Belton Area Museum Association
100 North Main Street
Belton, South Carolina  29627

Mission Statement:  The Belton Area Museum Association's purpose is to collect, exhibit, preserve, and interpret the artifacts, sites, antiquities, and genealogical, archival, cultural, and natural history of Belton, SC, Anderson, SC, and the State of South Carolina.  BAMA also provides cultural enrichment, intellectual stimulation, learning opportunities, and activities to increase the appreciation of the traditional, visual, and performing arts.

The Tenth Annual Heritage Days at the Depot

Presenting traditions of the past to preserve their legacy for future generations
October 2 - 4, 2014  News Release  [PDF file]

October 4, 2014 (Saturday)
Saturday, 10:00 AM - 4:00 PM

Heritage Days Photos (taken Oct 5, 2013)  [PDF file]

Heritage Days at the Depot 2012 Final Report Narrative  [PDF file]


Heritage Days at the Depot
Heritage Days Artisans Provide Historical Perspective to Festival

October  5, 2013

On the greenspace surrounding the

Historic Belton Train Depot

A Certified SC Arts and AgriCulture Event

Ever wanted to carve a duck decoy?  Thought about making your own soap?   Interested in shooting a long rifle?  How about making paper cut outs that look like pictures?  These skills and more await you when you visit Heritage Days at the Depot this year as part of the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival, Oct. 5, held on the city square from 10 AM - 4 PM.

 “We’ve got a great line up of artisans and historical interpreters this year,” stated BAMA volunteer Alison Darby. 

Fifteen heritage skills artisans will surround the Historic Depot from 10 AM – 4 PM Saturday.  Visitors can try their hands at making a broom, weaving a basket, fashioning a wooden wheel, stamping a piece of leather, carving a decoy, weaving a Cherokee sash with their fingers, creating a picture with scissors and paper, crafting handmade soap, caning a chair, making some lace, listening to stories of slavery, creating a necklace, learning about long rifles, taking a trip into the woods of the 18th Century, and building a model log cabin.

“Heritage Days at the Depot offers festival attendees a chance to see history re-created before their eyes.  Preserving these culturally significant folk crafts and skills enriches our perspectives and makes us aware of the skills and traditions of our forefathers,” said Festival Director David Jones.

Over 2000 students will attend education days on Thursday and Friday.  They will rotate among the presenters and receive hands-on instruction in the various crafts and skills. 

Heritage Days at the Depot is made possible to visitors and student groups with generous funding from the City of Belton Hospitality Fund, the WebbCraft Family Foundation, Anderson County, the National Endowment for the Arts, the SC Arts Commission, the John and Susan Bennett Memorial Arts Fund of the Coastal Community Foundation of SC, BB&T Bank, Senator Billy O’Dell, Representative Mike Gambrell, Foothills Community Foundation, Publix, Sam’s Club, and Belton Metal Corporation.

This event encourages, promotes, conserves, and honors the traditional art forms and heritage skills that make our state distinct.  The overall aim of Heritage Days at the Depot is to foster in our community a greater understanding of, appreciation for, and interest in the traditional arts and skills of our forefathers. 

In 2012, Heritage Days at the Depot was designated a “Certified South Carolina Arts and AgriCulture Event” by the SC Department of Agriculture in conjunction with the SC Arts Commission, the first event to be so designated.

"Since this event draws upon the vital connection between agriculture and the arts, Heritage Days was an obvious choice," said Arts Commission Coordinator Rusty Sox.

For more information, contact Alison Darby at 864-958-5264 or Shirah Heller at the museum, 864-338-7400.


Heritage Days at the Depot 2013

The Artisans/Historical Interpreters


Presenting traditions of the past to preserve their legacy for future generations


Rediscover the artisanship and craftsmanship of our forefathers at the 9th Annual Heritage Days at the Depot, on the green space of the Historic Belton Train Depot, October 3 – 5, 2013.       

            This award- winning living history event showcases the talents of fifteen folk skills artisans who offer presentations and hands-on demonstrations of their crafts.     

            Don’t miss this opportunity to enjoy traditions passed down from generation to generation as our artisans offer a glimpse of 18th and 19th century folkways.



 Tent 1      Broom Maker, Randy King


Broom making is a traditional craft practiced by only a handful of people in South Carolina. Randy King learned to make brooms by apprenticing with renowned broom squire Jim Harmon of the Shaker Village at Pleasant Hill, Kentucky.  Having purchased his 19th century equipment from Mr. Harmon, Randy relocated to Pelzer, SC, where he mills corn and sews handmade brooms.   In addition to the Shaker style, Randy will also demonstrate the Appalachian style broom. 



Tent 2       Basket Weaver, Michael Blake


Using native SC hardwoods such as pine, red oak, white oak, and walnut, self taught basket weaver Michael Blake crafts baskets just like our pioneer ancestors did to form age old patterns,  styles, and shapes of baskets to serve many different uses. 



Tent 3         Wheelwright, Scott Beam


Scott Beam is a wheelwright, a tradesman who makes wheels for carts and wagons.  He first constructs the hub, the spokes and the rim/felloe segments and assembles them all into a unit working from the center of the wheel outwards. The wheels are made from wood and he custom fits the solid iron tyres to the wheels, which are measured to ensure proper fit. Woodworker, blacksmith, carver, and engineer, Scott Beam produces a necessary tool that is also a beautiful craft.



Tent 4         Saddler, Gary Poovey


Using historical tools such as a pritchart wheel, awl, needle, linen thread, bees wax, scissors, and stamping tools,  Gary Poovey will focus on saddle making and other leather items such as bracelets, canteens and hunting bags.  With influence of leather crafter Billy Brown, Poovey began custom stamping and carving special order leather products, which gives an artistic element to his saddles and bridles.  From the design ideas to the transformation into leather, watch Gary produce an art piece built for rugged use that is beautiful enough to be in a showcase.



Tent 5       Decoy Carver, Tom Boozer


Tom Boozer is a renowned carver of duck decoys, a craft known as one of the oldest American folk arts.  Early Native Americans made decoys out of reeds, grasses and natural dyes and the American Colonists learned the concept and used metal hand tools to craft decoys of wood. Today, Tom carves traditional wooden decoys using only hand tools, a technique that makes him both artisan and historian.



Tent 6       Native American Finger Weaver, Karen George


Besides being great potters, carvers, bead workers, and basket creators, Cherokee artists are also makers of finger woven belts, sashes, and garters.  Using colorful wool yarn, the Cherokee weave intricate designs in the past.  Even though manmade fibers are used in weaving now, the techniques which have been passed down from generation to generation make the designs truly Cherokee. Oconoluftee Village artisan/historian Karen George is proud to share her history and culture with visitors by sharing in this timeless craft.



Tent 7       Scherenschnitte Artist, Linda Bell


The art of paper cutting to produce visual masterpieces will be exhibited by Scherenschnitte artist Linda Bell.  This art tradition was founded in Switzerland and Germany in the 1500’s and was brought to Colonial America in the 1700’s by immigrants who settled primarily in Pennsylvania and South Carolina.  Bell will teach visitors how to master simple designs. 



Tent 8       Soap Maker, Karen Cox


These days we have a different kind of soap to clean just about everything--laundry detergent, dish soap, shampoo and more.  But our ancestors relied heavily on only one kind of cleaning agent: lye soap.  Karen Cox, a costumed interpreter since 1998 who has worked at Historic Brattonsville for the past 5 years, has been recreating the soap of the past.  Come make a few vintage bars of soap together.



 Tent 9       Chair Caner, Willie Van Brailey


Winner of the 2011 Jean Laney Harris Folk Heritage Award, Willie Van Brailey of Orangeburg grew up watching his mother Marie repair and create caning for chairs.  Brailey became the first male to work seriously in the tradition in 1979, and he expanded on what his mother taught him. He has developed 11 new designs using various forms of math and geometry to make his work more precise and symmetrical. The high quality of his work and the attention to detail has long been recognized by antique dealers and collectors throughout the region. Learn this craft from a master!



Tent 10     Lace Maker, Barbara Vanselow


After seeing a demonstration of Bobbin Lace in 1985, Barbara Vanselow knew this was something she had to learn, so she traveled to  the Kantcentrum in Brugge, Belgium, to perfect her skills.  Since 1998, she has taught classes and given workshops in NY, FL, TN, NC and SC and has sold lace as commissioned. A member of the International Organization of Lace, Inc. , her goal is to promote interest in Bobbin Lace and to educate people in the skill of lace making.



Tent 11      Slave Storyteller, Kitty Wilson Evans


Nationally renowned living history interpreter, Kitty Wilson-Evans will share the history of the African-American culture through stories she has gathered from descendents throughout the Southeast.  She will take audiences back to plantation days by involving them in storytelling, singing, and dancing, and re-creating what life was like for slaves in the upstate. 




Tent 12      Native American Jeweler,  Joy Evans


Joy Spirit Hawk Evans has always loved the beauty of Indian jewelry and knew this was something she wanted to create. She designs, cuts, shapes, files, solders, handhammers and polishes each piece of jewelry in the old Southwest Indian way, a very unique and original manner. No two pieces are ever exactly alike. Using the earth elements (pewter, copper, and trade silver along with the rocks and gems dug from the Blue Ridge Mountains) , she handcrafts wearable art.




Tent 13      Gunsmith, Don Bruton


The rifle, knife, and tomahawk were the pioneer’s best friend, providing meat and protection in a harsh and perilous frontier.  Steeped in the history and tradition of the “tools of the survival trade,” weapons expert Don Bruton will showcase his vast knowledge of the weapons of war, demonstrate the process of creating a long arm from wood and metal, and help us learn the ways of the wilderness hunter and soldier.



Tent 14      Backcountry Woodsman, Bob Perry


Portraying a mid 1750 to 1785 backwoodsman in the backcountry of Georgia and the Carolinas, Bob Perry will demonstrate the skill of living out of a haversack.  Revealing what a back country ranger would carry on an extended hunt or a campaign so that he could fish, catch small game, shoot and maintain his gun, have fire, repair clothing and gear, and stay warm and dry while he was in the back-country away from all civilization for a month or two at a time, he offers everyone a first-hand glimpse of an exciting but hazardous lifestyle.  



Tent 15      Log Cabin Builder, Rick Owens


A architectural preservation specialist for over 15 years,  Rick Owens has created a log cabin building program to demonstrate the process the early settlers followed to provide shelter for their families.  From shaving the shingles to splitting the wood for the notches, from dowel making to log timber saw cutting, visitors will be involved in all facets of creating a log cabin on a ¼ model scale.



Heritage Days at the Depot

Preserving our Heritage for Future Generations

Belton Area Museum Association

100 N. Main Street

Belton, SC  29627


Contact Alison Darby at or 864-958-5264 for more information.


2014 Heritage Days Presenters

For more information, contact:
Alison Darby


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Belton Alliance - PO Box 368 - Belton, SC  29627