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Sumter County Museum offers free field trips to 1800s homestead

The Sumter County Museum's reconstruction of a homestead from the 1800s and has free demonstrations from blacksmithing to weaving.

SUMTER, S.C. — Sumter children traveled back to the 1800s today at the Sumter County Museum. There is a homestead where children can see what a family would have lived in during the 1800s. 

"Any kid can can read a book about history, but being able to come out here and actually experience it and see what it was really like, that's, you know, something you just can't get from a book," explained Christian Fryzelka. "I think when you act out history when you try to kind of in a way live history, it helps you understand it a little bit better."

Fryzelka is a volunteer at the homestead. He stokes the fire and forges metal to show kids what a blacksmith’s day would have looked like in the 1800s.

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"Most kids, they're impressed by actually seeing it in person. You know, it's not like looking at a picture," Fryzelka said. "You actually get to see the fire burning and and see someone hitting metal and stuff and the sparks and all that."

Which is something third grader Giuliana Santos enjoyed. She came with her class from Wilson Hall

"It was cool and it made me think about our lessons because that's how Ms. Coker said things were back then," Santos shared.

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Students like Santos can come visit the homestead on field trips to see blacksmiths, gardens and loom weaving completely for free.

"It's something that we offer the community for free, because we want everyone to know what Sumter’s history would have been," the museum's Diana Roof explained. 

Roof said it's important to come visit the typical one-family setting to connect with the past - both for children and adults.

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"We want everyone to know where they've come from. You can't have a future if you don't know your past. We want everyone to know what the past is here in Sumter," Roof told me. "Then you can relate. You can be proud to say, ‘Hey, I'm from Sumter, and this is what happened and this is why we're here.’"

On Saturday, there will be a trick or treating event at the homestead from 3-4 p.m.

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