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Penn Center

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Address: 16 Penn Center Cir W, Saint Helena Island, SC 29920-5302
Phone Number: +1 843-838-2432
Website
Today
9:00 am - 4:00 pm
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Hours:
Mon - Sat 9:00 am - 4:00 pm
Description:

A significant African-American institution in the United States, its...

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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Book In Advance
More Info
$60.00*
and up
Historic Sea Island Plantation and Lowcountry Life Tour
More Info
$40.00*
and up
Civil War Reconstruction Tour of Beaufort by Van

TripAdvisor Reviewer Highlights

Read all 129 reviews
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  • 58
    Excellent
  • 48
    Very good
  • 18
    Average
  • 4
    Poor
  • 1
    Terrible
A missing piece in the history of Black emancipation

My husband and I were visiting Charleston and love taking side trips when travelling. I had heard mention of the Gullah culture and as we were so close to the area decided to take... read more

4 of 5 bubblesReviewed 5 days ago
melaniener1
,
New York City, New York
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129 Reviews from our TripAdvisor Community

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Showing 129: English reviews
New York City, New York
Level Contributor
54 reviews
17 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 5 days ago NEW

My husband and I were visiting Charleston and love taking side trips when travelling. I had heard mention of the Gullah culture and as we were so close to the area decided to take a trip to the coastal area known as the Gullah Geechee Corridor. At Fort Sumter I saw mention of the Gullah Geechee Corridor and The Penn... More 

Helpful?
Thank melaniener1
Detroit, Michigan
Level Contributor
5 reviews
3 attraction reviews
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 1 week ago

We visited Penn Center after hearing a talk on the history of Hilton Head Island. I did not know the history of this school, first school for emancipated slaves in South Carolina. There is a small, but very informative museum as well as a visitor center. Pay $2 and get a map of the various buildings, then. $5 per person... More 

Helpful?
Thank Darcie53
Level Contributor
23 reviews
6 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 7 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 3 weeks ago via mobile

We were interested after a Gullah tour guide described it. The Civil War changed the Sea Islands for former slaves in a unique and remarkable way. The Penn Center Museum and museum store relates that history in an awesome way. I am grateful for this museum.

Helpful?
Thank Marian R
San Pablo, California
Level Contributor
42 reviews
13 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 4 weeks ago

This was a very informative tour. We arrived and toured all of the historic locations not a air conditioned van roughly three hours. Our guide was so informative with the quakerservice who built a lot of the buildings for churches and schools for slaves and to be used during the Civil rights movement. We visited the building where Martin Luther... More 

Helpful?
Thank John F
Port Clinton, Ohio
Level Contributor
159 reviews
75 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 51 helpful votes
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 28, 2016

The history of this school is very important. The video tells the story and it is a must see if you visit there. It is a good educational experience. The museum is very interesting with lots of artifacts.

Helpful?
Thank Arlene D
San Antonio
Level Contributor
10 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed October 17, 2016 via mobile

I took my son to Penn Center on a homeschool trip. The campus is beautiful. We both learned a lot from our guide....Mr. Robert Middleton. We were inspired to go on this trip when we were gifted a copy of My Trip to St. Helena Island. The book really pushed us to want to visit the island for ourselves.

Helpful?
Thank Karen B
Gaffney, South Carolina
Level Contributor
92 reviews
39 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 23 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 22, 2016

Never knew of this place until visiting the area. Enjoyed the museum video. The gift center is a must. Bring lots of money if you wish to purchase anything.

Helpful?
Thank Katrina B
Encinitas, California
Level Contributor
188 reviews
66 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2016 via mobile

The first school ever opened to educate former slaves, stemming from the vision and commitment of two white Pennsylvania Quaker women. An extensive facility that was in operation until the State of SC finally opened a public school on the island. The history of this place has intertwined with many important people, including MLKing. You've got to be very impressed... More 

Helpful?
Thank Patty8888
Huntersville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
19 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 14, 2016 via mobile

The Penn Center opened in 1862 as the first school for former slaves. The school offered both academic and job technical training. In the late 1940's , the mission changed to social justice, and Martin Luther King wrote speeches here. We highly recommend a viewing of the film which is excellent. Also impressive is the fact a former student greets... More 

Helpful?
Thank GranEvanJordyn
Level Contributor
162 reviews
21 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 49 helpful votes
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 1, 2016

My son just finished his Master's Degree and his thesis was about the Sea Islands during the Last Unpleasantness...Civil War. It was closed, but a director came out and chatted with us for a while and we drifted around the grounds. The documents my son used were owned by our family, so it was personal.

Helpful?
Thank Michael E

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