Belton Area Museum Association
The Belton Area Museum Association is the umbrella organization tasked with the oversight of several museums housed in the historic Belton Train Depot. The Belton Area Museum Association’s purpose is to collect, exhibit, preserve, and interpret the artifacts, sites, antiquities, and genealogical, archival, cultural, and natural history of Belton, SC, Anderson County, SC, and the State of South Carolina. BAMA also provides cultural enrichment, intellectual stimulation, learning opportunities, and activities to increase the appreciation of the traditional, visual, and performing arts.
The Ruth Drake Museum houses a collection of pioneer artifacts, train relics, 19th Century domestic items and agricultural implements. We also have an extensive genealogy collection for researchers trying to locate family roots. The SC Tennis Hall of Fame celebrates the achievements of SC's famous tennis stars. There are mementos from all of the Hall of Fame inductees including such outstanding players as Dennis Van der Meer and Stan Smith, both Wimbledon contenders. All of the portraits of inductees are painted by internationally acclaimed artist Wayland Moore, a Belton native. The North End Gallery promotes traveling collections of interesting artifacts. Semi-annual exhibits are curated in this space. The Center Section Performance Hall is open for meeting and event rentals. Concerts, weddings, receptions, and small conferences are held in this space.
In June and July of 2015, BAMA will host the Smithsonian traveling exhibit Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America and several ancillary activities are scheduled in conjunction with the exhibit.
Several events are sponsored by BAMA: a Community-Wide Rummage Sale, a Ghost Tales Evening, an Antique Appraisal and Showcase, and Heritage Days at the Depot. Our staff and board members are also instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Palmetto Tennis Tournament, the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival and the SC State Chili Cook Off Championship.
Recognized by the SC Federation of Museums as the 2007 and 2012 Achievement Award Winners and in 2008 designated with the Heritage Tourism Award from the SC Archives and History Department, BAMA strives to make history come alive with presentations of interactive exhibits and engaging historical topics. We are also a stop on the SC National Heritage Corridor.
The museums are open free of charge to the public on Wednesday – Thursday, 9 AM – 2 PM, Friday, 9 AM – 4 PM, and Saturday, 9 AM – 1 PM. Contact Kathy Benson, BAMA Executive Director, during museum hours at 864-338-7400 or by email at email@example.com for more information.