The Button King Museum - Bishopville, South Carolina.
Home of the button artwork of Dalton Stevens, "The Button King". I had the pleasure of meeting Mr. Stevens on a beautiful Christmas Eve afternoon. His museum is always open and there is a guest book for signing, but if you want a chance to meet this wonderful man, you really should call ahead of time. Thankfully, we did and he literally drove straight from town just to greet us. He mentioned how he had been spending the week with his family, but how it's always a pleasure for him to meet his guests. Upon shaking his hand I noticed he had little drawn on buttons on his fingernails — compliments of his grandchildren, of course!
Mr. Dalton began his button artwork in 1983, during a bit of insomnia. While his wife Sue, slept, he sewed buttons on one of his suits (16,333 buttons to be exact, weighing 16 pounds), musical instruments, a car and hearse, and even a coffin. According to him, his wife was his biggest fan. She was the one who encouraged him to start his new button museum. Sadly though, she passed away before she was able to see it in all of its button glory.
In the museum you will find a small area dedicated to his late wife. This was the most beloved part of my visit. It touched my heart to the point of tears right in front of the "Button King", himself. There are no photos of this particular memorial, because I prefer to leave that for you to experience on your own.
The love this man has for his wife, for buttons, and for his guests, is incredibly heartwarming. When you visit make sure to request a special serenade and bring your tissues if you are super sensitive like me.
A tumbleweed soul, with the heart of an oak, growing roots in Richmond, Virginia.
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