The Museum Complex

The Williams-Brice House

The Sumter County Museum invites you to stroll through our gates and experience life in an elegantly restored Edwardian house built in 1916 by the Moses and Phelps families and given by the Williams-Brice estate in 1972 to become a museum. Inside you’ll see one of the finest textile collections in the state. Take in the breadth of our decorative arts and fine art collections. View a splendid military history exhibit documenting American struggles during the 20th century. Linger in our period rooms and imagine life at a slower pace—days filled with the best of Southern hospitality. Listen as you view our exhibit of tools and implements used in everyday life for the past two centuries and you may hear long-silent voices telling of the hard work and determination it took to build our country. Celebrate history with us at the Sumter County Museum.

Carolina Backcountry Homestead

Stroll across the lawn to our Carolina Backcountry Homestead.

This recreated homestead plays host to our living history events. Included in our Homestead are a log cabin, settler’s house, a smokehouse, barn, commissary (storehouse), loomhouse, outhouse, blacksmith shop, and gardens.

The Settler’s house and the Commissary are original buildings built between 1812 and 1836. The Rollins family donated these two buildings to the museum in 1990.

The museum had the other buildings in the Carolina Backcountry Homestead constructed from materials salvaged from derelict buildings located within Sumter County.

The Martha Brice Gardens

Linger for awhile in the gardens that surround the Museum. Listen to the birds and the trickle of water as it splashes over the fountain and into the fishpond.

Nationally renowned landscape designer Robert Marvin designed the original gardens at the museum in the early 1960’s. Today, Marvin's design can still be seen in the curving walkways and plant groupings. The gardens contain dozens of azaleas and camellias, along with magnolias, dogwoods, and many other trees. Towering above this lovely garden are huge 100 year old pecan trees that have grown to over 60 feet high. It's a beautiful place to spend a few quiet minutes.

Temple Sinai Jewish History Center

Image of Temple Sinai buildingThe Temple Sinai Jewish History Center opened in 2018 as part of a joint effort between the congregation of Temple Sinai and Sumter County Museum. The temple’s social hall has been developed into an exhibit covering an introduction to Judaism, Jewish settlement in South Carolina, Jewish life in Sumter, the Holocaust, and Sumter Connections to the Holocaust. Visitors can also view the synagogue’s beautiful sanctuary and stained glass windows. For more information about the Center including hours and admission, please visit our Temple Sinai Jewish History Center page.

Heritage Education Center

Image of The Heritage Education CenterThe Heritage Education Center was built in 2003 as a facility to host programs, classes, and traveling exhibits and store some of our collection. McKenzie Hall, located in the Center, is available for rent. For more information on rentals, please click here. The building’s façade was modeled after Coldstream Plantation, an early 1800s house once located near the Salem Black River Church that burned down in the 1950’s. The front room, the Witherspoon Gallery, tells the story of the home and the families who lived there.



The Museum's Archives houses records related to the history of the old Sumter District (present day Sumter, Lee, and Clarendon counties) and, after 1868, Sumter County. Our records include over 30,000 photographic images, postcards, personal letters, scrapbooks, business records, plats, and maps. We are also home to W. A. "Mayor Bubba" McElveen's Archive and the papers of historian Myrtis Ginn Osteen. Housed in the Heritage Education Center at the museum, the Archive is accessible by appointment only. To make an appointment, please contact the museum at 803-775-0908. For genealogical research, please contact the Sumter County Genealogical Society at 803-774-3901 or visit their website.

Sumter County Museum Staff

Annie Rivers, Executive Director

Amanda Cox, Education and Visitor Services Manager

Charles Broadwell, Curator of Collections

Diana Roof, Temple Sinai Jewish History Center Site Manager

Deborah Watts, Carolina Backcountry Manager

Josh Brown, Grounds Keeping

Darlene McKnight, Membership and Rental Coordinator


Sumter County Museum
122 North Washington Street
P.O. Box 1456
Sumter, SC 29151-1456
Phone 803-775-0908
Sumter County Museum Hours: Thurs-Sat 10:00-5:00 Closed Holidays
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Jewish History Center Hours: Thurs and Fri 1:00 to 4:00 and Sat 10:00 to 1:00
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