hall Chester, S.C., is known around the state as "The City on the Hill" for the hill in the center of town. It offers a wide vari- ety of interesting histori- cal, recreational, and tourism opportunities. Chester was origi- nally chartered in 1840 and grew through the late 1800s from the benefits of being a major railroad hub. The downtown area features a number of architectural styles with Victorian-era facades that feature ornate appoint-interesting mementos of ments to simple brick Chester County'shistory. store fronts. The Transportation Chester's businessMuseum, located in the district caught the eye of 1880 freight depot of the Hollywood producers forGeorgia, Carolina, and its unique blend of archi- Northern Railroad, con- tecture and visual appeal, tains cars, farm equip- Downtown Chester has ment, license plates, and been the set for several a school bus representing Hollywood movie produc-transportation history of tions. The mini-series Chester County and the Chiefs took over a majority Upstate. of the downtown area for One unique aspect the summer filming of Chester is the presence schedule in 1983 and of 18 murals painted on Patriotville completed,buildings throughout the filming in 2006. downtown area. In some The significantcases, the murals repre- attraction in the down-sent advertising themes, town area is Monument but the majority of the Square at the top of the murals are purely decora- hill. Monument Square tive to express the talents features the Aaron Burrof their creators. Rock, a Civil War cannon, Chester's Parks and an original city cistern, Recreation Department and an obelisk shaped maintains eight commu- Confederate Memorial. nity parks for the enjoy- On the edge of the square ment of residents. Wylie is City Hall, opened inPark is a 48-acre recre- 1891 as a multi-use build- ation complex containing ing. It houses the citytwo walking/nature trails, offices, fire department, a playground, an 18-hole and an 800 seat opera putt-putt golf course, house. Today, the build- seven tennis courts, and ing houses the city offices an Olympic sized swim- and the Police Depart- mingpool. ment. The Fairgrounds is a Chester is the home multi-use recreational of the Historical Museum complex, which consists and the Transportation of newly renovated soft- Museum. The Historical ball facilities and newly Museum, located in the renovated historical Joe 1914 jail, houses collec- Collins Stadium. This tions, which include complexis the home field American Indian artifacts, for several softball leagues a large firearms collection, and the home field for reference material, a multiple football pro- photo-negative collection grams including the Car- of approximately a million olina Crusaders, a negatives, and many home/private school foot- The Chester County Transportation Museum Civil War cannon located in Chester i ii i .... Joe Collins Stadium ball team, and the Caroli- na Scorpions, a local semi-pro football team. The department sponsors many youth and senior activities each year for the recreational needs of the community. The HILLarity Festi- val, the third weekend in October, has been a fix- ture in downtown Chester for 19 years and is now drawing approximately 20,000 visitors to Chester each year. Events for the weekend include car shows, beauty pageants, dog shows, flower shows, live entertainment on two stages, and craft and food vendors. art 12: a new poison For 120 years, the DeVeau-Neal Family has thrived through plowing, praying, paying, and poisoning. By Deborah Scott Brooks dsb l O20@comcast.net It might be fate that the last of this series is written from the Low- country of South Carolina during a family reunion. The morning was clear, the breeze was gen- re but familiar, and the currents rolled in and out humming and moaning a bittersweet song. A glance up the coastline was pur- posely done in an imagi- native manner that erased the towering condos and hotels. Then, there was a turn to the ocean and after a long silence, it was spo- ken, "Wonder what lim and Tina and their chil- dren must have thought as they were loaded off a ship somewhere on this coast in the early 1800s?" We stared out across the waves and searched far out on the ocean's horP zon for some thing, some past or some explanation. The ocean is too wide and too deep to overcome. So, one takes solace in knowing that our typical family from the Lower Richland area who were brought across that ocean to work the land, survived slavery, acquired farms, and educated themselves and their children. There is pride in knowing this, but still there is sadness in knowing that Carrie Sims (1878-1907) was poi- soned, leaving four young orphans, including Grand- ma Martha (1901-1979). Even sadder is the insult now aflded to that past injury. The infusion of carcinogens into our pre- cious land are greater poi- sons! Polluted air from manufacturing and gener-" ating plants on the Wateree River are dese- crating our historical arti- facts and our sacred ancestral gravesites. One wonders if wewill be killed off by pollutants or be run off the land because of devaluation. There is still a "charge to keep." There is a need to be fully informed. There is a need to reach back to inform others that we must insist on industrial manufacturers maintain- ing the highest levels of safeguards when dispos- ing of wastes. Through the Internet and print media, we are now able to be better informed and to better communicate with each other. We also are better able to be notified hi a timely manner when pub- lic and community meet- ings are called. (The gen- erating plant's manage- ment inviting the affected community to a meeting on NewYear's Eve is an insult.) We must insist that testing be performed by third party laboratories, be done more frequently than what is now sched- uled, and that test results be a matter of public record. We must protest the damage that has already been done. We should seek restitution for those whose related ill- nesses have not yet mani- fested and for restora- tion/preservation of our ancestral gr /vesites. The response of those attending the reunion was encouraging. They lis- tened carefully and took copies of the summary information. We promised our family newsletter would include more than photos and birth notices. The family was charged to be actively concerned and to protect the land where ]ira and Tina DeVeaux were settled on a plantation and where some of our ancestors are buried. We were also reminded that the poisons in the soibcan migrate, just as Ephraim (1844-1905) migrated to Hopkins and settled the land by the side of that creek. The DeVeau-Neal Family Reunion on Thanksgiving 2008.