The city of Pelion has a new city seal. The recently approved symbol represents the history of the city.
The Pelion City Council met on October 13 to discuss the seal, approve a budget and discuss cemetery issues. Council members Daniel Shumpert and Mike Mascio were not present.
Councilman Larry Sossamon and Beth Shumpert, wife of Mayor Frank Shumpert, worked together to design the town seal and decide what it would include.
“So you want to keep it simple, especially [since] it’s supposed to say what the origin of the city is, a bit about the city,” Sossamon said.
The final version of the seal, for which council members present passed unanimous first-reading approval, features a locomotive, a saw palmetto, an outline of South Carolina, and four peanuts; each element representing a piece of the city’s history.
The locomotive, located in the center of the seal, shows how Pelion came to be – originally the land where Pelion stands was a stop for the railway to get water for the pumped steam engine from Fort Pond. The trains brought faster travel speeds and people began to settle along the stops.
On either side of the locomotive are the Palmetto tree (left) and the outline of South Carolina (right), with peanuts above and below the two symbols. Peanuts represent the Peanut Farmers of Pelion. The city hosts an annual Pelion Peanut Party, hosted by the Pelion Ruritan Club, where attendees eat boiled peanuts and enjoy a parade, craft show, rides and more.
The council received two budgets for the 2023 financial year, the difference between the two budgets being that one included the addition of a new full-time police officer.
Council members present unanimously passed first-reading approval of a budget that included the additional officer as well as other additions to the police department, including a new Ford Explorer, radio upgrades and a new server. The cost of the officer and equipment is around $140,000.
An ongoing conversation regarding cemetery rules continued. The discussion focused on the amount of cremated remains a burial ground can hold, the type of stone used for head markers, and cemetery cleanup.
The amount of cremated remains currently considered per plot is three to four and the permitted stones are granite and marble. Regarding the condition of the cemetery, Mayor Shumpert said it should be preserved with dignity and integrity, as it has been for over 100 years.
Cleaning and upkeep of the cemetery will include timely removal or replacement of flowers and flags and removal of logs and unnecessary items. During the cleanup, unmarked graves were discovered and attempts to trace their families are underway with the addition of headstones.
For the November council meeting, the cemetery guidelines discussed will be written into an updated ordinance so they can be voted on and, if approved, enforced by the police department.