There have been many firsts in the USA. First, the Pilgrims landed on Plymouth Rock in 1620. Then you had the purchasing of land past the Mississippi in 1783, Gold Rush in 1848, and the completion of the fifty states in 1959. In between all those dates, were many other firsts, including the opening of the Charleston Museum in 1773.
The Charleston Museum was America’s first museum and it is an excellent place to see the true history of the state of South Carolina and the rest of the country. This entire museum is filled with collections of natural history, culture, and ethnological and zoological specimens.
There are nine permanent exhibits in all at the Charleston Museum. The Becoming Americans exhibit shares the important role of this city during the American Revolution. There are artifacts from both American and British soldiers, as well as personal items of Francis Marion and George Washington’s inaugural button.
The Bunting Natural History Gallery shares the fossils, specimens, and skeletons of all the animals that have lived in this region over the years. The jaws of the Megalodon, which is a shark, is a highlight of this exhibit.
Over at the Lowcountry History Hall, you will see all types of items that were used by the Native Americans who lived in this area. This is where some of the earliest artifacts from the city are on display.
City Under Siege is the exhibit that shows the role Charleston played in the Civil War. The personal effects of civilians and soldiers are on display, as well as different types of weapons that were used.
Other permanent exhibits include the Armory, Early Days, Kidstory, Historic Textiles, and Charleston Silver.
There are two historic houses of the Charleston Museum and they are the Joseph Manigault House and Charleston’s Huguenot House.
The Joseph Manigault House was constructed back in 1803. It is quite an elegant antebellum home that shows the lifestyle of those who led a wealthy life. The family that lived there planted rice and a tour of the inside shares what their days would have looked like. You will also learn about the African Americans who lived and worked on this plantation.
Charleston’s Huguenot House was constructed during the 18th century after the Manigaults fled Europe to become rice planters in America. The inside of this home has been completely restored and it is filled with English, French, and American early 19th-century furniture. The Gale Temple overlooks the garden and all the outbuildings are labeled with signs stating what they were used for.
You cannot visit Charleston and not visit America’s first museum. I understand that many museums are boring, but this one brings history to life! You can easily spend a couple of hours at the Charleston Museum without even realizing it!
I can help you plan your trip to America’s first museum, while also creating an itinerary of other fascinating places to see when you are in Charleston. Give me a call today and let’s create those magical memories with your family that you will cherish forever.
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