Centennial portrait will be re-hung

Bamberg County Council voted unanimously at the August 10th meeting on the executive committee’s recommendation to re-hang the Centennial portrait of Bamberg County Council in the original position where it had been hanging in the Courthouse for years.

“The Centennial Portrait needs to be re-hung and properly identified. There was a reason it was put there and it was an important reason,” Councilman Chris Wilson stated at Bamberg County Council’s Executive Committee meeting on August 3.

The committee voted unanimously that the Centennial Portrait of council members, that was removed from the courthouse chambers by County Council Chairman Clair P. Guess, III, be re-hung and clearly identified for its historical value.

Bamberg County Council Chairman Clair P. Guess III participated in the executive meeting on August 3 by phone and did not vote, however he expressed his agreement with the decision reached by the committee.

It was also recommended that a policy be created on the hanging of portraits, memorabilia and other historical markers in the courthouse and in the proposed future county law enforcement building.

During the August 3 discussion of who is in charge of the courthouse, Bamberg County Administrator Rose Dobson- Elliott said that she had received several attorney generals opinions from other counties. “It’s extremely clear outside the front door I have authority.

Inside the front door it’s not quite as clear. General rule is that it is the Clerk of Court,” Dobson- Elliott said, adding “we’re going to have to research a little more to determine what council wants hung in the courthouse.”

The decision by both the County’s Executive Committee and County Council hopefully will bring closure to an episode where Bamberg County Council Chairman Clair P. Guess III and Councilwoman Dot Tatum got into a heated debate at council’s July 6 meeting.

Tatum said the Centennial Portrait was the portrait of County Council that was put in the time capsule during the Centennial and is a very important part of Bamberg County’s history.