ABOUT US

Recognized by the SC Federation of Museums as the 2007, 2012, and 2015 Achievement Award Winner and in 2008 designated with the Heritage Tourism Award from the SC Archives and History Department, Belton Area Museum Association (BAMA) strives to make history come alive with presentations of interactive exhibits and engaging historical topics.

Several yearly events are sponsored by BAMA: The Community-Wide Craft and Rummage Sale, an Antique Show and Market, a genealogy workshop, community Christmas festivities, and Heritage Days at the Depot. Our staff and board members are also instrumental in the planning and implementation of the Belton Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival, the SC State Chili Cook-Off
Championships, and the Palmetto Junior Tennis Tournament.   We are also a stop on the SC National Heritage Corridor.

Openings of exhibits with ancillary activities, trunk show presentations in area classrooms, walking tours of Belton, summer camps for children, and participation in community events—all help our staff and volunteers achieve our mission and highlight our facility.

The museums are open free of charge to the public on Wednesday – Friday, 9 AM – 2 PM, and Saturday, 10 AM – 12 PM. Contact Abigail Burden, BAMA Director/Curator, during museum hours at 864-338-7400 or by email at beltonmuseum@bellsouth.net for more information.  Come visit us!

  • Our History


  • The Belton Area Museum Association was founded in 1975 by concerned citizens of Belton.  The organization’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.

    In order to achieve this mission, BAMA manages several museums and a community space and offers activities and events, free to the public.  The Belton Area Museum Association operates the Ruth Drake Museum, the SC Tennis Hall of Fame, the North End Gallery, a gift shop and a performance venue all housed in the historic Belton Train Depot. 

    Grants in 2007 and 2014 enabled us to renovate our 1908 building and bring its amenities up to 21st Century standards for accessibility and accommodation.

    The Belton Area Museum is divided into four segments: The Ruth Drake Museum, the SC Tennis Hall of Fame, the North End Gallery, and the Center Section Performance Hall.

    The Belton Area Museum Association is the community’s most valuable resource for the history of our area.  Come find out more about our shared heritage by visiting today.

August 2018

Family Fun Trip: Hiking SC Waterfalls

August 25, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 5:00 pm

Led by avid hikers Matt and Amy Wurst, families are invited to join in a trip to view some of South Carolina's most beautiful upstate waterfalls. Meet at the depot at 10 AM, Saturday August 25. Families will then caravan to designated spots in the Carolina mountains. There will be a map to follow, and once at the parking areas at various waterfall sites, Matt and Amy will lead the group on the route to see gorgeous rippling falls and…

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September 2018

Opening Celebration of Portraits: An Historical Lens

September 9, 2018 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
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Genealogy Program: Local Soldiers in the Civil War

September 20, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 8:30 pm

The 20th SC Regiment, CSA, will be the topic of this quarter's Family Trees and Me genealogy series of lectures. On Thursday, September 20, at 7 PM at the historic Belton Train Depot, North Carolina historian Jim Clary will bring his extensive research on local soldiers to share with descendants and enthusiasts. “Some eight years ago there was a small ad in the B-HP News-Chronicle placed by James B. Clary of Cary, NC. He had just finished a book on…

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Basket Weaving Class

September 22, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Belton Depot, 100 North Main St.
Belton, SC 29627 United States
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For those who are crafty, the Belton Area Museum Association is offering another basket weaving class on Saturday, Sept. 22. Beginning at 9 am, students will learn to make a medium sized basket. The basket students will make is called a magazine wall holder, and it will be completely finished by day’s end. All materials and supplies will be provided for students to complete their own version.The class will be taught by Kathi Finley Lowe, veteran basket weaver, and will…

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Not Your Parents’ Portrait Teen Photography Contest

September 28, 2018 @ 8:00 am - 5:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 8:00am, repeating until September 28, 2018

  Teens in grades 9 - 12 are invited to submit photographs for a contest hosted by the Belton area Museum Association in conjunction with the fall exhibit Portraits: An Historic Lens. Winners will be revealed on Saturday, Oct. 6, during the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival. Prizes will be awarded to the best in show, and are provided by Walmart. Rules: Open to students in grades 9-12, public, private, or home school students. Photo must fit the theme “Not Your Parent’s…

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Combo Kings Benefit Concert

September 29, 2018 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Belton Depot, 100 North Main St.
Belton, SC 29627 United States
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Join us at the historic train depot in Belton, SC, Saturday, September 29, at 7 PM, for a special concert benefitting the Belton Area Music Association. Known for their covers of beach music, classic rock, and show tunes, the Combo Kings will provide a free community concert. “The Combo Kings graciously offered to do this benefit concert for BAMA and due to their large following, we’re expecting a huge crowd,” said BAMA executive director Abigail Burden. The Combo Kings, who…

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October 2018

Heritage Days at the Depot

October 5, 2018 @ 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every day that begins at 8:30am, repeating until October 5, 2018

This award-winning living history event showcases the skills and craftsmanship of 18th and 19th century pioneers. Fifteen heritage skills artisans and historical interpreters present hands-on instruction to school children in grades 2 – 5 in Anderson County, and students in the surrounding districts and homeschool students are invited to join by registration and attend for a nominal fee. History becomes a tangible and memorable experience as students gain first-hand knowledge through interactive presentations. Presenters include a Civil War soldier, a…

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Belton Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival

October 6, 2018

October 6, 2018 | 10 AM – 10 PM Considered one of South Carolina’s premier events, the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival takes place in the heart of the small South Carolina community of Belton, SC. Featuring local and regional entertainers offering live onstage acts, unique arts and crafts from all over the USA, local food venues, and more, this festival is the longest continuously running fall festival in Anderson County. We invite you to join thousands of our friends…

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Heritage Days at the Depot

October 6, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

Free to the public, this Certified SC Arts and Agriculture Event celebrates our folk heritage through demonstrations and presentations by 15 traditional skills artisans and historical interpreters. Presenters include a Civil War soldier, a traditional wood crafter, a luthier, herbalists, a sweetgrass basket sewer, a Native American silversmith, a quilter, a Gullah story teller, a Native American foodways exhibitor, a paper maker, a leather crafter, a decoy carver, a Catawba storyteller, an indigo dyer, and a tatter/lacemaker. Sponsored by First…

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BAMA Antique Market and Showcase

October 6, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 4:00 pm

bama antique flier 2018 Antiques enthusiasts will have a venue to explore and available to purchase during the BAMA Antique Market and Showcase, held on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018, during the Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival. Located in the center section of the historic Belton Train Depot, the market will feature numerous local antiques dealers, who will set up booths to sell items ranging from collectible curiosities to hand-made jewelry and valuable antiques. Booths will contain affordable antique furniture, china,…

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Wagon Rides through the Historic District

October 6, 2018 @ 10:30 am - 5:00 pm

Come take a leisurely ride through the historic district of the City of Belton as a guide narrates the history of its people and places. View the beautiful architecture, learn about the entrepreneurs and the town’s eccentric characters, and listen to interesting stories and fascinating facts of another age and time; cost per rider – Adults $5 each; Students $3 each; Under 3 free; Sponsored by Superior Engineering in support of the Belton Area Museum Association programs. Times to Board:…

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2nd Annual Ghost Tour

October 25, 2018 @ 6:30 pm - 9:30 pm
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November 2018

Fourth Annual BAMA Turkey Shoot

November 17, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 2:30 pm
Toney Creek Plantation, 155 Welsey Road
Belton, SC 29627
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What could be more fun than bagging a turkey for your Thanksgiving dinner? At the Fourth Annual BAMA Turkey Shoot, you can enjoy great food, tests of skill, and wonderful music. Toney Creek Plantation has graciously offered its incredible amenities to this year's hunt. Located out Hwy. 247, Toney Creek Plantation sits on acreage owned by the same family for 200 years! Registration begins at 10 AM at the scenic upland hunting preserve. The last shoot will be at 1:45…

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December 2018

Christmas in Belton-A Child’s Wonderland

December 1, 2018 @ 10:00 am - 7:00 pm

There’s nothing better than celebrating Christmas in a hometown setting, gathering with friends and family and participating in the traditions that make the holidays special. To get you in that festive mood, the Belton Area Museum Association, the Belton Center for the Arts, the Belton Alliance, and the City of Belton cordially invite you to enjoy a variety of Christmas activities in Historic Belton, SC, on Saturday, December 1, 2018. From 10 AM – 2 PM, stop by the Belton…

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Exhibit-Portraits: An Historical Lens

December 14, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00am on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until December 14, 2018

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Exhibit-Portraits: An Historical Lens

December 15, 2018 @ 9:00 am - 1:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00am on Saturday, repeating until December 15, 2018

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February 2019

How Things Work Exhibit

February 13 @ 9:00 am - March 9 @ 2:00 pm
Belton Depot, 100 North Main St.
Belton, SC 29627 United States
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How Things Work, the newest exhibit at the Belton Area Museum Association, is an exploration of simple and complex machines. In the exhibit, discover the science behind everyday objects and machines in this hands-on, minds-on exhibit. Through fun, first-hand investigation, you’ll find out how mechanisms work. See how wheels, inclined planes, wedges, screws, pulleys and cogs make construction easier. Build a bridge, create a toy with a 3-d printer, and make a maze using everyday items. You can sew on…

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March 2019

6th Annual Community Rummage and Craft Sale

March 16 @ 8:00 am - 1:00 pm
Belton Recreation, 700 Blue Ridge Avenue
Belton, SC 29627
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Join us Saturday, March 16, in the Belton Recreation Department Gym (former Armory Building) from 8 am – 1 pm for the sixth annual Community-wide Craft and Rummage Sale. “We are looking for all types of vendors,” said Alison Darby. “From people who want to sell their garage-sale type items to craft vendors and product line sellers, there is room for everyone.” The gym should be able to accommodate 40 or more vendors. Spots are available for rent, $15 per…

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April 2019

Chili Pepper Golf Tourney

April 12 @ 8:30 am - 1:00 pm

Calling all golfers! Don't miss the upcoming Chili Pepper Golf Tourney, Friday, April 12. Held in conjunction with the SC International Chili Cook-off Championships, this premiere golf tourney will be played at the beautiful Saluda Valley Country Club. Hearty biscuits and coffee will be served prior to teeing up. Great prizes will go to the winning teams and look for drawings for golf items and specialty equipment, sure to please any golfer. Check out the application here. Print it out…

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July 2019

Exhibit Epidemics: Diseases Gone Wild

July 17 @ 9:00 am - 2:00 pm
|Recurring Event (See all)

An event every week that begins at 9:00am on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, repeating until August 23, 2019

An event every week that begins at 10:00am on Saturday, repeating until August 24, 2019

Visit BAMA's newest exhibit Epidemics: Diseases Gone Wild. Commemorating the 100th anniversary of the worldwide Spanish Flu epidemic that made its way to rural Anderson County by spring of 1919, this exhibit explores the cultural and medical repercussions of this 20th Century epidemic and celebrates the medical advances in all areas of the health care industry since then. Artifacts on display include vintage or antique items involving the dental, medical, ocular, chiropractic, and laboratory occupations, to show how medical practices…

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6 years ago . . .This exhibit was one of the most visited in museum history. The Finley Family has offered this collection to BAMA permanently. Would you like to see a natural history museum including this collection in Belton? ... See MoreSee Less

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"Handmade" will be the final exhibit for the year, opening Sept. 8 at the historic Belton Depot. As a tie-in activity for the duration of the exhibit, would you like to participate in once-a-week classes in the traditional arts? If so, what type of classes? Woodworking, quilting, stained glass, needlecrafts, basket weaving, suggestions??? How much would be reasonable to charge for instructors' fees and supplies? ... See MoreSee Less

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