Some of North Augusta's most prominent places got intense attention Sunday afternoon in the midst of a guided tour on wheels, with local historian Milledge Murray leading the way.
Murray, with the North Augusta Heritage Council, offered insight and fielded questions on such topics as Brick Pond Park, North Augusta's first schoolhouse (417 West Avenue), the Star of Edgefield (111 Butler Avenue) and former homes of Confederate hero Berry Benson (309 West Avenue) and World War II hero Jimmie Dyess (1012 West Avenue).
The municipal building was the start and end point, and Murray provided a brief overview before launching into the tour.
Lookaway Hall and Rosemary Hall were also on the agenda, and Murray offered insight on some structures that no longer exist – most prominently, Hampton Terrace, which was in business as one of the world's biggest and most luxurious hotels.
Mayor Bob Pettit, who was along for the 90-minute ride in a bus decorated in trolley fashion, described the activity as "an idea that I think is long overdue."
Among approximately 20 people on board was local resident Ernest McPeake, attending with several of his fellow members of TrueNorth Church. "It was a great learning experience for somebody who's lived in the Aiken County area for the last 30 years," he said.
McPeake, known to some as a colonial-era re-enactor in events at Living History Park, added, "I enjoy teaching history but I also enjoy learning history, too. You're never too old to learn."
Participants were also offered a copy of a brochure providing the locations and basic information pertaining to 39 of North Augusta's most prominent landmarks, including the sites that were visited Sunday as well as several others, such as Living History Park (299 West Spring Grove Avenue), First Providence Baptist Church (315 Barton Road) and the original Hamburg Depot (relocated years ago to Augusta Concrete Block Company, at 6269 Jefferson Davis Highway).
Mary Ann Bigger, director of the Arts and Heritage Center, said plans are afoot for similar events in the weeks ahead, starting Nov. 6 and continuing on the first Sunday afternoon of each month. Arrangements are reportedly still coming together, and each month's event may have a different theme or focal point. Admission is $5.