USC'S Caroliniana Library exhibit celebrates the palmetto tree - DatelineCarolina

USC'S Caroliniana Library exhibit celebrates the palmetto tree

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Laura Marion is the the exhibit curator and South Carolina native. Laura Marion is the the exhibit curator and South Carolina native.
Replica of Fort Sullivan at the South Carolina State Museum. It was made out of palmetto trees during the Revolutionary War. Replica of Fort Sullivan at the South Carolina State Museum. It was made out of palmetto trees during the Revolutionary War.

By: Rachel Tripp

An exhibit, Home of the Palmetto: South Carolina and its State Tree, at The South Caroliniana Library on the USC Horseshoe, celebrates 75 years of the palmetto tree as South Carolina's state tree.

Laura Marion is the exhibit curator and says the tree is an important symbol to all South Carolinian's.

"The palmetto tree has always been a part of my life since I was a baby and I grew up with having it on my clothes and all over everything," said Marion.

In 1939 South Carolina adopted the palmetto tree as the state tree.

"The Palmetto tree is such a big part of who we are as South Carolinian's and how we portray ourselves to others," said Marion.

Most of the exhibit items are found in the USC Libraries' collections. Visitors will find children's books, county and university logos, and a poster for the statewide Palmetto Tree Project that began in 2000.

“My family has a lot of South Carolina-related items, so I've also included a number of those items because they fit in so well," said Marion.

She believes that South Carolina natives value the symbol, but the exhibit is to remind them of the historical importance. 

"The battle of Fort Sullivan was one of the earliest battles in the Revolutionary War and the fort was fortified by palmetto logs and kept the casualties low. It's one of the reasons why we were successful in the war against the British," said Marion.

The exhibit is open through December 20 from 8:30 a.m. through 5 p.m., Monday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. Saturday.



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