The Greenville History Museum
Contributed by Benjy Nelken

It is through the knowledge of history that we learn the lessons of life and “those who are not familiar with the past are condemned to repeat it”. The Greenville History Museum was conceived and developed by lifelong Greenville resident Benjy Nelken. The exhibit’s creation was quite unintentional and its origin began when Nelken closed his family’s almost one hundred year old retail store, The Fair of Greenville, in 1986. Nelken changed his vocation from retail to real estate and opened his office in the historic R. H. Lake building at 124 South Poplar Street. He had no office décor items and, remembering that his ancestors were pack rats and had saved profuse amounts of Greenville memorabilia over their lifetimes, began displaying those items on the walls and shelves of his real estate office. In doing so, the only historical museum of Greenville was created.

In 2003, the century-old Miller Building at 409 Washington Ave. went into foreclosure and, having grown out of the Poplar Street location, Nelken purchased it, and after an extensive repair and décor renovation, The Greenville History Museum found its permanent home. It has now developed significantly as a result of the many artifact contributions from many of the area’s citizens. The exhibit celebrates Greenville's and Washington County’s history from the mid 19th century through the 1980’s. The exhibit is available 7 days a week. For more info call the museum at 662.335.5802 or the Convention and Visitors bureau at 662.334.2711.