A Piece of History: Part of forgotten town lives on inside Aiken museum

Thursday, Jan. 16, 2020
News 12 This Morning

AIKEN, S.C. (WRDW/WAGT) -- A hidden treasure right in downtown Aiken -- an exhibit at the Aiken County Historical Museum transports visitors back to the 50's.

Alyssa Magnone says taking a walk down the stairs at the Historical Museum is like stepping into a time machine.

"You have multi-generations coming to visit and you know, grandma or grandpa saying, 'oh yes, I remember xyz'," said Alyssa Magnone.

There's a 50's pharmacy plopped right into the basement of the Aiken County Historical Museum.

"The owner of the drugstore actually shuttered the whole thing, moved it into his barn, and then never looked at it for another 30 years," said Executive Director Lauren Virgo.

Virgo says the exhibit features nearly 1,000 items.

"Some of the products here are so fascinating, things that today, we would never get away with probably."

Cough syrup where the main ingredient is chloroform and medicines that are mainly just bottles of alcohol.

"That would have knocked you out, not gotten rid of your cough."

But perhaps a little sweeter than the Lash's Bitters is the soda fountain bar.

"It's where you could have gone and gotten a root beer float or you could have gotten a Coca-Cola."

When operational, the pharmacy was called Moody's Drug Store. It was located in a town called Dunbarton, a town that doesn't even exist anymore.

"The people of those areas were removed from their land to make way for the Savannah River Project, which is what it was called at the time."

As long as this little token of history sits tucked away in this museum, so too does the memory of Dunbarton.

"We love the fact that a local family saw the museum developing in the early 1980'a when we moved here and they recognized the need to showcase this town of Dunbarton, so it isn't forgotten."​

You can visit the museum for free every day except Mondays. ​they're also celebrating their 50th year this year.

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