Anyone taking the second annual “Stories in Stone” tours Friday-Saturday will learn many tidbits of Horry County historical figures as well as distinguish between a graveyard and cemetery.
This second annual benefit for the Horry County Historical Society, based in the Bryan House, 606 Main St., Conway, will cover three sites, with two tour packages covering all of them twice daily: First United Methodist Church 1898 sanctuary and graveyard in Conway, and in the Bucksville community, the Hebron United Methodist Church 1848 sanctuary and graveyard, and Buck Family Cemetery, established in 1865.
Buy tickets at the Bryan House, where special tours also will be given at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. both days for $5, or at any of the three “Stories in Stone” tour sites, for which a combo ticket costs $30, with a choice of two tour packages daily.
Janice Cutts, the new secretary for the historical society and in her third year on its board, said all three guided outings will walk on burial grounds, but that graveyards are attached to churches, whereas cemeteries are separate from any place of worship.
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She said these tours mark a “big fundraiser” for the historical society, and all three sites will have presentations by docents, who dressed in period costumes, all are descendants of the people featured. They will include several Confederate soldiers whom Cutts said she’s eager to see “up close and in person.”
The historical society remembers, and educates about, people and events across Horry County, not just in its seat of Conway, Cutts said.
Get a feel from pews
Excited about extending the tours a few miles south of Conway, on Old Bucksport Road, off U.S. 701, Cutts previewed both Bucksport locations. Inside the Hebron church, visitors can see a Bible that dates to the congregation’s founding, and it contains signatures from each preacher who gave a sermon there.
“To go and sit in that church, and look around the pews and get a feel of the area,” Cutts said, makes the tour “worth the money.”
Then, going across the road, in the Bucksville Family Cemetery, visitors will learn about Henry Buck, who moved south from Bucksport, Maine.
“My husband is the great-great grandson of Henry Buck,” said Cutts, whose personal connection only adds to her enthusiasm to share local history.
Cutts again will co-chair the tours with Shirley Long Johnson, and they headed up tours of Lakeside Cemetery last year in Conway.
Johnson, another fellow historical society board member, called the 2013 edition “a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for most of us,” because the Buck Family Cemetery is private, but opening up for a special experience recounted by individuals whose forebears’ remains enrich that ground.
“In Conway, we never leave,” Johnson thought about so many historical figures in Conway. “We just stay right here.”
‘Not just telling stories’
From First United Methodist Church, on Fifth Avenue in Conway, down to Bucksport, where the Intracoastal Waterway winds southwest from Socastee, Johnson saluted the docents.
“All of these people are descendants of people in Horry County, sharing Horry County history and memories,” she said. “It’s not just telling stories, but telling stories as accurately as possible. ... This is their family history. That keeps history from getting old.”
The historical society boasts about 200 to 300 members who want to carry on history for future generations, Johnson said, and Cutts said newcomers – “anyone interested in learning about history” – are welcome to join.
“History will never get old,” Johnson said. “We learn from our past, and that governs our future actions. They’re all intertwined.”
Having two church sanctuaries on the 2013 tour also provides cover from possible rain, Cutts and Johnson each said, remembering the wet tour day last year.
“Rain or shine,” Johnsons said, “the show will go on.”