New walking tour guide includes town’s history

The glossy tri-fold opens to a 12-inch by 18-inch guide to historical Winnsboro with a corresponding map marking location of sites.

WINNSBORO – “Just since the beginning of summer, we have given out almost 5,000 brochures, Fairfield County Museum Director Pelham Lyles said of the newly printed Winnsboro, South Carolina Historic Walking Tour Guide & Map.

First created by Lyles in the 1970’s, the walking tour brochure has since undergone many updates and re-printings. The information and format was most recently updated into a full color 12” x 18” tri-fold guide that is available free at the Fairfield County Museum, the Chamber offices, most restaurants and some shops in Winnsboro, Lyles said. 

Before the latest effort could become a reality, however, funding was needed for printing and professional assistance. 

Enter Chris Clausen, Assistant Town Manager for Winnsboro, and Ernestine Williams, both members of Fairfield Forward Coalition which raises funds through grants and other sources to promote health through activity.

“The walking tour guide was a perfect fit for what Fairfield Forward does,” Lyles said. The group recently helped fund a fitness gym in Winnsboro and the opening of the Alston Trail Head of the Peak to Prosperity Passage of the Palmetto Trail in western Fairfield.

Fairfield Forward saw the walking tour guide project not only of historical and educational relevance but as a health benefit for the community and helped raise funds to make it happen through grants, from the Town of Winnsboro, the Historical Society and Fairfield County, according to Clausen.

The Herculean task to research and update the history of these 56 sites, Lyles said, fell to Williams, associated with Cooperative Health and previously with the Eat Smart Move More program. To tackle that task Williams formed a committee that included Lyles, the Town of Winnsboro staff, the Fairfield County Historical Society, and the Fairfield Chamber of Commerce, among others.

With the funding raised by Fairfield Forward, the group was able to print 5,000 brochures that were distributed to participating merchants, chamber locations, restaurants, rest stops and other county locations.

The total walking distance of the mapped tour is 5.296 miles, and the map includes numbered locations that translate to the name, address, and descriptions of the sites.  For select properties, the brochure includes both photos of the present day as well as photos of the sites in their early days. 

For example, a current photo of the Winnsboro Town Clock sits next to a circa 1920s photo and a brief history.  Also featured is the Malvern Hill home built in 1884 by George H. McMaster as a replacement for a home at the site built in 1786 for Revolutionary War General Richard Winn.

The guide gives an impressive glimpse into the history, architecture and people who established and grew Winnsboro as well as those who are currently working to maintain the beauty, ambiance and lifestyle of this County Seat for Fairfield County.

With the enormous success of the guide, Lyles said they are dwindling in number and will soon need to be reprinted. She said she is hoping that some of the county’s businesses will offer funds to support a reprint effort.

“It’s really just a beautiful brochure,” she said. “We’re very proud of it.”

Businesses or other organizations who would like to make a donation toward the printing of more brochures can contact Williams at [email protected] or Lyles at [email protected]

“The brochure has also been digitally formatted so it can be printed out as an 8.5” X 11” pdf or saved for future dissemination,” Lyles said.

To print out the brochure, go to http://umrhn.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/07/Winnsboro_WalkingTour_11x8_Version.pdf

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