Formed in 2002, the Fall Line Consortium is a group of researchers representing museums, historic sites and cultural agencies operating within the greater Columbia area of South Carolina. Its purpose is to identify, research and interpret the regional material culture of South Carolina above the Fall Line, made and used between 1720 and 1945. This study includes, but is not lmited to, fine and folk art, decorative arts, prints and maps, tools, vernacular buildings and dinstinctive regional landscape features such as graveyards and gardens.
During South Carolina's early development, the Fall Line, or the point within the state at which rivers cease to be navigable from the Lowcountry, was a transition zone geographically, economically, and culturally. Fall Line communities did not function like their Lowcountry or Piedmont counterparts. Material conditions within Fall Line settlements both necessitated and encouraged local interpretations of national and regional trends in object forms and styles embraced by fashion-concious Lowcountry consumers. In the Midlands, the Fall Line also crossed the two branches of the Great Philadelphia Wagon Road. This introduced influences from German, Irish, and English settlements of the Mid-Atlantic region. Remnant groups of Native Americans also contributed to the material environment of the region.
The belief of the Fall Line Consortium is that economic, geographical, social, and cultural influences resulted in a unique body of material culture that drew its sources from both the Lowcountry and comparable communities in North Carolina, Virginia, and Georgia. Until recently, little research has been done to identify or publish material culture of South Carolina's Fall Line region, and few public collections have pursued it systematically.
With the premier installation, Meeting in the Middle: Material Culture From South Carolina's Fall Line Region, 1700-1900, the members of the Fall Line Consortium hope to heighten the general public's awareness and interest in its local history and material culture. The goal of the Fall Line Consortium is to advance the understanding of our region and its importance to South Carolina, the South and the nation. If you have information or artifacts that you would like to share with us, please contact a Fall Line Consortium representative from one of the member organizations.
To visit the founding members and contributors of the SC Fall Line Consortium, visit the Contact Us page and click on the link of the institution whose site you would like to visit.