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Penn Center

Saint Helena Island, SC
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: History Museums, Historic Sites, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Museums
Description: A significant African-American institution in the United States, its mission is to preserve the Sea Islands' history, culture and environment.
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56 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    18
    25
    9
    3
    1
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
27 reviews 27 reviews
17 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014 NEW

My husband and I were very interested in learning more about the Gullah culture and history so we were excited to visit Penn Center. When we arrived we entered the visitor center and paid $5 to tour the museum. Upon entering the museum we watched a 20ish minute film that was very interesting and informative. Next we went into the... More

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Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
38 reviews 38 reviews
7 attraction reviews
25 helpful votes 25 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014 NEW

The museum costs $5 admission and is worth the visit, but could use more organization. It takes only about 10-15 minutes to reach from Beaufort and is only a minute or two off the road from Beaufort to Hunting Island. The Penn Center tries to tell three broad three stories: the earliest experiment in reconstructing African American society after slaves... More

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Joplin, Missouri
Senior Contributor
34 reviews 34 reviews
20 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed June 5, 2014

We stopped to check this out. No brochures could be found and noone offered to tell us about the place. Very cold reception and we felt Very Out of place.

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Memphis, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed May 6, 2014

Penn Center is a poignant reminder of our far-too-recent past and far-too-real present. The video describing Penn Center's origin and history is well done, even moving; the setting of Penn Center truly beautiful; and the story of the people who have made Penn Center truly heroic and worthy of great pride. But like far too many places and situations in... More

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Melrose, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
41 reviews 41 reviews
17 attraction reviews
30 helpful votes 30 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed April 24, 2014

Not only did I learn something new, but this facility provoked thought. I went home with questions and did some of my own research. Isn't that what a historical attraction can hope to achieve? The Penn Center was founded by two women in 1862 whose mission was to better the futures of freed slaves through education. What the Penn Center... More

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Evanston, Illinois
Senior Contributor
24 reviews 24 reviews
3 attraction reviews
16 helpful votes 16 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 27, 2014

We so enjoyed our visit! The video is a must within the museum. It emphasizes the spirit and determination of these islanders to maintain the culture and land that is so dear to them. Beautiful photography throughout the museum. Take a trip for a half day- you won't be disappointed.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Bar Harbor, Maine
Contributor
12 reviews 12 reviews
7 helpful votes 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed March 24, 2014

Beautiful location with an inspiring story to tell. A must stop for all ages. Would love to visit a 2nd time.

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Georgia
Contributor
17 reviews 17 reviews
5 attraction reviews
19 helpful votes 19 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed March 16, 2014

This museum helps to tell the story of slavery in the Sea Islands, and that is a big part about what makes these islands so distinctive and so unforgettable. Allow time to read the wall labels and don't miss the newspaper article contemporary account of Robert Smalls' heroic and daring civil war escapade.

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miller Beach Indiana
Contributor
18 reviews 18 reviews
6 attraction reviews
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed February 26, 2014

We spent only a few hours touring the school and viewing the exhibits and movie. The school is full of fascinating history, so much we didn't know. The movie is hard to understand because of the dialect, the people of the area must speak differently, it was hard to follow and difficult to understand. Unfortunately the weather was quite cold... More

Was this review helpful? Yes 2
Florida
Top Contributor
160 reviews 160 reviews
70 attraction reviews
124 helpful votes 124 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 28, 2013

This is the site of a school for children of freed slaves, built just after the Civil War and it stayed open until the 1970s. Unfortunately, all of this history is not well presented. There is a 20-minute video that emphasizes more recent times (1960s, civil rights movements, etc) but never tells how the place was set up, by who,... More

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