John Barber, Jr. at age 96, recalls hearing distant dueling guitars playing the Blues on Friday nights on the porch of Alston’s Cafe’ or the Gorman Store in the Village of Hopkins.  As a young boy, Johnny Barber sat with a bunch of Neal cousins’ on their long front porch and sang songs or listened to “cup” music from a Victrola. SERCO will present several musicians on the Front Porch of the Historic Harriet Barber House.  Food Vendors will offer Tastes of Lower Richland,  and guests will be able to view the Smithsonian Exhibit – CROSSROADS: Changes in Rural America. Exhibit Admission: $4.00 Adults, $2.00 Youth (FREE Parking and Entertainment). 


In 1900, about 40% of Americans lived in rural areas. By 2010, less than 18% of the U.S. population lived in rural areas. In just over a century, massive economic and social changes moved millions of Americans into urban areas. Still, nearly 60 million Americans live in rural areas, and the United States needs vibrant and sustainable rural communities. The HISTORIC HARRIET BARBER HOUSE, in cooperation with SC Humanities, will investigate the changes that have affected small towns over the past century as it hosts Crossroads: Change in Rural America, a traveling exhibition from the Smithsonian’s Museum on Main Street program. Crossroads will be on view in HOPKINS from FEBRUARY 9, 2019 through MARCH 24, 2019.

THE HISTORIC HARRIET BARBER HOUSE along with the surrounding community has been expressly chosen by SC Humanities through a competitive application process to host Crossroads: Change in Rural America as part of the Museum on Main Street program—a national/state/local partnership to bring exhibitions and programs to rural cultural organizations. The exhibition will tour six communities in South Carolina from September 2018 through June 2019. An itinerary is attached.

Crossroads offers small towns a chance to envision their futures and engage in discussions about what happened when America’s rural population became a minority of the country’s population and the ripple effects that occurred. Despite the massive economic and demographic impacts brought on by these changes, America’s small towns creatively continue to find new opportunities for growth and development. “We are very pleased to be able to bring Crossroads to our area,” said MARIE BARBER ADAMS, Project Manager. “It allows us the opportunity to explore this fascinating aspect of our own region’s history, and we hope that it will inspire many to become even more involved in preserving history and enriching our community.” “SC Humanities is in one of the first three states to host this new Smithsonian exhibit, joining Illinois and Florida,” said Dr. Randy L. Akers, Executive Director of SC Humanities. “I grew up in a farming village of 600 people in rural Illinois and have seen the devastating changes as small farms collapse, industry moves out, young people move to the city, and schools close. South Carolina is a rural state, and its numerous small communities have experienced many changes over the past decades. Yet there are people, values, and cultural and historical assets that offer hope. This exhibit and the programs which will accompany it will challenge us to think about the future. What can we do to bring new life to some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in our state? This is a timely and extremely important exhibit addressing one of the most pressing social issues of this century.”