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Celebrate a Historic Christmas with the Spartanburg County Historical Association

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The Spartanburg County Historical Association offers area residents a
chance to learn about Christmas in times past with holiday-themed events this December.

First, there is “Christmas in Early America” at both the Historic Price House on Saturday, December 4, and at Walnut Grove Plantation on Saturday, December 11. Take a break from the modern holiday hustle and bustle to experience a more modest early American Christmas. Tour each site’s historic home to see the simple wreaths, greenery, fruits and berries used by the Prices and the Moores to mark the holiday season.

Hear about Christmas traditions from America’s early years and how those traditions differ from today’s celebrations. You may also find that, much like today, the holiday season in the 1700s and 1800s was often spent feasting with family and friends. Learn how enslaved African Americans spent their Christmas. Make wreaths from natural materials used by early Americans. Enjoy a cup of wassail and some shortbread cookies. These days – December 4th at Price House and December 11th at Walnut Grove – will be the only opportunity this year to see these historic homes decorated for the holiday. Admission on both days is $6.00
for adults, $3.00 for children 6-17, and free for ages 5 & under. Historic Price House is located at 1200 Oak View Farms Road near Woodruff while Walnut Grove Plantation is located at 1200 Otts Shoals Road in Roebuck. For more information, call 864-576-6546 or email

Then on Monday, December 20, from 9:00-4:00, the Spartanburg Regional History Museum offers a holiday-themed day camp. “Christmas Fun Day” offers children the chance to learn about and create traditional and modern toys! Students compare today’s toys and games with those of the past. They will make a variety of toys and take what they create home for the holidays. They will also go home with the skills to make more. Holiday snacks provided, but participants should bring their own lunch. Cost is $40 per child and limited to 15 children, ages 9-13. To register, call 864-596-3501 or email

The Spartanburg County Historical Association explores and preserves our region’s history by collecting and sharing the stories and artifacts of the people who shaped that history. The Historical Association operates the Spartanburg Regional History Museum, the Seay House, the Historic Price House and Walnut Grove Plantation.

The Regional History Museum showcases and captures our region’s life from before European explorers to the present. The collections of the Museum reflect our area’s rich heritage. The permanent collection provides a look at Spartanburg’s textiles mills, military training camps Croft and Wadsworth, and a history in photographs. Our Decorative Arts Collection highlights the cultural uniqueness and creativity of Spartanburg County and Piedmont area crafts people. The Museum’s collections also include postcards, toys and dolls, clothing, fine art, and manuscript archives. Programs are available for all types of groups from students to senior adults.

The Historic Price House, slave cabin, and surrounding forest tell of the environment-altering work done by settlers and slaves to transform the Backcountry frontier into a fully-integrated part of the early United States. Thomas and Ann Price built the house that bears their name about 1795. Mr. Price ran a general store, post office, and “house of publick entertainment” (tavern or inn) that provided beds, food, and drink to stagecoach travelers. Two-dozen enslaved African Americans performed much of the work for these businesses and labored in the fields of Mr. Price’s 2,000-acre plantation. These slaves lived in quarters not unlike the slave cabin located on the site today.

Walnut Grove Plantation tells the stories of the free and enslaved people who settled the South Carolina Backcountry, fought for independence, and built a new nation. Charles and Mary Moore established the plantation on a 550-acre land grant. The Scots-Irish family raised ten children, including Revolutionary War heroine “Kate” Barry, in the house they built about 1765 and lived in for the next 40 years. In late 1781, Loyalist William “Bloody Bill” Cunningham killed three Patriot soldiers at the plantation and sparked a small skirmish with local militia, which is reenacted each year in early October.

SCHA activities and events are supported in part by The Arts Partnership of Greater Spartanburg and its donors, the South Carolina Arts Commission which receives funding from The National Endowment for the Arts, the City and County of Spartanburg, and by corporate and individual partners.

For more information, visit, see photos from our special events on Flickr at, or “Like” us on Facebook at

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