McCormick County, South Carolina has a rich golden history that continues to this day.
Something Old, Something Gold, and Something New
On Saturday, August 19th, 2023, Charlotte Tallent, executive director of the McCormick County SC Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center, stated that, "Something old, something gold, and something new was delivered to the McCormick County SC Chamber and Visitors Center. A shiny new McCormick County Gold History Display, designed by a father and son team, Tim and Baillie Conway, members of the Gold Prospectors Association of America, Augusta, GA Chapter."
For Tim and Baillie, gold prospecting is a hobby of theirs. But upon visiting with them, Mrs. Charlotte learned that it is a family shared passion. Tim, his wife, Tara, and Baillie's design talents are an extension of their family business, Aiken Art & Custom Framing, located at 226 Park Avenue Southeast, in Aiken, South Carolina.
"The Chamber is thankful for Tim, Tara, and Baillie for bringing this part of McCormick's History to our Visitors Center located at 100 South Main Street in downtown McCormick." - Charlotte Tallent
Tim stated, "We spent the afternoon in McCormick, SC installing a new display that highlights the towns gold-rich history at McCormick County SC Chamber of Commerce & Visitors Center. The Display is titled, "McCormick's Golden History: Past and Present" and features a selection of historical documents pertaining to the Dorn Gold Mine, antique gold prospecting equipment, and a selection of Gold Prospectors Association of America items to help promote our chapter and inspire a new generation of recreational prospectors in the area!"
"We saw a need that the visitors center did not have anything representing the history of gold mining since the town is built on top of a gold mine!" - Tim Conway
McCormick's Golden History
McCormick County and its county seat, the Town of McCormick, were named for inventor Cyrus Hall McCormick (1809-1884). The county was formed in 1916 from parts of Edgefield, Abbeville, and Greenwood counties.
In about 1850, gold was discovered were the town of McCormick now stands. The Dorn Gold Mine, which later also produced manganese, was purchased by Cyrus McCormick in 1869. McCormick donated land for the town, which was named for him in 1882. The mine continued to operate until the 1930s. Several prominent South Carolinians have resided in the area that is now McCormick County, including Governor and U.S. Senator George McDuffie (1790-1851), Unionist leader James Louis Petigru (1789-1863), and Moses Waddel (1770-1840). Waddel taught many of the future leaders of the state at his Willington Academy.
(Credit: McCormick County SC Chamber of Commerce & Visitor's Center.)