Wendell Voiselle

“The only thing new in the world is the history you do not know . . . “ – Harry S. Truman.

Using this as one of five famous quotes about history, Wendell Voiselle, president of the Williamsburg County Historical Society and manager of the Historical Museum, shared many pictures and facts that were new in the world of Kingstree Rotarians. He was the guest speaker Tuesday, June 20, at the Kingstree Rotary Club meeting held at Brown’s Bar-B-Que, and his program offered a glimpse into the region’s history, a program he called “Interesting People—Interesting Stories.”

A slide show of various historical Kingstree buildings ran continuously during the meal and business part of the meeting. After being formally introduced by sponsoring Rotarian, Jim Cherry, Voiselle noted that as a result of growing up in historical Ninety-Six, the site of the first battle of the Revolutionary War in the South, he loves history. This was apparent as he traced the roots of the Williamsburgh District through the families of the Gordons, the Witherspoons, the Mouzons, and their connections to Francis Marion.

Using the 1780 Battle of the Lower Bridge McCottry/Brockinton story, Voiselle pointed out that divisions of belief and loyalty were even more extreme during the 1770’s than they are today.

Continuing through the fast-paced, slide-illustrated narration, he wove in questions and pictures of present-day history makers, including current and former members of the Rotary Club who were well-known in unusual ways.

In addition he described many other notable locals from the past 300 plus years of our history, and spotlighted a number of churches, hotels, boarding houses, and other structures.

Voiselle emphasized that the Historical Museum is currently the only local attraction, which brings visitors to town from across the country – visitors often seeking information from the extensive archives on microfilm and in various publications about their ancestors.

Voiselle concluded by inviting those present to become members of the Historical Society and thus assist in the promotion, study, and collection of artifacts and resources to enhance the presentation of history and to make history fun and interesting while telling the Williamsburgh story. Memberships are available at varying rates, beginning at $25.

The museum is open from 10 a.m. until 3 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays and at other times by appointment.