HARTSVILLE, SC (WBTW) – One Pee Dee group wants to make sure a local landmark lasts far into the future.
“You can’t go seven miles in Darlington County without encountering a historical marker,” said Brian Gandy.
Gandy has been around history as long as he can remember. His mother was a historian as well, and taught him everything he knows about Darlington County’s past.
“I had the opportunity to see documents and things that the average person would not have had the opportunity to experience,” Gandy said.
Now that he’s the director of the Darlington County Historical Commission, Gandy is working to protect the Jacob Kelley House, a home with special meaning for folks in the Kelleytown community of Hartsville.
“Jacob Kelley was mustered into the service,” Gandy said, speaking on Kelley’s Civil War service. “They pulled him into the ranks. He was entrusted with the silver and gold for the Kelleytown area, and carried that over to Segars Mill and on an island in the pond there, he protected that while those troops were here and kept it safe for the community.”
The home belonged to the Kelley family as far back as 1820, and is now a landmark for locals and tourists alike who want to see what life was like here long ago.
Gandy said while the storms of the past two years were hard on Darlington County, the Kelley House seems to have done just fine, although it does need some repairs, and quickly.
“It’s like people,” Gandy explained. “The older they get, they need more care.”
Gandy said the roofs of the main house and some of the outer barns need to be replaced, as well as some other repairs.
“There is an issue with rot around the boarding that’s on the house,” Gandy said. “We want to do some corrective work there.”
The Historical Commission is working on ways to make the repairs, and what they’ll need to maintain the home moving forward.
“We’re out looking for bids now to see the scope of the work and the cost of the work, and then we’ll be going to the county and aksing for some funds in the future,” Gandy explained.
To find out how you can help, and to learn more about tours and events at the Kelley House or other historical Darlington County landmarks, visit the Darlington County Historical Commssion’s website here.