Congaree National Park and Friends of Congaree Swamp will co-host SMITHSONIAN WATER/WAYS EXHIBITION

Hopkins, SC – Congaree National Park and Friends of Congaree Swamp will be co-hosting the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Water/Ways from Friday, November 13, 2020 through Wednesday, January 13, 2021. According to the Smithsonian Institution’s Museum on Main Street “Water/Ways exhibition dives into water—an essential component of life on our planet, environmentally, culturally, and historically.”

In 2019, the Southeast Rural Community Outreach (SERCO) hosted the traveling exhibit Crossroads: Change in Rural America at the Historic Harriet Barber House in Hopkins. Congaree National Park Superintendent K. Lynn Berry shares, “It is not often that a rural community gets the opportunity to host an exhibit from a world-class institution such as the Smithsonian, let alone two back-to-back. Water/Ways offers another wonderful opportunity for our neighbors in the Lower Richland Community.” President of Friends of Congaree Swamp John Grego adds, “Following up on SERCO’s success in sponsoring Crossroads at the Harriet Barber House last year, Friends of Congaree Swamp is excited to collaborate with Congaree National Park in bringing a second Smithsonian traveling exhibit to Lower Richland.”

Water/Ways has been made possible in South Carolina by South Carolina Humanities. The exhibition is part of Museum on Main Street, a unique collaboration between the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES), state humanities councils across the nation, and local host institutions. Support for Museum on Main Street has been provided by the U.S. Congress. Support for the South Carolina tour of Water/Ways has been provided by Dominion Energy. Support for the display of the exhibit at Congaree National Park has been provided by Richland County Government Hospitality Tax Funds.

Visitors will be able to experience Water/Ways in the Harry Hampton Visitor Center Auditorium, located at 100 National Park Road, Hopkins, SC. Exhibit hours of operation and a schedule of special Water/Ways programs and activities can be found at






SERCO invites all to join us for the 17th ANNUAL SWAMPFEST WEEKEND! This year, both exciting days of the celebration will be held on the grounds of the Historic Harriet Barber House & Grounds, located in the Lower Richland Heritage Corridor, and just 11 miles outside of Columbia.

On Friday, October 4th, 7:00 p.m., SERCO presents the highly popular BBQ Blues & Soul Concert. National recording artists Ann Nesby; Glenn Jones; Big Daddy Cade (BB King Official Impersonator), and local bands will perform on stage under the grand tent. Tickets are $40.00 and will be available online, at the Gate (Day of Concert) or PAPA JAZZ RECORD SHOPPE, 2014 GREENE STREET (Five Points), Columbia, SC 29205. Also, Food and Drink Vendors will offer several menu items, including BBQ, an Oyster Roast and more. Parking is FREE. On Saturday, October 5th, 12:00 NoonSwampFest Family Day on the grounds of the Historic Harriet Barber House will feature carnival rides, displays, food & non-food vendors, and an array of major and local Gospel, R&B, Jazz, and inspirational recording artists performing on stage. FREE Admission and FREE Parking. We have an annual following by RV clubs and individual owners from several states who will be joining us for the weekend. Also, a FREE continuous shuttle will carry visitors from the SwampFest festival site to the Congaree National Park’s Harry Hampton Visitor Center. A variety of programs at the park include guided hikes, living history programs, youth activities, and auditorium film programs. The annual Youth Art Contest for K-8th grade students will be held in October and winning entries will be showcased during the weekend of SwampFest. SwampFest is funded by a Richland County Hospitality Grant. For further information, please contact us: or 803-261-6696.


UPDATE: Crossroads Exhibit & Humanities Events

SMITHSONIAN EXHIBIT – CROSSROADS: CHANGES IN RURAL AMERICA will be on view at the Historic Harriet Barber House from FEBRUARY 11, 2019 through  MARCH 24, 2019. The exhibit hours are: Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. until  2:00 p.m. / Saturdays:  10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. Group tours available by appointment. Contact: or 803.261.5596. Admission: $4.00 Adults/$2.00 Youth. Parking is Free. See PRESS RELEASE below. 


FEB 16TH  –Strong Threads is an annual ONE DAY Festival with Music, Dancing, Workshops, Food & Entertainment. The ever popular STRONG  THREADS event is a unique opportunity to celebrate and educate the community through entertainment about African American History and culture and the rich heritage of Lower Richland County. There will be dancing, singing, live music, entertainment, performers, food and non-food vendors, workshops, youth games and more! Admission is FREE! (Crossroads Exhibit 1.7 miles near)

MAR 2NDORAL HISTORIES – The Lower Richland Heritage & Genealogy Society presents a screening of Kindred Connections: Sharing Our Stories ~ Oral History  Interviews: Ada Young Hopkins of Kingsville, Joe Richardson of Lykesland, Pelham Myers, Sr. (late) of Hopkins, and Sarah Shiver Green of Gadsden.  Also, local and other noted authors will participate in book signings.Admission is FREE! (Crossroads Exhibit 0.9 miles near)

MAR 16THCROSSROADS EXHIBIT & FRONT PORCH MUSIC @ HISTORIC HARRIET BARBER HOUSE  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). PRESS RELEASE: 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.”

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 AN OUTRAGE is a documentary film about lynching in the American South. Filmed on-location at lynching sites in six states and bolstered by the memories and perspectives of descendants, community activists, and scholars, this unusual historical documentary educates even as it serves as a hub for action to remember and reflect upon a long-hidden past. Special Screening and Discussion: Dr, Bobby Donaldson (University of South Carolina, Meeghan Kane (Benedict College), and Mr. Jackie Whitmore (Local Historian) will discuss the film and answer questions.

SUNDAY, FEBRUARY 18, 2018 – 3:00 pm

Theater at the Richland Main Library

1431 Assembly Street – Columbia, SC


Presented by The Lower Richland Heritage & Genealogy Society in partnership with Inde Grits Lab.

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15 Year – Souvenir Programme  



2017 eclipse - SERCO-HB House


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Historical 2017 Eclipse Viewing at Historic Harriet Barber House Lower Richland Heritage Corridor

ECLIPSE Viewing activities will be held on the open fields of the Historic Harriet Barber House on Monday, August 21, 2017, 11:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. SERCO is joining our partners, The Congaree National Park and Friends of Congaree to present an unobstructed alternative viewing site in the Lower Richland Heritage Corridor. Activities will also include entertainment, eclipse educational activities and guided tours of the Historic Harriet Barber House. Also, a Pig Picking and other Food Truck dining will be available. Guests are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Coolers are not allowed. Escape the heat, traffic congestion, asphalt and pavement in Columbia and relax in the beautiful rural setting at the Harriet Barber House! The path of the eclipse, also known as the “Path of Totality” will include South Carolina with Lower Richland and Congaree National Park located directly in the path. As the sun begins to be obscured by the moon, darkness will begin to settle on the region. For approximately 2 ½ minutes the sun will be completely blocked with only its outer rays visible. Special eclipse viewing glasses will be provided. Admission is $5.00 for adults, and includes parking, special viewing glasses and entertainment (FREE for Children, 12 years old and under). Pig Picking meals are $7.00, per person. Food Truck offerings will also be available. Water and iced beverages will be sold to benefit the educational programs at the Harriet Barber House. Persons interested in pre-paying for Admission and/or Pig-Picking may do so through PayPal – The Historic Harriet Barber House, listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was built on farm land in the early 1880’s, and is located at 116 Barberville Loop, off Lower Richland Boulevard, Hopkins, SC 29061. SERCO may be contacted at 803-261-5596 or



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15 Years of Celebrating the richly diverse culture of the Lower Richland Heritage Corridor.

Watch for details soon!


BBQ, Blues & Jazz

Friday, October 6th  – 7:00 PM

Historic Harriet Barber House – 116 Barberville Loop – Hopkins, SC 29061

(Lower Richland Boulevard off Garners Ferry Road)


Congaree SwampFest

Saturday, October 7th – 11:00 AM

Two Locations

Old Mount Moriah Yard – 1001 Old Bluff Road, Hopkins, SC 29061

Congaree National Park – 100 National Park Drive, Hopkins, SC 29061

FREE admission and FREE parking

SwampFest is sponsored by SERCO and the Richland County Hospitality Tax Fund. Please contact to obtain further information, schedule a press interview, or become a vendor.


Memorial Day 2017

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The 12th annual Memorial Day in Hopkins, SC on Monday, May 29th began with a SOLEMN CEREMONY at the St. John Resurrection Memorial Garden (also known as the Government Cemetery), on Ault Road, 12:00 Noon. The special guest speaker was Walter L. Watson, Jr., Colonel USAF retired. The McGrady Training Center Cadets, led by Master Sergeant Brown, performed the Flag Ceremony. The Lower Richland Veterans Formation performed special tributes. This ceremony was sponsored the J.P. Holley Funeral Home and the Lower Richland Veterans Formation. Following at 1:00 p.m., there was a procession to the historic Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop – off Lower Richland Boulevard, where the CELEBRATION is was held with a family-oriented day of fun until 5:00 P.M.   Walter L. Watson, Jr., Colonel USAF Retired brought additional greetings and 1st SG Carnell Simmons Retired performed The Missing Man Ceremony. FREE Lunch was served, and entertainment was provided by the Entity Band and others. 

This event for family and friends of all ages was sponsored by South East Rural Community Outreach (SERCO) and Lower Richland Veterans Formation.



Memorial Day 2016 – THE MOVING WALL



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2016 Memorial Day Solemn Commemoration & Heritage Celebratng Replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall SERCO is honored to present “THE MOVING WALL” which is the official traveling replica of the Washington, DC Vietnam Veterans Memorial, as a part of our Memorial Day – Solemn Commemoration and Heritage Celebration on May 30, 2016.  The replica is impressive; it is 252.83 feet long, and six feet high at the vertex. “THE MOVING WALL” will be on view on the grounds of the Historic Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC 29061 at SERCO’s Heritage Celebration, beginning at 1:00 p.m. Activities will include a wreath laying at “THE MOVING WALL”, a Salute to Vietnam era Veterans, Lower Richland Veterans Formation presentation, and Entertainment. Food vendors will also be present. Prior to the Heritage Celebration, a Solemn Commemoration will be held at 12:00 Noon, at the St. John Resurrection Memorial Gardens (Government Cemetery), Ault Road-off Clarkson Road, Hopkins, SC, and followed by a procession to the Heritage Celebration at the Historic Harriet Barber House.  Many people who would never be able to travel to Washington, DC, will have the opportunity to see what the actual Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall depicts, and perhaps “feel” emotions similar to those evoked by the actual Wall.  Most importantly, the presentation of “THE MOVING WALL”  is an opportunity to honor persons who have served in our military and provide an educational experience to youth and adults. The public is invited to attend this FREE event. For further information, please contact SERCO at, or visit our website – ———————————————————————————————————–

9TH Annual Holiday Taste & Tour – Dec. 5th – 12:00 Noon

There is something magical during Taste & Tour time! The Village of Hopkins comes alive. SERCO’s 9th Annual Holiday Taste & Tour promises to bring a memorable “Old Fashioned Holiday” to the Historic Village of Hopkins on Saturday, December 5, 2015, from 12:00 Noon until 4:00 p.m. The Village is located just 11 miles from Columbia at 214 Old Hopkins Road, and intersecting Lower Richland Boulevard. History tells us that this was once a bustling location, originally named “Hopkins Turnout” between 1836 and 1842, when the South Carolina Railroad from Charleston completed a turntable there. Through the 1920’s, the Village of Hopkins was thriving with general stores, gin mills, industries, residences and a Town Hall.  SERCO has taken on a labor of love to recreate a similar atmosphere. This year, our Honorary Santa, Richland County Councilmember Kelvin Washington, District 10, will be joined by Tiffany James, The COMET Elf! They will lead SERCO’s “Stuff a COMET” drive to collect children’s toys on behalf of the Salvation Army. Donors may drive-thru and drop off gifts. Youth and other volunteers from Lower Richland High will be stationed to accept items. But, we expect you’ll want to park and join us for a day of fun … There is a full schedule of FREE activities for guests, including delicious FREE Food Samplings: BBQ, Adluh Flour Pound Cake Bake-Off, Carriage-Carnival & Santa Trackless Train Rides, an Elvis Presley & James Brown Contest with prizes, judged by Elvis & James professional impersonators. Stage Entertainment (Tom Coolidge –One Man Band, Carlos “Teddy G” Santan, Chorus, and more to come), Local History Museum, Vendors for gifts, crafts, BINGO, flea and farmers markets. FREE parking is available next to the event site, and shuttle service is provided. For additional information, please e-mail or call/text 803-261-5596. This event is sponsored by SERCO, and is made possible by a Richland County Hospitality Tax Grant.


  Flyer - jpeg As South East Rural Community Outreach (SERCO) is dedicated to historical preservation and enhancing communities within the Lower Richland Heritage Corridor, activities are presented with the efforts to showcase the area’s rich and diverse culture, and to attract visitors to Lower Richland, the City of Columbia, and the state. Some activities include commemorations for national holidays such as Independence, Veterans and Memorial Days. For each, this non-profit organization strives to include lessons from history. This year marks the 150TH anniversary of the June 19, 1865 celebration which followed Major General Gordon Grainger’s reading of General Order No. 3, emancipating slaves in Galveston, Texas. SERCO recognizes that Juneteenth isn’t just a commemoration of ending the last bastion of slavery in the United States, it is a tribute to the vision of America’s founding premise: Independence for this entire great nation.  SERCO’s Juneteenth Celebration is a history lesson. All who honor the basic principles of freedom, human dignity, and equality for everyone, are invited to SERCO’s 2nd Annual Juneteenth – Historical Observation & Old Fashion Social. There will be a dramatic skit by the Mt. Moriah Performing Arts Ministry, entertainment by Horizon Band SC and others, food (symbolic of that served at the first Juneteenth in Galveston, Texas – June 19, 1865), and good old fashion socializing. THIS IS A FREE EVENT, and will be held at the Historical Harriet Barber House, 116 Barberville Loop, Hopkins, SC 29061 -7:00 p.m. Contact info: 803-251-5596,,



Historic Columbia Foundation -Each year the Historic Columbia Foundation offers Awards of Excellence, which recognize groups and individuals whose work impacts the preservation of the “built” culture of our area and illuminates our history to residents of Columbia and Richland County. This year Historic Columbia Foundation presented the Celia Mann Award to the South East Rural Community Outreach Board. The Celia Mann Award is presented to a neighborhood or district that has researched and preserved, through a cohesive effort, structures and common areas in the region. The award was presented to Marie Barber Adams and the SERCO Board members at the annual meeting of the Historic Columbia Foundation, October 19, 2009 at the Seibels Gardens in Columbia.