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Trip Planner: USA / South Carolina / Saint Helena Island / Penn Center
The Penn Center, formerly the Penn School, is an African-American cultural and educational center in the Corners Community, on Saint Helena Island. Founded in 1862 by Quaker and Unitarian missionaries from Pennsylvania, it was the first school founded in the Southern United States specifically for the education of African-Americans. It provided critical educational facilities to Gullah slaves freed after plantation owners fled the island, and continues to fulfill an educational mission. Leigh Richmond Miner photographed students and activities at the school.To visit Penn Center and other attractions in Saint Helena Island, use our Saint Helena Island vacation builder.
The campus was designated a National Historic Landmark District in 1974. Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church on the campus were declared part of Reconstruction Era National Monument in January 2017. In spring of 2019, it became the Reconstruction Era National Historic Park, along with Fort Sumter.
Penn Center reviews
The time walking where history took place should allow you the opportunity to reflect - not only on the past but also the future.
The time walking where history took place should allow you the opportunity to reflect - not only on the past but also the future. more »
Reconstruction history was brought to life with the short film and the rich and varied exhibits. After completing the ranger-guided program that morning in Beaufort, a visit to Penn Center provided a.... more
Reconstruction history was brought to life with the short film and the rich and varied exhibits. After completing the ranger-guided program that morning in Beaufort, a visit to Penn Center provided a.... more »
It was closed on Thanksgiving but we were able to walk around. It was emotional to see a little bit of history. I am very grateful for the individuals who made it possible to educate my people back then. The negative part of history mustn't repeat itself.
A must visit destination for anyone in the area. The museum is packed with history, preserving the important legacy of Penn School. Do yourself a favor and set aside an entire afternoon to soak in all that Penn Center has to offer.
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