The number of visitors, more specifically, tourists, that Cheraw sees may surprise you. In just two years the cell phone tour for Historic Cheraw has received 3,373 calls, according to David Sides, director of Tourism and Community Development for the town.
“We have gotten calls from 47 different states,” said Sides. “We’re still waiting on Hawaii, North Dakota and Wyoming to check in.”
Sides, who initiated the cell phone tour, is able to assist visitors in various ways. Lots of people request information packs to be mailed, some send tweets, and others simply keep up with what’s happening through the town’s Facebook page he maintains.
“We currently have 5,733 friends on Facebook,” said Sides.
Each Friday is History Day on the town’s FaceBook page, where a different historic site is featured with a photograph and facts. This information is shared with SCIWAY.net, as part of the site’s S.C. Picture Project, which is a free service.
“Currently there are 10 Cheraw photos included under Chesterfield County,” said Sides.
In addition to helping generate tourism for the town, part of Sides job includes securing loans for all kinds of projects around town. Most recently he recieved notification of a $66,000 award from the S.C. State Housing Finance and Development Authority.
This project will allow the town to assist three low-income families in town with housing repairs, said Sides.
Sides also has been successful in obtaining Facade Grants for the town. This year facade grants have been awarded to Ingram Law Office, McBride’s Photography and Wannamaker Drug.
“We are still waiting to hear from S.C. Rural Development” concerning grant applications for a new “Jaws of Life,” said Sides. He is working with Cheraw Fire Chief Chris Sellers on that project.
— Staff Writer Karen Kissiah can be reached by calling 843-537-5261, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.