Current Exhibits

Hands-On Harley-Davidson

September 24, 2016 – January 8, 2017

Motorcycle history began in the second half of the 19th century. By 1880, dozens of designs and machines had emerged, particularly in Germany, England, and the United States.

In 1903, William S. Harley and his childhood friend Arthur Davidson, made history when they founded Harley-Davidson, Inc. in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. As one of two major American motorcycle manufacturers to survive the Great Depression, Harley-Davidson has become the world’s fifth largest motorcycle manufacturer and an iconic brand widely known for its loyal following – with owner clubs and events worldwide.

The Upcountry History Museum will make history in 2016 when it hosts the sold out traveling exhibition Hands-On Harley Davidson. The 2,000 sq. ft. exhibition, invites visitors to a one-of-a-kind experience including a kid-sized motorcycle dealership and engineering lab. Visitors engage in history, art, science, technology, engineering, and math (STEAM education) concepts through hands-on activities designed to encourage guests to: Dream It! Build It! and Ride It!

The Hands-On Harley-Davidson experience features two Road King inspired motorcycles with interchangeable parts, accessories and decals to customize your ride, realistic throttle action, sound effects that pair with first-person ride videos, and opportunities to learn about safety gear and preparing to ride. An interactive world map incorporates some of the most challenging motorcycle tours in the world, along with travel themed math challenges and graphics about motorcycle design and engineering. The service department experience provides videos, costumes and large scale dealership photos for role play.

Along with the dealership, the exhibition includes a design engineer experience that introduces visitors to how acceleration, speed, friction, and gravity impact a motorcycle in motion. Guests conduct their own experiments in the Engineering Lab that includes tracks, ramps, and loops.

After learning about engine parts and how they work together to create a smooth and safe ride visitors grab a vest and helmet and get ready to ride.

National Tour Sponsored by: Harley-Davidson Motor Company

Locally Sponsored By: Iron Horse Motorcycle Law Firm,   Piedmont Natural Gas, General Electric, 3M, GBS Building Supply, WSPA, Harley-Davidson of Greenville, Elliott Davis Decosimo, WCM, Spinx, Rusty Nuts Originals, Iron Order MC of South Carolina, and Wiley X


Things Come Apart

 September 3, 2016 – February 19, 2017Apart_FlipClock

The Smithsonian Institution for the second year in a row, has selected the Upcountry History Museum as the location to premiere its newest traveling exhibition Things Come Apart. Following its debut in Greenville, the exhibit will begin a three-year national tour.

Things Come Apart presents a brand new way to understand the material world around us. The 2000 square foot exhibition explores how things are designed and made and how technology has evolved over time. The exhibition features over three dozen photographs depicting everyday objects both carefully disassembled and “falling apart,” along with accompanying videos, hands-on learning opportunities, and disassembled objects. Embracing key STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art and math) concepts the exhibition is a thought-provoking way to reexamine the everyday objects around us, to embrace curiosity, and to think about ways we can create a more sustainable future.

Children and families can become a part of the design experience through activities from Spark!Lab, developed by the Smithsonian’s Lemelson Center for the Study of Invention and Innovation. Things Come Apart is an exhibition organized by Todd McLellan and the Smithsonian Institution Traveling Exhibition Service (SITES). The Spark!Lab Activity Kits are provided through a grant from the Smithsonian Women’s Committee.

A visual investigation of design and engineering, Things Come Apart is a revelation for all who have ever asked the question of “How does that work?”

Flip Clock: Flip clock made by Sanyo in the 1970s. smithsonian-logo-TCA
Component count: 426
Photograph by Todd McLellan



Locally Sponsored By:


The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community

February 14 – October 2016

Markley Manufacturing on the banks of the Reedy River in downtown Greenville

The Ripple Effect: How Saving a River Revitalized a Community tells the story of the Reedy River and Lake Conestee, Greenville’s own environmental crisis and the community’s response to it. Decades of industrial waste polluted the Reedy’s water and created hazardous conditions in Lake Conestee. Through the diligence of local citizens and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Reedy was cleaned up, Lake Conestee transformed from a chemical wasteland to a nature preserve, and Falls Park created to become the pride and icon of Greenville.

This project is funded in part by The Humanities Council (SC), a state program of the National Endowment for the Humanities.