For overn 40 years, Mr. Ballentine collected old farm equipment and related items from the late 1800’s to the early 20th century, occupying a large metal building. We were able to move most of his prized collection to the fairgrounds with the exception of some of the bigger items for which space was not available. In addition to Mr. Ballentine’s outstanding collection, the Museum Society would welcome donations or loans of other farm equipment from Newberry County citizens.
The task of moving this farm museum was accomplished because of the efforts of some special people. First, I would like to thank the Historical Museum Society members who assisted and furnished trucks and trailers for the move. Ernie Shealy, who chairs the Museum Committee, was particularly helpful with his directions and placement of items. I also want to thank Sheriff Lee Foster for providing personnel from the Newberry Detention Center. The trustys, under the supervision of Kevin Palmer, worked tirelessly to ensure the success of the move. Donnie Layton, executor of the Bill Ballentine Estate, has been extremely helpful in making this museum transition to the NCHMS possible. We want to recognize him for his work and passion for this cause.
The Bill Ballentine Farm Museum will have its grand opening during the Newberry County Agricultural Fair, Sept. 24-26, 2009 and I hope all Newberry County residents will come and view this wonderful collection as well as the other fair attractions.
Finally, I want to thank the Newberry County Council and Administration for allowing the NCHMS the use of this building space for our special museum, and Randy Berry, current President and Les Hipp, President Elect of NCHMS for their leadership during this move.
NOTE: We would like to encourage Newberry County and out-of-county residents to support the Newberry County Historical and Museum Society by joining the organization. The membership fee is $12 single and $20 per couple per year. We also accept donations and are a 501 C-3 organization for tax purposes. We have four excellent quarterly programs and a wonderful bulletin edited by Edith Greisser. Join the excitement that comes from learning about Newberry County history.
If you have questions about the Farm Museum or the society, please contact me at 276-4025.