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McColl, S.C. — In the midst of CareSouth Carolina’s state-of-the-art, brand-new facility in McColl lies a remnant of artifacts dedicated to remembering the past.
When looking at artwork for the new McColl building, a cache of historical photos and items were found at the Love Foundation Museum in McColl.
Mark Sobiski, director of the CareFIRST Carolina Foundation, said several Native American artifacts had been on display for many years and were on loan from the Pee Dee Indian Tribe. After Dr. CW Love passed away, the museum no longer was open to the public.
The CareFIRST Carolina Foundation worked with Charles Love Jr.- the CEO of the C.W. and Dorothy G. Love Foundation- as well as the current and former Chiefs of the Pee Dee Tribe and current tribal council. All parties agreed that a new, more appropriate showcase was needed.
The concept was to have an exhibit that shows the long history of the Pee Dee Indian Tribe in the McColl and surrounding areas through the artifacts that have been collected over the years.
“CareFIRST Carolina Foundation is proud to work with the CW and Dorothy G. Love Foundation and the Pee Dee Indian Tribe to better display their cultural and regional heritage,” Sobiski said. “These artifacts have been in the Love Museum for many years and now are bringing new awareness of the deep history the Pee Dee tribe brings to our region.”
The display features several unique items including spear points, a great collection of chip stone artifacts, an evolution of axes, sandstone with high iron content that Native Americans used for pigment, chunky stone- which was a game played by the native tribes, a soap stone bowl, and much more.
To assist in cataloging, cleaning and displaying the artifacts, the group contacted the University Of Lancaster Department Of Native American Studies and began to work with Chris Judge, the Assistant Director of the Native American Studies program.
Judge was aware of the tribe and its rich history and said he was excited to lend his support and assistance to crafting the display.
“If you’re standing here looking at this display, you’re in the heart of Pee Dee Indian country,” Judge said. “These are artifacts that represent the ancestral Pee Dee. I think it’s important for people who are not native to have the opportunity to look at some of these artifacts to see a view of the past and to see that those people are still here. This portion of South Carolina has one of the highest Indian populations across the entire state. I think it’s important to share with people so that they don’t become invisible or forgotten.”
The artifacts are all on loan from the Pee Dee Tribe and The Love Foundation purchased the display cases. The display is open to the public and can be seen in the McColl Health & Wellness Center, at 3080 Highway 15-401 E, across from the gym & rehab area.