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Reflections by Sammy Way: Montgomery Ward establishes department store

Reflections recalls the establishment of a Montgomery Ward Department Store at 106-108 N. Main St. in 1929. Research notes that this enterprise was named for "two U.S. retail corporations. The original Montgomery Ward & Co. was a world-pioneering … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Bradham brothers excelled in athletics

Reflections recalls the outstanding accomplishments of the Bradham brothers throughout their coaching and athletic careers. These gifted young men mirrored each other's achievements, and their level of accomplishments in athletics remains exemplary … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: NuGrape soda becomes one of Sumter's favorites

The NuGrape company proudly proclaimed its credo on the majority of its advertisements. "At the very first sip, you are happily conscious of the miracle of it - the aroma, tang, sunny splendor of wide vineyards and the perfume of growing, ripening … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: The Carolina Theater was 'first-run' theater in Sumter

Reflections remembers the Carolina Theater once located on South Main Street. In the course of the theater's existence, it underwent several upgrades to enhance customer comfort. After its second rebuilding, the management used a number of … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Warren Street monument honors Sumter hero

Reflections revisits Capt. William (Willie) S. Graham, one of Sumter's most venerated volunteer firemen in the early 1900s. The Sumter community was fortunate to have several volunteer fire units consisting of two white and three Black organizations … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Women's Softball League originates in Sumter in 1945

Reflections remembers the beginning of a women's softball league in Sumter before the end of World War II. This athletic initiative was spearheaded by one of Sumter's largest companies, the Belk-Stroman Department Store. J. O. Talbort, a Belk's … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: A view from the roof of a Sumter landmark

Reflections revisits one of Sumter's most memorable landmarks and the impact it has made on our citizenry. The impressive structure was erected on the corner of Main and Liberty streets and was estimated to cost between $45,000 and $60,000 upon … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Part II: Women who helped shape Sumter's history

Reports on women of significance in Sumter County's history begin with Julia Peterkin and concludes with Emma Wilson. The Item archives and the writings of Cassie Nicholes and Dr. Anne King Gregorie served as primary resources. These individuals … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Women play important role in Sumter's history

Reflections recalls the contributions made to Sumter County by women who were either born here or chose to reside here. This report, which will be presented in two parts, in no way represents all of the women who have made viable contributions to … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: 1906: A year of remarkable construction in Sumter

Reflections revisits the year 1906 and the incredible number of contracts let for the building of business structures and individual housing units. The Sumter community was in urgent need of housing because of industrial expansion, which had led to … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: The Nixon House undergoes transformation

Reflections revisits the Nixon House after it became The Jackson Hotel. The Nixon House was remodeled from top to bottom and developed into a new attraction. It was considered one of the most modern hotels in South Carolina, providing every comfort … more

Reflections by Sammy Way: Grocery store chain changes name in Sumter

Reflections remembers the establishment of the Colonial grocery chain in Sumter. Shortly after the conclusion of World War II, Sumter, like many communities, would witness a dramatic change in the mode of distribution of packaged meat and assorted … more
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