Living History Farm offers glimpse of Conway's deep roots

CONWAY, SC (WMBF) - With all of the growth and progress we've made in Conway, it's important to remember where we came from. At the L.W. Paul Living History Farm, history comes alive.

"The success we have in this county today, it started on a place like this," says farm manager Wayne Skipper.

The farm is part of the Horry County Museum, but on a tour you won't find velvet ropes and things behind glass. Instead you're going to experience life on the farm as it was lived from the early 1900's to the 1950's. It's a one horse family farm, which means it's about 20 acres, the perfect size for a family to live off of and be self sufficient.

Farm volunteer Jody Nyers boosts, "This is the L-W Paul Living History Farm, part of our Heritage here in Horry County."

"In the early part of the 20th century, probably 90 to 95% of the people living in this county this is the way they lived," admits farm manager Wayne Skipper.

And in every way possible Skipper and countless volunteers make sure the farm represents life in that time period. Its 365 day a year job. Or for Wayne, it's more of a chance to pay homage to his roots.

"Being able to carve out a livelihood from a very small piece of land with the skills and the animals that they had, it just gave me a greater appreciation for the way of life was we know it today," Wayne remembers.

He grew up hearing stories from his parents and grandparents living on the family farm, and now he spends his work day planting crops, tending to livestock, and growing and canning food the same way his grandparents did it nearly a century ago.

Wayne recalls, "It's an ever changing day by day, month by month, season by season way of life. It makes it to where it's always alive and its always interesting every time you come."

And while you can schedule a group tour or just visit almost any time, the best time to come to the Living History Farm is on one of their special event days. On the second Saturday in November the workers on the Living History Farm will by busy making syrup. In addition to seeing Minnie the mule crush the sugar cane for syrup, you can also see volunteers demonstrate the skills necessary to carve out a livelihood here in Conway during the early 20th century.

"We have a blacksmith in the blacksmith shop, we'll run the sawmill, we'll have someone doing some singing in the church, we'll have cooking in the house," says Skipper.

WMBF Storm Team Meteorologist Marla Branson has been out to the L. W. Paul Living History Farm several times, and every time she sees something different and learns something new. But most importantly, the farm reminds her of the deep roots and heritage in Conway and Horry County and how beautiful the legacy is.

The Living History Farm is always looking for volunteers to help out with day to day chores and tours. Stop by If you want to learn a new craft or skill that relates to farm life during that era, like spinning thread, or you could be one of the living history interpreters for their event days.

Business hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Come and just look around or call ahead for a guided tour.

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