Cayce Historical Museum showcases artifacts from Congaree River locks system
Tucked under towering magnolia trees on 12th St. in Cayce, lies the Cayce Historical Museum. The museum was created in 1991 by donations from community members and has since become a gem filled with historical artifacts.
The museum’s most recent exhibit, “Cayce Locks,” highlights the locks – devices used to make rivers more navigable – on the Congaree River. Constructed in the early twentieth century, then opened in 1904, the lock system on the Congaree River was put in place so that goods could be easily transported to and from Columbia.
Museum Assistant, Andy Thomas, explained the former system. “There was a lock system in place to allow boats to go straight up to Columbia and unload the trade goods there,” he said.
Among many goods, one of the most traded were Guingard bricks. Museum Curator Jerry Kirkland said, “Guingard Bricks were shipped down the Congaree river all the way to the Atlantic Ocean, into Florida to build much of Florida’s buildings in the early 1900’s.” These bricks were in high demand because Florida did not have the rich clay that South Carolina does to make bricks.
The exhibit is filled with photos and artifacts from a shipwreck in the Congaree River, and photos of the lock system in its prime. Cayce Historical Museum plans to keep the Cayce Locks exhibit up permanently, because of its local value and history.