From the Williams-Brice House to the Doctor Mary McLeod Bethune Homestead, Sumter has some absolutely fantastic museums, and you don't have to go far to see them all!
We start our tour at the Williams-Brice House, the historic home that is home base for the Sumter County Museum. On the same property, you will also find the Carolina Backcountry Homestead and learn about what life was like in the South Carolina backcountry from 1750 to 1850. The Sumter County Museum has also recently opened a new Jewish History Center at the Temple Sinai Synagogue just a block away from the museum’s main complex.
Just outside of Sumter proper is the small town of Mayesville and the homestead of American Civil Rights leader, Mary McLeod Bethune. Mary Bethune laid the foundation for African American Civil Rights in the United States. Born in 1875 to parents who were once slaves, Mary Bethune once said “I am my mother’s daughter, and the drums of Africa still beat in my heart. They will not let me rest while there’s a single Negro boy or girl without a chance to prove his worth.”
Sumter’s Opera House also features the City Centre museum that catalogs the history of the Sumter Opera House one of our state’s crown jewels for the arts.
We wrap up our tour of Sumter’s museums by visiting the Sumter County Military Museum owned and operated by Sumter Historian, and host of our video, Sammy Way. The Sumter County Military Museum isn’t the largest museum in the world (or Sumter for that matter) but it is filled to the brim with military photographs and artifacts that are on par with much larger museums across the country with much larger budgets and staff. No museum tour in Sumter County would be complete without a visit to Mr. Way’s military museum for a taste of Sumter’s “Uncommon Patriotism.”