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Town of Bluffton News Flash

Posted on: April 28, 2022

Town Hosts 7th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium

April 27, 2022

For More Information:
Katie Peterson
Senior Planner
Town of Bluffton
(Office): 843-706-4574
Email Katie Peterson

Town Hosts 7th Annual Historic Preservation Symposium
Longtime Residents Share Stories of "the Bluffton I Know"

Town of Bluffton is hosting its seventh annual Historic Preservation Symposium Thursday, May 19 at 5:30 pm in the Henry "Emmett" McCracken Jr. Council Chambers located at Town Hall (20 Bridge Street). This year's theme, "Let Me Tell You About the Bluffton I Know," will feature stories of Bluffton through the eyes of long-time residents.

"Cherishing Bluffton's past includes preserving the stories of Bluffton throughout the decades," Mayor Lisa Sulka said. "As with any period in history, it is the personal relationships and stories which bring history and structures to life. Town leaders are honored to have a panel of Bluffton's residents who have witnessed firsthand Bluffton's evolution."

The panel of speaker includes Anne Heyward, Babbie Guscio and Michael Reynolds.

Heather Colin, assistant Town Manager, said Bluffton has always been known as an eclectic town and its uniqueness has been a constant identifier throughout its existence.

"The more Bluffton changes, the more it stays the same," Colin said. "As in the 1800s, neighbors and visitors travel to and from the Calhoun Street Dock and we still gather on Calhoun Street for shopping, dining out and meeting our friends and neighbors.

"Anne, Babbie and Michael will share memories of decades ago and bring to life some spaces and places which you may have never known existed. Some stories will demonstrate how small-town Bluffton was. These stories will also show Bluffton's spirit has stayed consistent throughout its changes."

The event will begin with a Meet and Greet segment with representatives of local historic preservation organizations at 5:30 pm. The speakers' presentations will occur from 6 pm - 7 pm. Both segments of the symposium will be held at Town Hall, however, only the presentation will be streamed live on the Town of Bluffton Facebook page. This free event is open to the public. It is recommended to arrive early; this symposium is usually standing room only.

About the Panelists

Anne Heyward

Anne Heyward is a native of the South Carolina Lowcountry and was raised in Bluffton's Historic District. Eighty-six years young, Heyward served as a schoolteacher for 37 years. She retired in 2000. Her 4th great grandfather, Thomas Heyward, was one of the four South Carolina men who signed the Declaration of Independence. She has three daughters, three grandchildren and one great-grandchild. Ms. Heyward currently lives in Port Royal.

Babbie Guscio

Babbie Guscio has been a Bluffton resident since 1971. The Athens, Georgia native has been the owner of The Store since 1978. The Store is one of Calhoun Street's signature and longest operating shops and is in the center of the Historic District. In October 2015, the Town of Bluffton inducted Guscio into its "Wall of Honor," to acknowledge Guscio' s ability to bring the community together through organizing festivals and parades. Many of Bluffton's annual events began as a brainchild of Guscio, including the May Fest, which is celebrating its 42nd year. She still organizes the Easter and 4th of July children's parades in front of her business. Guscio is a resident of the Historic District and has been active in the district in many ways including writing local newspaper articles and is a member in the Bluffton Historic Preservation Society (now Historic Bluffton Foundation).

Michael Reynolds

Michael Reynolds is a native Blufftonian, calling this town home since 1965. He is locally known on social media as the founder and author/administrator of "You know you're from Bluffton when" Facebook page. This page is dedicated to documenting and preserving Bluffton's history and stories. This Facebook page/group has nearly 7,000 members and is regularly displaying its expansive collection of Bluffton stories, photographs, and maps.

Michael is the son of Cecil Reynolds, Bluffton's first police chief, first Bluffton Fire Chief, a former town court judge and a Beaufort County Magistrate for 20 years. Michael's mother, Dianne Reynolds, was grand marshal of the 2021 Bluffton's Christmas Parade for her contributions to the town. In 1971, Bluffton's Mayor Grady Messex asked Dianne to start the Bluffton Christmas Parade. In 2021 - Bluffton celebrated the 50th anniversary of this signature event.

Michael can trace his family in Beaufort County back more than 325 years. He has evidence of a cattle brand stamp issued to his 6th great grandfather in 1695.

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Historic Preservation Symposium Flyer 2022 (PDF)
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