DARLINGTON, S.C. (WBTW) – Darlington County Historical Commission Museum plans moving forward. Director Brian Gandy says he had a great relationship with the late Carolyn “Bet” Phillips. She was a Darlington native who loved history. Gandy recalls some of their last conversation about her wanting to create a museum for Darlington County.

“This is a gift. Merry Christmas Darlington County from Bet Phillips. She gave this with the specific purpose for this to be used for a museum. It’s not costing tax payers a dime,” Gandy says. “If I can scrape up $2,000 and give you $2,000 for the historical commission what could you do with it? and I’d go through the list of what I could do with $2,000,” Gandy continues.

Gandy also says over the course of 4 months that figure would change.

“When Bet died did I have an idea that there might be something she would do for the citizens of Darlington County? I did. I had no idea that it was going to be $4million,” Gandy says.

A check for $4 million from the estate of Carolyn “Bet” Phillips. That money will go towards the museum which will be added onto the current historical commission building on Hewitt Street.

“What we’re really excited about is that folks will be able to come to our exhibit gallery, have their curiosity peaked and raise their interest in certain things and they won’t have to leave our building to google it to find out if there’s more information. They’ll be able to go right upstairs to our research room and get the continuing narrative.”

Brian Gandy, Darlington Historical Commission Director, told News13 this is a chance for people to donate artifacts to the museum and create a legacy.

“We’re here to help preserve, protect and promote our historical artifacts, our treasures and our narrative. So we like partnering with people to do that,” Gandy says.

He continued with saying there’s deep rooted history all throughout Darlington County and he is excited about the possibilities to fill the museum to tell the story of the people who live here.

“With us being one of the 13 back country establishments from Governor Johnston you know our heritage is deep rooted here. We go way back. And with that there’s a lot of material you know all of the different epics of our history that folks are still holding onto,” Gandy says.

“If you have something that you value the next generation may not. They may not understand the context and usually that’s the important peace,” Gandy continued.

Construction is set to behin January 2021. If you have any artifacts that you would like to donate to the museum, you may contact the staff at the Darlington Historical Commision via Facebook or phone (843) 398-4710.