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Penn Center

Saint Helena Island, SC
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Certificate of Excellence 2014
Type: Historic Sites, Museums, History Museums, Landmarks/ Points of Interest, Landmarks
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Attraction details
Owner 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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60 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Senior Contributor
23 reviews 23 reviews
5 attraction reviews
8 helpful votes 8 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 23, 2014

If you are in this area of the world you have to, I can not stress enough, have to go here. It is indescribable. It doesn't look like much when you drive in but once you start walking around the grounds it is breathtaking! Seeing the cabin where The "I had a dream" speech was written was serene.

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Top Contributor
90 reviews 90 reviews
48 attraction reviews
55 helpful votes 55 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 6, 2014

How very interesting. One of the alumni was there in the museum greeting and answering questions. Great displays. A part of history that I knew little about. Well worth going

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Irmo, South Carolina
5 reviews 5 reviews
2 helpful votes 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 stars Reviewed August 1, 2014

It is a unique part of Southern history, and if you are from the south you should visit. It's longevity and continued relevance to this area is impressive.

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Langhorne, Pennsylvania
Top Contributor
56 reviews 56 reviews
20 attraction reviews
22 helpful votes 22 helpful votes
4 of 5 stars Reviewed July 31, 2014 via mobile

This center provides a very informative video on the history on the Penn School/Center. After the video take the self guided tour which takes you through slavery and freedom in this coastal region. There are multiple buildings on the grounds which you can view from the outside only. Sometimes an alumnus of the school is available to answer questions.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Kansas City, Missouri
Senior Contributor
48 reviews 48 reviews
33 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
2 of 5 stars Reviewed July 22, 2014

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

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Knoxville, Tennessee
Senior Contributor
44 reviews 44 reviews
9 attraction reviews
32 helpful votes 32 helpful votes
3 of 5 stars Reviewed July 20, 2014

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

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Joplin, Missouri
Senior Contributor
37 reviews 37 reviews
20 attraction reviews
27 helpful votes 27 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.

Was this review helpful? Yes 1
Memphis, Tennessee
Senior Reviewer
7 reviews 7 reviews
12 helpful votes 12 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

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Melrose, Massachusetts
Senior Contributor
45 reviews 45 reviews
19 attraction reviews
31 helpful votes 31 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

Was this review helpful? Yes 3
Evanston, Illinois
Senior Contributor
26 reviews 26 reviews
3 attraction reviews
21 helpful votes 21 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

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