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Save the Adams Warehouse

This petition had 370 supporters

Over the years we have heard many splendid ideas come from our citizens on how we might make our community a little bit better. Some  people desire an open air market, like the one in Charleston, where the Saturday participants of the Farmer’s Market and other vendors can set up
out of the weather. Others long for an exhibition hall where events like “juried arts competitions”
and an “Arts on Fire” festival might be held. Then, there are individuals who have strongly
suggested that this town needs a proper folk art museum, highlighting the talented local 2D and
3D artists who reside in our county, especially Southern potters. Therefore, why do we not have
one central place to showcase the arts and artifacts that made this town what it is?
Keeping this in mind, we have recently become aware of the fact that a beautifully built two story
building, with 16-inch thick brick walls, over 20,000 square feet of space, and in need of
roof repair, is about to be torn down and lost forever. In only a few years, we could be celebrating
the centennial anniversary of the largest cotton warehouse in our town. Built in 1919, the
warehouse, right at the end of the rail trail, was constructed by Mr. W. W. Adams to help farmers
store the mountains of cotton that poured into Edgefield from the surrounding countryside.
Senator J. Strom Thurmond would have been just seventeen years old when he saw endless trains
of wagons bringing their cotton in to be stored in this building that had the largest square footage
of storage in town. Once there, the cotton was stored until it was loaded onto trains headed for
Augusta and beyond.
Mr. Adams was such an enterprising man that he had a state-of-the-art sprinkler system
installed in his warehouse to protect the stored cotton. It was bragged in The Edgefield
Advertiser, on 15 November 1911, that “the Adams warehouse now has fire protection equal to
any of the large cotton warehouses of the cities.” The first warehouse (now occupied by
Piedmont Technical College) was built in 1907, but thirteen years later, Mr. Adams was
experiencing space limitations. The Edgefield Advertiser, on 16 April 1919, reported that “Mr.
W. W. Adams is doubling the capacity of his large warehouse near the station. Edgefield county
farmers will have an abundance of storage room for their cotton next fall.”
It seems a sad affair to lose a building block of history when we might use it to build the
future. Why not put a new roof on such a building and use it like the open air market in
Charleston? Why shouldn’t we seek out grants to rebuild the second floor and showcase the relics
and highlight the new arts of our community? Why not create a place where artists, vendors, and
buyers can come rain or shine, from down town or from down the rail trail from the National
Wild Turkey Federation? There are so many reasons that a building like this can be re-purposed.
The warehouse should not only be saved from destruction, but it should also be put to good use.
When we think of history, we think of preservation. Moreover, when someone sees the sign
stating “Historic Edgefield” up ahead, we hope that if they came all this way, they might find
some actual history here. However, the only way you get to keep history is if you preserve it.

Today: Lorrie is counting on you

Lorrie Miller needs your help with “Piedmont Technical College Foundation Board of Directors: Save the Adams Warehouse”. Join Lorrie and 369 supporters today.