For a very small town (fewer than 5,000 residents), Edgefield
has a large history. It has produced 10 South Carolina governors and one of the longest serving U.S. senators, Strom Thurmond.
According to lore, Edgefield
was once a violent place with duels, murders and scandals. That colorful history is celebrated every month with Living History Saturdays.
That next celebration will be June 8 and will include historians, local farmers and artisans, including Old Edgefield Pottery
and Jane Bess Pottery
In addition to being the birthplace of governors, Edgefield is famed for its pottery.
A community called Pottersville was established in 1810 by a doctor, Abner Landrum and his family. The original artisans were slaves on the Landrums’ plantations and produced stoneware pottery from the red clay and kaolin deposits in the region.
Pottersville grew and became known for its inexpensive but sturdy stoneware. Other families opened similar operations there.
The Living History Saturday begins at 8 a.m. with a farmers and artists market on the town square.
There is a genealogy 101 class, followed by assistance at the library for those wishing to pursue a search of their family tree. Cost is $10. Call ahead to participate in the class, (803) 637-4010, 104 Courthouse Square.
There also will be a tour of the Willowbrook Cemetery led by local historian and genealogist Tonya Browder from 11 a.m. to noon.
The rest of the day will be dedicated to artisan demonstrations, including carpentry, pottery and ironwork. These will be held at Ike Carpenter’s stand at 500 Main St., Old Edgefield Pottery at 230 Simpkins St. and the Village Blacksmith, 206 Buncombe St.