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Author Madge Strickland to speak at Blaney-Elgin historical program Sunday

Posted: January 30, 2014 5:08 p.m.
Updated: January 30, 2014 4:59 p.m.

Madge Black Strickland, author of A Sandhills Revelation: The History, Legacy, Legend of Blaney-Elgin will speak on Elgin’s history Sunday at 3 p.m. at the Robert Mills Courthouse at 607 South Broad St., in Camden. This program is free and open to the public

For almost ¾ of the 80 years of her life, Strickland has called the Blaney-Elgin community of Kershaw County her home. Like other long-time residents of the quickly changing section near the Richland County borderline, as she witnessed the passing of the area’s elders, she worried about the legacy of their past that was being lost with them.

"Somebody needs to write a history," she said. "Then first thing I knew, I was the somebody."

With the help of her son David, who works for a publishing company in San Antonio, TX and who acted as the publication director of the project, Strickland self-published A Sand Hills Revelation.

The book was launched on Dec. 21 at the Elgin Town Hall. Proceeds, after reimbursing expenses, will go to the Elgin Museum and Historical Society, a non-profit group which aims to build a museum in the community.

Although the book is her first, Strickland says she has been interested in history all of her life. Originally from Charleston, where her parents worked at the Navy Yard during World War II, she moved with them to a farm in (then) Blaney when she was 12. She graduated from Blaney High School and married Ray Strickland (Blaney native). They became parents to five children.

For 35 years, Strickland worked with the Department of Agriculture in Columbia. After their retirement, the Stricklands moved for 11 years to Manning before returning to Elgin to build a new home. Strickland has had a dual career in music, seriving as musical director at churches. She began her training in piano and voice under Lois Gandy of Camden who taught music at Blaney High School, with yearly recitals in the school auditorium.

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